The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Acid kill, hydration and French T65

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Acid kill, hydration and French T65

so here’s the story so far. 

Ive been using an everyday strong bread flour (I’m in Ireland so bread flour is just strong unless it’s Canadian then it’s extra strong :) and making a sourdough poolish  with a ratio of 1:20:20 (it’s a schedule/space thing) After 8 hours or so I add to final dough and add commercial yeast. Until tonight. 

Tonight I did the same procedure except I used a good French T65 flour. by the time I had finished mix the dough had eaten itself (autolyse ironically means self destruction) and I had to throw it all out. Now I understand it’s not good practice to have such a large ratio and should build instead but it has always been fine until now. My question is this:

the T65 clearly has a lower hydration point and so poolish is soupier and I have to drop overall hydration however I can only do that in final mix as poolish is 1:1 ratio. So am I right in thinking the wetter a dough is the more enzymatic activity there is thus the poolish ferments faster (because T65 has lower hydration) and so after 8 hours the yeast is exhausted and only bacteria is left to feed on the glutenous soup...?

any ideas? And while I’m here has anyone experience with T65. I really like this flour but it’s a different beast to what I’m used to. I’ve dropped 2% hydration but after looking around some people suggest as much as 10% which seems a little extreme.

thanks in advance 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

this out.  The use of "poolish" is distracting me.  From what I understand a poolish is made with commercial yeast (no bacteria) and a levain is made using sourdough (yeast & bacteria.)   Big differences arise during fermentation.  

With a 1:20 inoculation, the bacteria will be doing their best to sink the pH and overpower the natural bacteria in the flour itself.  If the yeast and bacteria in the sourdough culture inoculate are not up to power, the inoculate may be overwhelmed and need more time to populate the preferment and balance itself.

Test a spoonful of the flour in some water, like starting a starter, and see how quickly the natural bacteria in the flour react in the first 48 hours.  If it foams up you'd might be better off using a larger inoculate to make the levain and get control of the rogue bacteria with your own culture.  

Calling your poolish a levain will also help in the search for similar reactions.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Hi mini I call it a poolish cause i use 50% flour 50% water but yes inoculated by sourdough. I’ll try what you say but don’t understand science of the experiment. What I do know is that a poolish with T65 and commercial yeast seems to ferments a lot faster than poolish I used to make with strong bread flour 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

This is in reply to your question about T65 experience, I use almost exclusively Bagatelle T65 and hydration limit is about 72%. A good starting point is 67-70% until you get used to it. YMMV!

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks for that - I really do like the flour just taking time adjusting 😀

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

by the time I had finished mix the dough had eaten itself

Seems unlikely. What did you see that caused you to arrive at this conclusion?

I have to drop overall hydration however I can only do that in final mix as poolish is 1:1 ratio.

Why can you not reduce the hydration in your levain to correct the consistency?

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

After mixing dough and leaving to rest did stretch and fold and soon realised gluten was deteriorating very quickly to a point where it got webby and sticky sort of like a sour rye sponge. I tasted it and it left a strong unpleasant lingering acidic taste in back of mouth.

i can drop percentage - might do that 

many idea what went wrong?

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Can't say for sure without seeing or feeling it in action, but if adjusting the hydration doesn't solve the problem, you'll need to take a good look at the condition of the starter and/or levain. A new flour or change in season can certainly cause an old routine to become inadequate.

My best,
dw

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks for that - I can rule out starter as it’s over 3 years old and very reliable and used it yesterday and today with no problem - flour is new and is fermenting faster than old flour I used so tomorrow I’m run a test using same starter, flour and ratio in roughly same conditions and see how we go. My thoughts are that I let it ferment too long...thanks for the help - I need to learn more science...any good links to send me? I’m an eager learner