The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

White Batard

varda's picture
varda

White Batard

Over the last month or so I have been chasing the elusive yeast water open crumb.   I was working under the theory that one could replace a regular poolish with a combination of yeast water and flour and then bake as usual.   This ran into some technical problems - namely aggressive protease action.   In trying to figure out how to respond to this, I came upon the following enlightening sentence in Hamelman: "Protease is an enzyme whose function is to denature protein, and in a loose mixture like poolish, protease activity is relatively high."  I think this means that protease is generated by yeast as it tries to digest (i.e. denature) the proteins in flour and that in a poolish environment at 100% hydration and with an unknown quantity of yeast in my yeast water  that I was overdoing it.   This time, I pulled back on the amount of yeast water and the hydration of the poolish but not on the hydration of the bread.    The result was much better.  

I have still not got the cuts to open as I would like, but I am quite happy with the flavor which has a lot of depth and somewhat happy with the crumb.   Suggestions for improvements are most welcome.

Formula:

7/5/2011

 

 

 

 

 

Final Dough

    Poolish

     Total

  %

KAAP

500

150

650

 

Yeast water

 

120

120

 

Water

340

 

340

71%

Salt

12

 

12

1.8%

Poolish

270

 

 

23%

 

 

 

1122

 

Method:

Mix yeast water and flour night before.   Leave on counter for 12 hours.   Add flour and water for final dough and mix to develop dough.   Autolyze 1/2 hour.   Mix in salt and mix again.   Ferment for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold in the bowl.   After 30 minutes stretch and fold on the counter.   Gather dough together and do a loose shaping.   Do a third stretch and fold after 30 minutes and another shaping.   Let ferment for 30 more minutes.   Cut in half and preshape.    Rest for 20 minutes.   Shape into batards and place in couche.   Proof for just over an hour.   Bake for 20 minutes at 450 with steam, 25 minutes without. 

A few notes about this.   The dough was quite liquidy until the first counter stretch and fold when it came together pretty nicely.   This was despite two 3 minute mixes in a kitchenaid at progressively increasing speeds.   It was difficult to slash because it was quite sticky and the blade got caught.   

Comments

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda, I think that's a really nice-looking crumb!
I wonder how a stiffer, yeast-water biga might work out as a preferment? You've got me curious now!
Hoping to try making some yeast water at some point this summer.
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

Breadsong, Now that you mention it, I am making another round with a stiffer preferment right now.   The taste of this is wonderful.   So I would like to make it work.   For my first try I did 100% hydration preferment which was a total fiasco.   Then 80% which I posted on above.   This morning I have a 72% preferment.    If it works I'll do an update.   Otherwise, perhaps 60%?    But it's not just the hydration of the preferment that seems to matter-  it is also the total amount of yeast water, which I have been decreasing stepwise as well.    I tried to jump directly to Akiko's baguette approach which uses a very small amount of yeast water, and the complete dough gets mixed and fermented overnight, but unfortunately that one went out to the woods for the coyotes - perhaps my yeast water was too weak?    Thanks for your comments.   I guess this is silly since I can make better looking bread with my regular starter.   But I'm interested so I'll keep working on this.   -Varda

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Very nice bread, Varda, but your experience turns on a light. I'm not a microbiologist and all I know is just hearsay, but according to the papers I read baker's yeast releases very few proteolytic enzymes. Of course water yeasts may be totally different beasts, maybe they DO release enzymes? This would make a water yeast starter much more similar to a regular sourdough starter. In the opposite case maybe your flour is already rich in protease. In any case a lot of food for thought! Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

In the meantime you can still enjoy your bread:-)

varda's picture
varda

Hi Nico,  I'm not a microbiologist either - just a  humble amateur baker.   But I would say that it's not the flour - at least not directly.   The first time I used a regular AP flour in the preferment with a 100% hydration and yeast water as 58% of total water.    This did not go well.   The second time I used KAAP in the preferment with 80% hydration and yeast water as 26% of total water.   This went better but still had issues with excessive proteolytic activity.    Both times I used KAAP in the final dough.   KAAP is the usual flour I use with my regular starter and I have not had these type of problems.   So I strongly suspect that the fruit yeasts are generating a fair amount of protease.   I thought I reduced percent of yeast water as a total of water for my third try, but it seems that I didn't.   So the main difference between try 2 and try 3 is the hydration of the preferment.   We'll see if that makes much of a difference.    Thanks so much for your comments and interest!

Summary of three attempts:

Attempt 1:

Preferment Hydration:  100%

Total Hydration:  70%

Protein of preferment flour:  9%

Protein of final dough flour:  11.5%  (KAAP)

Prefermented flour:  41%

Yeast water as percent of total water:  58%

Score:   Total disaster

 

Attempt 2:

Preferment Hydration:  80%

Total Hydration:  71%

Protein of preferment flour:  11.5%  (KAAP)

Protein of final dough flour:  11.5%  (KAAP)

Prefermented flour:  23%

Yeast water as percent of total water:  26%

Score:   Delicious but no cigar

 

Attempt 3:

Preferment Hydration:  72%

Total Hydration:  70%

Protein of preferment flour:  11.5%  (KAAP)

Protein of final dough flour:  11.5%  (KAAP)

Prefermented flour:  26%

Yeast water as percent of total water:  26%

Score:   TBD

 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Varda,

Just wanted to mention that Andy writes quite a bit about enzymes.

He relates to wholemeal flours, but I believe it also holds true for white bread at high hydrations and with long autolyse periods.

Thanks,

Juergen

 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Juergen,

I read through Andy's comments again.   If I understand correctly he is slowing down enzyme action for high ash content but lower gluten flours to give time for the flour to be properly hydrated.   Since I am using a high gluten, lower ash content flour there isn't a direct parallel, but still it's quite interesting.   Using Andy's pointers, if I wanted to slow down the high protease activity that comes with my yeast water (others' as well?) I could add salt earlier, and/or refrigerate the preferment and/or refrigerate the dough after the first mix.  

I tried again today with the numbers as above and had a somewhat different (although not successful) experience.   I was able to pull the dough together on the first stretch and fold this time, and then continued as I had previously.   Unfortunately I overcompensated for my previous problems and overdeveloped the dough.   Again the cuts didn't open properly and I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of protease breakdown of the proteins but because the dough couldn't expand properly in the oven due to overdevelopment.   So I think I will go even lower hydration on the preferment and make sure I don't overdevelop.   But later.   For now, perhaps I'll make a few breads that I know how to make just for grins. 

Thanks for your help!

Varda

sitkabaker's picture
sitkabaker

Hello, can you tell me what the formula is for your yeast water.....I have not tried this method and would like to. Thanks, Sitka Baker

varda's picture
varda

Hi.   I am not an expert on this and others are, but I will just tell you what I did.   I was following instructions from Akiko:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23809/how-i-make-and-maintain-raisin-yeast-water  and from there followed her link to https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46/sh/c22155fc-3804-4c64-af35-161503be7f78/ad16dc75c5233ba34ede4f13669e19bb.   I used bananas to get my yeast water started but apparently that's not recommended even though it seemed to work fine.   I have since converted my yeast water to raisins.    I recommend looking at Akiko's write-ups but I'll try to summarize what I did here.  

Take a jar with a tight lid (I used a mason jar) and cut up a banana.   Cover with water.   I used tap water - Akiko says to use distilled water.   Screw on top and shake.   Let sit on counter until fruit starts to break down.   Add water so that jar is half full.   Shake again.   Leave on counter.   Every few hours shake vigorously.   Alternate between cap tightly shut to develop alcohol and cap loosely shut to allow oxygen in to grow yeast.   Do this for a few days (it took me five days) until fruit floats on top, jar hisses when slightly open and you can smell alcohol.   Then refrigerate for a day before using.  

To use the yeast water, in this recipe I mixed flour and yeast water as noted the night before baking and then used it in the final dough the next day as the starter.  

After using for a bake, I filter out the fruit and pour a couple of centimeters of yeast water into my clean jar, add a handful of raisins to double the volume, add water so jar is half full, screw jar tightly and shake vigorously.  Then leave on the counter with jar top slightly loose.   Refrigerate when fruit rises to top and leave until next bake.    Generally when I take it out of the refrigerator to bake, the scent of the water is extremely strong with a big component of alcohol.  

If this isn't clear, please ask and I'll try to clarify.    

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Hello Varda:

  Your bread look wonderful but I don't understand it !!!! yeast water?  Poolish 270(Gram?, how much bread flour or AP flour, how much water?)

 I guress while others understand your recipe, I am too"green" to understand it. Can you clarify, please.

 

varda's picture
varda

when it comes to yeast water, which is probably why I was unclear.    To make what I was calling the poolish I mixed 150g of bread flour (I use King Arthur All Purpose) with 120g of yeast water (see response to comment above to see how to make) the night before and left it on the counter.    In the morning I mixed all of the poolish (270g) with 500g of flour, 340g of water and 12g of salt.  

I may be confusing you by calling the yeast water and flour mix a poolish.   Generally we think of a poolish as a mix of flour, water and commercial yeast which is mixed up the night before and then added to flour, water, more yeast and salt the next morning.    In trying to figure out a good way to bake with yeast water, I was theorizing that one could make a poolish with yeast water and flour rather than commercial yeast, flour and water.   I don't know if this is the way to go or not, since I'm still in an experimental phase and not entirely satisfied with my results to date.  

Please let me know if I've answered your question or not.

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Hello Varda:

  Thank you very much!  Now it is clear.  I have never use yeast water before  and now I will.

You made my day!

mantana