The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SFBI Artisan I, Day 3

  • Pin It
longhorn's picture
longhorn

SFBI Artisan I, Day 3

Today was similar to yesterday in that we mixed dough for three types of baguettes. It was very similar to David's Day 3 except I interpret we did different doughs but I am not certain. Once again the scoring fairy visited and our loaves were better. Not what I want yet, but...getting there.

As in David's class we discussed flour - types, milling, characteristics, additives, oxidants, agers, etc. But the hands on experience was the highlight. And we began much more actively participating in mixing, baking, etc.

Our three doughs today were improved mix (our standard reference), an improved mix with a short autolyse, and a high gluten dough made by the improved mix formula (70 % hydration). Each person made five baguettes using each dough. The improved mix is becoming familiar as this is the third time we have made it. Shape and slashes are improving but the flavor and open crumb are now what we expect as is the dough handling.

The improved mix with autolyse combined all of the flour and almost all the water for 30 minutes autolyse before mixing in the yeast and salt (remaining water added to the salt at the start of the autlyze to aid in mixing. The autolyse jump starts the enzymes which means there is more sugar when the yeast is mixed in. The mixing and processing were similar to the improved mix baguette dough but with a shorter second mix since the autolyse allowed for good gluten development. The window test after the autolyse and short mix was "amazing". The best I think we have gotten. And the dough is a bit softer and more extensible. 

The high gluten baguette dough was exactly the improved mix but with higher protein dough. So it was arguably underhydrated relative to the improved mix. And more elastic. Most of the loaves took two shaping passes to get them long enough.

There is little reason to show photos. They aren't remarkable and take me a good bit of time to upload so I will concentrate on flavor.

The high gluten dough yielded a baguette somewhat similar to the intense mix from yesterday. No bad tastes, but insipid, and familiar as the loaf you pick up from the local Mega Mart. It did have better (more open) crumb and the cell walls were much prettier but...not a loaf to lust after. But easy to handle, easy to shape and score (except for the elasticity), and good for large production schedules.

The improved mix reference was very good. A bit more challenging to handle but repetition pays and my handling of dough was clearly improved today. Wonderful, open structure, good flavor. Nice!

The star of the show, however was the improved mix with autolyse. A bit more challenging to handle and a bit gassy (like the short mix). A bit harder to get a good, taut loaf but it was the last of the day and I thought I did pretty well. Wonderful crumb, darker crust due to the additional sugar in the dough and crust. Flavor was slightly sweeter, with more acid both acetic (just a touch of bite) and lactic (slight buttery flavor). This was a real star and is to be repeated. The technique of beginnn a straight dough with a short autolyse is straightforward and is guaranteed to give your straight yeasted breads more flavor.

Like David's class we will make five different breads tomorrow - none baguettes. It will be a busy, hectic day!  But a pleasant change of pace. Then, Friday we will make four different baguette doughs, a hand mix dough and three using preferments (poolish sponge, and dough).

Now for dinner and sleep!

Jay

Comments

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Jay, thanks for sharing your experience, good writing and very inspiring, and have me thinking about doing an SFBI experience myself. 

 

longhorn's picture
longhorn

I am glad to share. I would highly encourage any serious bread baker to take the course. We have the head chef for Quantas here, a culinary instructor from BC, and several people who work in bakeries. There is plenty to learn. While I have not heard much "new" information, the course helps you put the pieces together in better ways and the hands on aspect is invaluable. Example is day 4 where we don't make baguettes and use many of the same techniques but it new ways with minor changes. 

Enjoy!

Jay

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks for taking the time, and sparing effort to post in detail what you've experienced. I love how autolyze affects flavor.. and crust color.

Thank you Jay

longhorn's picture
longhorn

I fully agree! I have used autolyse before but never head to head. It is a clear winner!

Jay

lumos's picture
lumos

Very, very, very, very interesting and enlightening report. Thank you so much for posting this, Jay.

Can I please ask you to elaborate how "amazing" the window-pane test after the short-mix+autolyse was?  Was there something more than  the dough being 'softer and more extensible'?

Thanks.

lumos

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Photographs of windows aren't showing the subtleties. The dough with the autolyse was only mixed about 6 minutes - which is more or less the same as the short mix (roughly equivalent to a typical hand mix). The short mix window is shaggy - with no more than half clear and half white, a bit delicate and easily torn. The improved mix is roughly 5 minutes of speed 1 and 5 minutes of speed 2 on the spiral mixer. That dough gives a window that is much smoother but still not fully clear. The autolysed dough with only 6 minutes or so of mixing was superior to the improved in quality in our test. Put simply the gluten was better formed from the extended hydration. Meanwhile less mixing meant less oxidation and slightly darker color. It was beautiful! The dough with autolyse had more acid and more sugar in the loaf (not much but noticeable). 

Hope that helps!

Jay

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you very much, again, Jay. 

It was beautiful!

This is the typical  'Wish I were there' moment....:p

I understand you didn't do intensive mixing this time, but comparing its result on the previous day, did you find any difference to that of improved mixing at the window test?  (except for paler colour due to oxidation, perhaps)

I'm attending a one-day French Bread course at Lighthouse Bakery School   next week which I'm really looking forward to, but I don't think their lesson will be as extensive as SFBI's because it's really for homebakers.  Wish SFBI'd open a branch in UK.....

lumos

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi Lumos!!

The improved mix gives a window that is say 2/3 to 3/4 really thin/near-clear and the rest milky and thicker. The intense mix is almost all thin and near-clear. The improved with autolyse was say half way between the two but more extensible and a bit more gassy (on fermentation). It was almost near-clear with relatively little milky. The intense has a different tear characteristic as well. Sort of tears linearly. (Hard to describe).

The egg and pan breads gave amazing windows with virtually totally clear/thin window. But they have butter and milk solids to help.

Hope that helps!
Jay 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks for explaining, Jay.  It's interesting the intensely mixed dough tears 'linearly.' Maybe because it's more uniformly kneaded, which also is the reason behind 'all thin and near-clear'?

It's really good to hear you seem to be getting a lot of valuable experiences through the course. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

lumos