The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experiment with altus

Felila's picture
Felila

Experiment with altus

I used my food processor to shred the hockey puck loaves into crumbs, then froze the crumbs. 

I attempted to use the crumbs in new loaves, per the altus technique. Mixed results.

The directions I found said to wet the crumbs, then squeeze out the water. OK, that must be to prevent the crumbs from sucking the moisture out of the new dough. So I did that. Discovered that if I squeezed the crumbs, they started to dissolve. They were not dry enough. So I just let them drain in a sieve. 

Directions said to add them after the second stretch and fold. I flattened out the dough and dumped the wet crumbs in the middle. Like dumping wet oatmeal into the bread. I folded the crumbs into the dough and hoped for the best. The best did not happen. When I went to form my loaves, I hit a layer of wet crumbs, which smeared onto the counter. I ended up kneading the dough for a few minutes to mix the crumbs. I had an *extremely* hydrated dough. 

Managed to get loaves shaped and into bannetons. Loaves rose nicely and baked up pretty. Bread tastes good but it is quite moist. See crumb shot. 

Next time I will not soak the crumbs. Just leave them out of the freezer until they reach room temp, then fold them into the dough. 

Note: I was conservative in adding crumbs. I added 120 g of crumbs to dough that was 1200 grams of flour and starter (not counting initial water).

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

and I wonder what it brings to the bread. I would be tempted to hold some water back for the very reason you've just explained.

Looks good. Would you recommend it?

Felila's picture
Felila

Let me give the altus technique a try with drier crumbs and then I'll tell you whether or not it's a good way to use up old bread. We had the recent bake at a dinner party last night. The bread eaters seemed to enjoy the bread ... but after it was toasted, to add a little crunch to the very moist loaf. 

I think the technique does add a bit of complexity to the taste, but I'm not completely sure of that. I wonder if using different breads for the dough and crumbs would help. In this case, it was what I call Danni bread for both.

I also sprinkled crumbs on yesterday's rice-cheese-broccoli casserole. That was a lot faster and more successful.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

where, may I ask? 

I throw Altus chunks into the recipe liquids and break them up a bit with my fingers.  The bigger chunks tend to float to the top and easy to mash up if need be.  The drier the Altus, the longer it takes to soften and the more water required to reach goal hydration.  Then combine with flour.  The idea being that the Altus should bond with the gluten matrix.

I think fresh frozen crumbs will not require much water.  Perhaps replacing only what was lost during the bake, anywhere up to about 20% of their weight.  Go easy adding the extra water while combining with flour.

Mini

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Aqueezing out s pelenty good enough if your dough isnt too wet already.  It loks like ti was but no worries.. just cut the water back a bit.  Where have you been anyway?

Happy baking Felila

Felila's picture
Felila

Gardening. Quilting. Editing SFF book reviews :)

Felila's picture
Felila

I googled here and generally and found nothing but hints. Hints I tried to follow. Didn't work as I hoped. Possibly because most of them seemed to involve rye bread. Will continue experimenting. 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What are the details?  Bread crumbs can behave in various ways depending on the grain type.  

Felila's picture
Felila

What I call Danni bread: just flour, water, and salt. KA bread flour and ww flour, sourdough starter, no commercial yeast. 70% hydration. Autolyse, mix, stretch and fold, shape, retard in bannetons, bake in cast-iron Dutch ovens. 

I was putting crumbs from failed Danni bread back into Danni dough. I had sliced the bread, dried it in the oven, and shredded it with a food processor. The crumbs turned out to be still somewhat moist. Frozen. 

I had read that I should wet the crumbs, then squeeze out the water. I don't think that worked because the crumbs were still a little moist. 

I read that I should add the altus after the second stretch and fold. As I said above, it was like adding wet oatmeal to the dough. 

I can try adding unmoistened crumbs after the second stretch and fold. 

Or I can try adding the crumbs to the autolyze or to the mixing of autolyze, starter, and salt. 

Three things to try.

I'm also thinking that it might be a good idea to mix the crumbs, which are about 1/3 ww, with a dough that has a higher percentage of white bread flour. To get a bit of contrast. 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Might want to reduce the hydration in the dough too as the Altus, being wet and heavy, might contribute moisture to a new dough.  What happens during the bake is that the gel in the Altus softens a little and bonds with the newly forming gel.  

You can also feed sourdough cultures Altus.  The beasties love the stuff.