The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough formulas

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LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Sourdough formulas

I've  been using a great sourdough formula I learnt on a course, but now want to actually find out where it comes from- is it a custom made formula or have an origin somewhere else? The puzzle is I can't find anything like it in Hamelmann or other searches.

The main thing is that the levain forms just over 100% of the final dough formula. This is similar to a 'pain de campaigne' or 'country bread', but both of these only use a pre-ferment or poolish, and not a strict levain originating from a sourdough mother with a bit of history to it, as it were. 

So, correct me if I'm wrong, this loaf seems to be a hybrid of a sourdough and a country bread. It works great, but I'm interested to know if others either use this formula or have come across it.

thanks.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

it will be impossible to tell you anything about it.  Please post it. 

Paul

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Here you go:

 

Sourdough  build (over three stages in 9 hours)

71 % mature sourdough culture

78% white

17% whole-wheat

6% rye

 

Final dough

84% white

16% whole-wheat

101 % sourdough

water 76%

salt 3%

 

thanks.

Lawrence

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Is your Levain a percentage unto itself and not of the whole?  I'm assuming they are separate.  Also what is the percentage of water in the levain?  For now I'll assume its held at 100% and put this on paper to see what it looks like.  

I didn't incorporate the three builds and just assumed it all as one levain @ 100% hydration and picked a simple number to start from just to find the details.  What I came up with  is a dough with 33% prefermented flour and a final dough hydrated at 84% and 16% wholegrain.  Roughly of course as I rounded up and down to do this quick and see it on paper.  

Josh

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Hi josh

thanks for the questions.

The levain is 56% hydration so quite stiff.

As to your first questions, perhaps I can explain in simpler terms (for my own benefit!): the leaven in the final dough is by weight almost exactly the same as the weight of the flours- hence 101%. So, for example, in each loaf, I would use 310g sourdough leaven and 309g of flour.

Does that explain things  better?

golgi70's picture
golgi70

So your dough works out to 67.5% hydration (normal) and (39%) prefermented flour (a bit high for a white dough but not unheard of).  As to where the history of this dough lies.  Got me.  9 hours for 3 builds seems sort of impossible especially with a stiff starter.  But your bread looks great. How is the flavor?  sour? mild?

Josh

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Hi Josh

The flavour is quite mild in terms of sourness, but I'd actually like to up that a bit- any advice on how?

Thanks for doing the maths on this- I have the unfortunate combination of being an obsessive baker, but VERY bad at maths and takes me a long time to work out the simplest of equations. I'm hoping it will get easier!

Yes quite a few contributers are surprised by the short fermentation between refreshments- but it seems to work.

Lawrence

golgi70's picture
golgi70

I did just to see it better.  Let me just be sure of your process.  Do you do three builds @ 3 hour intervals and then retard the last build til the next day before mixing your dough and then proceed?  How much starter to flour is in each build?   How long is your bulk ferment?  What temp is your dough when you finish mix?  

Josh

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Hi Josh

Yes 3 builds at 3 hours intervals. After the 3rd leave out for a few hours and then put in the fridge overnight, depending on temperature in the kitchen.

Proportions for each build are

30% starter

25 % water

45 % flour

 

bulk ferment is about 2.5 hours, followed by overnight retard.

No idea what the dough temp is!

adri's picture
adri

In Germany and Austria this is a standard formula.

We built a sourdough in 1 to 3 steps at about 100% hydration and add it to the final dough.

Depending on how much sourness we want, we ferment 30% to 50% of the (rye) flour. On wheat it can be even less.

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Hi thanks for your comments.

Are you saying that aswell as this refreshment schedule you also use this amount of sourdough in the final dough?

So it could be a matter of having more of a germanic influence, then French?

adri's picture
adri

Yes, but not 3h, 3h, 10h but 5h, 6h, 4h and yes and I've never been to france so I can't answer the last question.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You are doing 3 builds in 9 hours? Do you feed the starter every 3 hours or what? This sounds like a very young starter. And, as Josh suggested, the hydration of the starter does make a difference in both the ideal feeding schedule and the effect on the final dough and resulting bread.

If your question is the origin of the formula, why don't you ask the course instructor?

BTW, very nice breads.

David

LawrenceL's picture
LawrenceL

Hi David

Yes I feed it every three hours and then leave it out all night - as long as the weather's not too hot, which at the moment in London it definately isn't. By the morning it's ready but I put it in the fridge then as I usually bake in the evening and then retard overnight again. I suspect the leaven may have past it's peak by then, but it just doesn't fit in with my schedule. Not sure what you mean by 'young', but I've not had any problems with getting enough lift. Thanks for the compliment!

cheers.

Lawrence