The Fresh Loaf

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First ever artesian ingredient shopping trip & yeast video

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tea berries's picture
tea berries

First ever artesian ingredient shopping trip & yeast video

A few days ago I realized I didn't have some vital ingredients for really starting to make great bread. I promised myself I'd go on a solo shopping trip, and tracked down a great tiny organic food mart in town (in which I had a delightful conversation with the girl behind the counter who's own SD was struggling). This is what I added to my baking arsenal today:

Organic spelt flour, Organic raisins (for YW & baking), Organic wheat flour, some wheat gluten, some dry yeast (I didn't have any but I'm trying not to use it), corn meal and a baking stone

 

Also, I noticed that my starter had passed a landmark last night, and smelled very pungent and ripe. It was a 100% rye starter at 85% hydration, so I decided now was the time to transition to a nice mix of AP/Wheat and Rye. I dumped about 70% of it, and replenished it with Non-bleached AP and yeast water. The new smell and appearance was much closer to the actual bread I've been interested in making. I drew a line on the jar where the mixture was, and went to bed. This morning, it had raised about 50% so I drew a line there and left for the day. When I returned, it was another 50% above the second line, and for the first time my SD starter officially doubled in size. I felt like throwing it a party! :

 

Now, my SD starter is roaring, smells of perfect sourdough, and my yeast water is a bubbling monster! I finally feel as though I'll be turning out my first sourdough within the next 48 hours, and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! 

Here's a short 40 second video of my SD starter and YW:




 

I'm pushing forward, and crossing some major markers in my new bread making interests, and couldn't be happier! I've only been researching this for about 1.5 weeks… I think I started a starter (which had since died) the first day I read about this technique. :) So glad to share my journey and be part of the community! 

tea berries's picture
tea berries

..I'll likely be posting things non-question related in the blog section from now, forward. Forgive me as I just realized that's where this information should have been posted! Take care and God bless!

bread.on.beard's picture
bread.on.beard

Hi tea berry.  My original starter was made from water drained off of fermented raisins; YW,  and BF.  For me, it is too mild.  And, no matter what I did to enhance the flavor of my bread, nothing worked.  Attempts to alter the starter per this forums' experienced members suggestions have been interesting, but while attempting to modify my original starter, I also started a new one using Debra Wink's pineapple juice and rye technique.  I did this three weeks ago, and my new starter, which I now feed 70% BF, 20% WW, and 10% rye, produces MUCH more flavorful bread, even though it's only three weeks old.  The "old" starter, that I fed rye for the last month, is still not producing much flavor even though it is several months older than than the new one. 

My two starters are still works in progress, and I was going to wait to respond back with my results with both starters once I had given both of them more time to do their thing, but since you are new at this -- as am I -- I thought I would pass on my experience with YW and starter to you.  For me, the YW starter seems to be a bust.  I'm still attempting to modify it, just to see if it is possible, but, so far, for flavor, the new starter outperforms the old.  I was producing more flavorful bread with baker's yeast than I was with my old starter.  And, I'm not just looking for sour, but flavor.

 If you can find my post on this subject, titled "bread lacks flavor -- starter too mild?," I found the  many comments and suggestions from forum members very educational and helpful.  I'm not trying to throw a wet blanket on your enthusiasm, but, rather, thought I would offer my take on YW and starter.  Speaking for myself, to do it all over, I would do like the long time forum members here suggest, and just use flour and water to start a starter.  Good luck, and hopefully, your starter will give you the results you desire.  If not, well . . . .

tea berries's picture
tea berries

… just what you mean, but I think different breads just attract different pallets. I bought an organic spelt loaf today that is made locally and covered in sesame seeds and it was just too rich for me. Very sour, dense and just over whelming for the casual eating I was looking for… it's note worthy to mention most of my bread eating is casual, often mixed with feta cheese or artichoke hearts… or toasted and eaten alone with pasta or just buttered… but I don't really make bread to eat with the ultra-decedant cheese plate and wine that often. I wish that was the case, but my little family devours bread on a more regular basis, and my 3 year old likes a loaf that's easier on the pallet. Also, my husband being of middle eastern descent has the taste for light floured breads and a light fluffy crumb and toasty crust, like baguettes… rather than the ultra-rich loaves of rye or spelt. That's not to say I wouldn't enjoy making them… they're beautiful! But then what would I do with them? lols…. perhaps eat them, but it would take a while. :)

Thanks for the great comment!

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

YW starter <> SD starter

Different beasts but it depends what you are after.   If you have a diesel car I would fill it with diesel fuel.  If you have an unleaded car I would fill it with unleaded petrol.   Putting a little of each fuel into either car is just going to create difficulties and the resulting fuel is "something else".

If you want a SD starter, I would honestly start from scratch again (it's only 4-5 days !).

tea berries's picture
tea berries

thanks

squarehead's picture
squarehead

your starter and YW look great! The YW is bubbling away in the video, I would bet money that it would turn out a fine loaf. I'm glad you got organic raisins for the future feedings. For only 1 1/2 weeks into your adventures in wild yeasts I'd say you are doing great. I bet your SD culture smells nice and tangy too. Anywho, congratulations again, and good luck on your endeavors. 

tea berries's picture
tea berries

They do smell wonderful, just like sourdough bread. The initial SD starter was pure Rye, and woo-hoo was it SOUR. It fermented so fast I could hardly believe it… that was with no assistance what so ever from the YW. I am trying to figure out how to get a good crumb… maybe the texture of dough will trap the air pockets after some SF's and produce the type of crumb I'm looking for. Anyways, thanks for the uplifting comment!

squarehead's picture
squarehead

Achieving a perfect crumb is the 'hole'y grail of bread baking. There's no 1 answer. Higher hydrations, adequate autolyzing and fermentation periods, shaping, they all play a role. 

tea berries's picture
tea berries

.. I've tried to keep track of all the different techniques, and can appreciate the pun :). I'm thinking of water and flour and letting it autolyse for about 30 minutes, then adding the starter/poolish and rest of ingredients to make an 80% hydration final dough, doing a rough knead and doing a majority of the SF's in a bowl since it probably won't even by a shaggy mass, but more like a gloopy glop until it gets some form. Probably 4 SF in 40 minute intervals and an overnight bulk ferment, then take it out and bake it the next day...

Do i let the dough rise to room temp before baking, or does the clash of hot and cold in the oven help the oven spring? 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

the formula that has worked well for me is flour/water/levain all together to autolyze for 30 then add salt. You can autolyze without the levain but for short 30 min autolyzes it benefits the dough to allow the levain to feed on the dough flour/water for a period without the presence of salt. Yeast thrives in a salt free environment and is inhibited by salt levels greater then 4% Doing a long autolyze of over an hour you would want to withhold your levain until you add salt. Then do 3-4 S&Fs based on hydration level over 2 hours. Then bulk rest, 1.5 hours, shape, put in basket, then retard overnight. Bake straight out of retarder while dough is still cold in a hot (450-500) Dutch oven. Baking cold dough promotes more oven spring and if you allow the dough to warm up first you may have sticking issues. NOTHING is as frustrating as having your dough stick to your basket after all the work you put into it. I hope this isn't too convoluted. 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

Also you might want to check out the blog Tartine Bread Experiment if you haven't seen it. The lady that writes the blog is very informative and they include a lot of photos and step by step advice on the formulas she tries out.  

squarehead's picture
squarehead

You will get a hundred different answers for the simplest questions on this site, especially when the subject of sour comes up. Trust your own observations and remember that practice makes perfect. Again good luck, and don't get discouraged by the fickle behavior of wild yeasts. I've been baking for about 3 year now and I'm only beginning to turn out something I'm proud to call 'bread'.