a few questions on (what else?) dough
Hello fellow bakers,
I have a few questions that I’m certain the talented folks on this website can answer for me. But first a bit of the background driving the questions.
This week I made baguette dough twice, the first time using a poolish and the second just a straight mix.
50% poolish consisting of 100% hydration with 0.10% IDY. The final mix dough hydration was 75% (poolish included) and the total IDY was 0.34%.
- The poolish had 12 hours of bench time, which was completely sufficient for rise.
- The final mix had a fast rise time of 2 hours from initial mix through autolyse, french folds and letter folds.
- Followed by divide and pre-shape, etc.
Straight mix baguette:
Bouabsa style with 75% hydration and 0.16% IDY.
- The mix consisted of autolyse, french folds, and letter folds with a wall clock time of just under 2 hours before retarding in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
By the time that the poolish baguette dough was ready to be pre-shaped, it was still quite sticky and so I donned my latex gloves for the pre-shape and then the final shape.
The straight dough was already exhibiting significant silkiness by the time that the first letter folds were done. This continues through the entire long retardation, divide, etc.
The poolish baguette did not score well although it did open up somewhat on the bake – scoring sticky dough even with an oil tipped razor lame is a challenge with all of the drag. Since I began experimenting with cold retardation doughs back in November I hadn’t used a poolish for a baguette bake. But I do recall that back then I had similar issues with high hydration baguettes that used a poolish in the formulae.
The Bouabsa style straight dough baguette scores beautifully every time, and opens quite nicely on the bake. They both bake with steam on the front end of the bake.
1st question – as they are both 75% hydration doughs is there a clear explanation of why the poolish dough is so sticky, especially in comparison to the straight mix dough, even when the straight mix is at the earliest stages of its development (i.e. first letter fold after a 20 minute rest)?
2nd question – is there a set table or rules of thumb guiding the diminishing amounts of IDY used in fermentation? For example: a 2 hour bench rise at 78 degrees vs. 4 hour bench rise at 78 degrees vs. 12 hour cold fermentation at 40 degrees vs. 24 hour cold fermentation at 40 degrees, etc. Other than trial and error or following in the footsteps of others is there a clear way to determine the amount of yeast to be added based on the time and temp?
3rd question related to the above – is there a similar table or rule that can be applied to employing levain starters to the mix to determine rise times?
Thanks in advance for considering these issues.