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Enriched Dough Getting Slacker as it Ferments

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Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Enriched Dough Getting Slacker as it Ferments

I have been baking a lot of REALLY enriched breads this holiday season and they are behaving differently than my usual enriched doughs and I am wondering if anyone can shed some light on what I am experiencing.

I have been making Panettone, Stollen, Julekage and Challah.  I am using a sourdough starter and I have been retarding the doughs overnight after mixing in the evening.

Ordinarily when I do this with enriched doughs they get stiffer the longer they ferment due to the acids in leaven. Not these loaves.  They stay slack and, despite numerous S&Fs, they remain slack.  

They are still very tasty breads so my question is more out of curiosity as to why I am experiencig the opposite with these loaves and the only thing I can come up with is that they all contain a large %age of dried fruits that have been soaked prior to adding to the final dough.  The water used to soak the fruits is counted as part of the total hydration so no extra liquid is ending up in the dough.

Doughs are all made with freshly ground organic hard white spring wheat and Kamut....50/50 combo....I am thinking the Kamut may   play in to this too but am not sure.

Thanks,

Janet

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Janet,

When you made these most recent slack doughs, were they the exact same recipe as you used before?  Was the sugar, butter, or liquid percentage any different?  Was the flour mixture exactly the same as before?  Did you add the ingredients in the same order as before?

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I have made them before sans sourdough.  When I did these last year I used the formula in WGB that uses a stiff biga and a soaker and, in the Challah, I used coconut oil rather than canola oil.  I did add about 1g of IY (SAF Gold) to each recipe.  (Each recipe's total weight was approx. 1800g.)

Fruits could have been a bit different too.  This year I added candied lemon and orange peel which I have never used before.

I knew these were going to be different than how they turned out last year due to using sourdough and retarding them.  What I didn't expect was the slack dough due to the enrichments used which is what I am more curious about and am curious as to why S&Fs didn't strengthen the doughs as it usually does.

Thanks,

Janet

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Janet, Kamut it a weak flour. Like all durum durum flours it gets slacker over time. I'd never used it in sweet doughs.

Moreover the water released by soaked fruits can't be bound to the rest of the dough, contributing significantly to the effect you are seeing, in my opinion.

Leave kamut for bread. Sweet dough require strong flours.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Nico is spot on with his comments about the Kamut.

I would add that Biga has a huge strengthening effect, and not using it could cause some comparative weakening.

The addition of a sourdough starter is an even bigger potential complication.  I don't have any idea how your starter is hydrated, how often it is fed, or what condition it was in before use.  There are so many possible issues with the condition of the starter that I don't have a short answer here.  A formula would help.

Why not go back to what you know has worked before?

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

For some reason my response posted to Nico showed up beneath your response to me....Oh well my mind is mush today so I am sure I missed the right 'reply' button...

Thanks too for endorsing what Nico contributed above.

You are also right to question my decision about using sd in these recipes.....I agree but I also grin....my mind saying -"ah shucks, that would be too easy :-)".  

If I do this again next year I will experiment throughout the year otherwise I will follow your suggestion :-)

Thanks,

Janet 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Nico,

Thanks for this.  I think your are right too about the Kamut...I kind of suspected it but now I know more - especially the mention of stronger flours with sweet doughs.  

Mention of the water being bound to the fruit is helpful too.  I had assumed the dough would absorb some of it.

These two things combined explain why I am seeing what I am seeing in these sweet doughs and, when I do something like this again I will adjust accordingly....but right now, after 2 weeks of holiday baking on top of regular cooking for the family.... I am thinking I am more than ready to slip back into my usual lean or slightly enriched loaves :-)

Janet

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16113/some-questions-kamut-flour

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16589/having-some-trouble-slackness-switch-kamut

These are 2 threads I posted in the past. The comebacks were very helpful. The gist of it is that kamut has a great taste and is great when you want stretchy characterisitcs (flat breads, pizza,etc) or a supported (in a pan) loaf. But watch the proofing as they can proof faster with a finer division between proof/overproof. Great color, though.

Have happy and healthy holidays! Bake delicious memories!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Clazar,

Thanks for this information!  I hadn't found those links before so they are great especially since I have had questions about Kamut and now know why it does behave the way it does.

These loaves were all freestanding so this really makes sense about using Kamut with panned breads.  Kids like the flavor which is why I used the 50/50 mix.  In the future I will save it for the panned loaves.

Again, thanks for the response and the links.

Janet

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

To ALL Who Responded to My Question:

 I made a batch of Santa Lucia buns today - WGB recipe - and I used his method as stated but I used all Kamut - hadn't read these responses yet.

Results confirm what all who responded here mentioned....Fast rise, which I had thought was due to fresh whole grains and too much IY, even faster proof and a lot of spreading when baking.  The dough also slackened a lot in it's short bulk fermenting time. Despite using a biga - the dough still slackened a lot.  Weak flour indeed when used in these type of loaves.

Thanks for the great information on Kamut.  Next year will be better due to all of your help.

Take Care and enjoy your holidays :-)

Janet