The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Thanks, and I'd like some opinions

Justin's picture

Thanks, and I'd like some opinions

Couple of weeks ago, I joined this forum and posted a request for help with my starter, Karina. Three people, Mr Immortal, idaveindy, and phaz jumped on my problem like ducks on junebugs, and they gave me the help I needed. So I just wanted to say thanks for all your help; I'm sending a picture of Karina taken today and...well, I think the picture is self-explanatory.  

I wish I had the time to read every post and every reply on this board, because every time I DO spend some time reading a post or two, I tend to say, "Hey! I've done that!" or "Hey! I had that problem!" and change my behavior appropriately. 

Now, I'd like the opinion of the experts that are hanging around this board. First question--What's the best time to clone Karina to make a Levain? With the choices being, 1) While she's at her peak after being fed today; 2) Some time after feeding but before peak; or 3) Before feeding, when she's likely to jump on all this new food due to hunger? (I think I know the answer to the third--but I might be surprised.

Second opinion, I located some bread flour, and I'd like to ask the opinion of the pros about how well they think this would be for my baking needs. Here's the label, and although it's in Spanish, if you hold your tongue just right I think you English-speakers can figger out that proteina is protein, and so forth. So what do you think of this stuff:  

idaveindy's picture

The W number range is high, 350 - 450, which means it can take lots of mixing and long fermentation.  

Combined with the 14% protein, it could make rather chewy bread.  So you could probably mix it 50/50 with that 10% protein flour (mix it well while dry) and come out with something real good.

The big question is if this is malted or otherwise has added enzymes.  If not, you would need to add some diastatic malt powder or some "bread improver."  If there is no offical ingredients list on the package, call or email them.  (Don't use "bread improver" that has vital wheat gluten, because this is already high protein.)

Buena suerte, y buen provecho, amigo.

Justin's picture

So I guess I'm going to have to open a bakery--especially if I'm mixing it half and half with the Selecta, the 10% AP flour, so that five kilos I bought is going to last a while.. Plus, I would hope to do a certain percentage of WW along with the white flour, so it's going to stretch it out a bit further.

The Selecta does have enzymes, so would that serve to offset in case the strong flour doesn't? --I do have an open communication with the provider of that flour, so tomorrow, I'll brush up a bit on my Spanish and get in contact with them for an ingredients list.

A tip o' the sombrero for your help once again. 

phaz's picture

Whenever you want to use a starter, you want to get it when there's lots of bugs - and that's between peak and falling - so 2 is close enough for me. 

The flour - try it and see, that's the best way to tell. It looks like it's just the usual enriched flour, but higher protein. I'd say you've got a 96.8% chance of success (I'd go higher but I gotta have a little wiggle room). Of course I would expect a little adjustment somewhere as it is an untested ingredient, and a major ingredient. Maybe a little more water as it is higher protein and a little more time to develope all that extra gluten you'll get. 

Cook up a loaf and let us know how it went. Enjoy!