The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking and Time

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Baking and Time

The name of this thread is not the title of a long lost manuscript of Heidegger's, though ...who knows.


I've been planning my weekend around baking, and find that time is sometimes fairly inflexible (nowhere near extensible enough to make into pizza crust, for instance).  I'm trying to map out sufficient blocks of time for (in priority order): 1. sleep, 2. baking, 3. cooking, 4. outdoor exercise.  I have two baking projects in mind, and no fresh bread in the house, so I guess my first bake will have to be the one that takes less elapsed time, and can be done in time for dinner Saturday (that would be the Italian Sourdough).  Since the Italian Sourdough is intended to be accompanied by tuna salad and fresh tomatoes, I guess that means I have to find time Saturday to get to the farmer's market.  But that would be the time I planned to mix the dough.  So, if I go to the market for tomatoes, the bread might not be done in time for dinner.  If we have dinner too late Saturday, I won't have time before sleep time to mix the dough for my third attempt at Susan's Ultimate Sourdough (which I planned to mix Saturnight and bulk ferment in a cool place til Sunday morn).


I guess I need more time to figure this out.  And no, I'm not giving up sleep to meet a baking schedule.


I bet all you bakers have these problems.  Anyone found a way to conform time to your schedule?  


Thanks for any tips.  Heckling is also welcome.


Glenn

Yippee's picture
Yippee

isn't it? And I'm with you about not giving up sleep to meet a baking schedule.

To address your question, how about getting the bulk fermentation out of the way on Friday night and retard your shaped loaves overnight?

Check on the status of your loaves on Saturday morning and estimate any additional time that will be needed before they are ready for baking. Run your errands on Saturday morning as planned and then work your schedule around your estimate and your scheduled dinner time.

Yippee

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Glenn,


Ask David to fax or email you Hamelman's Vermont sourdough formula and instructions.  It's an easy and pretty foolproof recipe.


This is a mix that takes a 20 to 60 minute autolyse, 2.5 hour bulk ferment prior to preshaping and shaping, then into the refrigerator overnight.  Will give you two nice 1.5 pound loaves   Mix it in the evening, bake it in the morning, and you'll have plenty of time to visit the farmer's market, plus have fresh bread for lunch and dinner.


And time to mix Susan's sourdough after dinner.  You could even mix your pizza dough and retard that as well.  


Fermenting dough can demand more attention than a messy toddler or puppy....but the end result smells better.  :-)


 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I heartily second that.


If the dough is rising but you suddenly need to go to the market, you can stick the dough in the fridge until you get home.


And you can break up a one-day bake into two days: with the first steps (measuring? kneading?) late at night and the last steps (shaping? baking?) first thing in the morning.


Besides being incredibly convenient, these long slow rises give your bread time to develop more flavor!
(search "retard" for more info)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Here's your schedule:


Friday night, before going to bed:


* Feed starter


* Weigh all dry ingredients.


* Mix all dry ingredients except salt.


* Go to bed.


Saturday morning:


* Get up, wash hands (Other body parts are optional - I'm 180 miles away, albeit downwind.)


* Feed baker


* Mix dry ingredients except salt with water. Cover bowl.


* Dash to farmer's market and back home.


* Add salt and starter to autolyse. 


* Procede with procedures.


Other quick neighborhood errands, chores and exercise can be done between S&F's, during the rest of bulk fermentation and while the shaped loaves are proofing.


If you need a longer break, you can slow things down by refrigerating the dough or the loaves, but if you refrigerate before the dough is nearly fermented, you need to warm it up, which adds to the total time. If you refrigerate when the loaves are about 1/2 proofed, you can bake them right out of the fridge. (If you fully proof them before refrigerating, they may over-proof before the chill gets to the yeast.)


* Bake loaves.


* Prep. dinner.


* Cool loaves.


* Eat, drink and be merry.


I'd figure on something like 8-10 hours hours from getting out of bed to eating the bread. May be more if your kitchen is really cool or if you cold retard or if the farmer's market takes more than an hour, door to door. You can compensate by proofing in a warmer environment, say 80ºF. 


Hope this helps.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I had a big brother...that baked bread ; )


Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Time to feed the starter, time to mix, time to ferment, time to proof or best is when it's time to retard it overnight.  So what time do I need to start.  My lastest bake was timed around...what time to start the fire in wfo, but is the wind going to blow...which direction...away from my neighbor, well maybe it will be to warm and they won't be outside today, the wood we got the other day looks a little young..will probably smoke a lot in the beginning, need a little breeze.  I need to go to the store, but who will feed the fire, needs to burn a few hours before cleaning out the coals...I made pizza dough...I'd like to do pizza first, while the oven is still to hot for bread, oh those beautiful peaches on the counter waiting for a peach gallett, better make the pastry early...well, I'll save that for the weekend...how many hours till the oven and the bread is ready.  Hummm, think I will just do it in the house oven today...after all, I needed to have dinner ready for 4:00.  All is done and I'm going to rest this week-end...well it would be fun to bake, maybe I'll bake!  Better get a pencil and paper out and make a time schdule.


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baking is great mental exercise. It's the cognitive equivalent of juggling many sharp-edged objects while riding a unicycle on a tightrope in the fog. What could be more fun?


Listen to Sylvia, Glenn.


David

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Is that the one with the recipe for Dasein bread?


Tricky this scheduling lark - so tricky that commercial bakeries sometimes have to use software to schedule bakes and bakers' shifts. 


As a novice it took me a while  to work out how much forward planning sourdough took - I'd get a window of time, think I'd bake some bread and then realise I should have begun strengthening my starter two days before. In the end it's a critical plan, cycling through the options as you are doing and then choosing the best approach is probably the best way to start. 


Dom on website Sourdough Companion, on this link and Andrew Whitley in Bread Matters offer some general schedules for home bakers. Several of these revolve around mixing and retarding the dough for baking the next day. How well that goes depends to a large extent on how fast your starter is. In the early days I had to really reduce the amount of yeast in my formulae to get them through retardation as my yeasts acted very quickly.


As you have a biga in the Italian Sourdough, this would translate to mixing the biga Friday morning if you still have time, mixing the dough Friday evening and retarding it. Depending on how fast-acting your yeasts are and the temperature where you are  you could either take the dough out to warm up Saturday morning then bake or leave it in the fridge then bake it from cold. Baking time might be slightly different if done from cold.


There is a danger that the dough could overprove. There are ways of mitigating this - adding less starter to the original biga, adding less or no yeast to the final dough and mixing the final dough with cold water. Both David and Don D have great posts on handling long retardations. 


However, and it's a big however, it's much more difficult to work out the parameters for changing a recipe if one has not done it 'as is' the first time round. I don't want to send you off down the wrong track. As David has done this recipe he would be the best judge. Would be worth checking if the dough could go longer without the baker's yeast or whether this or retardation are complete no-nos for this formula.


In general, though, slowing fermentation via retardation and other techniques such as including a small proportion of salt in preferments are key ways in which home bakers try to slow dough development to fit baking into their schedules. I hesitate to say this 'manages' the dough as I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that sourdough tends to bend us to its timetables!


Enjoy the weekend bake,


Kind regards, Daisy_A


 


 


 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Good to know others have had to deal with this issue of time being moving all the time.


Thanks for your thoughts, sympathies, etc.


I think the solutions might be (a) have grilled salmon sandwiches on the Italian Sourdough instead of tuna salad (and skip the farmer's market tomatoes), or (b) get home early enough tomorrow to get through the bulk ferment and shaping, and then refrigerate the loaves overnight.  There's no way we can get to the farmer's market and back in an hour (too many good things there--Cowgirl Creamery, Blue Bottle Coffee, Acme Bakery, plus some fruits and vegetables).


I'm liking option (b).  Several advantages: (1) leave office early Friday, (2) enjoy the farmer's market at leisure, (3) have bread baked and cooled before dinner.  


I'm supposing that if I put the loaves in the fridge just after they're formed, then they'll take an extra hour or so to warm to room temperature the next day (i.e., the proofing time will be longer than if they weren't retarded), right?  


Thanks, again.


Glenn

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks, Daisy.  You are right that I should follow a recipe the first time before messing with it.  But, I will have to risk the consequences.  It could be my buns will be the famous buns of steel.  But at least I'll have tomatoes.


Glenn

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Then again the consequences may be very fine. Most bakers adapt the recipes they do. I was more concerned that I was advising on a recipe I hadn't done. Still might do it now - looks like a good one! Happy baking, Daisy_A

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I liked my big brother B.B.E (before the bread era).  Now I truly adore him.


I guess when we were younger, I hadn't realized that under that thick crust was a perfect crumb, err....I mean  sweetheart.


That Vermont Sourdough Lindy mentions sounds like it would be good for my schedule, and I hear it tastes good too.  Is there a link to a recipe?


Many thanks.


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

What's that slippery all over feeling? I think I'm being buttered up!


Here's a link to a previous posting of the formula: Eric, recipe here...


And here's a photo of one of my Vermont SD bakes:



This is a bread that should be in your repertoire, for sure.


More bread porn ...



The 2 boules in front are Vermont SD. San Joaquin SD is in back.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I have one big brother so I know exactly how you feel...he even took me to his boy scout meetings!


Your going to love the VS formula..so many have baked it with 5 star approval.  I would call it an all time favorite on TFL.


Sylvia

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

David--


It's the Aioli that goes over the grilled Salmon on Italian Sourdough rolls.


Thanks for the VSD recipe. If the Italian and Susan's go well, maybe I'll try it next.


Glenn

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Much to my surprise and delight, all it took was David's hungry yeasty-beasties to make the whole Italian Sourdough process fit into one afternoon.  The Italian sourdough buns are in the oven, and tomorrow can be dedicated to Susan's Ultimate Sourdough.


I bet Heidegger woulda thunk differnt if he'd been a baker.


Glenn