The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sifting out the bran to use in the levain

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Sifting out the bran to use in the levain

A question to those of you out there doing this - dabrownman, Danni and any others.  How exactly do you do this?

Do you mill the flour required for the bake, sift out the bran then use bran instead of flour for 1st build, sieved flour for remainder

 or do you just mill some random amount of flour, sieve the bran out then take from these two fractions whatever you need you need for the levain part of the bake?

My last bake was so small and I tried adding bran to the levain.  I only made a small loaf so there was not much to play with.  I would like to try again but for a bigger loaf so want to understand process better first.

Leslie

 

 

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

My base amount of flour for most of my recipes is 1100 g. I figure out the flours I am going to use and the amounts to add up to 1100 g. I weigh out the needed amount of whole grains (seeds) for the recipe and mill them. Then I sift out the bran and weigh it. Then I figure out how much more flour I need to feed my levain for the 3 stages and try to use the freshly milled flour for that. If I am still short, then I pull some of the needed amount from the unbleached flour in the recipe. Occasionally, I have used just the unbleached flour with the bran to feed, but Dab chastised me for doing that. ;-)

So the first build is as much bran as I can get into there (Dab tells me to put it all in), then the second is the rest of the bran and the sifted flour. The last build is usually unbleached flour. The remaining amount of the 1100 g of flours that aren't being used go into the bucket for the autolyse which happens a couple of days later.

So there is no waste or extra flour that I mill just for the levain. This also makes it easy to figure out the amount of prefermented flour I want to use. I have been staying around 11-12% preferemented flour but the recipe I used this morning had the dreaded cinnamon in it (it impedes the yeast) and I used 19% prefermented flour.

I use to mill everything the night before but I am finding that I need to do this 2 nights before as my first two builds take 12 hours or so and the last one 6 hours or less. The third build I did this morning only took 4.5 hours.

Also, you will find that the bran really sucks up the water and you really need to use 100% hydration or higher to get it wet. I find that not a heck of a lot happens when I use just the bran. Once I add the sifted flour at the second build, it shows some growth. By the third build, it really likes the unbleached flour and it zooms in rising. My levain was actually bubbling like boiling water this morning.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

that is kinda what I did, but it was such a tiny amount I wasn’t sure I had understood the process.  I found the 2 nd build, little as it was, was definitely more active.  

OK so now it is my turn to do some maths. many many thanks.

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

If I only made one loaf, but I make 12 loaves (4 batches) so my builds are definitely sizable. 

albacore's picture
albacore

I do it slightly differently. I mill the whole grain I want to use. Let's say I'm using 20% spelt which in my usual 1kg total flour would be 200g of spelt.

I would grind this through the Mockmill on fine and then sieve it through my #40 sieve. Last time this gave me 38g bran and 157g flour (5g milling loss).

I took the 38g bran and added 66g warm water and 19g SD starter straight from the fridge. I also added 1.5g malt flour because I read a Finnish article linked on TFL recently that said the most effective way to process the bran is with SD starter + alpha amylase + xylanase for 24 hours at 24C. I don't have any xylanase and I'm not sure I want to use fungal or bacterial enzymes anyway, but malt flour will be a good source of alpha amylase.

I did this in the morning of the day before dough prep and stored the bran levain at 24C until the following day. In the evening of the same day I got my starter out of the fridge and refreshed it 1:1 and stored it at 20C.

The following morning I took 100g of the refreshed starter and made a 1:2 levain, storing at 26C

After about 4 hours the levain was nice and bubbly, so I made my main dough with the spelt flour, BF, bran levain, water, 220g flour levain and last, the salt.

Sorry it sounds complex as I write it, but it was actually very simple!

Lance

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

you basically make 2 levains, 1 bran and 1 bread flour one? the total levain used being the sum of the 2 made from 1 part bran levain 2 parts flour levain.

Leslie

albacore's picture
albacore

My normal starter refreshment and levain build is tried and tested, so I don't want to mess with that. Plus keeping the bran levain separate allows it to ferment undisturbed for the full 24hrs.

Lance

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

What I've done is use the entirety of the sifted bran (which is usually not a huge amount), and add in the rest of the weight called for in AP/bread flour.

But then I add more AP/bread flour in the mix later to make up for it, since the amount of whole grain flour I had was decreased when I sifted out the bran.