The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

third 100% whole wheat sourdough -- still overfermenting! still pale! but more cohesive dough :-)

franbaker's picture
franbaker

third 100% whole wheat sourdough -- still overfermenting! still pale! but more cohesive dough :-)

The good news is that the breads are tasting good and getting eaten, and the white bread from the store, in its plastic bag, is languishing away in its corner of the breadbox, largely unused. In fact, this loaf got cut open before I was up this morning!  :-)

The bad news is that I keep making the same mistake. Overfermenting. Dabrownman, I'm glad that Lucy is not here to chastise her most unworthy apprentice 4th class, who just can't seem to learn!

Things that were different this time: mixed more water with the bran in the levain so that I'd be able to tell if it rose; the levain fermented for a shorter time; the autolyze was shorter; I used the 1.8% salt called for in the recipe, instead of the 1.6% I had tried previously; I added 1% diastatic malt, to try to get the crust to brown; started mixing/kneading at 80% hydration as always, and added water as needed, ended up at 87% hydration; counted 300 slap and folds, which only took me 15-20 minutes, although I stopped much less frequently to scrape the board, because the dough was more cohesive and less sticky this time; I was sure I got a decent windowpane test; did all my pre-shaping and shaping with just water on the board, my hands, and my dough scrapers, no flour; less white rice in the basket than last time, none on top of the loaf, and detached the edge of the dough that stuck to the cotton banneton liner with copiously sprayed water; copious spritzing on the way into the oven; uncovered at 15 minutes at 450F, checked internal temp after 15 more minutes at 425F, and, as it was 210F, took it out of the oven.

The dough was really more cohesive this time, and a bit less sticky. It held its shape after pre-shaping -- relaxing and spreading out a little in 10 minutes, but not immediately turning into a puddle. I was actually able to get the hint of a beginning of a skin on it, and was able to shape it properly and lift it into the basket without it just being a saggy, floppy blob. It had a little bit of life to it. Some of this may have been the increase in salt percentage, I think. I actually also think that my dough handling skills are getting a teeny bit better and that that had something to do with it.

It seems that, when I'm doing stretch and folds, I just can't tell if the dough is rising or not. I'm not a good judge of how fermentation is progressing yet. I seem to have difficulty believing how quickly it can proceed.

But, after proofing 45 minutes, I could definitely tell that the dough had risen in its basket, and there was one big bubble near the surface, so I decided to bake. It had taken those 45 minutes for my oven to thoroughly pre-heat, too. I think I should have bulk fermented less than 3 hours at 79-80F and proofed for just 30 minutes. With the way that scoring didn't really work, I could tell it was overproofed.

One thing you can't tell from the photos is that it's so moist, that I'm worried that it might be gummy if it was any moister. A little bit of crumb wanted to stick to the knife as I cut it. I baked the last one to 212F by mistake, and the moistness was about perfect. Also, I didn't get the degree of browning of the crust that I thought I would from the addition of the diastatic malt, although at least it's not quite as pale as last time.

I think it's time for my doughs to make some acquaintance with the fridge at some point during fermentation. The problem is that most recipes with retards call for 12 hours in the fridge, and that would be really difficult for me, no fun at all. I wonder if I can learn to modify them for 16-18 hours in the fridge.

I have found one of Maurizio's that has an 18-hour bulk retard: https://www.theperfectloaf.com/100-whole-wheat-sourdough/ so maybe that's what I'll try next.

Or maybe I'll take a short break from this style of bread and try a 100% whole grain wheat and spelt pan bread instead (another of Maurizio's): https://www.theperfectloaf.com/100-whole-wheat-sourdough/

Or maybe I should try the community bake, which I think I could learn a lot from, but that 12 hours in the fridge has me daunted, besides the 50% WW instead of 100%.

But I have a couple of days to decide.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

It's amazing how many different things there are to try with bread baking; when you find the ones that work for you it's so satisfying. :) It sounds like your dough is getting better all the time. Here are a couple more little things that might help:

  1. When you bulk ferment, what kind of a container do you use? If you use a straight sided, clear container you can look at the bottom and sides of the dough to look for bubbles (number, size, shape) to see how well it is fermenting. Or you can put a little ball of dough into a straight-sided clear container (like a shot glass or tiny measuring cup) and both watch for bubbles and see how much it rises, in what time period
  2. I think you'll find that a longer bulk retard is quite doable. If you find the dough is over-fermenting, just use a bit less levain in the dough. You might have more of a problem with a longer retarded shaped proof though. If it over-proofs, there's not much you can do about it at that point

I bet that loaf of store-bought white bread languishing in the bread box will still look exactly the same after two or three weeks. :D

Wendy

franbaker's picture
franbaker

I was so happy that the dough was more cohesive and easier to work with this time. I have a ton of fun doing slap & folds, and am really looking forward to the day when I can pre-shape my dough and see a skin beginning to form. I'm also really thrilled when I get up in the morning to, "I tried the bread. It was good." from a guy who rarely speaks. Just the fact that he said anything (at all) spontaneously is high praise indeed. Also this is an indication that he's starting to expect the bread to taste good :-)  It's really nice to have someone besides myself enjoy it!

I have two square translucent Cambro buckets, but the 2-qt. is a little small for this dough, and the 6-qt. is a bit large, and the dough sticks to them like crazy, so I've ordered a 4-qt. polycarbonate Cambro bucket. I can always use the translucent ones to store grains in, if the polycarbonate one is better for fermenting dough.

Maybe my dough is fermenting enough in the first half hour to hour? Because, honestly, after that, I can't tell a difference in dough volume or bubble size or population from one stretch-and-fold to the next, and I'm even taking photos with my phone each time so I can compare. At least this time the dough didn't *lose* cohesiveness before I decided I just needed to go ahead and pre-shape.

I like the idea of trying a smaller inoculation of levain very much. Fermentation just seems to move fast in my kitchen. With commercial yeast, it's practically explosive.

If a dough over-proofs in the fridge, can I take it out of its basket and re-form the loaf, then let it proof a little at room temp and bake it? I do think I'd be more comfortable with trying retarding the bulk first, though. Although I hope I don't lose sleep worrying about my dough overfermenting in the night, lol.

I would be *so* pleased if we never buy another loaf of manufactured white bread. That might be a bit optimistic this early in my learning process, though. I also need to work on a good sandwich loaf.

Thank you so much for the compliments :-)

Fran

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Rather than repeat what Wendy said, I will just insert an echo, especially with respect to your acquisition of knowledge.  I also recommend a clear-sided tub so that you can monitor the formation of bubbles during bulk fermentation.

I am definitely in a minority when it comes to dough temperature, but I find it very helpful as an insight into what I can expect from the current bake's fermentation.  For example, if my kitchen is in the 79-80F range, I know to use cooler water than in a 65-70F kitchen (say during winter months).  Then when I check the dough temperature after the initial mixing, if it is 78-80F the dough is going to ferment faster than if it is 74-75F.  It just gives me one more piece of information and helps avoid surprises.  In your example, I do suspect that the warm kitchen temperature probably resulted in a faster bulk fermentation, but without knowing what the temperature was of the water that you used or the dough temperature after mixing I can only speculate.

One other question I have is whether you are using a dough knife to help with your shaping (pre- and final).

You are making great progress, and often the best gauge of how successful your bake was is from the mouths of the consumers.  Happy baking.

franbaker's picture
franbaker

I love compliments, especially on my learning efforts!

I do have a translucent tub, but am expecting one that looks like it's close to crystal-clear to be delivered soon. I do have a bench knife, but find that I like this 8-inch silicone dough scraper even better on my granite pastry board: https://breadtopia.com/store/gir-silicone-dough-scraper/  The 6-inch bench knife doesn't seem wide enough when my dough is very hydrated/relaxed/extensible, and the silicone hugs the board better.

I haven't been taking the temperature of my dough, instead have been working by hand and keeping all ingredients at room temp, so that I can figure that things are close to that. Of course my starters generate their own heat, and sometimes the dough seems to, also. Do you think I should be checking the dough temp? My kitchen has been between 78-82.6F during these three bakes, averaging 79-81F.

Happy baking to you, too :-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I do about 35 slap and folds a minute so 300 take me about 18 minutes.   150 then a 5 minute break for some wine and cheese sustenance and then 150 more Spray the 6 qt cambro with pan release, especially well the top edge rim all the way around but don't put the dough in it.  Then put the 6 qt Cambro over the on the counter to cover it for 30 minutes.  Look no sticking at all.  Scrape the dough back into a ball and flip it over with the scraper.  Do 4- 8 more gentle slap and folds no more, until the dough comes back together and cover with the cambro again for 30 minutes.  This time scape it into a ball flip it over and do 4 stretch and folds and then put it into the sprayed 6 qt cambro so you can tell how well it rises -   for 2 hours - but don't let it double - say 85% - 90% max.

Pre- shape and shape 10 minutes later.  Let proof for 1 hour and then fire up that great oven you have, score it and and bake it 1:45 to 2 hours after shaping when it gets to 85% proof  You should be going from mixing and into the oven in 7 hours.  I do this all the time at 84 F kitchen temp but watch the dough

Use 10% pre-fermented flour.  That should do it for you.

Ths loaf is way better than the last and the next one should be killer.  Nice job.  Lucy likes it too.

franbaker's picture
franbaker

I like your process and want to try it next time :-)  And thank you so much for sharing it, and for the compliments and encouragement!

But, from the start of my mixing to into the oven was about 4-1/2 hours at 79-80F. So at least I'm not crazy to think that things are moving too fast. That's good to know. Twenty-25 minutes of mixing and kneading.  Three hours of bulk with 4 stretch and folds at 30-40 minute intervals. Pre-shape, 10 minute bench rest, shape, turn on oven at start of proof and into the oven 45 minutes later. And I think it's overproofed. But maybe I'm wrong!

Slightly less than 10% prefermented flour because I had to add extra water to the levain because of my chunky bran (if my calculations are correct, it worked out to 8.6%):

(levain: 20g 100% hydration rye starter + 43g bran + 60 g water worked out to 132% total hydration, and somehow (I'm not sure how, exactly, now) I figured out that there was a total of 43g of bran + spent flour in 100g of the resulting levain, just for reference. But I might have screwed that up somehow. But if it's correct, there's 8.6% of prefermented flour/bran in the dough)

added to 500g flour. 

Commercial yeast works extra-fast in my kitchen, too. Big puffiness with dense bottom of loaf in less than predicted time with AP flour or AP/sprouted flour oatmeal bread. Maybe yeast and LAB just really like to grow for me? Most things seem to like to. Except for dill. Which is normally almost a weed, that will happily reseed itself from year to year. But I only got a few sickly, spindly little plantlets.. Unless I asked my son (then 7-8 years old) to put the seed into the ground. Then it would grow like the proverbial weed that it very nearly is. So maybe if I ask my son to mix in the levain for me? No, I don't want things to grow even faster! My mind is wandering, here, get back to the point, woman!

So, if my loaves are indeed coming out overproofed, I need to do something differently, and, as far as I know, my choices are to shorten fermentation time, use less levain, or lower the temperature by putting in the fridge or in some other way like ice packs in the microwave (I'd need to get more ice packs, though, to keep it cool the whole time).  Using cold water would just warm up during the AL, I think. I wonder what Lucy would try first?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

it is going to be 118 F on Tuesday and 7 hours would still work out OK and the kitchen will be about 88 F - Perfect for SD bread making and drinking wine too!

Bigblue's picture
Bigblue

Dabrownman, do you always recommend 300 SL&Fs for about 18 minutes with a 5 min break halfway or just for 100% ww? Thanks.

 

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Same deal.  All dough, although I can't really comment on 100% WW with much authority.  150 slap and folds aka French Folds, 5 minute rest, and then another 150.  I originally started with 200 but somewhere early on decided that 300 gave the dough more gluten strength before the bulk rise.  And then somewhere a little later on added the 5 minute rest.  That 5 minute rest gives the dough a chance to relax and "organize" between Folds.  Similar to the rests between stretch and Folds during the bulk rise.  I find that the dough has a lot more "character" after that 5 minute rest,  covered.

dabrownman's lazy, phfff.  35 a minute is what slackers do.  I'll grant that it may be due to his Swedish 2nd class  apprentice nipping at his ankles.  When she isn't curled up in the corner sleeping.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

5 minute break included for a nice glass of Chianti and some cheese half way.  If the Chianti is an aged, Classico Reserva I have two glasses, one at the end of the 2nd set of 150. I shoot for 35 a minute when slapping so I work up a decent thirst for the middle break and at the end.  When Lucy was younger we did 600 in the first hour but eventually decided that it didn't need it - I did the breaks a 150 though and the extra glasses of wine too.  Sort of miss it really.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for bread.  Getting the gluten formed right in WW bread is the most important thing in my book

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Fran, since you and I have similar goals. I think it would be fun to bake the same recipes. I would love to bake whatever you are baking and compare notes. What do you think?

franbaker's picture
franbaker

This is the recipe I started with: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/34166/100-whole-wheat-bread-rye-sourdough

I'm working at higher hydration and have made a couple of other changes. I'd be happy to write up the details if you want me to.

Are you going to try this one: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/33735/home-bread-fighting-gravity ? I would like to try it, too, except I'd have to figure out how to adjust the bulk time in the fridge to more like 16-18 hours.

And would you have any interest in trying this one from Maurizio of the very popular community bake: https://www.theperfectloaf.com/100-whole-wheat-sourdough/ ? This is another one that I really want to try, and I think it would be a lot of fun to try these recipes together and compare notes.

I'm envying you all of your eaters. It takes the two of us a little time to eat a whole loaf of bread, I can't bake every day!

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

You can pick. I would even be happy with trying the recipe you baked for your 3rd sourdough attempt. 

I haven't baked with a leaven since last year. I am hoping my wife's King Arthur starter is easy to work with.  I threw out my home grown starter last year after I neglected it for too long.

I started the autolyse for the 50/50 marzano earlier today, so, I guess that is what I am baking tomorrow. But, I dont see why I cant bake a 100% WW on Sunday. 

franbaker's picture
franbaker

since you already have an AL started. 

I have been working with my rye starter and was thinking I'd keep on doing that, for consistency. But maybe I should switch to one that seems a little less lively, since it seems like I keep overproofing. Maybe it would for us be good to use the same type of starter (rye or WW) for our experiments. Do you want to try converting a bit of your wife's starter to rye flour, or should I choose a WW starter to work with?

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Rye works for me. I'll pick some up from the store tomorrow. Any tips on how I should keep the rye starter?

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

I am assuming I can simply take my wife's starter, use it as a seed to start a separate starter that is only fed rye. 

franbaker's picture
franbaker

you can use any of the starter maintenance schedules that appeals to you. I’ve been maintaining mine at 100% hydration, but dabrownman’s no muss no fuss starter looks really interesting 

Bigblue's picture
Bigblue

I'd be curious what your loaf looks like in a DO. I was baking with clay for a while, switched to a cast iron DO and had significantly better results.