The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Always learning!

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Always learning!

I love that my journey with bread is a constant learning experience.  Recently, I made a bit of a change to my process for how I refresh my refrigerated starter in preparation for my weekly bake.  The result is that my starter is much more active when I'm ready for it, and my weekly loaves are super predictable in terms of their performance (within the other important parameters like temperatures, % of levain in the mix, etc.)  Recently, I moved to 5g:10g:10g for my starting feed of the refrigerated starter.  I try to do this at about noon the day before baking.  At 6 hours, I feed again with 50g:50g (so, 1:2:2 again) and let that go for 4-6 hours (depending on how tired I am.)  Before bed, I pull out 75g for storage, and feed at 50:100:100 overnight.  In the morning, I mix up my flours, water and levain, and am off to the races.

This week's bake was my usual formula with 75% AP, 10% WW, 10% Semolina, and 5% rye.  Mix all but the salt, and rest for 30 minutes (fermentolyse!)  Pinch in salt, and slap/fold about 30 times, then rest 30 minutes.  Slap/fold (gently) about 20 times, then rest for 30 minutes.  One stretch and fold (1 fold at each point on the "compass"), and bulk for 90 minutes.  Gently remove from bulk container, divide, and pre-shape.  Clean up my bulk container and other accoutrements, then final shape, into cloth lined bannetons, and rest for 1 hour.  Into fridge for 3 hours, then bake.  All of the resting is done in my proofer at 75F.  Predictable bulk and final rise, predictable oven spring, and predictable level of sour in the finished bread.  Yay! :)  A few pics from this week......

After the fridge rise:

Slashed:

Cooling:

Perfect toast this morning to start the day, and probably a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner tonight......Yummy! :)

Rich

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

A quick crumb shot:

...and dinner (swiss and colby jack):

Yum!

Rich

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Hi Rich,

By chance, I found this very interesting post in a pizza making site.  I have been experimenting with predictable time and variables that determine when the starter and levain will be at full ripeness and then discovered a very useful table.  The results of the few experiments I have done match the table.  I wish I had discovered this a few weeks ago!

 

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Gavin.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Gavin, that's very interesting, thanks for sharing that.  Craig is quite a pizza master (and bread master, too.)  I'll take a closer look at that one after I've had a cup of coffee (or two!) :)

Rich

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

Ain't no shame in your game! 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, BL! :)

R

GlennM's picture
GlennM

What difference does the semolina make?  I would like to try this

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Glenn, the semolina adds a distinctive nutty character, and, it if were a white loaf, some yellow color (though at 10%, the color is not that noticeable.  I've gone as high as 20% semolina in a formula with no issues, and it really is noticeable at that percentage.  I settled on my current 10/10/5 as my go to mix a while back, and I enjoy the different notes added by both the semolina and rye.  Give it a try!

Rich

GlennM's picture
GlennM

Im making some baguettes today so I mixed in about. 15% semolina. I will report back

thx

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Let us know how they turn out.  Here's a blog post I did about some baguettes a while back, you can see the yellow color from the semolina in the crumb shot (this dough didn't have whole wheat or rye.)

Baguettes with semolina

Rich

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

I've used kamut in a similar way.  Loved the flavor etc. I spotted semolina and will try some of that as well.  Thanks for the info! 

GlennM's picture
GlennM

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Looking good, Glenn!  Let us know your thoughts on the semolina addition!

R

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

Oh man those look like bars of gold! 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, BreadLee.  Appreciate the compliment!

R

GlennM's picture
GlennM

Yes, these were very good. The semolina seems to make them a little softer and sweeter. The crumb wasn’t exactly what I wanted but I think that was a proofing error. Thanks for looking

Benito's picture
Benito

Absolutely a beautiful bake Rich.  I still need so much more practice I think especially with shaping and scoring.  I’ve never had decent ears let along incredible ones as you’ve achieved.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, Benito.  I think I'm making your crackers later today.  Hopefully, they turn out as well as yours! :)

R

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and I also have a soft spot for including Semolina in my bakes..

That yellow colour, flavour and I think it also makes for a crunchier crust...

Your breads look fantastic! Kat

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, Kat.  Need to find some durum berries now that I have a mill.  I have a habit of running out of semolina, and my local market is hit/miss on having it on hand.

This week's bake just went into the fridge since I won't be able to bake until we return from an early dinner.

R