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kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

Sourdough loosing elasticity - please help

Hi,

I would like to ask for help with my sourdough breads. Even if the dough looks nice after kneading, it becomes extremely loose (sometimes even liquid) during the fermentation. And in times it is possible to handle and somewhat shape, it becomes completely flat during proofing.

I have my second starter now. My first starter produced wonderful breads, I never experienced any big problems. But the one that I started after the Days od Unleavened Breads is really strange. I keep it the same way - 60% hydration, 20% whole rye, 80% white flour, feeding every 12 hours and it rises very well.

It happens only when the bread is pure sourdough. When I add the starter to a yeasted bread (1% fresh yeast), everything is OK.

It happens with whatever recipe (the same recipes that were OK with my first starter), so I will give only one example:

80g firm starter

100g T800

100g T650

200g whole wheat

340g water

10g sugar

5g salt

1 tsp caraways seeds

Mix, autolyse 30min, French fold 100 strokes, 10min rest, then 4 Stretch&Folds after 15minutes. Bulk fermentation 3-4hours in the kitchen (71-74°F) then overnight in the fridge. In the morning preshape - shape - proofing app 120min.

The same problem happens when there is only 20% whole wheat or whole rye. Moreover when I tried to replace the white flours with KAF AP (a present form US), in the morning the dough was completely liquid.

Well, that said if I do not watch the flat shape or bake in a pan, it tastes wonderful, the bread is quite light and the cumb is open.

Any idea or suggestions?

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Brioche au Levain (recipe)

Brioche Au Levain 

(makes 1 medium or 2 small loaves)   

Firm Starter

100g AP flour
50g (approx) water
50g ripe storage starter (mine is at 100% hydration)

Mix the flour and starter, adding just enough water to make a firm white dough ball.

Proof for 5 hours at room temperature or until well over doubled in volume.

 

Final Mix

200g all purpose flour 
200g bread flour
80g sugar
7g salt (more if using unsalted butter)
200g firm white starter
100g (approx) milk 
150g butter (soft enough to easily mix)
3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp lemon extract + grated zest of 1 lemon (optional) 

Beat the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon extract, salt and bread flour together into a smooth paste. Set aside for at least half an hour.

Brioche Au Levain Egg Mixture

Mix the all purpose flour and milk, using just enough milk to make a smooth stiff dough. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

Knead the starter and flour/milk dough together well. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

 Brioche Au Levain Dough 1

Fold the egg mixture into the dough, a little at a time.  This will get very messy but stick with it.  It will come together eventually.  

 

Using frissage (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2882/eye-opening-techniques)  incorporate the butter into the dough, a little at a time.

You will end up with a very slack, shiny dough which barely holds together.

Apply a few french folds (http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends/jimpics/index.html) to increase strength in the dough.  Allow the dough to rest for an hour in a bowl. 

 

After resting, turn out the dough onto a well floured surface.

Divide and shape as desired (traditional brioche à tête may not be possible with such a slack dough).

Place into appropriate baking tins and cover loosely.

Proof until doubled in bulk (up to 8 hours!)

Brioche Au Levain Ready To Bake 

Preheat the oven to 400F

Very carefully brush the tops with beaten egg and score lengthwise with a serrated blade.

Bake the brioche for 30 minutes (or until a poked skewer comes out clean). If the top crust gets too brown then cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Allow to cool for at least half an hour.  Enjoy!

 

 

--FP 

 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough Ciabatta

Sourdough Ciabatta 

 Sourdough Ciabatta CrustSourdough Ciabatta Crust: Sourdough Ciabatta Crust

Sourdough Ciabatta CrumbSourdough Ciabatta Crumb

Sourdough Ciabatta Crumb (lengthwise slice)Sourdough Ciabatta Crumb (lengthwise slice)

Sourdough Ciabatta w/Olive OilSourdough Ciabatta w/Olive Oil

One of the favorite family breads seems to be ciabatta, and this sourdough version is clearly preferred (wolfed down) by my kids for its flavor. I've achieved a little better crust and crumb with yeasted versions, particularly the one in Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking", but the sourdough flavor is hard to beat, especially with salty grilled left over meats in sandwiches. The recipe is loosely based on the BBA (Reinhart) "Poolish Ciabatta", as well as incorporating ideas from Maggie Glezer's version in "Artisan Baking".

This is a work in progress, but I like the way this one turned out. The flavor is a little mild, which may mean I need to lengthen and/or retard the fermentation, or maybe use somewhat more ripe starter, an exercise for future attempts.

Many thanks to various contributors to this site as always, and especially in this case to Zolablue, who encouraged me to pay more attention to ciabatta with some just great photos and discussions about how to achieve better holes in ciabatta through hydration, proper handling, and flour choice, all of which were used here.

Photos of process have been posted for this ciabatta and a sourdough raisin focaccia I made at the same time. A spreadsheet is also posted showing weights in ounces or grams.

Starter:

  • 16 oz BBA style barm fed w/KA organic AP flour (1:1 by weight flour:water)

The day before this bread was baked, I took my "BBA style barm", a 100% hydration starter fed with KA Bread Flour, out of the refrigerator. I fed it 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) three times over the course of the day at room temperature, which refreshed the starter and built enough starter for this recipe, the sourdough raisin focaccia I also made the next day, as well as some left over to return to storage in the refrigerator. The larger amounts were made by feeding with KA organic AP flour, to convert to KA organic AP flour, a choice of a slightly lower protein flour that should be good for irregular, large holes and artisan style bread.

Dough:

  • 16 oz 100% hydration starter using KA organic AP Flour
  • 15 oz KA organic AP Flour
  • 2 oz KA Rye Blend Flour
  • 12 oz water
  • 0.5 oz salt (14 grams)

Autolyse:

Mix the flours and water together in a bowl (I used a dough hook for this). Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Mix:

Mix flours and water above with the 16 oz of starter, 0.5 oz salt, and mix for a couple of minutes - just long enough to thoroughly mix the starter and salt with the flour and water from the autolyse step. The dough should be quite "wet", meaning it will not clean the bottom or even much of the sides of the mixer bowl. It should be fairly sticky and already have a fair amount of gluten development.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding: (about 4.5 hours)

Make a fairly thick bed of flour on the counter about 12 inches square. Using a dough scraper, pour the dough out into the middle of the bed of flour. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then, fold the dough by flouring or wetting your hands, then grabbing one side of the dough and lifting and stretching it, folding it over itself like a letter. Do this for all 4 sides. Brush flour off the dough as you fold over the sides that were in contact with the bed of flour. You don't want to incorporate much flour into the dough as you fold. After folding, shape it gently back into a rectangle or square, spray it with a light coating of olive oil or some other oil spray, and dust very lightly with flour. Then cover it with plastic wrap, and drop a towel over it. If the dough seems a little stiff at this point, it unfortunately probably already doesn't have enough water in it. You can put it back in the mixer and add 1 oz of water and try again. Or, soldier on and adjust your water next time. Repeat the folds approximately every 45 minutes two more times. If the dough seems very resistant to stretching, only fold it from two directions instead of four. You don't want the dough to get really stiff from too much folding. The amount of folding you will need will be more if you have more water and less if you have less water. Note that even an ounce can make a very big difference in the consistency of the dough. After three folds, let the dough rise for another 2.5 to 3 hours, at which point, the dough should have doubled roughly in volume. Use the "poke test" to get a feel for how long to continue the bulk fermentation.

Shaping:

Divide the dough into four pieces of equal size, roll them in the bed of flour to dust the cut ends, and let them rest a few minutes. To shape, take one of the four pieces, stretch it out and roll it or fold it over itself very gently. With ciabatta this amounts to a gently stretch and fold like a letter. You want to create some tension in the surface of the dough by folding it over itself that way, then if you place the dough folds down on a couche, it will seal up the seams. Use the couche to create folds for the ciabatta and then nestle the folds between supports, such as bags of flour or whatever system you may have similar to what you might do for baguettes.

Final Proof:

Let them rise in the couche for about 2.5 hours, until they are puffy and have increased significantly in volume.

Prepare to Bake:

Preheat oven to 500F (yes, you can probably do it without preheating, as mentioned elsewhere on the site, but it's not what I did this time). While that is going on, take each loaf out of the couche, gently stretch it in one direction by about double, lay it on a peel, maybe with parchment paper underneath, maybe sprinkled with corn meal or similar, and use your fingertips to flatten out the loaf. You can press down fairly firmly to feel the peel underneath. It sounds crazy, but the loaf will bounce back just fine in the oven if it is not overproofed. This step is important to avoid "separation of crust and crumb" or "one gigantic hole" instead of many holes. It also evens out the loaf so it has a nicer shape after baking.

Bake:

Place loaves in the oven and lower temperature to 450F. Bake for about 13 minutes, until the internal temperature is around 207F (I'm near sea level), rotating them after about 9 minutes. You can bake them longer to get a darker, harder crust. Actually, I think this KA organic artisan AP flour may benefit from a little bit of added diastatic malted barley flour, as the breads I baked with this flour today were more pale than previous results with KA AP or KA Bread Flour combinations. I don't think I overproofed them, but maybe that's a factor. The loaves should spring up from their "flattening" with your fingertips, such that not much evidence is left of the dimples you made with your fingers.

Cool:

Let bread completely cool, if you can stand to wait.

This bread is especially good for sandwiches, sliced in half and then sliced along the "flat" direction to open up like a hamburger bun. It is great for burgers, steak sandwiches, ham, or just with olive oil and pepper.

eclair tray

Want to impress your sweetheart this Valentine's Day? REALLY impress your sweetie? Then make these éclairs.

They look like they'd be a ton of work, don't they? I thought they would be, but they really aren't that hard. From first flipping open the cookbook (the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking) to the moment I was getting blissed out eating them was under two hours. Not bad at all, and fresh out of the oven these were the best éclairs I've ever had.

Eclairs

There are three parts to éclairs: the pastry (pâte à choux), the filling (crème pâtissière), and the topping (chocolate ganache). If you are strapped for time you could cut corners on one or more of the parts by doing things like using frozen puffed pastry for the pastry, pudding or whipped cream for the filling, or some other frosting for the topping. Take a look at the recipes before doing so though: none of the pieces are that hard. There are a few places where you have to bring things to a boil carefully to prevent scalding, but I've found that if you warm the ingredients in the microwave before combining them in your sauce pan you can easily cut 10 or 15 minutes of stirring out of the process.

Choux Paste (pâte à choux)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

Combine the water, milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Stir in the flour and, while mixing, cook another minute or 2 to eliminate excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

choux paste

Beat in one egg at at time. When they have all been beaten in and the paste is smooth and shiny, set aside to cool. The paste may be use immediately or covered and refrigerated for later use.

Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)

1/3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons corn starch

4 egg yolks

1 1/3 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the sugar, flour, corn starch, and egg yolks in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.

egg mixture

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Gradually pour the milk into the egg mixture, stirring it in as you do so. When fully combined, pour all of it into the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes then remove mixture from heat. Stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool.

Cover the top with wax paper or parchment to prevent a skin from forming. This cream may be refrigerated for a day or two before use or used immediately.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup heavy cream

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Heat the cream. Stir in the chocolate and continue heating and stirring until all of the chocolate is melted.

ganache

Éclairs: Assembly

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Form small logs out of the Choux paste on a baking sheet. If you have a pastry bag with large tips, you can squeeze them out neatly. I do not, so I just formed the logs with a spoon and my fingers.

eclair shaping

These were about an inch across and 3 to 4 inches long.

Bake the pastries for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the eclairs you are making.

When they are golden brown, turn the oven off. Poke a hole in the small end of the eclair and place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes to dry out. Remove the eclairs from the oven and let them cool a few minutes.

baked eclairs

For the topping, dip or dribble the eclairs in the chocolate ganache.

eclairs

To fill the eclairs, you can either use a pastry bag and squirt the pastry cream in through the drying hole as I did. Or you can slice the eclairs lengthwise and scoop the filling inside and place the top half back on top.

filling eclairs

There you have it: chocolate, creamy bliss.

The eclairs keep OK for a few days in the refrigerator in an air tight container, but they are not nearly as good as when they are first assembled. Take my advice: make all of the elements in the same session, bake them up and make a fresh pot of coffee, and enjoy them immediately. You won't be sorry!

tray of eclairs

Related Recipes: Pain Rapide au Chocolat, Brioche.

Eclairs

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sourdough Italian Bread: Another SJSD Variant

Sourdough Italian Bread: A SJSD Variant 

David M. Snyder

October, 2017

 

 This is one of my favorite breads. It uses the San Joaquin Sourdough method but a different flour mix and enrichment with a bit of sugar and olive oil. The dough is lovely to work with, and the flavor is scrumptious - both very tangy and rich. I have made a variety of breads with differing proportions of fine durum flour - from 10% to 100%. So far, I like the breads with 20-40% durum best, and this one best of all.

 One warning: I have fed this bread to family members and to attendees at an Italian community potluck. Every time, I have observed many individuals coming back repeatedly for "just one more slice." It does not seem truly addictive. I have not observed any abstinence syndrome ("withdrawal"), but I would exercise caution when offering it to others - reserve a loaf for yourself. 

 

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

AP flour

334

60.7

Fine Durum flour

200

36.4

WW flour

11

2

Whole Rye flour

5

1

Water

415

75

Salt

10

1.8

Sugar

14

2.5

EVOO

14

2.5

Total

1003

181.9

  

Liquid Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

Liquid starter

40

40

Water

100

100

AP flour

70

70

WW flour

20

20

Whole Rye flour

10

10

Total

240

240

  1. Disperse the liquid starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  3. Ferment at room temperature until expanded and bubbly (8-12 hours). If necessary, refrigerate overnight and let warm up for an hour before using.

Note: You will only use 100 g of the levain for this recipe. I usually make enough for more than one use. You can, of course, scale down the levain ingredients if you only want enough for this recipe.

 

Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

AP flour

300

Fine Durum flour

200

Water

365

Salt

10

Sugar

14

Active liquid levain

100

EVOO

14

Total

1003

Procedures

  1. In a large bowl, disperse the levain in the water.

  2. Add the flours and sugar to the liquid and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Add the salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. (Note: I squish the dough with my hands until it comes back together, then do stretch and folds in the bowl until it forms a smooth ball and the oil appears completely incorporated.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a 2 quart lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl tightly.

  6. After 30 minutes, do stretch and folds in the bowl.

  7. After another 50 minutes, do a stretch and fold on a lightly floured board. Repeat after another 50 minutes.

  8. Continue bulk fermentation for another 30-90 minutes, until the dough is puffy. If fermented in a glass bowl, you should see lots of little bubbles throughout the dough. Volume of the dough may have increased by 50% or so.

  9. Refrigerate for 12-36 hours.

  10. Divide the dough into 2 to 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds or logs. Cover with a clean towel, baker's linen or plasti-crap and let rest for one hour.

  11. Shape as Bâtards, Demi-Baguettes or Ficelles.

  12. Roll the loaves on damp paper towels, then in a tray of sesame seeds. Alternatively, you can brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  13. Proof for about 45 minutes seam-side up on parchment paper or seam-side down on linen, pleated to separate the loaves and supported at both long sides by rolled-up dish towels. Cover with a damp towel, baker's linen or plasti-crap.

  14. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  15. When ready to bake, uncover the loaves. Pull the parchment (or linen) from both long sides to flatten out the pleats and separate the loaves.

  16. Transfer the loaves, on the parchment, to a peel, or, if proofed on linen, transfer using a transfer peel. Seam side should now be down. Score them as baguettes or bâtards, according to their shape. Transfer them to the baking stone. 

  17. Steam the oven, and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. (Note: If you have a convection oven, switch to convection bake and turn the oven down to 435ºF for the remainder of the bake.) Continue baking for another 8-15 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  19. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before eating.

 

Enjoy!

David

 

WoodenSpoon's picture
WoodenSpoon

ChocolateStout&FreshCherries&Hazelnut Levain

I went camping over my weekend (tuesday and wednesday) and wanted to bring along a hearty sweet loaf that would be tasty and filling when eaten alone. I think I hit the nail on the head with this one, though we ended up eating it with peanut butter and honey. Also going (relatively) deep into the big woods of the pacific north west calls for a bread that is an embodiment of that very landscape. Heres how I made it.

  • 35g WW, 7%
  • 122g AP, 22%
  • 321g BF, 59%
  • 120g Ripe Levain (12% water 12% four)
  • 369g Rouge Chocolate Stout, 69%
  • 135g Fresh Cherries, 25%
  • 81g Hazelnuts (lightly roasted and lightly ground) 15%
  • 11g Salt 2%

I gave this rascal an hour long autolyse including the levain, then added the cherries, nuts and salt and mixed well with a wooden spoon, then proceeded with short sets of slap and folds interspersed with rests. I then bulk fermented for an additional two and a half of so hours, pre shaped very firmly, shaped and rolled it in oatbran and proofed for two and a half or so hours. then I baked it at 450 for 40 minutes of so, turned the oven down to 425 and continued baking for twenty minutes, then I shook the loaf out of the pan and baked it for another five or so minutes just to even up the browning.

A note, though the recordable final hydration of this loaf is a pretty manageable 81% the fresh cherries impart an incrediable amount of moisture so if you give this recipe a go (which I highly suggest) proceed with caution or maybe cut back on the hydration a little.

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Five Grain Levain Bread

I adapted the Hamelman recipe below, as I really wanted to make a multi-grain bread with a soaker. I didn't have any bulghur, so I used cous cous instead. I continue to go for the bold crust, so I allow a little extra time on the bake.

It is just so much fun getting that soaker going, isn't it?

The liquid levain got so bubbly and smelled great.  I had to push this a bit, as I indicated in the recipe below.

I love my covered baker and used it for this recipe. I have started using the oblong covered baker a bit more with better results than my early bakes.  I never tried this before, but for this bake I proofed the dough in the baker (with a bit of cornmeal underneath) and pre-heated the lid. I have always found it difficult to transfer the proofed dough to the baker, even using parchment paper.  This new system worked well, with a nice bake underneath and a bold bake on top.  In fact, in the past the bread would be a little overdone underneath, and this was just about perfect, so I think this is my new method for this baker. There was good oven spring as well and decent height.

I am always concerned about the crumb, but it was fine for a dense bread like this.

I got in trouble with my husband as I snatched his sandwich for a photo just as he was getting ready to take a bite!  The bread was crusty, tangy and very nutty.  Delicious.  It's nice to know that you can vary the soaker and still have very good results.  Phyllis

Five-Grain Levain Bread

Adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes

Makes 3 medium loaves
Overall formula
Bread flour 680 g
Whole wheat flour 226 g
Cous cous 82 g (I didn’t have Bulghur as called for in the recipe, so I used the same amount of cous cous)

Flaxseeds 82 g

Sunflower seeds 71 g

Oats 71 g

Water 890 g
Salt 22 g

Total 2.13 kg


Liquid Levain build
Bread flour 226.8 g
Water 283.5 g
Mature culture (liquid)  45 g


Soaker

Cous cous 82 g

Flaxseeds 82 g

Sunflower seeds 71 g

Oats 71 g

Water, boiling 400 g

Salt 5 g (1 teaspoon)

 

Final Dough
Bread flour 453 g
Whole-wheat flour  226 g
Water 250 g

Salt 17 g (1 tablespoon)
Soaker all of the above
Levain all less 3 tablespoons

 

Baker Percentage

Bread flour 75%

Whole wheat flour 25%

Cous cous  9.2%

Flaxseeds 9.2%

Sunflower seeds 7.7%

Oats 7.7%

Water 98%

Salt 2.5%
Total 235.1%

METHOD

  1. Liquid-levain build: Make the final build 12 - 16 hours before the final mix.  I ran out of time, so I accelerated this to seven hours, placing the hot soaker on top of the levain build bowl.
  2.  Soaker: Make the soaker at the same time when making levain build. Pour the boiling water over the grain blend and salt, mix thoroughly. Put it in a covered container and sit at room temperature.

3.  Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the salt. Mix or stir the ingredients together until it becomes a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or plastic bag and let it stand for an autolyse phase for 20 -60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough and mix on a medium speed for 3 -5 minutes until the medium gluten development is achieved.

4.  Bulk fermentation: 1 to 1 ½ hours or 2 hours if the dough is retarded overnight. (I bulk fermented for 2 hours with a fold over with my dough scraper at the 1 hour mark).

5.  Folding: If the fermentation is 1 ½ hours, fold once after 45 minutes.

6.  Dividing and shaping: Divide the dough into three equal pieces, pre-shape the dough into round. Cover the dough with tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes. Final-shape the dough into either oblong or round. (I froze the other two loaves, which were a touch smaller than the one I baked.  It will be interesting to see how these come out when I bake them later).

7.  Final fermentation (proofing): Retard the loaves in the refrigerator over night.

(I baked my loaf in my covered baker.  I proofed the loaf in the bottom of the covered baker with cornmeal on the bottom.  I preheated the top of the baker at 500 degrees and allowed the loaf to warm up at room temperature while the oven preheated.  I baked the loaf with the cover on for 30 minutes at 500 degrees and then took the lid off and lowered the oven to 435 degrees convection.  If you don’t have a covered baker, the original recipe instructions follow).

8.  Baking: with normal steam, 235C for 40 45 mins, turn the loaves half way through the bake.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Panettone Paradiso

"Extra paradise" panettone from Cresci

286   10000   Flour 280W
66    2300   Lievito Naturale
100    3500   Sugar
149    5200   Water
100    3500   Butter
.29      10   Fresh yeast
   
40    1400   Sugar
57    2000   Honey
2.86     100   Malt powder
.86      30   Fresh yeast
100    3500   Butter
63    2200   egg yolks
86    3000   Bari Walnuts
57    2000   Raisins
29    1000   Dark choc drops
2.86     100   Salt
------   -----   Orange zest
------   -----   Vanilla
1139.87   39840 
   

 

Amendments:
I made two changes, one was to omit the added compressed yeast and the other was substituting some of the walnuts with candied orange peel.

One of my finest panettoni. Incredibly soft and light which makes hard work when slicing. A fantastic bready texture that tears beautifully when pulled apart.

This is a very difficult formula to achieve success. The enriching ingredients in ratio to the flour are higher than any other panettone. This is due to there being no flour added in the second dough.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sourdough baguettes: My version of Gosselin's "baguettes tradition"

I have made baguettes following many different formulas. Some of the most interesting have been various versions of “pain à l'anciènne,” including those of Reinhart in The Bread Baker's Apprentice and of Leader in Local Breads. Sometime back in 2008, I found an e-mail that Peter Reinhart had sent to a bread bakers' Usenet mailing list in 2003 which described the formula for pain à l'anciènne as he got it directly from Philippe Gosselin. The version that ended up in BBA was simplified somewhat by Reinhart, adding all the ingredients before the mixing, omitting the double hydration and delayed addition of the salt.

When I first made baguettes from Gosselin's original method, they were the best-tasting ones I had ever made. I finally got to taste Gosselin's baguettes tradition (from the rue Caumartin shop) last year. To my taste, they had a bit of a tang suggesting they might have been made with levain, so I modified the formula to use a liquid levain and found I preferred the result to that leavened with commercial yeast. In fact, I preferred what I had baked to Gosselin's own.

This is the version I used for today's bake:

Ingredients

Wt.

Baker's %

Organic AP Flour

400 g

100

Ice Water

275 g

69

Salt

8.75 g

2

Liquid Levain

200 g

50

Instant yeast (optional)

¼ tsp

 

Total

883.75 g

221

Notes: Accounting for the flour and water in the levain, the total flour is 500 g and the total water is 375 g, making the actual dough hydration 75%. The actual salt percentage is 1.75%.

For today's bake, I made 3/4 of the dough amount in the table above.

I mixed the levain the night before starting on these and retarded it in the fridge overnight. 

Method

  1. The night before baking, mix the flour and levain with 225 g of ice water and immediately refrigerate.

  2. The next morning, add the salt and 50 g of ice water to the dough and mix thoroughly. (I did this by hand by squishing the dough between my fingers until the water was fully incorporated.)

  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl with a tight cover.

  4. Ferment at room temperature until the dough has about doubled in volume. (3 hours for me) Do stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first two hours.

  5. An hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  6. Divide the dough into 4 more or less equal pieces and stretch each into a 12-14 inch long “baguette.”

  7. Score and bake immediately at 460ºF, with steam for 10 minutes, and for about 20 minutes total.

  8. Cool on a rack before eating.

Notes: In Step 7., I specify shaping the loaves by simply stretching the dough pieces into a rough baguette shape. This is a very slack dough and a challenge to handle as one might a lower-hydration baguette dough. If you are very comfortable handling slack dough, have a firm grasp of the “iron hand in a velvet glove” principal and are feeling up to the challenge, you can shape the pieces as you would shape a baguette ordinarily. That is, in fact, what I did for this bake.

You will also note that I scored these baguettes with a single, longitudinal slash. I find the results more satisfactory than the traditional 5 or 7 cuts when scoring a very sticky dough like this. However, the difference is merely cosmetic.


These baguettes had a chewy crust, except for the ears, which were crunchy. I think they could have baked 5 minutes longer, or I could have left them in the turned off oven for another 5-7 minutes to dry the crust. The crumb was nice and open. The flavor was sweet, complex and moderately tangy. I attribute this to a combination of factors – retarding the levain overnight and fermenting the dough, after the final mixing, at 85 dF.

This baguette is still a favorite.

David 

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough

The "San Joaquin Sourdough" is my own recipe. It evolved through multiple iterations from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion here on TFL with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.

I got a pretty nice ear and grigne on this one.

 

 

Ingredients

 

Active starter (67% hydration)

100 gms

KAF European Artisan-style flour

450 gms

Giusto's whole rye flour

50 gms

Water

370 gms

Salt

10 gms

Note: Whole Wheat flour or White Whole Wheat flour may be substituted for the Whole Rye. Each results in a noticeable difference in flavor. All are good, but you may find you prefer one over the others.

 

Procedures

 

Mixing

In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using the plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 30 minute intervals. 

 

Fermentation

After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Ferment at room temperature for an hour, then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. (In this time, my dough doubles in volume and is full of bubbles. YMMV.)

 

Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece to make a 980 gm loaf. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

 

Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and both a cast iron skillet (Mine is filled with lava rocks.) and a metal loaf pan (or equivalent receptacles of your choosing) on the bottom shelf. Heat the oven to 500F. Put a kettle of water to boil 10 minutes before baking.

 

Proofing

After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

 

Baking

Put about a cup full of ice cubes in the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and close the door.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf. (For a bâtard, hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. Make one swift end-to-end cut, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf and parchment paper to the baking stone, pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.

When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.

 

Cooling

Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.

Enjoy!

David

 

Submitted to Wild Yeast Spotting on Wildyeastblog

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