The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mash breads

sam's picture
sam

Mash breads

Hello,

Here are some pictures of mashes.   Both were heated to 150-160F for appx 4hrs.

The first one was a white-flour mash using KA bread flour at 250% hydration.

 

 

This was a 50/50 rye + KA AP flour mash, same temp range, same duration, but at 200% hydration:

 

 

 

Both mashes were sweet to the taste.   I liked both.    If I had to choose, I'd pick the rye/white mix, but both were good.

I made bread with both the all-white mash and WW mashes in the past week, and the breads were excellent for taste, in my opinion.  The crumb is softer, and not gummy or anything.   Softer crust also.  So far, my mash percentages have been 20% of total flour.   Crumb is more closed but still light and airy, just creamier and softer.

Anyone else baking with mashes?    There is a lot more experimentation to be done but so far I am liking the mash.

Cheers,

-gvz

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I haven't tried Mash breads yet, gvz, it looks promising (to me). Show us your breads, you might entice me to try it.

sam's picture
sam

Well I kind of feel weird around here unless a post contains wildy open crumbs...  which I am not sure it is possible with a mash, depending on the concentration of the mash...   

For me, flavor is the goal.

Here's an external shot of a 10% whole wheat mash bread (all of the ww for the mash), 68% hydration:

 

 

Crumb of a 100% white bread using 20% of the flour as mash, overall 68% hydration:

 

 

So...

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

What are you talking about, gvz, your crumb is beautiful.. Perfect i'd say. Wildly open crumb is not what is dearly sought after in this site, as many would imagine, and as you rightly put it, it is flavor that counts. It lookes lovely, truly, gvz

I might have to try mash breads soon.. How sweeter is it compaired to regular breads?

 

sam's picture
sam

The mash tastes sweet, like if you dumped some sugar into it or something -- I think it's amazing, mother nature and enzymes.So far I've limited my mash to just 20% of total flour.  The final bread doesn't taste "sugary" at all.   To me it just tastes really good, but it softens the crumb/texture quite a bit.   I actually like it.So far, I've taken the mash and included it into my levain....   I called it my "mashain".    Or "lemash".    :-)   Next time I will try a "super soaker" containing part-mash, part-flour soaker, just for fun.    I have no idea what I'm doing...   :)     But the results are tasty!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Gvz, your bread come out simply perfect.

So far I limited my mash to 10% of the total flour with 3x the amount of water. When mashing rye or wholemeal flour and not adding more of the same flour to the dough I obtained a crumb very much like yours.

My breads have a mildly sweet aftertaste, they don't feel sugary. What I prefer is the softness that the mash imparts to the crumb and that lasts for days, maybe also due to the high hydratation: 75%.

Khalid, you should really try this technique! It really makes a world of difference.

sam's picture
sam

Thank you.   I'm pretty happy so far, but more experimentations ahead..   

asfolks's picture
asfolks

gvz,

Your bread looks great to me and as you say flavor is king.

I have benefitted greatly from your experiments with soakers and have used your "everyday bread" formula with great success.

Thanks for sharing!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Your mash temperature range, 150°F to 160°F, is in the upper range of temperatures (141°F to 157°F) used to mash grains (usually barley) when making beer. In this temperature range the effectivness of the grain's amylase enzymes in converting starch to sugars is at its peak. Flour  contains amylase naturally, and is boosted by most millers by adding additional fungal amylase to finished flour. In lean dough breads amylase provides yeast its primary food (sugars), and is involved in oven spring expansion in that it converts starches to sugars at its greatest rate, and yeast metabolizes at its greatest rate before the enzymes are denatured, and just before the yeast cells die, i.e. approximately 140°F.

Your mashes are sweet, because you've raised their temperature to the range the amylase conversion rate is greatest. I would imagine your levains made with mash peak quite rapidly, whether wild yeast sourdough or commercial yeast: they both thrive on sugars. The breads don't taste sweet probably because the yeast converts most of the sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide.

I'm on shakier ground on the subject of the crumb softening, but I'll wade in with a guess. Please, other TFL members who know better, correct or amplify my guess:

Elevated temperatures also increase the activity of protelytic enzymes that weaken the gluten structure. In beer making, the proteolytic enzyme(s) in barley are most active at and below 140*F, but I don't know the temperature behavior of proteolytic enzymes in wheat. Nonetheless, I think they are the source of the softer crumb you're experiencing.

I'm going to give Mash bread a try, I'm not a member of the hole-y-er-than-yours crowd. Mebake hit it for me too: flavor.

David G

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

The crumb will soften because heat treatment applied to the flour will de-nature the protein in the flour to a degree.   At the extreme end, the boil up will fully de-nature.   Heat treated flours for use in cakes have been commonly used in the UK as a replacement for the chlorinated flour which was banned in the late 90s.

This is really what you are writing about regarding proteolytic activity.

Best wishes

Andy

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

i use mash to make rye bread (I more or less follow Andy's Borodinsky adaptation  here) Many Russian breads use mash or scald, and you can see from Andy's thread he and I had a long discussion on the use of mash/scald. Basically Andy says that mash (at your sort of temperatures or lower) allows alpha-amylase to convert grain starches into sugars (as David explained above), whereas scalds - whereby flour is scalded with boiling, or near boiling, water, are used to gelatinise the starches and trap water in the dough, which means that water loss during baking will be lesser and the bread will stay fresh for longer. The only thing we haven't quite found out is what happens when you scald the flour, then let it cool to 62-65C and keep it at that temperature for a while.

There are lots of different ways to use mash/scald but so far as I'm aware 20% is about the maximum so you're on the right track there :)

And by the way, can I just say your bread is super-hole-y! Any more would be considered swiss cheese IMO ;-D

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I don't know the science behind the mash as others do but I do bake with them.  I use the formula out of Whole Grain Breads and use whole wheat as the flour and then I use a 7 grain mix in the mash - or kamut or spelt or oat grouts...just whatever strikes my fancy.

I also think your crumb looks great and I agree with others that it is the flavor that counts.  

Janet