The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Standard KISS Loaf, or Keep It Simple Smiley

RonRay's picture
RonRay

A Standard KISS Loaf, or Keep It Simple Smiley

    I really enjoy baking artisan loaves, but I decided that if I wanted test the results of changes in my breads, the artisan loaf was a poor choice. I wanted something where each loaf could be compared with the other test loaves - primarily based upon photo records and detailed method writeups on my part.


 For a while I used Flo Makanai's 123 formulation: 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9346/123-easy-formula-sourdough-bread

It work okay, but still wasn't what I wanted.

  I finally realized I need to eliminate the variation in shape of the serious “test samples”. So, I switched to using a pan bread as my standard. Since it is either myself or the birds that will eat everything I bake, 2 kilo loaves would be a very poor choice in size. Going through my stock of pans, it came down to a choice between a 636 ml, 1037 ml, or 1475 ml capacity pan.

The smallest, a 5-3/4” loaf pan did fine for a 293g size, the 7-1/2” work well for 478g size and the standard 8” loaf pan did well 680g loaves.

Small 300g range example Link:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwY2MwOWMzOGEtNzBlNy00ZWYyLWExNWYtOGI1NGFhMGE3NzFh&hl=en

One pound 500g example Link:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwZDU5NGY1MzMtOGRiMy00MjRhLWIwM2ItZDc0NzMxYjhkZjUw&hl=en

Standard 8” - 680g example Link:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwODI3ZmUyNDMtNWVjMi00OTFlLWFlNzAtNGE1NTcyNjU4OTY5&hl=en

I settled on using my 1 pound loaf pan. It is 7-1/2” x 3-1/4” x 2-1/2” (19 cm x 10 cm x 6 cm) and generally, a 478g dough batch size.

I also wanted a formula that was as basic as I could find, but that offered good flavor development, and a high degree of certainty in judging the levain activity level. I settled on converting the common French formula of 100-60-2-2, where in barker's percentages that was 100 flour, 60 water, 2 salt, and 2 fresh yeast. Well, since I had no easy access to French flour, nor fresh yeast, and since wild yeast is where my interest lies, I chose to take the 60% liquid and use 60% of the total flour as my levain. I simply refer to this as 40-2-120.

I use a 3-build levain sequence, which provides more than enough opportunity to judge the levain activity as it is moved through the three builds. And, I generally manipulate maturity of each build to stretch over a 24 hour period, which generates plenty of flavor from the flour as it matures. Finally, having 60% of the final dough in the levain builds, I have found no need to be a purist about autolysis and generally add the salt in with the last 40% of the flour at the beginning of the final dough. I do give a long rest following the mixing, but since the salt has been added, I will simply call it what it is – a rest.

To ensure that there are still plenty of the goodies remaining that the Wee Bonnie Beasties (WBBs) need to generate the leavening gases, I limit the rises in the 3 levain builds to a target range 60% to 90% as acceptable rise, but I try very hard to never let it exceed 90%.

Kneading, bulk fermentation, shaping, retardation, and final rise are all interrelated variables that I experiment with in any given loaf. Of course, additional ingredients are another class of experimental variables open to extend the “playtime” called baking bread.

Naturally, you come across things that may seem unimportant, that really do make a difference. One example the comes to mind is the old belief that pan breads really do not need to be scored.... Be a skeptic of all “rules”.

 

I do think scoring creates benefits....

Ron

 

 

 


Comments

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Ron,

Love those blisters in the top loaf. I still have yet to master a loaf that produces such a beautiful effect; some might call blisters a defect, but I don't.  

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Oh, I sure get my share of sunburn cases LOL

Ron

proth5's picture
proth5

Well it wouldn’t be my curmudgeonly self if I didn't point out that one should know  (and possibly understand) the whole rule before being a skeptic.

All scoring creates a weakness along which a controlled expansion of the loaf will occur.  In panned breads (except for a pullman type pan where the bread never reaches an edge) for an unscored loaf the edge of the pan serves this purpose.  Your picture illustrates that quite nicely.  Expansion has occurred where the dough met the edge of the pan. (And this is why folks say that panned breads do not require scoring.)  That little expansion in an unscored loaf (called the "shred") was a perfectly acceptable thing back in the day (and still is, I believe) and indicates to many of us a nice "homey" loaf.  The quality of the shred was actually used as a criterion in judging bread in some circles.

If you don't like that particular look for your bread, by all means score it.  You have no one to please but yourself.  But there are things that are true and things that are a matter of taste.  That the edge of the pan takeing the place of scoring is true.  The appreciation of the aesthetics is a matter of taste.

Anyway, nice breads and a good learning experience for you.  Nothing like baking minor variations on a theme to learn about the bread.

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Spoken by one curmudgeon, acknowledging another...LOL

Those surgeon's scrub brushes are really very useful scrub brushes... Thanks, again, Pat.

Ron

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Ron,

Beautiful loaves and crust color.

Now I want to know how they tasted!  They look good enough to eat :-)

I am curious as to the taste variation between the 3 methods you used in your leaven builds and wanting to know if there are any pronounced differences in taste as well as crumb texture....

I have recently been experimenting with scoring my pan loaves and I like the effect but once I scored an under proofed loaf (I was in a time crunch and knew it but did it anyway just to see.....)  and the result was akin to a bread explosion :-0.  Loaf was still tasty though!

Janet

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Hi Janet, thanks for the nice words... ;-)  First, I think I've told you that I like a good 'tang' . I normally force the 3-builds to each have an  extend 24 hour period. However, I have, at times, done all 3 in a single day. So, 'tang' can be reduced in that fashion. For the YW, the active YW is only required in Build #1, in the same sense that SD seed is only needed in Build #1. If that is the only time it is used during the 3-builds, you have a nice mild taste, that IMHO is far more pleasant than that of a commercial yeast leavened loaf. If, however, you use YW for the water in build #2, &or Build #3, it should come as no surprise the the flavors of the YW, and the crumb color contribution made by the YW increases.  Combining, SD & YW offers the 2 dimensional matrix of options between those elements, and has rapidly become my favorite playground.

As you know, most of the time I play with my Apple Yeast Water. However, making allowances for the potential individuality of the different YW used has, so far, not change the basics I stated above.

I guess that is about as close as I can come to using words to tell you what the flavor is... ROFL

Ron

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

and I am still not sure if it is a curse or a blessing :-)

I also am possessed by a brain that forgets things at random hence I often find myself covering some topics more than once but that trait has been compensated for by the fact that I was born with a large dose of persistence..... :-D.

To make matters even more challenging  I have to ask the 'taste' questions because I can't taste any of what I bake.....and I am trying to find a balance that suits all family members...None of whom really know how to describe taste though they are trying....

Through your diligence I now have more of a clue to what I am creating but I have to admit that I had to take a break for awhile because it was all getting too overwhelming and the loaves I was attempting weren't turning out.  In fact I did throw in the towel......for at least a full day.....Just to many yeasties to keep well fed on top of family demands....by the time I had fed all my various jars it felt like it was time to do it all over again - and I only had 2 jars going - LOL.....

Now I am back at it and have even started up another AYW which is being used on a loaf that is in the works as I type this response.....

Thanks for your latest and the photos. All have been added to my YW binder here and on my baking shelf....just remember that in the event you ever have a crash - no need to scramble too far :-)

Janet

 

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Janet, that binder will cause your baking shelf to come crashing down, one of these days. I would be careful what you leave directly beneath that shelf. ROFL

Ron

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

This is how you reply to a woman who just got over being overwhelmed by the feeding needs of 2 small jars of YW ?!?!?!

Now I will have to stay up late nights worrying about binder placement and, if I get overwhelmed in that area - I have far more than 2 binders to dispose of,  you will be out of luck if your computer crashes because my files will be gone too. ROFL

Do you remember what you used to spend your time doing before bread came into your life?  I feel like like this bread thing is akin to being taken over by aliens - invasion of the body snatchers  :-D

Janet

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Seniors often have difficulties in the area of memory. That is why I need the computers.... Jan.. no Ju... sorry what was your name again ;-)

Ron

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

:-)

arlo's picture
arlo

I have a guilty pleasure for sourdough pan loaves. I just do not see them enough. Yours look delightful.

In fact at the last bakery I worked at I made a push to try them, the owner gave them a few weeks but they didn't pick up so I resorted to making them at home again. Maybe this new bakery will be different!

Lovely write up though, thank you for sharing!

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Arlo, in pan form it makes it easier to multi-task it LOL Great in sandwich, toast, or "straight".  Of course, the crust is not the thicker crunchy stuff of the hearth loaf, but "tis enough, twil do.."

Ron

ananda's picture
ananda

Very good work Ron,

I love the use of the simple pan loaf to investigate this way.

Like Janet, I'd appreciate feedback concerning your analysis of taste in each of the formulae.

Best wishes

Andy

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Andy, I fear that many people feel they need to change 12 things at a time to "discover the problem, or the truth, or the best way".  While it is nearly always hard, I learned changing one variable at a time, is usually the fastest way in the long term.

I will not repeat what I answered Janet - above - in context of the taste and crumb color contributions of the formulae, but would be happy to answer anything additionally, that I can, should you have other questions.

Ron

Syd's picture
Syd

Very thorough, Ron.  And your bread looks lovely.  I also like that blistering effect: very attractive. 

Syd

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Syd, I must confess that I too rather like the blistering. (^_^)

Ron

kim's picture
kim

Ron,

Your sandwich loaf looks exactly like my local bakery sandwich loaf. I think you do well at sandwich dough. I like the blister and scoring on your second last photos.

Kimmy

RonRay's picture
RonRay

I think you should be able to do just as well.

I do hope you are feeling better now.

Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Great write up and nice loaves with a simple chart, Ron!

I really admire of your scoring, and all of the crumb look soft and have nice volume.

I have never tried to use DO for a sandwich loaf. It will be interesting to see the result when I use it :P

Happy baking,

Akiko

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

I guess, just to have it posted as a resource, I should do an explanatory post on the turkey pan DO. It is the best steamer I've ever tried and I've yet to have a loaf's bottom burned using it.

Ron

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Ron, you have a brilliant mind, very methodological too.

I too love the blister on the loaf.

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Sue, I think of the blisters as "Goodness trying to escaping"... Of course, it largely fails to get away... LOL

Thank you for the kind words, the "methodological", perhaps, that is just because I need to do things from a check list ;-)

As for the rest, it is done with mirrors, but it is nice to think I fooled you (^_^)

Ron

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I love the breads, but love your thorough and scientific methods even more. Good job, lots of food for thoughts.

RonRay's picture
RonRay

txfarmer, that was very nice of you to say, and I am far more than pleased.

Thank you very much... you made my day ;-)

Ron

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

I have been looking for a simple sourdough sandwich loaf.  I love sourdough loaf shaped bread for some sandwiches so this will be great...i"m also big into  "KISS".

Pam

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Pam, I am glad you liked the loaf. I am about 1 hour away from one of these loaves right now - SD+Apricot Yeast Water... LOL

I hope you are healing is progressing well.

Ron

 

Anjali's picture
Anjali

I would like to try make this bread. Could you help me understand the process of building the levains?

After mixing levain 1, 2 and 3 how long should I set them aside? Is each levain fed every 24hrs?

Regards,

Anjali

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Anjali, of course, each build is formed from the previous one, but other than that, the time constraints are only that each build have risen between 60 to 90% before it is combined to start the next build.

My own, most common, procedure is to actually control the time for each build to about one day each. This I do simply by moving the levain between 40ºF/4.4ºC (fridge) and 82ºF/27.8ºC (proof box, or room temp.). Normally, when a build is started, I keep it warm until it has shown it is "well" by starting to rise (5 to 15%) then place it in the fridge for up to 18-20 hours, then returning it to warmth to finish rising to a target of 75%, although anything from 60 to 90% is satisfactory.

As I've said, that is my most common procedure. On other occasions, I have simply let each build grow as fast as it can, while remaining at a warm temperature, and starting the next as soon as the previous has reached the target range. If SD is the levain, or if it is part of the levain, the sour tang will be much stronger with the longer method, than in the shorter.

Once the Build-#3 has reach the target range, it is used to form the Final Dough.

I hope that helps...

Ron