The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

All ye who pass, see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow

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Rodger's picture
Rodger

All ye who pass, see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow

I thought it would be entertaining to take the plunge into wild yeast, and perhaps it is, to some of you.  This loaf has an atomic weight somewhere in the 130s.  I think I'll start over from the beginning.



The caverns are probably from the few grains of commercial yeast I tossed in late in the game, thinking they might wake up the wild culture.  Oh well...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Trust in nature. Skip the yeast.


Eric

proth5's picture
proth5

If you are going to do this wild yeast thing - remember: "Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you."  If a loaf of bread is enough to cause you sorrow, you have lead a charmed life indeed.


Seriously, though, some tips.



  • If you have holes where a mouse can hide, it is probably a flaw in your shaping method

  • Any pre ferment that you use with wild yeast must absolutely be at its peak - not beyond and not before.  It should be elastic (Over ripe starter will be liquid.  Even 100% hydration pre ferment will be elastic at its peak.) and full of bubbles.  You can get away with some error with this with commercial yeast - not so with wild yeast.

  • Very young storage starter can be problematic - some problems will simply resolve themselves on their own over time.

  • Be prepared for significantly longer fermentation times.


Hope this helps - good luck on your next bake.

spacey's picture
spacey

Without knowing more about how you did this, there's not much we can say :)


Re: needing fully active starter, this isn't as big a deal if you settle down for a 8+hour rise and possibly a subsequent time in the fridge.  In my limited experience (I've only been doing this for a year or so) doing this involves using very little starter (maybe as little as 3% if you've got the time).

proth5's picture
proth5

discount the "properly ripe starter" - my bread baking improved dramtically when I heeded this advice.


Of course - what works for some doesn't always work for others.

spacey's picture
spacey

I should add a caveat: I feed my starters 2x a day and don't refrigerate them.  I wanted to express that when you feed them consistently you don't have to "re-activate" them, or bring them to a peak by feeding them, waiting until the starter has doubled, etc.  Using a long slow rise with little starter, a bit of known live culture will become very, very active and go to town.


However, if you've just taken the starter out of the fridge and aren't sure what condition it's in, that can fall very flat (much flatter than the first picture).

Chuck's picture
Chuck

If given the choice between loaves with "rooms where the baker lives" and bricks, I'd definitely take the overlarge holes. Even "flying crust" isn't a deal breaker. If it tastes good and doesn't threaten to break my teeth, I can always just close my eyes and enjoy it anyway.


 

EvaGal's picture
EvaGal

I, too had loaves too dense for eating and trouble with holes in the loaves, etc.in the beginning of my sourdough (synonymous with wild yeast) adventures. You've just got to put your time in and figure the first few loaves are sacrifices for the sake of your own education. You might try following some old threads in the sourdough category of The Fresh Loaf since many of us have tread the same path before you.


The man referred to above, Jesus, was very fond of bread as a teaching tool.


EvaGal 

proth5's picture
proth5

The beginning of the story that you mentioned is in "Bethlehem" - or - "House of Bread" in Hebrew.  Yep.

Rodger's picture
Rodger

Patience and persistence paid off:



The crumb was still a little on the dense side, but it's definitely getting there.  Thanks to all for your comments, and for the abundant wisdom available on TFL.



Rodger