The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour sourdough - A French perspective

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sour sourdough - A French perspective

With all the recent discussions about how to get your sourdough to be sourer, I thought a French perspective might be of interest.

 Janedo is an American who has lived in France for 15 years. She has a wonderful blog devoted to bread and pastry baking. She just wrote about her attempts to make "San Francisco Sourdough" from Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb." You have to be able to read French well enough to follow her commentary, but it clearly differentiates French taste in bread from American. She also has a lot to say about American attitudes toward ... well, everything ... particularly our tendency to make what for the French is just an everyday commonplace, bread, the subject of both scientific analysis and spirituality. 

 Anyway, here is the link to Janedo's discussion. It is so interesting anthropologically, even if the subject is something so mundane as ... bread!

 

http://aulevain.canalblog.com/archives/2008/04/14/8809433.html

Enjoy!

 

David 

b_elgar's picture
b_elgar

My high school French does not serve me well after 40 years, so I will be unable to truly appreciate Janedo's writing about French bread.

I do hope she credits Steven L. Kaplan, an American professor from Cornell University, for his help and expertise with revitalizing the French bread industry, which had fallen on hard times by the mid 1980s.

The New York Times had an article about it Kaplan anyone cares to read up on him.  Sorry for the long link, but I've included a shorter one, too, as I am not sure the longer one will wrap well here.

http://tinyurl.com/5ej4h5

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E1DF123AF93AA15752C1A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all 

Kaplan's book, is also quite good. "Good Bread Is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It "

 

Boron

colinwhipple's picture
colinwhipple

The article was very interesting, and the book looks interesting, too.  It is in our county library, so I am going to read it.

Colin 

chez-jude's picture
chez-jude

http://tinyurl.com/3mjd8v

Here is a link to the Google translation of the French. 

chez-jude's picture
chez-jude

(Not a great translation, but it will get you in the neighborhood.)

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Oh my! What a suprise to see you talking about me. The discussion that ensued from my San Fran sourdough bread attempts and trying to follow the recipe to a T have created quite a discussion among fellow sourdough lovers here in France. One of the women is Polish and has told us about an old Polish bread tradition. Two of the women live in the States. I can't really give you a simple version of it all but we all shared our different techniques and ended up also talking about the 5 min a day technique.

What struck me about Reinhart's book is that he says that San Fran is sour, French is not. This is true to a degree, but the breads that I make on a daily basis have a little bit of sourness but not overwhelmingly as the San Fran has... and I admit that I don't really like too much sourness. I've been fiddling around with the delayed fermentation and yesterday's bread was nice... but the crust wasn't crunchy enough because I did the old thing to avoid the splitting as the dough rises. The crumb was pretty chewy, too. I still prefer the bread I make with a liquid starter and all in a day.

The results of our discussions are basically that it is great to learn about other techniques and all the potential of a starter whether it be liquid (which is very popular here in France with home bakers) or stiff but in the end each baker has to find the type of bread that he/she likes eating and the techniques that work best with their own ingredients and environment.

Right now I'm in to Reinhart's whole grain breads... a whole other topic! Yikes! 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Janedo. 

This particular topic aside, I really do enjoy your blog. Your breads are lovely. I also enjoy you sharing how your baking fits with your young family's life. As something of a francophile, I also find the window you provide on the French perspective very interesting. 

If you have been reading the various discussions of sourdough bread baking here, you have seen that tastes differ among TFL participants. Some like it very sour. Some are closer to the French preferences. Personally, I grew up on San Francisco sourdough (well before the new artisinal bread movement of the past 20 years), and I enjoy an intensely sour bread.  

My experience in France has been that pain de compagne can be fairly sour, but not so sour that the other flavors are overwhelmed. I think of pain Poilane and a wonderful bread we had in the Dordogne, bought in Les Eysies, as I recall.  

As to your remarks about the combination of scientific and spiritual overlays to discussions of bread, this should not be seen as pervasive among American bread bakers. It reflects Peter Reinhart's own personal history. 

I'd love you to share your perspective and experience on this site more often. I think we would all value having a French home baking point of view represented here.

David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I also have enjoyed your blog and your unique perspective as a Yankee adapting to France. Your breads are beautiful and it is quite interesting to see your handling. I do hope you drop in now and then and share your latest discovery.

Have you taken to mustard on the fries?

Cheers,
Eric

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I realize Reinhart is pretty intense about bread making, buut when I started reading his book I was quite shocked and maybe miffed by his claim that world class bread can't be made in a day and that HIS techniques will get you there. I felt like I had been making "bad" bread up until now... but then why does everyone like my bread so much. So, I started my experimenting...and was happy to conclude that his techniques are interesting, but that great "world class" bread can be made rather simply as well! I am a big sourdough fan. I like a bit of sourness, but not a LOT. French sourdough varies and the bread around where I live (the deep South near Spain) is very mild almost bland. I'm sure they use an 'old dough' method.

Sourdough has been greatly revived in the last few years by Kayser. He injects his sourdough with a bit of yeast and from what I've seen, doesn't even really give the sourdough a chance to fully develop. That is great for his fabulous 'baguette Monge" named after the road where his first bakery was (so I've been told) and for certain flours that benefit from a blander leavening taste (like Kamut which has a nice nutty flavor that could be lost otherwise). But for other breads I don't see the use. I like the taste and texture of real sourdough bread.

I admit that I don't even know who Steven Kaplin is... but I'll go see!

The cultural differences are huge. Can you imagine that I have to bake at least a kilo of bread a day just to keep up with the family consumption? We eat A LOT of bread! Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

About 20 years ago, we had a French student stay with us. His family lived in Le Chesnay, near Versailles. Etienne told us his family generally buys 1 baguette per person per meal. 

When I asked him if they ever made pain perdu, he paused a moment then said he knew how to make it, but they never had any bread left over.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The reality about the situation in France is that people here are starting to eat pretty badly and our famous baguette often very crappy made with flour that has additives in it. It is ok warm but a few hours later is truly inedible!

But even though many eat poorly, you can always find a good load of epicuriens our heath minders that want/demand good food and of course good bread. Kids here have started eating breakfast cereal, but many still have slices of bread with butter and jam and some even eat cheese. Every meal has bread and often ends with bread and cheese. In our house I have a budget of around 25-30 euros a week just in cheese!

I guess what I'm saying as well is that while French people think americans eat very poorly, site like this show americans very interested in great food and Americans think the French eat so well, but their diet is slowly being lost. But in both places there are a lot of people interested in great food and bread and the techniques needed to produce them. I enjoy the multicultural exchange about it all because noone has THE answer to all.

Oh, and all my left over sourdough bread goes to horses and when they see it coming they are VERY happy! So, no pain perdu for us either!

bluesbread's picture
bluesbread

Sorry if someone has already addressed this but here goes: Guess what, folks? "Sourdough" bread doesn't have to be sour! Maybe "home-cultured wild yeast" would be a better term than "sourdough," so people wouldn't obsess on the sourness. A good loaf of sourdough has a subtle sourness that increases as the loaf ages -- and yes, unlike commercial-yeast breads, the loaf lasts for several days in the kitchen (no refrigeration and no plastic bags, please) and improves as it ages. The flavors include the sweetness of all the grains -- not an overwhelming sourness at all. If you really want it sour, add citric acid as some commercial sourdoughs do! But I think you'll like it better without. This discussion is similar to the one I have with my students in my Roast Your Own Coffee at Home class. Some think the idea is to make the darkest possible coffee. "If that's really what you want, it's your coffee, go ahead and char the heck out of it," I tell them. "But on the next roast try backing off and letting the multitude of coffee flavors come through, instead of going for that one big bittersweet charred flavor of super-dark roasts." Same idea with not-so-sour sourdoughs -- that is definitely the gourmet's choice. Cheers, Bluesbread

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Bluesbread. 

Most (but not all) of the discussions of increasing the sour flavor of sourdough have the goal of understanding the variables that control it, rather than making the sourest tasting bread possible. I certainly agree with you that the most pleasing  balance among the complex flavors in bread is a matter of personal taste. The discussion in this topic recognizes that, while personal preference trumps, there are generalizations that can be made regarding predictible differences in taste in different countries. 

Your comparison with coffee roast preferences is very apt. Just as those raised on San Francisco sourdough are probably more likely than others to prefer more assertively sour breads, so those raised on San Francisco espresso are more likely to prefer darker roasted coffee, the legacy of Graffeo and other old-time SF roasters from Southern Italy.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Well, after lots of thinking about bread in the last few days, I've decided to do a great bake-off on my blog and a bunch of readers are going to do testing on different breads and then we're going to share our experiments/ideas, etc. The first bread we are going to attack is the San Francisco sourdough!!! They don't know it yet, but I'll be posting it shortly. I can't wait to see what they think about it since they're French for the most part. It'll be fun to get a bunch of French bakers doing an American classic. I'll share the results with you or you can come visit.

Sour or not to be sour... that is the question!

Ha ha! 

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane. 

What a great idea! I look forward to the outcome report.  

I'm wondering what flour or combination of flours you will recommend. As you know, T55 is substantially different from the higher protein flour Reinhart uses. 

Also, I definitely recommend exercising the option Reinhart offers of including some whole wheat and/or rye in the dough. 

For your interest, here is a link to a blog topic on the SF SD a la Reinhart: 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6000/reinhar039s-san-francisco-sourdough-quotcrust-amp-crumbquot 

And here is another link with a critical tasting of this bread: 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6623/bread-awards

David

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Aside from being pleasantly surpised I could read all that in french (had to turn back into a 10-year old), I was rather intrigued at the idea you brought up of HOW people eat bread and why SF's sour taste would no go over well in other cultures where bread isn't mainly a method of holding sandwich contents together.

Thanks Jane for that nice glimpse into French culture.

BTW, what's a "map"? It's mentioned a few times in a couple of people's posts but the context doesn't seem to help point out what it is.

Quote:
On peu tout simplement mettre des ingrédients dans la map et faire tourner la machine et le pain

Wait... on second glance: it's "Machine A (Au?) Pain", right?

--------
Paul

Janedo's picture
Janedo

That's exactly what it is! Une machine à pain. French words and sentences are so long, they are FAMOUS for using ... oh what's the word... the first letters of a series of words to make it short (there goes my english!)

David, thanks for the links. I was thinking about it last night and I think I'd like to do a comparative test. Take two different San Fran recipes and get some people to do one and the others to do another one (whoever wants to do both can, hopefully most) and compare. It's Reinhart's recipe that drives me nut. But your insight is intersting. I never use T55 in bread. I use T65 which is still white but not as white and better for bread. I love the T80 and use it often in sourdough bread. It looks white too, but isn't.

I also looked at RL Beranbaum's recipe and that looks pretty darn time consuming. What do you think?

I'll check out the links. 

I know we can't make REAL San Fran sourdough as I keep reading in books, on the net... because we aren't THERE. But the resultas I've had from the recipe are pretty sour compared to pain au levain. So, I think the difference and discovery will still be very interesting! 

Thanks everyone,

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane. 

I'll have to refresh my memory on French flour/American flour equivalents. 

I have made higher hydration boules or miches with high extraction flours - possibly equivalent to T80. I like them a lot, but they do have a different flavor. I have made SF Sourdough with American flours that attempt to approximate T55. They have had good flavor but the crumb is not chewy enough for this particular bread. 

I don't have Beranbaum's books, but I don't need a recipe that is more complicated than Reinhart's! 

I have become sceptical about having to bake in the immediate San Francisco area in order to get the genuine San Francisco sourdough flavor. Before the "Artisan Bread" movement, there was a single SF bakery that made the architypal "wharf bread," Parisian Bakery. (If you will pardon the expression.) The breads from Boudin, Acme, Semifreddi and the other newer bakeries are very good, but really not the same.  

I would bet that, in a blind tasting, with my sourdough bread and one from each of the Bay Area bakeries, few if any could correctly identify the one that was not made near San Francisco. (I live 180 miles from SF and in a dramatically different climate, basically desert.)

Do the French talk about pain au levain tasting different if made in Paris, Aix en Provence or Quimper, each of which probably has different microflora from the others?

David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

the first letters of a series of words to make it short..and I muddled through your blog abit..the best I could with my limited memory of French..enjoyed it!

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

janedo wrote:
I know we can't make REAL San Fran sourdough as I keep reading in books, on the net... because we aren't THERE.

I believe that rule has been put to rest, or at least severely wounded. Somewhere on Mike's site he mentions that tests were done by bakeries both in and out of San Fran for the most "San Fran" flavour and an out of town bakery won. The judges were so surprised that they repeated the test. The outside bakery won again.

But in any case, you can order San Fran starter online (or get some free from people on the sourdough newsgroup) so you'd have fresh "Genuine San Fran Critters" to work with, whether or not it's true that constant refreshing eventually works those specific organisms out of the starter, since you and your group would be using it it pretty much as soon as it arrives and gets restarted. Since the symbiotic relationship of the yeast and bacteria is supposed to fight off any new invaders, including the undeveloped local critters introduced in your flour, I'd doubt the Genuine San Fran Critters would be banished within the first few feeds.

So other than actual location, it seems it would be likely quite feasible for you to make "real" San Fran sourdough. Perhaps you can hold the event near a long bridge or in a particularly foggy area to confuse the critters into thinking they really ARE in San Fran. ;)

--------
Paul

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

I enjoyed your blog post, Jane, and I do hope that I can continue to read it.  I appreciate that it was translated.

I'm a convicted, dedicated, Peter Reinhart fan, but I'm not offended by your comments, but rather, intrigued and fascinated by your observations.  When I stumbled upon my sourdough excursion I found myself sitting in the local library or the local bookstore, pouring over many a cookbook.  Several peaked my interest, but none made more sense to me than Peter's.   I found that Reinhart's, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, delivered the information best to my way of thinking.  It was a formulary that was easy for me to understand.  Within those pages I discovered a new direction with my baking, and this was my take:

Flour and water, plus time, would equal bread.  Manipulating these items would produce different results.  I would discover that part of the process of bread making was the journey.  And this is how, and why, I am such a fan of Peter's.  My fear of all things yeasted, has ceased; no longer do I stare at a bag of flour and wonder, "Can I do this?" 

Joy!  It's pure and it's simple for me.  As with Mr. Reinhart's work, so it will be with yours, and the others that continue to discourse upon these bits and pieces.  I am so happy we have all found one another.  May our loaves bring our journey to a peaceful and mindful place. 

Thanks for sharing.

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I wrote a post yesterday after David's last post and it didn't make it here! Oh well...now what did I say?

I've never heard of anyone making a big deal about the different taste in regional sourdough here (though I'm no expert). It's the recipe's that change. And other than real epicuriens, most people do NOT eat pain au levain because it is too expensive. Most bakeries will have a version, but if you look carefully, it is a rarely a real sourdough. Some artisinal bakeries and pretty much all organic bakeries do a real pain au levain and it costs 6 euros à kilo (minimum price). I've seen it at 3 euros for 300g. So, few people actually eat it here! Yeast breads are by far the norm and with the price of flour going up, I can guess that it won't change!

But, I'm very suprised that the sourdough bread around where I live is so bland. I've had sourdough bread from three different local organic bakeries and none of them have a tangy taste. I'm going to try and get a guided tour one of these days so that I can see what they actually do. I'm sure they use pâte fermentée.

Paul - I thought about doing an experiment and ordering some San Fran starter. I also thought about calling the university and seeing if their science students could do an analysis of my sourdough. I live in a place/house where I literally can add water to flour and without touching it, bubbles in three days. I then feed it once a day for 3-4 days and there's my starter. I recently made a buckwheat starter and make gluten-free bread for a friend with it that is really good. So, I'm curious to know why it works so well here. A friend of mine down the road who lives in an apartment tried three times to get a starter going with no success. We used the same flour, water and technique. Very strange. I finally gave her some of mine. Anyway, I'd like to compare the results of two breads, one with mine and one with a San Fran. I'll post the results when I do it.

GrapevineTX- I'm NOT giving up on Reinhart because I remain convinced that there is something I'm missing and that is also the reason that I'm starting the test group. I have a beautiful San Fran sourdough that has come out of the fridge and will be baked in an hour. I've got y fingers crossed! I can't get his whole grain hearth bread to work from his whole grains book and that is driving me crazy. I agree with you that everything he says seems to make sense. But so far, I'm not convinced by the results and I have to figure out if it's because of the flour differences, etc.

What I'd like to figure out is why bread that is made with a prefermented dough, left in the fridge, then maybe another stay in the fridge after the dough is made really makes great bread. The straight method I use daily, with a liquid starter, makes the best darn bread I've ever tasted, including any true artisanal bread. The crust is perfect, the crumb holey and nicely chewy. That is what my quest is about! Why add all these steps when simple can be best? (but then that's very subjective)

Cheers!

jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane. 

6 Euros a loaf??? Didn't the French have a little to-do over bread prices once upon a time? 

When I first started making sourdough breads, I ordered the San Francisco SD Starter from Sourdoughs International. Although Dr. Woods insists local microflora won't take it over, I am sceptical. The starter I use currently ... actually, all 4 starters ... originated from one purchased from King Arthur Flour. Frankly, I don't think it matters. You have a healthy starter you that makes bread you and your family enjoy. Stick with it! 

My 4 starters? 1) Liquid starter fed with a T55 "clone" from Guisto's Mill; 2) A firm starter fed with high extraction (first clear) flour; 3) A white rye starter; 4) A whole grain rye starter. I usually just keep #2 and #4, but I have been making such a variety of breads lately. 

I made the liquid starter with 50gms firm starter, 130 gms water and 100 gms T55 (clone) to make  pain a l'ancienne from Daniel Leader's book, "Local Breads." (I will try it as soon as my wife finishes making the salad for lunch.) I fed the starter twice and kept it at room temperature. It is incredibly active and smells more strongly of acetic acid than any starter I've used. My salad dressing smells less like vinegar! 

I may use this starter to make  pain au levain without any cold retardation, just to see how sour the bread turns out. Your experience using a liquid starter, always kept at room temperature, has me very curious.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I hope you do get around to trying the way I make a basic bread. I would be so curious to know what you think!

Here's a further exlanation:

The liquid starter is fed in the evening, left on the table, covered. The next morning it'll be nice and bubbly.

In your mixing bowl, put 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water 

Take about 3/4 cups (150 g) of the starter and put it in the water.

Use 19,05 oz of flour (540g). I don't know what they makes in cups. For my favorite bread I use 400 g white (T65) with 140 g white spelt. Otherwise try with all white or white with a bit of whole wheat (not much) or rye (which make a nice pain de campagne).

Your flour is so different that you really have to keep an eye on this consistency. The dough will be very supple, but shouldn't spread (but not as firm as the Reinhart sourdough which I found really firm before the first rise).

5-6 hours first rise. Shape and then the proofing really depends on the temps. Sometimes as little as two hours, but sometimes longer. I sprinkle flour on the bread to rise and cover it with a cotton cloth napkin.

Oven at 410°C (210°C). Throw in a cup of hot water in the tray but don't spritz the bread! 

35 min. in the oven until it's a nice color and sounds hollow.

http://aulevain.canalblog.com/archives/2008/03/28/8512355.html

There's a picture on the blog page. 

This is the bread that my husband keeps telling me to come back to. As you say, the liquid starter is much sourer and in a bread with a straight method the flavor is just sour enough. So it's not bland but not overpowering. 

I have a series of starters right now because of my experiments and no more room in the fridge! I also bought some fresh yeast from the baker yesterday and am making some baguettes on poolish for lunch. I'm so in to sourdough that I never make yeast breads. So, now I'd like to try! Luckily I have so many mouths to feed.

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane.

 
Thanks for sharing your recipe. I will definitely make it, probably next weekend, unless I can figure out a schedule that allows me to work on it one evening and bake it the next evening. But then, I would probably have to cold-retard it at some point, which wouldn't make the same bread your family likes so much.  

I have not used spelt flour but do have easy access to it locally. It's time for me to try it! 

I see you left the salt out of the recipe above. The recipe on your blog calls for 2 cc. Do you really measure salt by volume rather than weight? I find the size of the crystals varies so much from brand to brand, "table salt" to "sea salt" to "kosher salt," weighing it is the only way to be sure I am using the correct amount. For 1 kg of dough, I think I would generally use around 7.5-10 gms of salt. Does this sound about right for your recipe?  

Assuming your levain is 100% hydration, your recipe results in a 70% hydration dough. That would be a somewhat sticky dough with the white flours I use, but not really runny. It would be on the borderline of spreading, if not raised in a banneton. Of course, if your flours absorb more water, the dough would be subjectively dryer. I'll just have to make it and see. 

I'm really excited about trying this! I'll post the recipe with the mix of flours I end up using and photos.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Yah, sorry, I forgot the salt (I'm a always forgetting something!) The salt we use here is fine ground grey sea salt that looks humid. It's got a strong taste. Your measurements sound good.

Well, that is the thing about flour. I think it absorbs more here. And white spelt I find makes an even softer dough. Do you have semi whole wheat flour there, the equivalent of T110? It has much smaller flecks in it. That works really well instead of the spelt (as I already said).

The San Fran sourdough that I made on a two day schedule instead of three is gorgeous! It is less soury but it got huge with nice holes and a good taste (ok, I admit we attacked it before it was cooled). 

I'm looking forward to see how it bakes up for you!

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane. 

I can buy the type of "humid" salt you use, but the sea salt I am using is "dry" and white, not grey. I don't think this will make a significant difference. 

By "semi whole wheat flour," I assume you mean flour that is sifted to remove some of the bran. Here, as far as I know, the milling process is different. "High extraction" flours, like first clear flour or Heartland Mill's "Golden Buffalo" flour is milled to white flour, then some of the bran and wheat germ is mixed back in. The latter has an ash content close to T110, I think. I have baked a miche with all Golden Buffalo. It was quite dark with with a pronounced whole wheat-like flavor. I'm thinking of using this, mixed with some spelt, when I try your recipe. Or do you recommend using T55-type flour, if spelt is added? Or a mix of T55, Golden Buffalo and spelt? Hmmmm .... That sounds good. 

Here's a link to the miche I made with Golden Buffalo flour: 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6382/hamelman039s-miche-ponteacalliere-golden-buffalo-flour 

When you made the SF Sourdough in 2 days, I assume you left out the cold retardation of the shaped boules. Right? If so, this would make a less sour loaf without the blistered crust. I would expect you to like it better than the 3-day version. Did you add extra water to get "huge holes?" 

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I read something about high extraction flour but didn't really understand what it was. Now I get it! Yah, flours are just different! Your idea of mixing the three sound good to me. The other day I had some bags with flour that I didn't even know what it was (I buy bulk at the organic store). I wanted to finish off the bags. It looked pretty whole wheat. I mixed to ends of bags in with quite a bit of T65 and the bread was excellent! So, what I'm saying is that anything goes, in my opinion!

I didn't DARE add more water because I did the first times as I found the dough was so firm, but then as the starter gets to work it all spreads out! Terrible. So, I left as is and it came out beautifully. I'll try and do a blog entry when I have some time. I still don't like it as much as my regular bread. It's the firm starter thing that ruins all the taste for us (everyone in the house says the same thing!). I'll do a three day one very soon. 

For the holes, I get big ones in my regular bread but not with the Reinhart method... weird!

I'll go check out your link. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane.

My morning meeting got cancelled and my morning new patient re-scheduled. I stayed home most of the morning and got started on your "basic bread."

At the moment, the dough is mixed and rising. I'll now go into my office and hope that, by time I get home, it will not be over-fermented. (Probably 7 8 hours, but I used cold water, and the kitchen is cool.) I'll bake it tonight, if all goes according to plan.

The ingredients I used were:

150 gms active liquid starter (fed with high extraction flour)
315 ml water (I added an extra tablespoon. With 300 ml, the dough was a bit too dry.)
400 gms First Clear flour
140 gms White Spelt flour
7 gms Sea Salt.

I mixed the starter and 300 ml water then added the flours and salt. I mixed in a KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle for 1.5 minutes at Speed 1, then with the dough hook at Speed 2.  After the first minute, the dough cleaned the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl. This seemed too dry, so I added 1 T (15 ml) water at this point, resulting in the dough still cleaning the sides but sticking to the bottom of the mixer bowl.

The dough made a "window pane" after 9.5 minutes mixing with the dough hook. It was quite tacky. If I pressed on it for a couple of seconds, it was sticky, but with brief contact it did not stick to my (lightly floured) hands. The dough kept its form easily without spreading but was very extensible.

(I am describing the dough in such detail because the differences in flours we use result in such different doughs at the same hydration. I think the behavior of the dough and its feel will give another person better guidance, if they want to reproduce this bread. For that matter, it gives me more guidance if I want to change it next time.

It also gives you the opportunity to compare the dough you make with this recipe to the one I am making.)

I put the dough on a lightly floured Silpat mat and, after a brief rest, stretched and folded it a couple of times, then placed the dough in a lightly oiled glass 2 liter measuring cup with a cover to ferment.

Does the dough as described above sound about right?

Stay tuned for further developments.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The way you describe the dough sounds like mine. Pretty "extensible" as you say. It can tend to spread a bit but puffs up a lot at baking.

I sometimes leave it to rise over night and it isn't a big deal though I find 6 hours perfect. So, 7 in a cold kitchen should be fine.

Looking forward to the result!

I made some really yummy whole wheat croissant and pains au chocolat from an american book I received, Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. There are lots of very nice recipes.

It's nearly bed time here so I'll see your results tomorrow morn.

Jane