The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SF Sourdough: Another variation

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

SF Sourdough: Another variation

SF SD Pain de Compagne


SF SD Pain de Compagne


SF SD Pain de Compagne crumb


SF SD Pain de Compagne crumb

This came out of the oven this evening in time to cool ... almost cool ... for our obligatory bedtime snack.

It is basically the same bread as that described in my last blog entry except that I built the dough directly from the starter rather than elaborating an "intermediate starter," and I made it with slightly higher hydration. As a result, it did not have the first clear flour, and it had proportionately more whole wheat and rye in the starter. This was a sticky dough that I avoided over-kneading. It fermented for 3.5 hours with one folding at 90 minutes. I shaped a single boule of about 830 grams. It was retarded in the refrigerator for 18 hours.

The boule was proofed in a linen-lined banneton and baked on a stone, covered with a stainless steel bowl for the first 15 minutes of a 40 minute bake. It was left in the turned off oven with the door ajar for another 10 minutes.

The crust was really crisp after 90 minutes of cooling. The crumb is tender but chewy, how I like it. The taste is medium sour with clear notes of whole wheat and rye which I expect to be more subtle by the morning.

My next project is to use the same dough at a lower hydration to make sourdough baguettes.

David

Comments

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Interesting! I really like that recipes exist and then from there with a few modifications a whole other bread can be created. It goes back to the idea that it's the TECHNIQUE that counts more than perfect proportions folling a recipe. Looks nice, great crumb... that's how I like it!

I made the baguettes. They didn't turn out how I thought they would, holes were not big. But after a lot of consideration and after the fact that I have made sourdough baguettes on a number of occasions, I will make them with some yeast as well, and using cold storage when already formed. The handling of making the baguettes crushed all the bubbles even though I did it very carefully. So, I think They should be risen less, then formed then put in the fridge to rise more there. Just an idea. But the chewy, pure sourdough just doesn't do it for a baguette. I think it needs some yeast "lightness". Any thoughts? I took pics if you're interested.

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane.

I think that I'll learn more about technique if I keep as many variables constant so I can attribute outcome to the few (ideally, one) I vary.

My baguette plan is to vary two important variables, unfortunately - hydration and shape.

I have made two shapes (batard, proofed en couche, and boule, proofed in a linen-lined banneton) from the same batch of dough. The difference in the crumb was surprising. I attributed it to the fact that the boule was handled more in shaping.

Baguettes, other than ones like pain a l'ancienne, get manipulated more than any other basic shape, so there must be other compensatory technical variations to achieve an open crumb. Higher hydration is one way, but traditional baguette dough is about 66% hydration, according to the many recipes I've read. Most recipes in recent books stress baking when the loaves have risen 75-95%, to get better oven spring. But Julia Child, presumably reflecting Clavel's method, calls for a tripling of volume before baking to get more a more open crumb. I suppose a dryer dough would be less likely to collapse after tripling, but I can't imagine getting much oven spring with that method.

Hmmm ... I'm thinking of making a couple baguettes with tight forming which I let more than double before baking and another couple of baguettes handled very gently but proofed to 75% of doubled. (I would use the same dough - sourdough with lower hydration - for all.)I haven't decided yet about spiking the dough with instant yeast.

What are your thoughts about that experiment?


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The dough I made was fairly hydrated but I couldn't tell you how much exactly. It was a slack dough. I figured I'd use the same basis as the light rye to get big holes (a night in the fridge after initial rise, formed cool and left to proof). I thought I'd let the formed baguettes rise as much as possible but after what was quite a long time they weren't hugely puffy and I didn't want them to over ferment. And then they ended up having less oven spring than I expected. Why? I really don't know!

I am going to do tests, one with sourdough but spiked with yeast and one, a real yeast baguette but this time with T55 from a recipe I got from the French Bakeries site. The sourdough's were T55 but the texture remained very typical sourdough. 

But as for baguettes, I think dealing with pure yeast is a different ball game than with sourdough and getting great results will not be the same method for both. And I'm not convinced that pure sourdough baguettes are a good idea. It needs more room for crumb. Unless they are spiked with yeast.

I'll be looking forward to your results. Now I have to go prepare the preferments and get to bed!

Jane 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Very nice loaf indeed, lovely interior.  You consistently produce great loaves with lovely crumb.  From my somewhat limited experience, I agree with you re: handling.  I have made, from the same batch of ciabatta dough, regular ciabatta loaves and rolls---and the rolls always have a tighter crumb than the loaves.  Rightly or wrongly, I attribute it to the handling and shaping of the rolls as opposed to minimal handing of the dough in the loaves.  I will continue to follow your experimnents with great interest.  Thanks.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I just follow your good advice to get to know a small number of formulas really well and then see how varying them affects the product.

This loaf was basically a slacker version of the last SF SD variation. Well, I did change the starter too. I was consciously trying to minimize handling in shaping the boule. Because of the slackness, the loaf spread on the peel more than my usual SF SD, and it probably didn't have the structural integrity to spring that much. But the benefit was the very open crumb. You pays yer money and takes yer choice.

When I make the baguettes, I think I will minimize pre-shaping, let the pieces rest and puff up a bit, then form the baguettes as gently as I can.

Jane is skeptical about being able to produce a sourdough baguette with an open crumb. I'm going to give it a shot. The worst that can happen is I reinforce her skepticism. Our local boulanger does hit this target. I need to catch him in the bakery and ask him if he spikes his "whole wheat sourdough baguettes." I'm betting he does.


David

holds99's picture
holds99

David,

Sounds like a good plan.  I'm really looking forward to hearing whether or not you succeed with the sourdough baguettes.  Also, let us know whether of not the local boulanger spikes his sourdough...and please post some pictures of the results. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Howard.

A spiked sourdough dough is fermenting at this moment. To about 13 oz of flour and 12 oz of starter, I added 1 tsp of instant yeast. This may have been excessive. The dough doubled in about 60 minutes. I did a fold. When it gets back to double, I'll divide and shape.

I don't think I can get away with retarding the loaves. The dough is expanding so fast, but I might try.

Stay tuned.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Good morning!!!

Yah, 1 tsp might have been excessive. I think what they do is litterally spike, just a hint of yeast so they can prolong the cold fermentation without the rising going wild. They say they do it to guarantee results which means rise. I think an 1/8th of a tsp is enough.  The sourdough flavor can develop thanks to the longer fermentation, but the dough doesn't over rise.

I'm mixing the baguette "tradition" as I write.

News from both later!

Jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

David,

I think Jane is right, 1 tsp of yeast for 13 oz of flour sounds like too much.  I went back and checked one of Hamelmans recipes just to get an idea of ratio and after he makes an 11.2 oz sponge (which I assume is the equivalent of your 12 oz of starter), he combines it with his final dough ingredients, the final dough ingredients contains  1 1/2 tsp (.16 oz.) of yeast for 6 1/8 cups (27.2 oz.) of flour.  The yeast is 1.5% of the overall formula.  I scanned through a number of his other recipes and when yeast is called for most of them range from 1.5% to 1.8% yeast (overall formula).  Using 1 tsp. of yeast for 13 oz of flour seems high.  That would be approximately 2/3 the amount of yeast ( for your 13 oz. of flour) that Hamelman used for double the amount of flour (26.2 oz.).  Don't know if I'm making sense or not but you would definitely get a fast rise using the amount of yeast you used.  Let us know how it goes.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I made 4 demi-baguettes scaled to 9 oz. The result was disappointing in that I didn't get very much bloom, and the crumb was not as open as I wished. The baguettes smelled yeasty when first cut.

This morning, I had some baguette with butter and jam. They no longer smell yeasty. The tasted is like a mild sourdough. They taste good, but I would not choose this bread over a sourdough boule made with the same dough (minus the yeast).

The quest continues.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Yes, the quest continues. If it was easy it wouldn't be so much FUN! 

That reminds me that I have the sourdough baguette dough in the fridge! I have to remember it tomorrow morning because what with being alone with the kids I have my mind more on them then fermenting bread dough! News tomorrow. I'll bake them late morning, I think.

Jane 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The bread is out of the oven and cooled. I'm rather pleased with the results even though it largely strays from my goal. In fact it is a basic white sourdough, nothing more, nothing less because the yeast did nothing! Not enough with 1/8th tsp, I guess.

I can't even remember what I put in... oh yah, I wrote it down. Goes like this...

210ml water, 250g T55 flour, 120g starter, 8g salt, 1/8th tsp yeast BUT I can't remember if I added water or flour when mixing. I think I added a bit of water. The dough was rather firm and even when corrected it held in a ball.

Then, business as usual, autolyse, kneeding til windopaned, two folds after an hour each, then another hour or so rise and in the fridge for the night. This morn, out, rest a bit, mise en couche, rest, form, rise for a couple hours. Incisions with my new knife, rather deep, steam, 230°C for five then 210°C.

Sourdough bâtard

It got nice oven spring and the crumb is great.I almpst screed the whole thing up because I let in rise in a couche between two rolling pins which I forgot to flour! The cloth came off luckily, but the bread got handled a little too much. oops.

Anyway, next time I'll add more yeast... 1/4th tsp?

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The batard looks really good.

I'm going to have to do more reading about how much yeast should be used to spike a levain. For about 580 gms of dough, I would have thought 1/8 tsp would have a noticeable effect, even if it was on the sparse side.

Do you notice any difference in the texture of the bread you can attribute to adding yeast?


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

No, that's the thing. Looking at it, biting into it and tasting it wouldn't lead you to believe there was anything else to it but a standard sourdough. So, I thought maybe the yeast was off because it came from an opened packet, but then I used it to make some cinnamon rolls and it worked fine. Weird!

I know that in France a baker can spike the sourdough dough with up to 0,6% yeast and still call it an authentic sourdough. So, you who are I'm sure MUCH better at math than I am, could calculate how much that means.

Jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

Jane,

You did really good, that's a very nice loaf with lovely crust and crumb.  Now, you and David have me thinking "baguette".  I pulled out Glezer's book and am going to give her Acme baguettes another shot...scrap dough and poolish tonight, baguettes tomorrow.  I'm a little gun shy, last time I tried them I bombed...big time.  I'd like to blame it on a bad batch of yeast but it was definitely "Operator Trouble".

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The more experience we have to pool, the better.

Or, maybe, it's just that misery loves company. LOL


David

holds99's picture
holds99

David,

As I put the baguette dough out on the back porch for bulk fermentation it occured to me that Glezer's baguettes are "Acme" baguettes.  Isn't "Acme" the same company where Wiley Coyote buys all his "stuff"; rocket shoes, pogo sticks, catapults, etc.?  Hope this "Acme" thing isn't an omen :-)   Glezer's shaping instructions are reassuring: "It takes months of practice, but don't despair..."  Consider this statement to be my disclaimer on the finished product...that is, unless I get lucky and they turn out decent.  I'll let you know how it goes...maybe. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Janedo's picture
Janedo

In a moment of reflexion this evening I came to the conclusion that in my current life, I'm better off with breads that have windows of ecceptable error. Therefore ciabatta, ryes, etc are OK, baguettes are NOT. I have too many little interruptions, perdios of forgetfulness, a simple inability to follow detailes instructions. So, if baguettes are too complicated, I just won't be able to get decent results! The ones I made today were very simple... awful!

Looking forward to seeing yours!!! I'm sure you'll have better luck than myself.

jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

Jane,

So sorry to hear about your disappointing results.  As I read your posting it came rushing back to me why I quit making baguettes 6 months ago.  I'll let you know how it goes with mine this go round.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, Jane, the way I see it, bread baking meets two very different needs: One is to make nutritious food that is also pleasurable to all our senses and to our aesthetic sensibilities as well. Clearly, with cooking, this is compounded by sharing these pleasures with others.

The second need baking meets is that of the craftsman or artist. The pleasure of the process of making - There is pleasure from regarding the product, the end result. But there is also pleasure from the "making" - transforming the raw materials into something different that is "more than the sum of its parts." There are also the pleasures of mastering new skills, acquiring new knowlege and understanding (NOT the same things!), and overcoming obstacles.

Those cookbook authors who are candid about the difficulty of mastering a recipe are kind to forwarn us, especially when they add encouragement, like Glezer's "Do not despair!" which Howard quoted.

Having said all that, there are also times when one needs to take a break from a frustrating problem and let things just simmer in our unconscious thinking.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

David,

The thing is that the "unconscious thinking" comes in the forms of dreams of very open crumbed, light baguettes.I wake up with the absolute certainty to succeed! Then real life hits... especially these days! :-) But that's no problem. i am just going to give up sourdough baguettes for awhile and try yeast ones. I seem to be having good yeast successes these days (I mean, at least in other breads!)

I actually put ingredients in my bread machine this evening because I realized that with my baguette failure and those milk buns that everyone devoured, I don't have any breakfast bread. The quality of my breakfast determines the success of my day!!!! And a light rye is a three days thing, so I had a big problem. But it gave me the opportunity to try a recipe from Hensperger's Bread Bible and oil the hinges of the poor machine that hasn't been touched in months. 

We will NOT despair ... n'est-ce pas Howard??? 

jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

Jane,

Hang in there, the baguette challenge will always be there. I've been at it for 10 years.  At least I've moved beyond the "hard as a baseball bat" stage.  I just pulled the Glezer "Acme" baguettes out of the oven.  Her "Acme bakery" recipe uses scrap dough, poolish and yeast.   I missed an intermediate shaping step this time.  There's a preleminary shaping, to half the size of the baking stone (8-10 inches), then a 30 minute rest before final shaping to 18 inches.  I messed up and skipped the preleminary shaping and instead went directly to final shaping (18 inches).  C'est la vie.  But, despite the missed step, they turned out good.  The flavor is really excellent.  I'm going to hit it again day after tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Ha ha ha! I did the same thing (missing the intermediate step) for that Glezer recipe. I guess that's why it's really inportant to study a recipe before executing. After the fact, when they are good, but not FABULOUS, I think, darn, it's because I missed that one step. I guess that's why recipes with too many details doesn't really fit in to my lifestyle very well. One day when the kids are in college I'll become a world-class baker :-) (though I do make better than bakery croissants and pain au chocolat if I may say so ;-)

Keep us posted and with PICS, we love pics!

Jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

You made me feel much better by saying that also missed that intermediate step.  Like I told David, perhaps it's time for new glasses or maybe I'm just suffering from BBFS (Bread Baking Fatigue Syndrome) :-) 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Acme is an outstanding SF Bay area bakery.

However, your question reminds me: There used to be a computer maker named "Acma." For a while, in the late '80's, they were making some of the fastest PC's, and I bought one. When I told one of my brothers I had bought an Acma PC, he asked me, "Why? Were they out of 'Brand X'?"

Re. shaping baguettes: "Don't despair. Don't despair. Don't despair ..." I think you have hit on the key to sucess, there, Howard.


David

holds99's picture
holds99

David,

I did read Glezer's write up on Acme bakery and that's what convinced me to give their abguettes a try.  I know that Acme bakery is world famous and didn't mean any disrespect toward the bakery.  I am in the process of writing 500 times, I will not despair. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL