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Carmichael Sourdough

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LisaE's picture
LisaE

Carmichael Sourdough

Hi All bread enthusiasts, tell me what you think, I appreciate all feedback and comments!

I think I've got the process down but...I didn't really like the flavor. It smells sour! It doesn't taste sour. It's pretty! but .. alas, not really sour.

This loaf is made from Mike Avery's Black Canyon SD Bread which can be found on his site Sourdoughhome

I am not sure if it's that my starter isn't sour enough or if the whole wheat flour in the recipe is throwing off my tastebuds. I guess I'm just looking for an incredibly delicious sour sourdough bread and I haven't found the right recipe yet. Or maybe my starter isn't where I would like it to be. I could use a little guidance on whether I should be using the starter early after feeding or later. I am under the impression that you get more LAB if you let it peak and fall before using, but should it fall a tad or a ton?

My starter is maybe a month old, ( from being established...thanks Sourdoughlady! ) and when I taste it on the tip of my tongue it's a bit tart but not citric acid sour. I am currently keeping it at room temp ( 72 - 76 degrees Fahrenheit ) and feeding at 100 % hydration. It doubles in about 4 hours, it quadruples in about 9 hrs and is well deflated after 12 hrs. ( I also have a firm starter in the fridge, hoping I might get more sour from it ) Should I try to use more starter in the recipe to get it more sour? I have heard about inoculation rates....which gives more sour? More starter or less?

I used King Arthur flours and weighed all ingredients.


My starter after maybe 4 hours.

I got some bannetons for Christmas!


Great rise but not the best flavor I ever tasted.

I think the crack ( is that what you call it? ) is pretty impressive for a beginner!

The crumb has great holes but then a bit dense in places.

I'm impressed with my beginner visual results, but really just want some sour bread! Thanks all for your comments!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi LisaE,

Mike Avery's recipe gives little away about the starter.   Maybe you should go back to him about how he maintains his starters?

It's not that easy to tell, but your starter in the photo appears under-ripe to me.   A photo of the top of the starter may be more instructive, as it is not just about how much the starter has increased by volume, which dictates when to use the starter.

Also, do you record your dough temperature, as that will also have significant bearing on the rate your dough then ferments at.   If your dough is sluggish, maybe aim for c.80F as your DDT?

I wanted to comment on the crumb of your bread which you noted at the end of the post.   It looks under-developed to me.   If you could put more work into developing the crumb, this may help your overall process.

Nice looking loaf

Best wishes

Andy

JOHN01473's picture
JOHN01473

Andy,

when you say it looks under-developed what do you mean?

what is the remedy as i have had this in loaves before?

J.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi John,

If you look at the crumb in the picture, you can see there are several large holes, but that the rest is what I would call tight, and Lisa calls dense.

There is no detail in the post about the process used, so I cannot be totally confident about how this has come about.

However, I suspect that, firstly, the dough has not been "mixed" sufficiently [some would use the word "kneaded"].   The OP is using King Arthur flour.   I've never used it, but have seen all the specifications for King Arthur flour on their website.   The All-Purpose flour is as strong as any good quality UK bread flour, and, obviously their bread flour is a grade up on that.   Generally, higher quality flour needs more mixing to fully develop the gluten in the dough.

My other thought is that there is just not enough bacterial activity in the leaven to produce sufficient dough strength.

Best wishes

Andy

 

LisaE's picture
LisaE

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the feedback.

The caption under the starter picture above reads, "My starter after maybe 4 hours". I just wanted to show that it looks vibrant and doubles within 4 hours. I have only used it when it's what I would call ripe; it smells of brandy and bananas, has sunk after peaking, sometimes a lot of sink, some times just a tad.I feed it about every 12 hours, I use about 5 or 10 grams starter and usually 30g water and flour. I was keeping it at 65% but was hoping the more liquid starter at room temp would give me more sour.  Here are pics of my starter after it has tripled or quadrupled and has begun to sink, I also included a photo of the top of the starter for your reference.

Here is the link to the page for Mike's recipe Black Canyon SD Bread. It calls for 510 g water, 180 g active starter, 750 g bread flour, 130 g whole wheat flour and 18 g salt. He does list bakers percentages at the link I have provided. I followed the directions to a tee except I autolyzed for 30 mins before kneading. I use my KA mixer with dough hook on speed 1. I knead 3 mins, let rest 5, knead 3, rest. and windowpane. I then have to knead for 3 more and by then it passes windowpane test. It stretches very well, and when it tears, the edges of the tear are very smooth, not rough. It's then divided, preshaped and allowed to rest for 30 mins. Then final shape and final rise, that takes 3-4 hours. I test by touching with my finger. If it indents and pushes back completely within about 1 minute, I transfer score and bake. I use a baking stone and boiling water in a metal pan for steam. The oven is at 425 F (preheated 45 mins) and when the bread starts to show color (about 10 mins), I turned it down to 375 and removed the steam. 10 mins later I rotated the loaf and cooked another 20 mins. Internal temp of bread was 204.

I have heard of measuring the temp of the dough before rising but haven't done it. mostly because, I don't know what difference it would make because I am gonna rise it at room temp and check for proof before baking. I haven't really investigated ways to proof at higher temps except in my oven with the light on, it gets to be about 88 degrees F in there so I think it's too hot.

Let me know what you think and thanks!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Lisa,

I don't think there is any problem with your starter.   If it were me I'd be taking it a little earlier, as it was peaking, rather than afterwards.   But that is more to personal taste as I don't want my wheat leavened breads to be sour; hence my levain is hydrated at 60%, and refreshed 3 times, every 4 hours prior to use.

I would recommend you keep more of an eye on your dough temperature by investing in a probe thermometer...they are not expensive.   Dough temperature has great significance on gas generation, and on bacterial changes in your fermenting dough too.

I'm not generally using overnight retarding in my baking process; it doesn't fit my schedules, and I have had poor results sometimes when the dough has not recovered sufficiently and bursts in the oven in a very unattractive way.   But the retarding process works for many people on TFL, and many professional bakers use this method too, for all sorts of different types of bread.

For final proof, a temperature of 88F translates as just over 31*C [sorry, I work new money], which is scarcely too warm.   You can always turn the light off periodically so it doesn't get too hot.   But, then I wonder, if you use your oven as prover, how do you pre-heat your oven???

Also, I don't think your oven temperatures are quite hot enough.   You need an oven thermometer which is reliable to ascertain accurate temperatures in the oven chamber...again, not an expensive purchase.   But, I load my electric oven, with steam at 280*C [probably not an option with your oven].   I pre-heat for a minimum of 1 hour, and I bake the bread on firebrick tiles.   Well, I used to do this, but now only use my wood-fired oven to bake on as it only costs a quarter the amount of money for the wood as it does for electricity!   I drop the oven to 250*C as I load the bread, without convection.   After 10 minutes, I switch to convection, and at that stage I drop the oven temperature down significantly, but gradually to bake out the loaf correctly.

You've got a nice loaf there, but something is not quite right about the finished crumb structure.

Best wishes

Andy

LisaE's picture
LisaE

Hi Andy,

I do have a probe thermometer. In my opinion, no self respecting chef / baker would be caught without one, I just haven't measured my dough temp up to now. I will try that next time.

For final proof, a temperature of 88F translates as just over 31*C [sorry, I work new money], which is scarcely too warm.   You can always turn the light off periodically so it doesn't get too hot.   But, then I wonder, if you use your oven as prover, how do you pre-heat your oven???

Very good point! I guess I would remove the loaf while I preheat, it would only be an hour.

Lastly, I do have an oven thermometer, and calibrate ( or check calibration ) often.

Thanks for all the tips and compliment on the loaf.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

try building  some of your starter into a rye sour.  Add a little re-hydrated dried onion to it and feed it whole dark rye.  Get it to  65% hydration after doubling twice and let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 weeks before using.  Build it back to full strength using rye with 2 builds at 100%b hydration making sure it doubles after the 2nd build.

Autolyse your flours for 4 hours.  After your dough is mixed and the gluten well developed with a mixer/dough hook, French slap and folds, S& F's or some combination then make sure the dough ferments for a couple of hours before being refrigerated for 18-25 hours.  Let the dough warm up and then shape and proof on the counter till it increases the volume by 8o% - this might take may hours in the winter time - or you can proof it mechanically.  Then fire up the oven to bake. 

This should give you the sour your starter has in it.

Happy New Year.

LisaE's picture
LisaE

Thanks so much for your suggestions. Re-hydrated ried onion, eh? I have not heard that one before! I'll try it, but what purpose does the onion serve? I have stone ground organic dark rye because I frequently spike my starter with it to make it happy, I've heard it loves whole rye. I am going to try your suggestion for the starter. Should I use the rye sour with the same basic SF style sourdough recipe?

Since I am only just beginning trying sourdough recipes, I have not yet attempted the bulk rise retard. It is definitely on my to-do list. Unfortunately, my fridge is not even close to big enough ( or maybe I should say there's too much stuff in it ) to raise a loaf of bread. I was thinking of doing the retarded bulk rise in my office which has the door closed during the winter to save heat energy. It ranges around 60 to 65 degrees F in there during the winter. Would that be cold enough? Then I'm sure I'd have to adjust the fermentation time.

I'll try all your suggestions! I appreciate your response and Happy New Year, may it bring wonderful loaves to your kitchen!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

what the onion, can be fresh too, does exactly buit I saw a post that dmsnyder (David) made suggesting it and he makes about the best SFSD bread in The Fresh Loafdome realm.   I just use the rye sour levain in any recipe where I want more sour.  Debra Wink has published a lot of ways to get more sour out of white starters, liquid ones too too, with temperature suggestions and  the search button should help for that.

You could try your office and see how long it takes to proof.  I would put it into the brotform or basket and try an experiment that way rather than letting it bulk ferment in the office and shape it later.  But that is just me.  Either way should work fine. If you want colder longer, just put some ice in a cooler and put the dough in it.  I do that all the time when the fridge is full.

Happy New Year.

LisaE's picture
LisaE

I will see if I can find more info on Deb, I adapted the 100% at room temp idea from her Forum Topic Lactic Acid Fermentation in Sourdough.

I will be converting my starter today and add some onion.  Thanks so much for all the tips!

wally's picture
wally

Lisa,

Debra Wink has written a book's worth on this in this forum and you should take dabrownman's advice and look it up.

However, I think you should know that outside the San Francisco Bay area sourdough isn't that sour.  The sourness that defines San Francisco sourdough is a result apparently of the particular strain of wild yeast found there.

You can, of course, increase the amount of sourness in your bread - one way is by retarding the dough or shaped loaves overnight in your fridge.

But don't expect to get San Francisco style sourdough unless you live in the vicinity.  My starter is 6 years old and very active - and very tart to the taste.  But the breads I produce with it are not sour by any means.

(BTW- I'm told by a reliable source that the French frown upon SF sourdough because they feel the sourness detracts from the flavor of the bread. There's food for thought!)

Good baking!

Larry

LisaE's picture
LisaE

Thanks Larry for the insight. However, after reading 3 of Deb's blogs, The Pinapple Juice Solutions parts 1 & 2, and the Lactic Acid Bacteria one I mentioned above, I have to argue your comment about the strain of yeast in San Fransisco. What makes the bread sour isn't the yeast, its the LAB. l.sanfranciscensis and Deb says that for it to thrive in starters has to do with how you maintain it, not geography. And if it were, I'm close enough! LOL. Just kidding. Also, the wild yeast come from the grain, and we don't grow wheat in california, especially not anywhere near San Francisco or the fertile central valley.

Thanks for all the great input! I will be retarding my dough in the future to see what I come up with.