The Fresh Loaf

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EHanner...Help!

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holds99's picture
holds99

EHanner...Help!

Eric,

I tried your recipe for the baguttes/batards (using starter) and I had some problems that maybe you can help me understand.  First I refreshed my starter at 6 hours intervals for a day and a half before I started.  It's the Nancy Silverton starter I made years ago and still use when making some of her sourdough recipes.  It was bubbling nicely when I started the recipe.  Anyway, following your recipe I used 167g starter, 375g K.A. French style flour (supposed to be the equivalent of French T55), 225g water, and 10g salt.  Mixed it all together, let it rest for 45 min. did a fold and placed it in a lightly oiled gallon size plastic container, turned it over (smooth side up), covered it and set it aside at room temp. for 12 hours.  After 12 hours I didn't have any rise to speak of in the dough.  So, i left it for another 3 hours, thinking maybe the room temp. was cooler than 78 deg. and after 3 hrs. still very little rise.  At this point I figured I better do something or I'm going to lose it.  So I stretched the dough out on the counter sprinkled 1 tsp. instant yeast over the surface and kneaded it for about 8 minutes giving it a good workout to fully incorporate the yeast.  Then let set it into the fridge for about 3 hours, removed it to room temp. and let it rise until doubled.  Removed it from the container did a couple of folds, returned it to the container for about an hour, then put it on the counter divided it in two and let it rest for 30 min.  I then shaped it and placed it in a well floured couche and let it rise for about 1.5 hours.  Flipped it from the couche onto my floured transport board, placed it on parchment lined pans, scored it and baked it.

The only thing I can figure is that my starter was not working properly.  Can you tell me what you do to your starter in this recipe to bring it up to speed and get the proper rise without having to resort to yeast?  The exterior of the loaves look o.k. but the interior, well it needs "big time" help because it sure doesn't resemble the interior of those lovely loaves you made.  I feel like the gods must be angry :-)    Seriously, I really want to understand where I went wrong. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

Howard

 

BatardsBatards

Batard Interior

Batard Interior

Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Howard, the slow starter is where I would start. First off the fact that you get bubbles doesn't mean you can rise bread with it. You should find a warm place (73-78F) to use for working on your starter. I hope sourdolady or jmonkey or Bill Wraith will chime in here to comment on my process but here goes.
First I would start feeding at a thinner hydration. Start with a Tablespoon of starter and add 50 G of flour and add 80 G water. Half of the flour should be rye and half wheat, just this one time. After 8-12 hours refresh again at the same hydration.

Next day, refresh at 100% hydration ( 50/50/50) and again 8-12 hours later.
On the third day refresh a firm starter of 50 G starter, 50 G water and 100 G flour. Place the levain in a small container with straight walls and maintain the temp range above. By 8 hours you should see a doubling or tripling in volume. The temp is critical to bacterial activity and a few degrees will mater. If you don't get doubling in 8 hours keep up the refreshment schedule until the activity improves.

Note: Be sure to knead the starter while mixing to develop some gluten. That will allow the starter to rise when the bubbles are trapped.

There are many methods of gaining control over your starter. I started to keep a medium hydration starter and have enjoyed a powerful rising capability ever since.

As far as changing your mind and adding yeast after the primary ferment time, when I have tried that the results haven't been as nice as yours. I'd say make sure it's warm and wait for the bread to rise. Sometimes sourdough is a slow process.

Eric

holds99's picture
holds99

Eric,

I really appreciate you taking time to post the sourdough starter information.  I have copied and pasted your post into a M.S. Word doc. and have printed it out and will start again this week on the baguette/batard recipe.  I'll keep at it until I finally figure this thing out and will keep you posted on my progress (or lack thereof).   Thanks again.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

holds99's picture
holds99

Bear with me on this one, I want to get it right.  When you say (in para. 2): "Next day, refresh at 100% hydration ( 50/50/50) and again 8-12 hours later."   Are you telling me to do the 25g whole wheat, 25g rye snd 50g water again? or do I, for the second interation, use 50g T55 only) and 50g water for 100% hydration? And then I am to repeat the same drill (using only T55 and water) 8-12 hrs, later?

Thanks,

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Howard,
It probably doesn't matter but I only use the rye for the first day, after that I go back to white flour. The rye has more easily activated bacteria from what I hear.

Eric

holds99's picture
holds99

Eric,

I re-read your posted note, which I printed out, and you stated to only use the rye/wheat mix the during the intial iteration.  So, I just fed it some white flour and water and will keep trucking along and see how it turns out.  Really appreciate your help.  I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Incidentally, I was reading Daniel Leader's book, Local Breads, yesterday and never really appreciated the fact that every type of bread baking, prior to late 19th century (for 2,000 years) except Jewish unleavened breads, used to be done using some form or other of sourdough/levain, until an Austrian baron (Max Von Springer)  invented commercial yeast.  So, if I ever get on Jeopardy and get the question, I've got the answer...if I can remember Herr Springer's name.  Knowing what a stickler Alex Trebec is about pronounciation I'll probably go down in flames...fast... like "Sorry, Howard, you said Sprangler, we'll have to disallow that answer and deduct 8,000 points from you score.. and unfortunately, you won't be back for Final Jeopardy."  Story of my life lately. :-) 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL