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Consistent, but disappointing, results...so far

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Muskie's picture
Muskie

Consistent, but disappointing, results...so far

So I have 3 different recipes on the go atm.

  1. I have an AP autolysing in the fridge overnight, I started it at noon, so no disappointment. I had my first real success with BF, but had bought BF and AP, so when I made a 2nd attempt at a baguette using AP, it failed miserably. So I decided I would autolyse the AP to see if that helps...we'll see.
  2. I'm desperate to achieve my ideal ciabatta. So I am trying the 95% hydration version (look up ciabatta in the search here). It took me 1:10 hrs to get the batter to scrape off the bowl (because I didn't have the KA set on 6, and used the hook from the beginning), but ok, I got it there. Transferred to a Pam'd glass bowl at 3:20pm. Its now 8:10pm, and there is absolutely no noticeable rise. That kinda sucks, but I'll be patient.
  3. I made an amazing baguette last week, so decided to try to make a great French Loaf. I've repeated what I did for the baguette, but currently I've done 4 S&F's and, well, I could still pour the batter out of the proofing bowl. Its BF, but the gluten strength hasn't yet appeared.

So, the non-rise of the caibatta dough, and the non-strength of the baguette dough, are the "consistent but disappointing" parts. The house is 68F. The proofing doughs are on a griddle, which is warming them to ~80F. My plan right now is to just leave them be and see what they turn into in the morning.

Do you think it was the coolish temperature of the room that has slowed down reactions? Was the griddle the problem? I've checked the temperature of the dough itself and it hasn't gone above 80F.

Oh, I can say this for sure. My starter was 133% hydrated. I had been using equal "volumes" of flour and water until today, so the starter was 133% hydrated before I started feeding it after the Ciabatta.

Hoping to here any criticisms..

Russ

WoodenSpoon's picture
WoodenSpoon

At 95% hydration you I wouldn't expect to see much rise during the bulk ferment so you may no be in much trouble in that regard. While it took ya an hour plus to deal with the ciabatta are you sure that it was properly delt with, or maybe considerably over delt with? whats the hydration of the french dough? have you given it a taste? any possiblity you may of forgot the salt or maybe way way over salted it? regardless of the other factors I think an overnight 80 degree proof? or is it bulk ferment? is a asking for trouble, 

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Well, the ciabatta recipe calls for 95% hydration, and then states you must wait till it has tripled in volume. They say that should take 2.5-3 hours. Its been 4 hrs. I will admit, the recipe called for 1/2 the salt I put in, I made a half recipe but put in the full recipe 15g salt...my bad. If that's killed it, np, I can try again tomorrow anew.

Neither have been over-dealt with. The ciabatta recipe is no-touch (up to this point anyway), and I haven't touched it. The baguette recipe calls for S&F every 45 mins. I still cannot pick up this dough, its too runny, so all I have done is use my scraper inside the bowl and gotten under it, and lifted the scraper back over the ball. I can tell the gluten is forming, its getting strechier, but I've done 5 S&F's every 45 mins or so, and I still can't put my hands into it. Given its bread flour, I woulda thought by now the gluten strength would be there do be able to touch it with wet hands.

I can certainly put everything in the fridge, but my day tomorrow isn't leaning towards being able to spend much time with them, so they may end up in the fridge until Wednesday.

Russ

Heath's picture
Heath

Is it Jason's Coccodrillo ciabatta recipe that you're making?  If so, I've made that recipe with success and it should indeed triple in volume in the time stated.  Salt does affect fermentation so I think doubling the salt (which is high in this recipe anyway) would affect the rise considerably.  I would find that level of salt unpleasant to eat, anyway.  Maybe you could make up another half of the dough (without any salt) and knead in your current batch, which would make the salt level correct?  It's worth a try if you're reluctant to waste dough (as I am).

Cool temperatures will slow down fermentation too, but it will rise, just more slowly.  When I made the ciabatta, I put the dough in my microwave with a bowl of boiling water to keep it warm.

I'm not sure about the baguette dough, sorry, as I've never made them.

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Yes, it is Jason's Coccodrillo ciabatta recipe I am making. Looked at the dough at 8:00am this morning and I believe it has quadrupled.

So, I proceeded with the recipe. Cut the dough in half (it was only a half recipe to start with), proofed another 45 mins, then flipped them ready to put into the stove.

Ciabatta dough ready for the oven

I put these into a cold oven and set it to 375F (its a convection oven) just on the silpat. After 45 mins., the internal temp was 210F, so took them out. This is what they look like.

Ciabatta after baking

Ciabatta after baking

And here's the crumb, not as open as I had hoped but that's probably because of the excess salt.

I find that when you use the flash on the camera, you get a better idea of the texture of the crumb from the shine it gives back, but that same good property means its more difficult to see the open-ness of the crumb, so a picture without flash does that better.

Anyway, the taste is, well, salty first...;-]...but chewy, light and airy, with a crisp crust. Apart from the salt, I'd say I'm very, very, happy with the result.

Now if I could only get my French loaf to rise...and I haven't done anything with the AP autolysing in the fridge.

Heath's picture
Heath

Well done, they look lovely.  A longer fermentation means better depth of flavour anyway, so they should taste even nicer (well, apart from the saltiness ;-) ). 

I'm so glad it worked out for you :-)

aecummingsII's picture
aecummingsII

That's a mighty fine looking ciabatta! Light and airy crumb? Crispy, not too tough crust? Just the way we like it! 

Even some of my teenage grand kids, still prefer softer bread though they are on board with multigrains.

Muskie's picture
Muskie

So this is Loaf #3 from my list in the OP, a batard (I believe) made using TxFarmer's Straight Method Baguette post as a guide. Only change I made was to use 75g of 100% starter in place of the yeast. This was a half recipe, and in this one I got the salt right...;-]

I'm very disappointed with the rise. Mixed dough at 4:00pm. Room temp is ~68F. S&F's @ 45 min intervals. First 2 S&F's had to be done in the bowl with a scraper, goop could not be touched. 3 more S&F's with scraper in the bowl, but at least I started to see some strength. It stuck a little to the silicone scraper, so stuck the scraper down the side of the bowl and sorta pulled the dough up and over itself (to the other side of the bowl). Did this 5 or 6 times turning the bowl, in each S&F.

Went to bed at 9:00pm, no noticeable increase in volume. Left the dough on the table where it had been rising all day.

At 8:00am today, room temp 61F. Dough had doubled overnight. Started S&F on silpat with "some" flour. Texture is still limp, but I can feel some strength. After next S&F, decided to shape it and put it into a bannaton. Put that in front of the fireplace (air-tight, not on) and lit a fire. Checked it at 10:00am, room temp now 64F, no noticeable rise. At noon, with still no noticeable rise, said; "To heck with it" and baked it. In cold oven, set to 375F, for 45 mins on silpat.

Here's the outcome

Chewy, yum, not salty, yum yum, and sour!! Woot, first noticeably sour bread I've baked. Crust still not too thick and extremely crunchy.

Again, a pleasing result, although I wish I understood why I couldn't get more volume out of the room temperature rises. I continue to see nice oven spring though, so I know I haven't over proofed. And given the dough is not dense after the bake, it must have risen "enough"? For me, the biggest achievement is the reasonably good distribution of holes.

Based on a post in another thread by DA, the ingredients for my #1 loaf from my OP have gone back into the fridge for another night to be dealt with tomorrow.

Russ

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

pay off.  The ciabatta is great and you got a monster hole in the other one.  Temperature is such a big player in bread. 61 to 68F is very low so things will be much slower when it comes to ferment and proofing.  I think as your handling (S&F's) and shaping gets better so will the holes in your bread be. - no monsters for the baker to hide in but plenty of irregular sized holes. 

As your starter matures and you get a handle on the temperatures of your starter,  levain and dough,  your bread will be much more sour too.  Just a  little practice makes a lot more bread perfect!

Donlt forget to retard the dough in the fridge too - after you make it tomorrow.   Shape it and let it proof in there.  If it proofs in the fridge overnight to 85 % then bake it cold right out of the fridge in a hot oven woith steam.  If it doesn't proof to 85% just let it warm up on the counter and, when it is ready, bake it in a hot oven with steam,.

Way to go!

Muskie's picture
Muskie

One question, though. Given my slow ferment when trying to S&F, would you recommend doing those at longer intervals, say 1.5hrs apart instead of 45 minutes? Maybe more importantly, if I am doing S&F's, should I alter the interval length according to proofing temperature?

My house isn't always this cold...;-]

Russ

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is that the cold slows everything down.  With more time available for gluten development and ferment you might as well  go to at least an hour or so but a hour and half wouldn't hurt either.  I rarely do S& F's alone for gluten development though,  I'll  do 3 sets of slap and folds on 7, 2 1, minute each right away to make sure that the gluten is developed well and first.  I use S&F's to fold in the many add ins we have and gently keep the gluten in shape.  1 set of S& F is just gently stretching from the 4 cardinal compass points and folding completely over.  For 3 sets it is just 12 stretches and folds total over an hour and half.   Before I started doing slap and folds I liked doing the no knead method in conjunction with stretch and folds over the first 3 hours of the long do nothing,

Slap and folds are just a lot more fun, work great and allow some good 12 bar blues singing to accompany them:-)

 

Muskie's picture
Muskie

to my absolutely failure at slap and fold. I watched a video about that, and it was touted as being something like "transitional"...mmm, ok, I watch and thought, naw, it can't be that easy. Well, I tried it, and you know what, no, its not that easy. I ended up with dough on the top of my head...please explain that to me. My target on the counter was missed by 3 feet...what?

I think I need to master stretch and fold first...and learn the feel of "strength", before I try to hope it actually goes to the counter I am attempting to slap it against...;-]

I was expecting a comment about "feel", but I do realize how hard it is to actually put "feel" into words. I like the idea that you have set me a target some 4 weeks out, that gives me 4 weeks to learn "feel". And in case I am being vague, I mean "strength" as it "feels".

Russ

Muskie's picture
Muskie

This morning felt like spring cleaning. Made up several small jars of starters (I have 3 different types of starter), 30g total each, and washed the rest down the drain...alas, but hopefully this will be my last time discarding. My stash of 1L mason jars has become 250mL jars.

Made up the beginning of my levain, as per DA's recommended ratios (12g:7g:7g). To get my 92F temperature between feedings I am using my smoker. It has a digital thermo/timer. The dough I made several days ago continues to sit in the fridge as 425g:300g.

I believe that by 8:00pm tonight I will mix my 166g of levain with that dough and achieve a 75% hydration level dough with the levain being ~19% of the loaf. That should then sit for at least 24 hours, but that means baking at 8:00pm tomorrow, so it will likely sit for 36 hours so I can bake on Friday morning.

I'm curious, if I'm going to S&F the dough, when would I do that? After the dough as reached room temperature on Friday morning, or while its in the fridge tomorrow?

Russ

Heath's picture
Heath

I'd do them straight after mixing the dough, as you would normal kneading, if that's the only method you're using for developing the gluten.

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Well, I have had 425g of flour mixed with 300g of water sitting in the fridge for 2 days so far, so it will have autolysed for 4 days by the time I mix it with the levain. I thought that would develop gluten too.

Russ

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

autolyse and add the salt, it doesn't have to sit 24 hours.  Just get the autolyse out of the fridge so it is 92 F when you mix it with the levain, do your slap and folds, won't take many with such a long autolyse.   Shape and basket it and  refrigerate it overnight for 12 hours.  It will probably  proof 85% in the frdge over 12 hours and be near ready fo the oven.

The 4 day autolyse is quite long and the enzymes will be working on it, especially will any whole grains that might be in it,  even at such a low temperature.  The low temps should keep everything in check i would think.  i've only done a 24 hours cold autolyse so don't know what such a long one will do to the dough.  Should have developed a lot of gluten for sure!  

You have at least a 'double secret probation' bread  procedure going and it will be fun to see how it turns out. 

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Re-reading TxFarmer's 36 hours+ sourdough baguette blog post, I've decided that I will retard my levain overnight tonight, and then take the autolysed dough out extra early tomorrow morning to get it up to room temperature by 8:00am. Then, mix the two, and do several S&F's for the 2-3 hour bulk rise @ room temperature talked about in that post. Then, I'll put the entire batch back into the fridge for 24 hours. Dang, my mouth is watering as I type this...;-]

Russ

Muskie's picture
Muskie

My 166g of levain nearly tripled during the 92F proof after its last (3rd) feeding so I am very happy, definitely have viable stuff on the go. So its into the fridge for a retard overnight to get ready to mix with the autolysed dough. DA, this is looking dang good.

Russ

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Well, this morning's efforts have been less than successful. I put the levain and autolysed dough in the smoker @ 92F this morning for an hour. I combined them quickly in the KA, then back into the smoker for 45 minutes. I took out the bowl to S&F, and I had my goop again.

By goop, I mean dough that is so weak there's no way to pick it up. I had this problem earlier this week and could only solve it by adding more flour. This time I decided I would try and fix it by kneading in the KA. The amazing reaction of the dough in the KA when I was making the caibatta dough convinced me to try this. I used the rubber blade and mixed at 6 for 35 minutes. I was expecting it to ride up the paddle, but it never happened. I switched to the dough hook, and ran that at 2 for another 30 minutes. What I had looked like excellent meringue.

My hydration was at 75.2%, so I finally opted to add 25g of flour, bringing the hydration down to 71.7%. Mixed that for another 30 minutes with no success.

So, I came here and did a search. Low and behold, DavidEF had a thread on goop last year. In that thread, the amazing MiniOven asked a rather innocuous question; "Did you forget the salt?" It jumped off the page and hit me smack in my forehead...I had indeed forgotten the salt. Added salt.

Truned the KA back on with the dough hook at 2 for 10 minutes and bingo, the dough was still very weak but it was cleaning completely away from the sides of the bowl. When I stopped the KA, the dough all melted off the hook. Not a formable dough ball, but not meringue either.

My hope now is that I can do 4 S&F's over the next 3 hours, then back in the fridge.

Russ

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but just to interject here...  

...now that you have goop, you also have possible run away fermentation (add up the times) and overripe dough.  At this point, not only add salt but fresh dough (without yeast) would be a good idea, otherwise the dough is just too ripe for a decent loaf.  The matrix is on the edge of falling apart.  The beating of ripe dough will also be telling the yeast to kick out gas fast.  So the next rise will be the last.  (unless you add fresh flour)  ok... continue

Muskie's picture
Muskie

off to search "overripe dough" and "runaway fermentation". FWIW;

  • Started with 12g starter (100% hydration), then fed (100% hydration)
  • becomes 26g levain fermented for 4 hours @ 92F, then fed
  • becomes 78g levain fermented for 4 hours @ 92F, then fed
  • becomes 158g levain fermented for 4 hours @ 92F, then
  • 158g retarded @ 36F for 12hrs then
  • combined with 725g (71% hydration) AP dough that had been autolysed for 69 hrs, then
  • goop

I thought those were DA's directions, but I will go back and double-check.

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Well, did my 4 S&Fs, after each put it back in the smoker at 92F. After the 4th one, I put it into my banneton and put it in the fridge overnight. Took it out this morning, scored, and put it straight into a cold oven. Set it to 375F and baked for 55 minutes on my silpat.

Is that big hole a result of my folds not combining with the rest of the dough?

Should I have brought the dough up to room temperature before baking?

When it came out of the banneton, it slumped to less than half its height. The rise it did get was mostly oven spring. Still trying to understand this issue.

Taste, however, is amazing. Best tasting SD I have made, thanks mostly to DA. Its not as sour as I would like, but definitely sour. And then there's that "complex" flavor, can't be described, but I taste it there. Light and airy, chewy crumb, and a crisp crust. I feel I have that part down now anyway.

Russ

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would repeat what you did, but get the salt in there where it belongs and see how the loaf comes out.  

Without salt, you can't trust the results to pin point to anything in particular except lack of salt, the slightest variation in method is magnified.

Muskie's picture
Muskie

  1. I didn't bring the autolysed dough up to the temperature of the levain prior to combining them.
  2. 69 hours of autolysis may be the problem alone.
  3. I did a tone of KA kneading without the salt in there.

Time to start anew...;-]

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the salt gone missing, the 69 hour autolyse and not doing a 12 hour retard after the dough was developed is the problem.    I usually do a 24 hour retard on the levain after it rises 25% after the 3rd feeding and then let it finish doubling on the counter as it and the 12 hour retarded autolyse warms up.   Mix everything together and then sprinkle the salt on top of the dough ball.  Let it sit for half an hour before doing slap and folds and stretch and folds.  Then let it sit for half an hour before preshaping and shaping to stretch the skin tight while making sure to gently degas the bread to get rid of any big bubbles and then into the basket.

Then 12 hours in the fridge if the levain was 20% of the dough and 18 hours if only 10-13%  take it out to warm up  It should be 85% to 90% proofed when it comes out of the fridge.  45 minutes after warming start the oven as high as it will go mine is 550 F.  When it hits the per heat temperature add the steam either lava rocks with water  or Sylvia's steaming pans with towels.  Bake for 4 minutes at 500 F then 8 more at 475 F.  Out comes the steam and then bake to 205 F  on the inside at 425 F convection.

This will give you a nice sour loaf of bread every time.

For such a convoluted bake trying to save it this time with no salt an ungodly long autolyse making goop into something with added dough - I think it is amazing it turned out as good as it did.  Thankfully the taste was fine and getting more sour.  You learned a lot and the next bake will be much better!

Happy baking and nice save!

grigothirty's picture
grigothirty

I have noticed that ambient temperature means a great deal with regard to fermentation and gluten formation.  I have never had success with temperatures over 76 degrees or so and I avoid them.  72 degrees is optimal and 68 is too cold.  The 4 degree change in temperature in either direction means a lot. 

In others words, you really can't follow a recipe's total fermation/rise time if the ambient temperature is 4 degrees or more  difference. 

You say you used a warming pan. You could've had 80 degrees there.  The difference between 80 and 72 is tremendous. Working with 95% water dough is already tricky with regard to gluten formation, let alone over ripening it due to a higher ambient temperature than the recipe calls for.

I think the dough over-ripened and became liquid as your gluten window closed.