The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixed Leavens, Mixed Flours; 9th December 2011.

ananda's picture
ananda

Mixed Leavens, Mixed Flours; 9th December 2011.

Mixed Leavens, Mixed Flours; 9th December 2011.

These loaves come from a dough made with both a rye sourdough and a wheat levain.   The formula below illustrates the amount of pre-fermented flour in the recipe, and how much of that is rye, how much wheat.

Additionally, the formula uses some Gilchesters’ Organic local flour; the Farmhouse is a high extraction flour, with the Pizza/Ciabatta being a finely ground unbleached white, although not actually very white at all.   Strength in the dough comes from the Allinson’s white bread flour, which is a good quality industrial flour from a large UK-based multi-national milling firm.

 Leaven builds:

Rye Sourdough 2 builds from 40g stock to 840g over 14 hours

Wheat Levain 3 builds from 40g stock to 960g over 12 hours

Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1a. Wheat Levain

 

 

Carrs Special CC Flour

16.29

570

Water

9.77

342

TOTAL

26.06

912

 

 

 

1b. Rye Sourdough

 

 

Bacheldre Organic Rye Flour

8.57

300

Water

14.29

500

TOTAL

22.86

800

 

 

 

2. Final Dough

 

 

Wheat Levain [from 1a]

26.06

912

Rye Sourdough [from 1b]

22.86

800

Allinson Strong White Flour

42.86

1500

Gilchesters’ Organic Pizza/Ciabatta Flour

19.14

670

Gilchesters’ Organic Farmhouse Flour

13.14

460

Salt

1.8

63

Water

44.86

1570

TOTAL

170.72

5975

 

 

 

% pre-fermented flour

24.86

-

% overall hydration

68.92

-

% wholegrain flour

27.71

-

FACTOR

35

-

 

Method:

    • Build the leavens as described above.
    • Combine all the materials into the mixing bowl.   Attach a dough hook and mix in the Hobart mixer for 15 minutes on first speed.   Scrape down the bowl as required.   Retard overnight in the chiller.
    • Bulk ferment for 1½  hours.
    • Scale and divide.   I made boules in bannetons scaled at 1400g, 1200g and 3 @ 600g and one Pullman Pan @ c.1560g.
    • Mould each dough piece, rest for 15 minutes, then shape.   The Pullman Pan loaf should be moulded as four piece.
    • Final proof for 3 hours
    • Bake the boules in the wood-fired oven, then bake the panned loaf.
    • Cool on wires.

 

The dough showed exceptional tolerance in the proof.   Soon after stoking up the oven with a last batch of wood, I realised the loaves were close to ready for baking.   Now I have sourced some suitable wood, and learnt to set the most effective fire within, my oven is taking in greater quantities of solid heat, so the settling time after firing has increased.   It took about an hour from getting the fire out to being able to load the loaves to the oven!   All the while the infra red thermometer read off the scale for the top heat and side walls, and well in excess of 300°C for the bottom heat.

Still the loaves stood up beautifully bold in the oven thanks to great oven spring.   The panned loaf more than hit the lid, it actually burst through.

We then enjoyed carrots roasted in Greek extra virgin olive oil in the brick oven for our evening meal to accompany Fassolia and some feta cheese cubes.

There is now very little in the way of daylight here in the northern outposts of England.   It is getting really hard to capture photographs with enough light to do the breads justice.   Still, I’m very pleased with the way this bake has turned out and the quality in the finished loaves.   On the eating and taste front…..flavour fantastic!

Happy Baking!

Andy

Comments

sam's picture
sam

Very nice breads, Andy, as always.    Big loaves.    :)

ananda's picture
ananda

Thanks gvz,

I notice the difference in the 2 larger boules, how one really sat up in the oven.   I think that was the way I cut the loaf before loading to the oven.   Different cuts make such a difference on final loaf appearance.   Yes, 3 small and 3 BIG loaves!

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

I want to compare this to the Hamelman formula.  Your whole wheat that you posted a few weeks ago is next on my list.   I love the red color of the side of the pullman loaf.   Beautiful baking.  -Varda

Update:   I just compared your formula to Hamelman mixed starters - it seems that the two main differences are you reverse the hydration of the two starters:   his wheat starter is 125% and rye sour is 83%, whereas yours are 60% and 167% respectively.   Also you have a higher percentage of prefermented flour - yours is 25% and his is 16%.   Frankly after doing the calculations I don't really know what the impact would be without tasting side by side. 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

Impossible to compare side by side for tasting, but a big thank you to you.   You are full of generosity in your comments, and, your notes on comparisons between the 2 formulae raise important and illustrative differences.   Here are my reasons for those:

In terms of the wheat levain.   Firstly there is clearly a difference in "background" here, if you could call it that.   I'm sure I remember Larry [where are you mate? You are missed] attributing these words to Jeffrey Hamelman: "I'm a "poolish" kinda guy".   Well, I know this is levain we are talking about here, but I've been brought up using a stiff levain, and, I am aware Mr. Hamelman has leanings to liquid levain as well as stiff levain.

My commercial background involved making reasonably large quantities of French Country Bread using a French Leaven made as a stiff culture.   We made several hundred of these loaves day in and day out.   That was the only wheat leaven we used.

Hamelman has a much broader background, and has obvious experience of using both liquid and stiff leavens in a commercial environment.

I haven't been making bread on an industrial scale for some time.   The last few weeks have presented new challenges for me, but I cannot hope to turn out any significant quantity of bread here given my current set-up.   Where King Arthur bake every day, I bake 2 and maybe 3 times a week.   So, I need greater tolerance in the leaven.   The easiest way to achieve that is by using good quality flour, and making the leaven stiff.   I only ever keep 40g in stock, and just build up what I need from there.   So, these are my 2 main reasons for using stiff levain; familiarity [if it ain't broke, why try to fix it?], and tolerance.

At Village Bakery we operated 24 hours a day, and the French Country Bread was made in 3 batches across each 8 hour shift.   If anything, the leaven was worked so hard that we occasionally struggled to keep the acid content high enough.   In order to rectify this, we occasionally had to add a small quantity of very ripe rye sourdough to the Leaven.   I am trying to relate to the King Arthur production schedule, although I don't pretend to know exactly what is turned out and when.   I suppose that the bakery operates daily, and that the liquid levain works best in the production environment Mr. Hamelman has planned and laid down.

For Rye Sourdough, the arguement will, I suspect be similar.   Note here that I was taught how to make Rye Sourdough bread by someone wholly grounded in Russian culture, whereas Jeffrey Hamelman learnt his rye baking in Germany, if I'm not wrong.   My teacher taught me using a liquid rye sourdough to make 100% rye breads in the Russian style.   From reading "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes", I would say the author's choice of formulae demonstrate roots in German rye bread production.

The difference in pre-fermented flour is somewhat easier to explain.   Hamelman and/or his colleagues make bread everyday, in commercial quantities.   So his leavens will be much more active than mine.   I use a stiff levain to give me greater tolerance.   But, I use more in the formula because the leaven is less active than I know it would be if it were used everyday.   Further food for thought: it's close to the shortest day of the year, and here in the North of England, it's mighty cold.   Jeffrey's "A true story" on pp. 385 of my copy is something I always liked to read out to my students!

Thanks again, Varda,

Very best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Andy,  I have made the Hamelman mixed starters formula a couple times in the last few days, and so while it is fresh in my mind, I think I will try your strategy just to see what those differences lead to.   (That means I'll have to push off the whole wheat for awhile.)  Thanks so much for your detailed answer.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

Good call, and I look forward to reading of your results.

The wholewhat I used for the four-pieced Pullman Pan was a high quality industrial flour.

The resulting bread was quite special in many ways; one for another day, perhaps?

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Hi Andy,   Well I followed your formula.   I used the following flours substituting for each of yours:

Carrs Special - King Arthur All Purpose

Balcheldre Rye - Hodgson's Mill Stone Ground Rye

Allinson Strong White - King Arthur Bread Flour

Gilchester's Pizza - Korean Pasta Flour

Gilchester's Farmhouse - Golden Temple Atta

I did not refrigerate mixed dough overnight, but instead went straight to Bulk Ferment.   Otherwise I followed your instructions, and matched your numbers. 

Here are some pictures:

As far as my desire to compare against Hamelman mixed starters formula which I recently made:   the taste is not radically different.   But I will say that this has somewhat more depth and character.   I think the crumb came out better on this one, and the crust came out better on the Hamelman.   I would attribute that to the fact that this proofed faster than expected, and I was baking another loaf (pugliese on the right of first picture) so probably overproofed slightly while the oven was coming free, rather than the difference in the formula.   The proofing took less than 2 hours - don't know why it was so fast.   Altogether I was very pleased, and happy to add this to my repertoire.   -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

I really like the shape of the finished loaf and the way the cuts have opened up.

The differences between your version and mine are quite evident and down to 2 main reasons that I can think of.

Firstly, the different choice of flours, although your mix of flours is well thought through and has produced a lovely crumb.

Secondly, the development levels in each dough are very different indeed.   I mix the dough substantially more than you do.   I guess the Hobart mixer impacts here.

It's a great looking loaf.   I wonder,  do you think you could have sneaked a tad more water into the dough?

Very best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Andy, I went back and reread your instructions and see that you mixed for 15 minutes in a Hobart.   I mixed for around 5 in a stand mixer, so that probably accounts for a lot of difference.   I tend to rely on stretch and fold rather than mix for dough development, and I see I may have to rethink that.   As for more water - your hydration was around 69.   Mine was 70%.   The dough was neither dry nor wet.   I could certainly have gone higher.  Thanks so much for the critique.  -Varda 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

You may want to look at the photo here in the top left, under the first main formula:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26204/gilchesters%E2%80%99-micheboules-doubleleavened-dough-made-sandwich-loaf-and-boule

I just put the thought about hydration "out there" for you.   Your flours will absorb different levels of water to the ones that I used.   But the mixing is more critical; if I told you that my mixer weighs in at around 220lbs, maybe that would give an indication of how robust the mixing action is, even at slow speed.   I guess your mixer might weigh a tenth of that?

While Hamelman is keen to emphasize the importance of avoiding over-mixing, you should realise that he uses a Spiral mixer with capacity for I would estimate at 32kg of flour.   Even for six minutes only of mixing [3 on first, and 3 on second], the level of development he will achieve is very difficult for a homebaker to appreciate.   I write this as someone with experience of mixing upto 200kg of dough at once; it is difficult to comprehend the difference in dough quality which can be achieved.   If you haven't seen this video, take a good look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnxiawZoL4A&feature=related

Very best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Your comments about Hamelman are on point.   I learned from him, but didn't appreciate the distinctions you are making - just reading his times rather than thinking about the difference between the machines.    Thanks for the link to the video.   -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

Is there any way for you to spend a bit of time in a professional artisan bakery?

You would absolutely love it, and learn so much too.

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

and I'll keep my eye out, but it may be quite difficult to fit in with my other responsibilities.   -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda & Andy,

Excuse my chime in here but I thought I'd pass on a bit of info that illustrates Andy's point regarding consumer mixers v commercial as it relates to speed or RPM. Yesterday I was reading Michel Suas' AB&P section on mixing where he provides examples of various mixer speeds on 1st. For a planetary mixer (20-qt Hobart) the RPM rating given in 1st is 107 and in 2nd @ 198. A spiral mixer is rated at 100 RPM in 1st. Curious to see how my little Bosch Compact measured up, I did a (very casual) test by putting a coloured piece of tape on the hook with a different coloured piece of tape placed inside the bowl. On 1st with a timer set at 1 minute I counted the number of times the hook tape passed the one in the bowl with a thumb click tally counter. Certainly not 100% accurate but close enough to give me some info not provided in the mixer manual. The count was roughly 30 RPM or  2/3rds (approx.) slower than that of a 20-qt Hobart. My guess is a domestic KA isn't significantly different. Hook shape, batch size, as well as dough friction are factors in dough development, but just on the issue of speed the difference between commercial and domestic model mixers is substantial.

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Franko,  Well I read your post and went and counted.   Mix speed is 65 RPM and second speed is 100 - so say half of the Hobart.   As you say that doesn't account for other things.   Sometimes I think my dough is just riding around on the hook instead of actually being mixed,  depending on how wet it is.    I am mixing small quantities, say no more than 1.5 kilos,  so I would guess that the Kitchenaid is adequate, but requires more time (or higher speeds) than I've been giving it.    -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Good to hear from you both on this Franko and Varda.

I'm not sure that speed is of the greatest significance in mixing dough.   In fact my all time favourite mixers are the Artofex mixers which work the dough slowly, gently and yet powerfully over about 25 minutes of mixing time.

I think it is about the power of the machine and how that translates to imparting energy into the dough rather than mere heat!

So...a 20 quart Hobart made in the late 1950s and weighing in at [apparently!] over 100kg [c.220lbs] and could reasonably be described as being built "like a bricks..t house"; a modern spiral mixer as used by Mr. Hamelman in the video which is designed to mix probably 50kg [110lbs] of dough.   Impossible to compare this to domestic mixers.

I have worked with small machines like the Kitchen Aid models and looked on in horror at the speed they work at...far too fast.   Trouble is that the mixing work done in that time is wholly inadequate.   For small quantities of dough I still prefer to work by hand, generally, and I am pretty sure you feel the same way Franko?

This is really why I was encouraging Varda to spend time in a real bakery.

Best wishes to you both

Andy 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

To show that speed was the most significant mixing factor wasn't what I was attempting to illustrate, rather it was more towards hi-lighting the differences in RPM between commercial and domestic mixers, or at least the one I have. Since getting this mixer I've appreciated it's gentle mixing action of 1st speed, not realizing how gentle it actually was. That, combined with the thin profile of the hook makes 1st speed useful mainly for the initial combination of the ingredients, or alternatively, mixing on 1st for a lengthy period of time similar to the Artofex, along with numerous scrape downs. I'd like to see Bosch design a thicker hook for this machine so that it could grab more dough at a time than it does now, but I've heard that the model may be discontinued, so not likely that will happen.

As for "mere heat", I assume your referring to my mention of friction being a factor in dough development? To be clear, what I was referring to was the degree of sliding resistance between the dough and the bowl as a factor in dough development, just as it is when hand mixing on a bench, and not whatever heat may result.

For a 1 to 3 kilo lean bread dough, hand mixing is my preference to be sure, but that may not always be the case in years to come, because of physical limitations, likely to be arthritis. Even now I'd rather use a mixer for it's efficiency in mixing rich doughs such as brioche and other Viennoiserie, and of course for cake batters, meringues, etc. My days of hand whisking this sort of thing, even at home, has come and gone I'm afraid. Phil 's recent posting of his hand mixed and well developed brioche buns is something to be admired strictly from the aspect of hand work, let alone the fine result.

 Dear Varda,

You sponge up so much detail from all the various posts here, and apply it to such good effect in your own baking, if there's any way you could manage a casual arrangement/ internship with a small bakery it'd be well worth your time. Just to be able to feel a large, well mixed dough in a typical bakery environment will give you more information than you may think and surely the best reference point to have when interrupting a formula from text.

All the best to both of you my friends,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

This topic triggered a spirited discussion at dinner between my engineer husband and engineer daughter.  My husband has been complaining for some time that my mixer isn't actually mixing the dough and mostly just spinning the dough no matter what the speed.   The two engineers decided that the mechanism of the mixer did not actually change the structure of the dough sufficiently and that what you really need for the small quantities I'm making in a small machine is some sort of wings on the sides of the bowl to create more deformation or a curved paddle rather than a thin hook.   I suppose it's hand mixing for me at least for the time being.  In any case, thank you for the insight.  -Varda

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

You are clearly coming to grips with your WFO, and enjoying some of the trials thereof as well!  I note with great appreciation the new details you have added to your post.  I am thinking in particular of the detail on the levain builds and on the flours.  I appreciate it, as those are questions I have had myself about your bakes.

I have a question for you.  You recently had a brief discussion with pips in my blog post about double levain bake. There you mentioned in one of your responses about rye sours and levain ripeness in general that you always ferment your rye sour through for 14-17 hours.  That does not appear to be the case here.  What was that in reference to then, or am I missing something here?  I know I am misunderstanding something, and I hate to pass up an opportunity to learn.

Beautiful bake Andy, and the crumb looks perfect.
OldWoodenSpoon

ananda's picture
ananda

The oven is now taking up heat wonderfully well, thanks OWS!

The explanation for the lack of time building the rye sour is very simple.

I wrote Wednesday off as the weather was terrible.   So I was short of time come Thursday to be able to build the leavens in time.   Still, they are now getting far greater use, and that just helps to make them both stronger and stronger.   We've really kicked up the wood-burning stove here too, as it has been very cold the last day or so.   It makes for a great proving environment!!!

I am struggling to keep up with demand for the bread.   I had 2 customers yesterday and today wanting to buy for their freezers.   I made 6 loaves yesterday, realised it wasn't enough, so had to come up with a way to make another 2 large loaves today!

Yes, I am really enjoying the baking; many thanks for all your positive words

Best wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Great to hear that demand is outstripping production :) Just have to get your hands on more timber yeah?

Hows the oven coping with the cold temps outside?

Cheers,
Phil 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

I'm coming to realise that the oven has just needed plenty firing to dry it all out, and to store up heat within.

It's all working well now, and I've had good sources of fuel available too.

BUT, it will be a challenge in the next few months to use the facilities I currently have to develop a decent level of business activity.

Just have to make sure all the bread is up to standard and reaches as many potential buyers as possible I guess?

All good wishes

Andy

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Your mixed levain boules always look terrific, Andy. I think this is going to be my next bake.
Marcus

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Marcus,

I am sure your interpretation will be very fine indeed, and I look forward to you posting on your efforts.

Many thanks for your kind and generous comments

Best wishes

Andy