The Fresh Loaf

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Questions about yeast water dough

varda's picture
varda

Questions about yeast water dough

I have been working with yeast water for the last month or so and am trying to get a handle on this strange creature.   I started with a banana yeast water and then converted it to raisin yeast water for the last few bakes.   I had wondered if I could get the kind of gelatinized crumb that sourdough starters can produce so I decided to simplify things down to the basics.   Last night I made a "poolish" with equal parts yeast water and AP flour.   Twelve hours later it was a bubbling brew.   I added bread flour and water, and later salt, keeping a very high hydration which I though might help with my crumb goals.   An hour later at the time for the first stretch and fold, I had batter instead of dough, so I mixed in enough flour to bring the hydration down to 70% and stretched and folded in the bowl.   For the second stretch and fold I was able to do it on the counter with a generous sprinkling of flour on the top and below.   Then I placed the dough in a lined basket.   When I came back over an hour later, the dough had risen over the top of the basket.   I had the oven preheated so I flipped onto the peel, slashed and got it into the oven.   Unfortunately it overflowed on one side of the stone (1 ft square) and filled the rest of it.   While it rose and expanded in the oven it kept a very low flat profile.   The crust came out pale, but the crumb was pretty much what I had hoped for.   Why did this happen?   I have had trouble with flowing dough before but only when I had a high percentage of whole grains in the starter.   Is there something about the yeast water that contributes to this behavior?  

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

The crust came out pale, but the crumb was pretty much what I had hoped for.   Why did this happen?   I have had trouble with flowing dough before but only when I had a high percentage of whole grains in the starter.   Is there something about the yeast water that contributes to this behavior?  

Do you regularly make 70% hydration doughs that don't flow? Most of my breads that are that hydrated (70%) tend to flow and do not keep their shape well, unless they're constrained (like in a dutch oven). 

Crumb looks great! Not sure about the pale crust, I don't have enough experiences with yeast water to say definitively that the YW is the cause. Usually pale crust is from not enough heat, not long enough bake, or overfermentation. 

When I came back over an hour later, the dough had risen over the top of the basket.

Did the dough double during this time, or did it more than double? If more than double, I would suspect overfermentation. 

 

varda's picture
varda

the hydration was 80%.   It was pretty exciting.   I find that with intensive stretch and folding (in other words stretch out so that the dough is quite thin all over, not just a little tug on the corners) that 70% dough with my regular starter is very manageable and will keep its shape if properly supported during proofing.   I was trying to go higher than that just to see what kind of crumb I could get but backed down in the face of liquidification (is that a word?)   And yes, the dough more than doubled in say an hour and a half.    The last time I baked with yeast water, I was making a sandwich bread, and it didn't even come close to doubling during the final proof.    I wonder if my yeast water has suddenly intensified, and so burned through the dough even before the final proof.   So I think that you must be right, the dough was overfermented.  I had almost half of the total flour in the "poolish".   If this yeast water is going to be so active I guess I should back down on that amount to try to get things under control.   Thanks for your help.  -Varda

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

It's warm now, and yeast likes that.  My water kefir culture was only muddling along until summer came.  Now it smells actively yeasty.  Even the stuff I strained off and put into the refrigerator to drink smells like yeast, days after it was put into the cold.

 

varda's picture
varda

I think that's a good point.   It's season adjustment time.   The yeast water didn't smell like yeast when I took it out of the refrigerator last night, it smelled like booze, in fact hard liquor.   I almost fell over when I got a whiff.  But I guess there was a lot of yeast in there creating all that alcohol.