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Rye sour fermentation: how long?

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nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Rye sour fermentation: how long?

Hi,
still venturing in the marvellous world of rye bread (but not only bread, I'm eating right now a cake made with only rye flour that came out particularly good) I found various fermentation times for the production sourdough, generally ranging from 8 to 24 hours! and with various hydratations ranging from 100% to 200%.

My question is: what can I expect from a longer fermentation time? A higher sourness, a major stability of the final dough or maybe more?
Is there a way to understand if it's too much? Maybe a too sour smell? Unfortunately my ph-meter is still on its way...
What if the sourdough begins to collapse before the time? Is it time to prepare the final dough or should I refresh it?

How does the hydratation of the sourdough affect the taste of the final bread? Does a wetter sour result in a gentler taste?

Generally I don't like very sour bread: sour is fine as long as it doesn't begin to taste too much acetic. Moreover I always add a small portion of hot soaker to enrich the taste with some sweetness (lately 5-10% of the flour with triple of its weight of boiling water).

SD percentage to the final dough is another parameter that varies a lot: from 11% of Mini's favorite to 50% of Andy's Rossisky bread. I guess that even in this case applies the same principle "the more SD the tastier".

Thanks in advance and especially to Andy and Mini that helped me a lot!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


Remember the recipes and techniques I published for Rossisky came from a man who freely admits he likes his rye breads very sour.   He is, afterall, a Russian expert, and has spent a lot of time travelling in that country.


I think when you work with rye, there really has to be a sour element to it it.   That is what brings the stability I told you about in the e-mail earlier today; and it gives shelf life to the finished bread, which is great.


But no, you don't have to make your bread this sour.   Mini's formula at 11% is eminently possible.   Just remind yourself of how easily fermentatable rye is: I'm sure I posted stating that our rye sours were refreshed on the basis of using 670g of fermented flour to ferment 18kg of new.   And after 18 hours this had worked right through.


All that will happen is that you will need a longer fermentation time.   Note that bulk proof is irrelevant for all rye breads.   And I understand why you do the boil-up now.   Cooking a portion of your flour in this way will indeed draw out the sweetness.


I can't agree with you about rye flour in cakes, however.   My old boss used to swear by it, but I found cakes made with rye are way too claggy in the mouth; most unpleasant to my taste.


Seems like you are making a lot of progress


Ciao


Andy

sparks's picture
sparks

I always used rye flour in honey cakes, I have been doing that for years.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Yes, and thanks to all the  informations that you and others in this forum share with us. They are really precious to me!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the higher the ash content of the rye flour, the better the buffering abilities to sourness. 


I find that when the rye ferments longer, it stretches more.  But as you surmise, there is a limit.  As the dough softens with fermentation and reaches its limit, the rise breaks down, the gas bubbles manage to move through the loostened dough rising to the surface and break through and escape instead of raising the loaf.  If you see this happening, holes appearing in the surface where bubbles have popped.  I believe this is one of the signs of overproofing.  Smoothen the surface gently with a wet finger and get that loaf or whatever into the oven!  You want to bake it before it gets that far along, when you can feel tiny bubbles (use wet fingers) under the surface but they haven't come too near the skin of the dough.


There is no second chance with overproofed rye, if reshaped it will come out more flat and dense.  If mixed with a good portion of fresh flour and water, it can rise again but it will have a very short rising time.  So keep track and watch closely.


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

This is the bread I made 2 days ago, roughly following Whitley's russian bread recipe with some customization.


Half of the "dough" was a sour made at 200% hydratation and lasted 24 hours. After 12 hours I added it a hot soaker made with 8% of the gross flour I have (the rest of the flour was 1/4 wholemeal and 3/4 sifted).


Overall the hydratation converged to the 84% that Mini prefers, even though it's just a case because the water in the soaker can't be considered liquid.


The final paste felt much more manageable and less sticky than usual, almost somewhat elastic, and it rose much more and much faster too: more than double for my first time.


The crumb isn't open, but it's perfectly regular, unlike all my previous breads; it's also very light and extremely pleasant.


It's also moist at the right point without being wet or raw as in other occasions;)


Overall it's the best rye bread I ever baked. Thanks to both Andy and Mini!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for a mixed rye.  Good going!  The crust could use a little more color or is it the light?    By "hot soaker" do you mean a water roux?  Hot water poured over the flour (hot soaker) or water and flour brought just to a boil? 


I also like how the dough is less sticky when this is done.  The water should be figured into the liquids so you probably have a higher hydration.


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Thanks Mini!
The crust is light because I cooked it in the pyrex (25 minutes covered and 25 uncovered).
I poured boiling water over the flour, the recipe for sweetness ;)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


i agree with Mini.   your loaf looks great from here; although i'm not much up on Austrian authenticity.


You should do as advised and incorporate the "boil-up" liquid into the hydration.


It would be a lot easier to comprehend your formula if you could lay it out in some form of table format.


What I do like is your bake profile, using a "steaming" element.   The crumb is excellent; very moist, but obviously stable too.


Looking very good from here


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi Andy, this is the pattern I followed (I hope the table is clear):


soaker, 12 hours covered
  grams %
flour/coarse meal
40 8
water 106 boiling 21
total 146 30
 
levain, 12 hours covered at room temperature (23°C)
  grams %
flour wholemeal
140 28
milk 280 whole UHT 57
total 420 85
 
dough
  grams %
levain 420 85
soaker 146 30
flour sifted
314 64
salt 8 1.6
total 888 180

 

I prepared the levain and the soaker at the same time; after twelve hours I mixed the two and let rest at room temperature for 12 more hours.

I added the remaining flour and the salt, I worked the dough/paste with wet hands and let it rise for 2 hours near the radiator in a covered pyrex. It more than doubled.

 

Cooked at 200°C from cold oven, 25 minutes covered, 15 uncovered, 10 minutes at 180°C out of the pyrex after having brushed the surface with rye gel solution (10 gr of flour, 100 of water 1 minute at 900W in a microwave oven).

 

The only disappointment was the oven spring: very little, not worth mentioning. Maybe I should have cooked sooner, when the dough didn't show any sign of piercing on the surface?

Thanks to you and Mini for your consideration!

ananda's picture
ananda

nico you will not get oven spring if you bake your bread in a cold oven.   The best oven spring is achieved through conducted heat; that is generally only available through retained heat.  A pizza stone perhaps?   I only have an electric fan oven at home, but I have 3 bricks inside it and pre-heat about 2 hours before baking.


I am not at all familiar with your idea of baking in a cold oven; it's alien to everything I know


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Well,


now that I have a real oven (as opposed to the fanciest oven you can imagine, that I still use:


http://www.cookaround.com/yabbse1/showthread.php?t=24780


)


cooking as you say is a possibility.


Thanks,


  Nico

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


not really sure your reply helped me to understand your rationale for your current method of BAKING.   Cooking is not the same thing to me.


Thanks and best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Yes, I know it's surprising, but it's not a pot: it's a real oven that works on the stove ;)


Bread is the food that it cooks worst because the crust doesn't come out thick, but for most other uses it's nearly perfect and cheap: I made dozens of panettone, colomba, cakes, and levained of every kind with much satisfaction.


Anyway now that I have a real electric oven things will change ;)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Especially with high % rye.  Welcome to the land of small economy ovens!


Nico, I think you should not wait until it has doubled, that is rather late.  It should be baked before that because it will rise more as the dish heats up. 


If you wait until "double" there is a good chance of collapse or sinking of the loaf in the oven.  This shows up later in the crumb, a sort of wettish dense layer near the bottom of the loaf a few cm above the crust.  You just made it work with your loaf but came too close to the edge.  Bake a little bit sooner.


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I will, Mini.


Your help is always highly appreciated! ;)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi,


So this gives extra time before the yeasts die off as the dough temperature reaches 53*C.   Seems very reasonable to me.   So that means Min's advice to not fully prove before putting into the oven is correct.   You need to ensure sufficient life in the yeasts for them to be able to carry on in the early stages of the oven treatment.


From a strictly "baking" point of view, I will always prefer to use the principles of conducting retained heat.   Have you had a look at Eric's discussion about steaming high % rye breads like English traditional steamed puddings.   We have been passing personal messages back and forth on that, but I still think there is plenty in his thread: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16348/horst-bandel039s-black-pumpernickel-bread   and http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16501/learning-pumpernickel


Thanks for keeping me learning, to both of you


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I measured the ph of a dough made yesterday with 110 gr of rye meal, 90 gr between whey and yogurth, 10 gr of sourdough.


After 14 hours the reading was 4.6. Isn't it too high? Shouldn't the sour reach something like 4.0 to be optimal? It's still fermenting.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


I like to keep things simple and have my culture based purely on flour and water.   Afterall, yoghurt and whey will impact on the pH of your culture, surely?   I can't really follow your formula, but please refer to mine http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15974/sour-dough-leaven-refreshment-and-ash-content   You can see I have very high hydration, which should mean a more rapid fermentation.   I ferment for about 18 hours, ideally.   I agree that when working with rye, the culture should have definitely soured.   Your reading of 4.6 is probably about the maximum reading you would want.   But, get below 3.8 and you are getting into acid bath territory, and your wild yeasts will be very unhappy indeed.


Is this any use for you?


Thanks


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

yes: the Keep It Simple formula is always something to pursue ;)


I prepared a pain d'epices, I'll probably have to stay awake a bit later once more. In the meantime the PH dropped to 4.3.

ananda's picture
ananda

...so you'll have to stay up all night and make your next batch of rye bread!!!!


BTW: I made Caraway Rye Bread today; 75% Strong White, 25% DRye [in a sourdough culture] plus caraway seeds and black strap molasses.   Please see my next blog [when I finish it!! ]for results


best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

After so much trial and error I found the rye bread that I like best.


 


soaker, 24 hour fermentation
covered
% grams
dark rye flour 20% 100
boiling water 40% 200
 
leaven, 24 hour fermentation
at room temperature (23*C)
% grams
starter 4% 20
dark rye flour 40% 200
water 40% 200
 
dough % grams
dark rye flour 40% 200
all the soaker  
all the leaven  
salt 2% 10

Mixing the dough requires some more water to wet the hands, nothing measurable. After having prepared the dough I let it rest for 2 hours, then I gave it another short mix and let it rise in a pyrex pot. Cooked for 20 minutes at 200°C covered, 20 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes at 180°C out of the pot. It didn't rise a lot, but the taste is really special;) I'll post a picture tomorrow.

The second "kneading" (so to say) was only necessary to make the bread ferment a bit more.

 

The long fermentation and the sweetness of the soaker made a lof with a taste that as far as I'm concerned doesn't have equals: a holy mixture of sweet and sour (meaning fermented, not acidic).

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


I look forward to seeing the photos.   The formula looks great to me; overall 80% hydration, yes?   I assume all the leaven except for the 4 you hold back as stock?


I posted above too, in reply to Mini.


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi Andy,


yes 80% overall hydratation. I took the 4 gr of  leaven directly from the fridge (where I keep a small amount of 50-60 grams as you tought me).


The PH of the dough before the final mixing was 4.3, I guess it was ok.


These are the pictures. Mini couldn't have described better the defects even without seeing them ;))




 


The real color is that of the first picture.

ananda's picture
ananda

It's all about the instability of rye in the oven.   I think we've had a discussion on the pentosans before.   Hamelman is excellent on this.   But, absolutely, too instable, so the structure has clollapsed, forming a dense layer at the bottom, which remains not quite baked out.   A shame, as you've got [for rye] a really decent crumb.   Lop the bottom fraction off, and it will be perfect again!


Nice one


Andy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Good idea, cut the bottom portion off and then... throw it into the next loaf as altus!  Don't figure it into the loaf statistics because it looks moist enough.  If you can shread it in a machine, all the better or soak it in the last part of the soaker, mixing well before adding that to the dough.  If it will be a few days, freeze it until you use it.  Sometimes these dense spots don't reach full temperature and can spoil quickly so heads up!


Mini

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Nico, have you been baking on a stove top oven all this time? That is so interesting. I never put it together that's what you were using. I don't think I have ever seen such a device here.


Your bread above looks very good to me. I have been learning to proof for shorter times with rye mixes. I'm going to try your formula and procedures soon.


Thanks Nico, I like seeing your work.


Eric

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi,


thanks for you kind words. Yes, I've been using that stove oven for years because the main oven doesn't open, and every baking is a real challenge. That oven is a beast not yet completely tamed ;)

RudyH's picture
RudyH

I used to start the starter three days before making my bread, but I have found that the flavor and texture is better if I just start it the day before. I have also tried a cold ferment starting the night before baking with my rye bread and it works better with just a room temperature ferment just prior to baking.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Andy,
does the bread that you used to bake look like this one (the second recipe, titled "scalded rye bread")?
http://ausis.gf.vu.lt/eka/food/bread.html

The soaker amounts to 1/3 of the flour!

Thanks,
Nico

ananda's picture
ananda

No, Nico,


Borodinsky looked like this: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9459/100-rye


...and Eric has already made it, and posted on it, I think.   Check the link.


For Rossisky, see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15577/pure-sourdough-rye-year-1939


This is one of Shiao-Ping's efforts, but it looks very similar to a Village Bakery loaf.


Best wishes


Andy