The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Article on preferments

cranbo's picture

Article on preferments

In researching another thread, came across this interesting article on preferments from Lallemand, in PDF format.

One interesting morsel:

The preferment minimizes the lag phase by providing an optimum environment for the yeast. The result is higher gas production later inthe process, especially in high-sugar doughs.

The lag phase is the "ramp up" phase that occurs before yeast reach their maximum productivity. The article has a nice chart. 

Here's another interesting one:

Yeast activation takes place during the first 30 to 60 minutes in all types of preferments. Longer preferment times are not necessary for yeast activation, and can have a negative effect because yeast start to lose activity once the available sugar has been consumed. The only reason for longer preferments is for flavor contribution or dough development.

I think they're referring to the activation of commercial yeasts here (Lallemand is a commercial yeast producer, after all). Yeast activation is sourdough I think is different altogether. 



Mebake's picture

Thanks for the Info and Link, Cranbo! Iam always learning something new here.

charbono's picture

Where are the rest of the newsletters now found?


proth5's picture

when they say "The only reason for longer pre ferments is flavor contribution or dough development."

One little sentence.  The hours I have spent learning either in the classroom or in the kitchen about the use of pre ferments for just those two little things tossed away as "only" - fascinating.  Really.

Although interesting in the extreme, I think they are not exactly talking about what we call artisan baking.  The orientation seems much more towards industrial bread making.

But I have got the article saved because it points out some interesting stuff that I need to think about.

I also think in a living sourdough starter ideally the yeast is kept in an active state - constantly being fed and reproducing (unlike dry where the action is being stopped) so I'm not sure how the activation period would apply.   You may be dealing with those little factors of dough development and flavor....:>)