The Fresh Loaf

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What happens when starter hits squash?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What happens when starter hits squash?

What do you suppose happens when I take 200g cooked and cooled squash purée and stir in 20g of mature starter originally made from apple yeast water and flour?

Here is the idea behind it... I want to make some of Floyd's squash rolls but my squash is very watery.  I cooked the squash without water, with the lid off, but it is just watery.  Puréed the mass.  It started out as one pan size solid chunk 1" thick, medium low.

Now, how to use it without getting too many liquids into the dough?  

I could use puréed squash, flour and instant yeast, but what's the fun in that?  Using yeast water adds more liquid.  My yeast water starter (fed flour & water) seems more concentrated and is pretty active, chilled a couple of days ago to slow down.

Squash has a fair share of carbohydrates (yeast love carbs) and tastes sweet, the veggie matter plus natural gelatin might make a good dough enhancer.  What if I feed the yeast starter a good sized dollop of mashed squash?  How do I tell when the yeast is strong enough to make dough?  It's been an hour and already smelling yeasty. I'm covering it with a plastic bag, deflated, fixed with a rubber band.

comments?  thoughts? jokes?      (There were these three starters that walked into a bakery....)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Can you treat it like a combination biga/levain? Add flour to the squash puree/yeast water and let it build for a bunch of hours at a slightly cooler temp?

Or just a preferment/levain but use the squash/yeast water as the liquid. Equal parts flour and squash puree/yw mixed and allowed to ferment in a warm place. Use when ripe.

Or strain squash through a fine filter like THIS. to concentrate it and proceed as usual.

When I was in the midst of fermenting all manner of food, I had left a jar of homemade pureed squash on the counter overnight. It had been cooked, cooled, pureed and left for 12-16 hrs. At the time I "found" it (got pushed behind the toaster), it was silky and fermented to a lovely, acidic flavor. I believe I added it to a tea bread, but not as a leavener. Rose nicely with some baking soda.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but that might have made it easier to "read" when it was ready.  After 12 hours there seemed to be a bit of gas In the bag and bubbles up the side of the jar of squash.  It actually rose a little bit and smelled very yeasty.  The bubbles were not round but more like separating wet flakes of squash, lifting layers if that makes any sense.  

I do have a strainer almost just like that one!  But the juices running out of the purée tasted sweet so I thought I'd keep them.

So I mixed it into the flour mix already in the bowl.   I added some whipping cream for fats and milk solids, then I still needed moisture so I took out my cold yeast water and wet the dry flour with a good portion. Maybe I should have used more purée?  I will have the figures later on. (With every addition the dough got weighed.)  Kneaded it (gosh it smells good) and placed in a lidded container overnight on the porch at 15°C.

Can't wait to smell it in the morning.  It got too late to do anything with the dough tonight. The dough tasted a little flat with 2% salt so I may add some more after a taste tomorrow.  

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

The squash puree, if you want it less watery, you can either reduce it on the stove or dehydrate it slightly in the oven. Spread it thinly on baking paper and dehydrate at 100°C or so until its nice and thick.
Or you can adjust hydration in the final dough.

I don't think you even need to feed the yeast with the puree, since they anyways get combined in the final dough, right? There are plenty of squash rolls recipes online, maybe you start with one of them as a base and experiment around with that?
Other than that, I think the puree would make a great filling, maybe like a cinnamon roll?

If you mix puree and starter, I can imagine that the starter will produce some off flavors (like raw flour), even though it uses the same bacteria.
If you want to lacto-ferment the puree, simply add 2% (of the puree's weight) salt, non-iodized. Then transfer into a jar, close it and leave it at room temp. This will take anything from 3-7 days, depending on the ambient temperature and your preferred level of acidity. Make sure to open the jar at least once per day to release the built up gases and to avoid explosions ;)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That could be interesting.  Might combine with cranberries and nuts after it drains a bit.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I use pumpkin puree to make a filling when I make brioche "cinnamon" buns. I use Floyd's Lazy Man's Brioche dough and spread a spiced pumpkin filling in the center of the rolls. Delicious and moist. No recipe- just whatever suits my fancy. Sometimes nuts, sometimes honey, sometimes more mideastern or even swedish on the spices. I suppose it would work to be savory,also.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm always pulled between the two, going sweet or savory.

I could go bacon and berries too.  

I also see these rolls with ham and cheese.

Nuts and purée.... peppers and roasted onions.  

I'm more inclined to roll up dough, one big one or individually stuffed.  I really could split up the dough and try a lot of different ideas leaving some plain.  Got ripe ground cherries too. Big ones and they have just the hint of tartness.  I slice them into quarters and spread them on a thin layer of butter as a bread topping.  

The dough didn't rise much on the porch after 9 hrs.  so... it's sitting now in the kitchen 2 hours warming up for a bulk rise.  I think the little bit of nutmeg and cinnamon, keeping the amounts small, are very nice but do slow down the fermentation.  Anyway...  time enough to roam thru the food cupboards and the dried goods.  I got lots of squash.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and as I flopped it out onto the work bench and spread it out, thought it a bit soft and needed more tension so I gave it a letter fold north-south and another east-west then let it rest before rolling out into a big pizza shape. Fun to watch those bubbles get pressed to the edges and where I folded the dough, the bubbles turn corners making their way under the rolling pin.  

Soft dough and so I decided only to fill a few and my filling was too runny also.  Squished around a lot.   So lots of tweaking but the squash/cranberry filling is pretty yummy,  got to thicken it for the future maybe with grated or chopped nuts and make a messy pan of cinnamon type rolls.  I often use apple sauce or grated apples in the filling.  So many options!  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You can see from the edges that the dough is very soft. Getting some nice rise on that spelt flour!  I think this should be either plain rolls or a jelly roll stuffed loaf in a loaf pan. 

Crust is rather light and spotted, a sign the sugars in the dough near exhaustion.  Crumb is satisfactory, taste is hmmm, could be better, adding some sweetness may help twofold.  That pecan was very good!  :)  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Lovely looking soft buns!

"There were 3 starters that walked into a bar but only 1 made it back out..... and he was squashed!"

Best I could do with my mouth watering. Breakfast time here.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No, wait.  The buns taste a little sour today.  I think my yeasty wheat yeast water starter has gone rogue turning into a sourdough starter.  Bacteria have settled in!  Not surprising.  Rolls seem heavier today and have more "bite." 

Unsweetened, I prefer squash rolls made with instant yeast.  More investigation kneaded :)

--------------------------

...  Three starters decided they didn't want to live any longer and walked into a Finnish bakery.  

One said to the baker, "Can you just throw me into a bread dough and get it all over with at once?"

"Sure can."  Replied the Baker.

The second starter rose to the occasion, "I want to go out as a super sized pizza with the best sauce, all the toppings and all of my friends around!"

"Can do." Replied the Baker.

The third starter bubbled up, "I want to be fed, abused and used until I can no longer stand, then go out as drunk as a skunk in beer."

"Done."  Stated the Baker and they all went back to the workroom.  

Moral to the story:  "Don't starter what you can't Finnish."

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but hadn't had a chance to read it.

 http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54803/chasing-thin-crispy-not-thicktough-dough#comment-442730

I will tackle this squash dough differently.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Slather on the jelly!

I bet those rolls will have a good shelf life with their souring. Just not sure you'd want to eat them!