The Fresh Loaf

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HELP with 36h dough! Toss or keep?!

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

HELP with 36h dough! Toss or keep?!

Hello,


Please help, ASAP! :) This is the 3rd day of no knead formula and don't know if the dough has gone bad or not, it definitely smells beery and had bubbles throughout with a darker coating on top. The formula was:


8 Cups of Whole Wheat


6 cups of white artisan bread flour


1 cup of flax meal


1 cup of almond meal


10 cups water


2 tsp yeast


2 tbsp salt.


I tried to fold few times the dough, to incorporate some more flout, but it's really sticky vs. elastic, when pulled, there is not much strength in the gluten.


Do you think I should wait for it to come to room temp? Should I still give it a try or toss it out?! I kept it in the laundry room, usually it's 57' there, but yesterday it went up at 65' and I was not home to handle it.I used this formula before successful and liked it, but the dough shows much more loose this time and different. The smell scares  me! :)


 


Thanks for the help! Merry Christmas, everyone! :)



Roxana


 


 

curlygirl2U's picture
curlygirl2U

Has anyone made a sourdough starter with sprouted flour?  I'm finding it impossible to find a recipe on how to do so.  Most sourdough recipes call for wholegrain flour. 


Does anyone have a good sprouted flour sourdough starter recipe? 


thanks, Curlygirl

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Check Susan's blog at:


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2010/07/16/bbb-sprouted-grain-bread/#more-7167


or


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/06/16/sprouted-wheat-bread/

You should see there more related to sprouted grains and sourdough. She is really good at sourdough! Hope it's helpful!


 


 


 

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

...and overacidic. It most likely won't poison you but it won't rise. You might get a tasty but flattish bread out of it.


You could use it to get your own sourdough starter going. The conditions are perfect for the sourdough bacteria and the wild yeasts and they are probably already there. All you need to do is to feed it.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

I am fairly new to this bread making environment, but surely love it; I only started to make sucessful breads about 2 months ago, after lots and lots of trials! Well, moments like this get me down in the pit as you can imagine! :) I had dough worth of four loaves, was planning to share with the neighbors.


I was just about to toss it, since it started to go really flat and the structure breaks on the surface. And yes it smells like alchohol. Then I saw your reply, so if you could give me more details of how to feed it, that might be great. 


Also, if you say wild bacteria, now, that I am thinking that I kept it in the laundry(it's cooler there), with a lid on, do you think it's bad bacteria?! It had a slightly darker coat on top of the dough, did not smell moldy, but just looked wet, bubbly, and darker.

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... in that acid-alcohol environment. It kind of makes its own little symbiotic ecosystem. (Do wash your hands before handling it, though). If it just smells sour and alcohol-y, but not otherwise bad or moldy, it's most likely OK. Also, if the liquid on top is brownish with no red or orange hue, that's also a good sign.


To feed it, take out about 1/2 cup (discard the rest) and add 1 cup of flour (120 g) and 1/2 cup of water (120 g). Stir well to aerate and let sit at room temperature several hours to overnight, until it has lots of bubbles. It's not going to rise.


Take out 1/2 cup of the new starter (discard rest or use in another recipe like sourdough waffles or pancakes), add 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour. Stir well to aerate. Let sit until it bubbles again, then refrigerate until ready to use. Repeat once weekly whether you use the starter or not. Once it's really vigorous, it's very resilient and will tolerate longer periods between feedings.


Have fun!


 

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

The color was brownish, indeed. It smelled clean but powerful, like alcohol. I think I will follow your advice, now! So, you would say, 1 part starter (current 71% hydration dough = new starter, right?! :)), 1 part water, 2 parts flour? How about salt?

Jamestuk's picture
Jamestuk

I'm pretty sure this won't make a good sourdough starter... it will be packed with the commerical yeast she added.

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

You need salt in bread for taste but it does retard the action of yeast. In starter you want yeast to be as happy as possible, so no salt.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Considering that usually I bake 2-3 loaves every 2 days? We have four little ones and I like to share with others, too. We regularly consume one 2lb loaf per day. Or even more, depends what I cook! :)

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... for each batch of dough, so the amount from what I wrote down should be enough. I use long retarded rises in the fridge with sourdough, just because it fits better with my schedule. Your garage may be cool enough for slow rises.


If you are on a tight schedule, you can add some commercial yeast to the dough. That way you'll get the flavor from the sourdough and the more rapid rise from the commercial yeast. Many people do this. It may not be the purist way and may not give you the strongest sourdough flavor but it's a good compromise if you are short on time.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

At least for me! I am trying to use the least amount of yeast as possible. I had good success with overnight or same day, but 4-5h retardation. I was scared about getting a starter going because of the babysitting time, but I guess I just bumped right into it. Thanks for helping at this time of Holidays and shed some light on my problem! Merry Christmas! Roxbakes

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... but some people are impatient. Good luck with your starter and Merry Christmas to you, too.

Franko's picture
Franko

Actually natural yeast cells are not as vulnerable to being killed off by salt in the same way that baker's yeast is. Salt will slow down the activity, but sometimes that's desirable when making a leavan in high ambient temps.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Franko, I did last night what SilkenPaw suggested and fed some of that sticky dough and put it in the laundry, covered with plastic wrap: temp 55'F. To my surprise, this morning, the mixture rose a little bit, is full of bubbles, just like I saw in pictures with healthy starters. It also smells very clean, dough like and just a little like alcohol.


Do you think that my initial dough developed such of these natural yeasts or it's still the commercial yeast activity at work? From my uneducated understanding is that I should have the cultures of what I started with in the beginning, right?! Just like when you make yogurt, you will develop the strains of bacteria from what kind of starters you used in the beginning. Am I making sense, I am trying to understand how this starter works...

Franko's picture
Franko

I would think by now that the dough has probably begun some natural fermentation. Just keep feeding it regularly and you'll soon have a starter to use in making naturally yeasted breads.

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... you work under sterile conditions, which is not possible outside the laboratory. There are probably some wild yeast and bacteria which came from the air or maybe even your hands and utensils. The reason undesirable organisms do not take root in your starter is because they cannot tolerate the products of fermentation made by the yeast and the acids made by the desirable bacteria. It's a little symbiotic ecosystem in there, which can maintain itself in a more or less stable state if not grossly contaminated.


So, yes, there may be some wild yeast in there, though probably not a predominance at this point.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

SilkenPaw and Franco, if this is a valid starter (I'll post picture when we're back from our family gathering), how do I know if it goes bad or if it's healthy one and how often should be fed?! I would bake 2 loaves every other day.


Also:



  • At what ratio do I feed: yesterday I did 1 starter + 1 water + 2 flour(1 white +1 whole wheat - actually slightly less than 2 flour, seemed too stiff). Is this correct?! It doubled by this morning.



  • Is it enough if I feed every other day when I bake or should be daily?! How long can it stay with no feeding?



  • What temperature should i keep it in: house - 75'F, laundry/garage - 55'F? If I feed today, can I bake next day?! How long between feeding and use? What is a good sign that is ready to be used in dough?


Thanks for babysitting me! I only dreamed that someday I will have my own starter! :) I cannot thank you enough! :)

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... simply because I live in Miami and the rest of the house is 80ºF. I think 55ºF should be OK


I feed mine once a week or even less frequently at times. Just take 1/2 cup and mix it in a new container with 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour. You probably don't want to go longer than a week until you are sure it's established. It's OK if there is a brownish liquid ("hooch") on the surface after a week, just mix it back in before removing your 1/2 cup for transfer.


I consider it healthy if it starts bubbling soon after it's been transferred to its new container (after a feeding).


I would suspect problems if it develops an off smell or any color tint other than the yellow or brown you can see in hooch. An alcohol smell is normal. I've never seen this, but I've read that any pink or red tint is a bad sign. Also any fuzzy growth on the surface, though I've read that you can rescue a starter by skimming that off and feeding.


Hope that helps.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Thanks so much, you helped me a lot! The creature is growing and seems healthy! I am super excited, as you can imagine! :) Thanks!!!!!!!!!! Roxana

wally's picture
wally

You can't make a bread dough and let it sit - even refrigerated - for three days and expect anything good to result.  Toss it and try again.


Larry

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

... with the no-knead recipe, though the dough is pretty sour on the last day. But then, I like it that way. I prefer not to keep it any longer than that, though the authors claim you can.

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Hi Larry, thanks for your input, but I did it before and it was ok for 3 days at 54'F, however I used 8 cups of white unbleached artisan and 6 cups of whole wheat and no almond meal. It was the best bread I ever baked, taste and consistency wise. Actually on KAF blog with the no knead recipe where I took the guidelines from, pushed for 9 days and mentioned that it was good, using way more yeast than I did. Somebody else in the comments claimed that she kept a dough refrigerated for 3 weeks and was still good. I have no experience with cold retardation, so I am trying to find out. I like the idea of preparing a larger batch and take from it as you need, spread for a whole week.

wally's picture
wally

Commercial yeast won't last 3 weeks in a dough unless you've frozen it, and 9 days is still way over its capacity to have food to live on.  I think someone's telling you tales.


Larry

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Gee Wally, did you miss the Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day "revolution"? Not saying I prescribe to it, but it's out there. I personally have problems with the texture of the breads(even just the next day), but again, that's personal. But certainly it's not meant to go days and days without refrigeration. Only a couple of hours, maybe up to 5 hours. Guess the op was lucky(while it lasted), because of pretty low room temps, the dough survived as long as it did.


"A one- or two-week supply of dough is made in advance and refrigerated. Mixing it takes less than 15 minutes. Every day, cut off a hunk of dough and quickly shape it without kneading. Allow it to rest briefly on the counter and then toss it in the oven..."

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx?page=2#ixzz18zOMOVTn

wally's picture
wally

I'll try this at home and report back.  But I can tell you from commercial experience that a biga - which is essentially a wet dough with a much lesser amount of yeast won't last 1 week, let alone 2, in refrigeration, and be worth anything more than throwing out.


Larry

wally's picture
wally

I'll try this at home and report back.  But I can tell you from commercial experience that a biga - which is essentially a wet dough with a much lesser amount of yeast won't last 1 week, let alone 2, in refrigeration, and be worth anything more than throwing out.


And the biga's just the preferment, not the actual dough, so I can't imagine how that's going to work out.


Larry

Franko's picture
Franko

Yes, I totally agree with you Larry. Even refrigerated, commercial yeast just has too many cells to feed for more than 30+hrs to expect anything that's worthy of sale. That being said, it may be a case of differing standards between what we must produce as commercial bakers and what the expectations of the home baker are.


Franko

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Just didn't have enough room in the fridge and the temp in my laundry room was pretty low, in the 50's, so I thought that it will do. It did for the first experiment, but not the second one. The rising in room temperature threw me out of the safe zone, at least I think so. I'd love to hear some more scientific explanations, though. Thanks, Mr. Frost!

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Larry, it all started from here:


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/12/01/the-crunchiest-crackliest-chewiest-lightest-easiest-bread-youll-ever-bake/


and here


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-country-bread-recipe .


I will post some excerpts from the first upper link to see what lead me to think that this would be doable:


"Here's bread made from dough that had been in the fridge for 9 days. WHOOPS! Would it still work?


You betcha! This dough made a great loaf - perhaps my best yet. It was unbelievably chewy/crusty, and full of those big, irregular holes I'd been seeking earlier. " by the author of the recipe.


A commentator:


"# Cynthia Says:
December 1st, 2009 at 4:49 pm


I've been making these breads since the book first came out and there have been times when the dough has been left in the fridge for an unconscionable amount of time (3 weeks +/-) and it STILL comes out delicious! It's really good shortly after the initial overnight rise, but it's very forgiving if you leave it for a while!


Cynthia, I thought 9 days was stretching it - thanks for that information, now I'll feel free to let it sit awhile longer. PJH"


Well, I would say that KAF is a pretty reputable company and would not post stuff that is not tried and valid on their website, isn't it?! 


In my experiment, I decreased significantly the yeast suggested to less than 2 tsp at 14 cups of overall flour. I keep my yeast in the freezer, so I know it's fresh, I autolyzed the water and flour for 20 min, then added the proofed yeast. My humble beginner opinion of what threw me out(since I tried this recipe before and was really good for the 3 days of my first trial) was really the increase in room temperature. It went yesterday to 65'F for few hours vs. 54'F in the previous trial. I will download the pictures of the previous 3 day trial and post it here, just as an idea.


Thanks for the feedback, I learned the most from The Fresh Loaf, from pros like you and I appreciate the help!


 

wally's picture
wally

Roxana - While I wouldn't accuse KA of putting out bad recipes, I would bet that Jeffrey Hamelman who runs their bakery and baking education center wouldn't endorse the idea of letting bread dough sit in a refrigerator for 3 days, 9 days or a couple weeks.  The process is degrading the dough, expending the yeast and most certainly changing the flavor of the bread once it's baked.


If you are looking for a way to make up a bulk amount of dough, which you can save to use at different times, a much better technique is to freeze portions of thoe dough, and then defrost them when ready for use.  In a real freezer (frost free) the dough will last many months, and even in the frost-free refrigerators most of us have these days it will last a month or so.


But I can tell you from experience (forgetting about a bucket of dough in the walk-in every once in awhile) that after a couple days it's not even serviceable as pate fermentee because of the sourness it's taken on. 


IMHO, this just isn't a good approach to baking good bread.


That said, good luck, and good baking in 2011.


Larry

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

In your experienced opinion, do you think that transforming that old dough into a starter is a valid experiment, or should I start properly from scratch?! Somehow I am not so afraid anymore. :)


By the way, feeding the old dough as SilkenPaw suggested made an interesting dough today, elastic, and good looking, but a little sour, as you say. I used some of it as starter for other breads and it really took off after few hours in rising. I used Flo Manakai's formula 1:2:3. Looks good as new dough, I will bake them in just a little bit, it didn't seem to me that it would keep good until tomorrow, since it doubled in the past 5h.


Since I thought I should keep feeding the new creature, I had some spare starter and instead of throwing it away, I thought I should just bake it, since it looked elastic and very good, dough wise, just to see how it would perform. Result: interesting enough, full of holes, chewy and crusty. It did have a slightly sour taste, but not like a true sourdough taste. And the taste seemed more flavored, stronger, but not in a bad way. I hope it was edible! :)


Roxana

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

your topic.  The first thing that came to mind was that you were growing a starter, make it one.  Silkenpaw beat me to it.  I just want to add:  Keep going with it!  This will be a good starter, it looked for you and not the other way around. 


Starters often pop up but many times we don't recognize them.  If your starter starts growing hooch, also in the fridge, please give it more to eat (flour) because it's hungry.  You don't need to make a big starter, just reduce the amount that you save to feed, 1/4 cup is enough, so is a tablespoon.  


Happy Sourdough Baking and Merry Christmas!   What a great gift!


Here is a link to David's post about sourdough starter suggested feedings as coming from the San Francisco Baking Institute. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21111/sfbi-artisan-ii-workshop-day-2

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

To have your attention and feedback, MiniOven! :) - my oldest daughter (a 7 year old) would say now: "Mommy, you have rosy cheeks!" :)


My instinct told me that SilkenPaw was right, but I don't understand much of the chemistry that goes behind this process and was concerned about the safety of the product. Indeed I just noticed that I saved too much of it, as you say, I will discard, use some and feed a smaller amount for keeping.


If the initial dough was made of white unbleached(60%) and whole wheat(40%), should I keep giving the same proportions for feeding, or just white?! I read David's post; it's very useful, thanks for recommending, so I'll keep using the formula 1:1:2.


Indeed I am very happy to have this starter going! I've started this breadmaking journey almost 2 years ago, but only recently I finally understood how the dough is supposed to feel like and look like and make some successful loaves. Not very attractive looking, but the taste and structure is coming along to what I was hoping for. The Fresh Loaf taught me the most! I began with a breadmachine, now I do it by hand and love it! :)


The idea of making a larger batch and take from it as you need, sounded appealing, since you spare some time into measuring, preparing and clean up. With four youngsters and homeschooling, I don't have much spare time, so I was looking for ways to make it less time consuming! To me, this is not a hobby, but a necessary skill to master, since we stopped buying bread and we are pretty health conscious and want to spare my family from eating all those additives from commercial bread. Having a starter going and not using  commercial yeast was the "Cherry on the Cake" that I was hoping to have someday.


With the help of people that decided to guide me, I could move a step forward! Thank you all! Merry Christmas!

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Just realized that I misspelled Flo's last name, should be Makanai ( I apologize, Flo! ) and strange enough this is the only post that doesn't have an "Edit" button! :)

sablesprings's picture
sablesprings

I hope you gave up on the dough. If you're not comfortable with it, then it's not worth worrying about it and continuing to stress. Everybody has a problem with a batch sometime... Water with chlorine is a common problem with a "stuck dough", especially if you're on city water... Incidentally the dark smelly liquid (low alcohol yeast by-product) was called Hootch by the Eskimos during the Gold Rush in Alaska when miners really brought sourdough starters into mainstream food options.


I have been using the same sourdough starter for breads and waffles since 1974. In the last 18 months I've been having great success with my wood-fired oven and a rustic French bread formula (3 day process) using the same sourdough starter. I always leave my starter (Chef Bill) on the counter in the kitchen and at times in the summer it really can "turn" and get foul smelling if I don't refresh it often enough. Even at its foulest, Chef Bill has always come back to working order within a week of refreshing.


Good luck and Happy holidays. I'm sure your next batch of bread will be fabulous!


Mike


 


 

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Hey Mike, it looks like I have a starter going! Yaaayyyy! :))))))