The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Leavening strength for butter rolls

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sam's picture
sam

Leavening strength for butter rolls

Hello,


About a month ago I began a new sourdough culture, been making simple white or a mix of white + whole-wheat breads from it, and quite pleased so far.  Great flavor and leavening capability.  So far, my breads are flour, water, salt, and the starter only, nothing else.


For something different, I decided to try Hamelman's Soft Butter Rolls, which calls for a lot of new things -- sugar, butter, eggs, dry milk.  It is a baker's yeast recipe.  Well, because I was in the experimentation mood, I did three little changes..   I added a small amount of molasses (half the percentage as the sugar), split the flour 50/50 with white+whole wheat, and instead of the baker's yeast I prefermented 20% of the flour with my starter.  So, no baker's yeast.  The sourdough pre-ferment had nearly tripled after 12 hours and had not both risen+fallen,it appeared at its peak when I used it.


So, I mixed everything in my stand mixer, got moderate gluten development I'd say.  It could windowpane but would break if stretched too much.  Bulk fermented for 90 mins.   Shaped into 3 oz rounds, gently flattened into discs, and put them into KA hamburger bun pans to rise, covered with plastic.   Hamelman's recipe says to wait until fully risen.


5 hours later, nothing.  Absolutely zero rise at all.   Heh.


I baked 'em anyway and they expanded by maybe 15%, but basically I made hockey pucks..   which while tasting good, more resembles a cake than a bread.


My question is, is it normal for a bread with a lot of extra heavier things (like eggs, milk, butter, syrupy stuff), to require the use of baker's yeast to achieve a good leavening?   I was a bit perplexed at this because my starter has no problems at all raising and getting nice big open crumb structures for regular types of bread.   Or maybe the small bit of molasses killed the natural yeast in my pre-ferment?


Next time, I will add the baker's yeast according to the recipe, and drop the molasses.  :-)


 


 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

when you bulk fermented, how much did the dough expand in 90 minutes? Did it almost double? (I kinda doubt it)


did you let it almost double again during final proof after shaping? 


the point is this: when using natural leaven, it will take longer to rise, so you'll need to wait...much longer. You'll need to let the bread tell you when it's ready, not your watch. At 20% starter, it can take hours for bread to rise. Of course, you can increase the amount of starter and it will rise faster. 


The sugar, butter, eggs & milk will affect rise, but how much it affects rise depends on how much fat & protein are going into the recipe. 


 


 


 

sam's picture
sam

Thanks for the reply.


During the 90-min bulk fermentation (Hamelman's recipe only calls for 60 mins, but since I wasn't using any baker's yeast, I extended by 30 mins).  During that 90-mins, I did not notice it rise much at all (if any).


I know the culture is vigorous enough for basic breads with just flour+water+salt, and the levain I made for these butter rolls appeared vigorous as well.  (It was the same as all my others..). 


Not sure what happened here.  It was pretty much inactive as soon as I mixed all the final ingredients together.  Possibly I made a technical error in the kitchen, or my culture is simply not strong enough alone to use as leavening for that recipe.


We'll, I'll give it a shot again this week as time permits.  Fortunately for tonight's crockpot roast dinner, I had some "gvz's Country Bread" (sourdough 25% wheat, 75% bread flour, 70% hydration) that I baked Friday night which came out excellent...   lightly toasted with garlic.  Mmmm.   Always good to have some spare bread around just in case.   :-)


 


 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

yes, because you're using natural leaven, disregard the 90 minute advice given by Hamelman and just let it rise until it's almost doubled (~3/4 or original size). It may take 2,3,4 hours, you just have to watch it and pay attention. If you don't want to wait that long, then you will need to use commercial yeast in the recipe. 


You know, you can always just add the starter for flavor (not for leaven) and keep the commercial yeast in the recipe. You'll get some of the flavor of the leaven but have the same rising power as commercial yeast. 


If you stick with just wild leaven, make sure to keep your dough during fermentation in a warm place, that will help speed it along.