The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% WW Spelt / Kamut with CLAS

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

100% WW Spelt / Kamut with CLAS

Here is the latest bake. Same dough as last time except increased the CLAS to 80 grams (4 tablespoons).

Mini suggested that a brief explanation of CLAS would be helpful. CLAS stands for concentrated lactic acid sourdough. It's used in Russia. It's a pre-ferment that only has the lactic acid bacteria, no yeast. It's sort of like if you were to maintain your Sourdough starter under very wet and warm conditions until it was extremely sour and didn't rise your bread at all.

You then use it with added yeast in the form of a biga, a poolish, yeast water, active or instant dry yeast, etc. Whatever yeast you prefer to use.

The CLAS is used to lactic ferment and acidify the dough, which is supposed to improve the dough handling characteristics, the flavor, and the keeping quality of the bread: basically it is supposed to give you all (or at least many) of the benefits of using a conventional sourdough, without having to be concerned about whether your culture is strong enough to raise the bread.

So, the addition of 80 grams of CLAS to this dough increased the hydration sightly, to 71.5% The increased hydration made the dough noticeably more sticky.

Hydration was still not high enough for Rubaud treatment, so I did a15 minute rest after mixing, then standard kneading for about 5 minutes followed by slap and fold for about 5 minutes. I did a stretch and fold at 30 minute and another at 1 hour.

I regretted the 2nd stretch and fold because inverting the dough exposed the stickier, stringier side of the dough that had been in contact with the container, and I wished I had kept the old top side. After another 10 minutes of regret, I did a coil fold to try to develop a smoother gluten film on the top. That seemed to help the dough look better. (So hard to know the difference between intuition and anxiety!)

I let it ferment for about 20 minutes more, then divided it and lightly shaped it for a 10 minute bench rest.

Then I decided I wanted a different division so I could use the Pullman pan and the clay roaster (I need to plan this stuff ahead of time!)

So I cut a piece off one of the dough balls and divided the other in half to make 3 small rounds. I didn't degass them and roll them up, because I wanted a more open crumb. I just shaped them as mini-boules and placed them side by side in the Pullman pan.This is them about 2/3 risen.

The remaining dough I shaped as a batard and put into a heavily-floured banneton. Here is the batard shaped and ready for final rise:

I covered the Pullman pan but not the banneton because I was worried about sticking if it got too humid.

Final rise was about 1/2 hour. I sprayed the Pullman loaf heavily with water, lidded it, and put it in the oven.

  Then I worked on the batard. I turned it out on a piece of parchment and used a butter knife to scrape off the excess floor. Then I tucked the edges under slightly, and lifted it into the (room temp) clay roaster.

It occurred to me to try using my silicone basting brush, and that was surprisingly effective at removing a bunch more flour. Then I sprayed it heavily with water, lidded it, and put it in the oven next to the Pullman pan.

Brushed and Washed

 

I don't think either loaf experienced more than trace amounts of oven spring. What can I say... I may be a chronic over-proofer. Or there may be something else going on, such as the flours having weak gluten. Kamut and spelt, from what I'm told, both have gluten that breaks down quickly.  But both of them came out looking pretty on the outside. I will add crumb shots when I cut into them.

 

 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

The texture on this bread is a really startling improvement over the last bake. It's extremely moist and tender with an absolutely lovely mouthfeel. The flavor is good but mild and plain: no trace of bitterness or sourness, with a sweet scent. The CLAS still isn't coming through in flavor, though I wonder if it is helping the texture.

Crumb!

This loaf is being demolished by the family... It won't last until morning.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What I love about spelt and kamut is their natural sweetness and lack of bitter I taste in most whole wheats.  I wouldn't try to make the bread taste sour.  I'm sure the increase in bacteria has helped the crumb.  I notice that the Pullman is underfilled, if you want the loaf to last longer, might think of increasing the recipe to put more dough in the pan.  

Got any pics of the proofed dough before it gets put in the oven?  For your own info, good to have before and after shots of that last rise.  

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thank you so much, Mini!

You're right, I'm sure the pan is a little underfilled. I'm worried about trying to fill it higher, though. Do you see how the crumb is a bit denser at the bottom half of the loaf? My idea is that the weaker spelt/Kamut gluten just can't hold up under the weight of all that dough piled on top, and that top to bottom difference would be more exaggerated if I put more dough in the pan. Do you agree?  Or do you think that the tighter crumb on the bottom is from something else?

I have been proofing all my bread on the top of my stove (sitting on a bamboo trivet on top of a cutting board). The idea is to shield it a little from the direct heat radiating off the stovetop pilot lights. But it's still heat coming from below, so it's also possible the bottom of the loaf is overproofed when the top is just right.

I wish I had taken pictures of the proofed dough, but I didn't. I already felt ridiculous taking as many pictures as I did. But next time! 

I think the next bake I'm going to try to exactly replicate this one, right up to the dividing and the pans I used. It's so good that It's worth repeating to see if I can get consistency before I start playing around with it more.

I do want to eventually develop a 100% whole-wheat bread with a sourdough flavor, but I'm going to wait a bit longer until I'm sure I can make this one whenever I want.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Here are the batard photos. 1st with my sister's latest batch of strawberry-raspberry lemonade jam. 

And here is a closeup of the crumb. I notice the crumb appears much more even in the batard than it was in the pan loaf. Does anyone know why? Is it just the weight of the dough? These were both very successful loaves. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can from every bake.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

TFL bread masters, what do you think? Can anyone help me identify the cause of the Pullman loaf crumb texture gradient from looser to tighter, top to bottom? Is it the gluten, the bottom-heat proofing, the shaping?

I'd be grateful for any insight you can offer.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Mini called it in your previous blog post. You are over-proofing.

The Pullman loaf shows what is quite a weak crumb structure and this makes sense, since the wheats you are using are weak. The crumb is what I refer to as "craggy": It is not well defined - the alveoli are not round and taut. For example, dough with lots of strength will display alveoli that are ellipsoid and pointing upwards whereas a weak structure will result in this uneven structure that is collapsing on itself.

There is a simple rule that most pros probably know well and that is that dough made to rise high requires strong gluten whereas flat breads or low-profile breads can be made with low gluten flour.

A flat top and minimal oven spring are positively indicative of over-proofing.

I think you are aiming higher than the wheat is capable of...

 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Do you advise to make a batard so the dough can spread, and/ or to underfill the loaf pan?

I will definitely work on reducing the amount of proofing.

Thanks for your comment!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Personally I would look at reducing the hydration. Whole grain flours might seem like they need more water and they do however a high water content only exacerbates the problem with weak gluten. A lower hydration will give a bit more strength and may improve the structure in the pan loaf. If you find that the resulting bread doesn't stay as fresh you can add a bit of fat to compensate.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the CLAS is scaring folks off while we (includes myself) don't have experience with it. It might also help to explain it in the initial post what CLAS stands for.  And to top things off, it is a slow baking time of the year as well.  No big holidays coming up.  Not to worry.  We'll just chat here awhile and sooner or later somebody's light bulb will go on.  I'm wondering about the mixing details and the % of spelt to kamut, as you pointed out, low in gluten but managed a window pane.

Because of the lack of spring in the oven heat, I'm still thinking it's overstretched.  Try underprofing or getting the dough into the oven with only half the final proof rise that you've been aiming for.  See what happens.  My standard thought about spelt doughs is to never let them "double" after the bulk rise.  I'm still debating with myself about letting a bulk rise double, it depends on the aromas coming off the dough.  If it smells great, I deflate and shape.  Not very scientific, I don't have a smell-o-meter with measurable points.  Maybe somebody does.  

MIL brought some apricot jam filled "Wuchteln" (also Buchteln) rolls over the other day.  They were so light and fluffy I thought they were made like angel food cake.  Their only weight was the spot of jam inside.   Very yellow with a fine crumb that tore feathery and melted in your mouth on contact.  Had a marshmallow aroma, lightly browned with a hint of powdered sugar dusted on top and buttery crunchy bottom from baking. Tear apart sides.  Very huge buns but so light the wind could blow them off a plate.  Even several days old they taste great, crumble all over the place and make a mess but lovely, so lovely. Rich like a panettone but no fruit.  Don't quite know how to eat one but I slowly tear it in half to expose the jam middle.  Set a half back down and then carefully tear off feathery pieces from the outside dunking  into the jam before slowly cherishing it, bit by bit.  It seems like eating in slow motion but the bun is gone in a flash.  The trick being to save enough jam for the very last bite.  :)

Mini

David R's picture
David R

Cute Little Assorted Strudel

Caraway-Laced Ankle Straps

Constant Little Activity Stoppages

Corporeal Legitimately Accurate Scavenger

Cold Latkes And Salmon

Cysteine Leucine Alanine Serine

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

  curry, limburger, asparagus, and sardines?

Point taken, I added an explanation up top!

David R's picture
David R

Your food additions would be truly interesting! But I'm not sure how my little amino-acid pattern would taste - if it would even be noticed.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I think the aminos don't taste great. You can find out for yourself if you simmer a meat-rich broth for too long. A couple days will do it. Your delicious post-thanksgiving turkey broth will become sharply bitter tasting as the proteins in the meat break down into the constituent amino acids. That was a big pot of broth to throw away...

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thank you Mini, you're very kind.

I'll update the post to explain CLAS.

Your apricot buns sound lovely. I wonder what it is about apricot jam that makes it seem so much better for baked goods than any other kind of jam. Although a good tart & sweet plum jam is right up there as well, in my book.

The percentage of flours was meant to be the same as before,
387 g kamut (43%)
513 g spelt (57%)
(900 grams total flour, not including around 50 grams of pre-fermented rye.) However I ran out of spelt and had to make up the balance with Kamut, so it's more like 50/50 in this bake.

Mixing, gluten development, and shaping: I'll try to explain what I did more clearly. I'm really trying to learn, practice and get better. This was very sticky indeed after mixing. After a 10 minute rest, I kneaded it by hand on the table for about 5 minutes, but it was wet and gloppy enough that it seemed like some kind of stretch technique would be better.

I did slap and fold because I wanted to learn it, and all my previous doughs have been too dry and/or tight.  With this one, it actually worked and looked like the videos I've seen. So that was fun. I did that until the dough seemed to have some development: it was smoother and more unified and elastic. It took about 5 more minutes.

Then during the bulk ferment at 1/2 hr or maybe 45 minute intervals I did stretch and fold in the container: east, west, north, south, and turned the dough over. The 2nd one of those, the dough was very stringy sticking to the bottom of the container, so turning it over made the top stringy looking. So then I was getting worried about it over-proofing.

I only waited about 15 more minutes and then picked the dough up to give it like a coil fold... Basically just picked the dough up, let the ends hang down, and tucked them under a few times. This smoothed out the top and the dough seemed developed, so I decided to be done. After that I divided, preshaped, benched, divided again, preshaped and benched again, then shaped, panned, proofed and baked. Oh, one final detail, the clay roaster i used to steam the batard was not preheated.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

In the loaf picture with the tasty red jam and sliced crumb, you're talking about the crumb while I'm looking at the top of the loaf.  Unless the loaf has been manhandled (my DH is good at that) the surface looks pitted and weak.  That is a tell tale sign of something!

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

You're absolutely right. I noticed that as well. It is a common characteristic of my bakes, which I think may have something to do with over-tensioning the dough during the final shaping.

Abe's picture
Abe

Thank you for this post. Lovely bake and interesting information about CLAS. I'm going to look more into it unless you wish to post a primer on CLAS.

Now I've never used this kind of preferment before but going purely on what you have explained in your post...

Since CLAS is purely bacterial and acidic and you're using it with commercial yeast can this have a detrimental effect if not used in careful proportions? Sourdough starter is symbiotic, the yeasts and bacteria live side by side and compliment each other. While a yeasted dough can benefit from a certain amount of acidity to strengthen the dough it shouldn't be overdone. Since you are creating a sort of prefab sourdough starter by adding in commercial yeast + CLAS I would think one couldn't just combine them without careful thought when it comes to proportions of both. If too acidic it might be detrimental.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thank you for the comment, Abe!

I'm not a CLAS expert if any kind, so I don't think I should post a primer, only my experiments. I learned about it from Yippee's blog on TFL here, http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/engoogoo

Yippee's blog has some great breads, and points to Andrey's (AKA Rus Brot) blog post which explains all about CLAS and how to get one started here: https://brotgost.blogspot.com/p/clas.html?m=1 (I used the General Formula Without Malt, I used freshly ground rye flour, apple cider vinegar, filtered tap water, and an Instant Pot set on Yogt to regulate the fermentation temperature.) I increased the amounts so I'd have more to bake with right away.  It worked like a charm.

Andrey also has a YouTube channel with an English-subtitles playlist that has some really interesting and delicious looking bread, including a number of them made with CLAS, here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrSg5cYpPtU_NKto2xtoRpVtRsVs7kJq0

I don't think the CLAS interfered with the yeast because the dough rose really well, and besides I only used 80 grams of 195% hydration pre-ferment (around 50 grams of flour) to the 900 grams of fresh-milled  not even enough to make the bread sour even though the CLAS is very tart indeed. I'll admit though that most of Andrey's wheat bread made with CLAS use a pre dough, so that might give the yeast time to adapt..