April 18, 2015 - 1:17pm
What happened to my loaf?
I just tried to make the Tartine sourdough again, and this resulted. Some things to note, I only did two stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation and promptly stuck it in the fridge. I pulled it out of the fridge this morning after about 13 hours, did a couple stretch and folds as it did not feel *quite* firm enough, pre-shaped during the bench rest, and then let it final proof for about 2.5 hours before baking it in my hot dutch oven.
Is there a way to save this loaf, or should I just chuck it and try again some other day?
2 hours into the retard. Then warm up pre-shape and then shape for final proof, That should help. You just need some more experience with this recipe.
Putting it into the fridge is what is called the retard. So, do 4 x S&F (stretch and folds) in the initial phase of the bulk fermentation is what Mr. Brownman says. I suggest you them at 20 minute or 30 minute intervals (so 20, 40, 60 and 80 or 30, 60, 90 and 120). Then, stick the bulk fermenting dough into the fridge (retard it) and two hours later, take it out for one more S&F. Put it back in the fridge and leave it.
Take it out from the fridge when you're ready, let it warm up a bit, pre-shape, bench rest, final shape, final proof, bake.
And try the finger poke test to see if the loaf has proofed well enough (just search on the site or on youtube for some videos).
And make sure your oven is hot too. Mine runs 25 F too low when i checked it with an oven thermometer..
But could a colder oven have contributed to this?
Contributed to the holes in the bread, I don't think so, but I'm not sure. Contributed to the bread being more dense than you wanted? Yes, definitely. If your oven is not hot enough, there will be less oven spring.
It looks like you had a couple of problems with that loaf: the doughy spot, the uneven crumb, and the separation at the bottom of the loaf. Are there any others you noticed? Here's a list that might help you fix those problems:
Placebo, you nailed it. I will check out that link that you posted.
Did I overproof this? I did as dabrownman said with this resulting.
you are rushing the dough, it wasn't ready yet. Your starter is slower than the recipe and it is being baked before the yeast have gotten their numbers up higher.
I would review what is happening to the starter first. Starter maintenance and starter timing, when it is being fed, etc.. Here with the gory details! :)
As far as I could tell, the starter was doing its very normal starter thing. I took out 20 g from the mother starter, fed it 20g of water and whole wheat flour, each, it rose over night and was doing its happy, bubbly thing. From there, I fed it 100 g of water and ww flour each, again at about 8:30am, and it looked like it had peaked by about 3pm. I did take my starter to work, so when I shook it there, by about 3pm, it was collapsing by that point.
That feeding schedule I had mentioned is what I've been doing for the past handful of bakes and it hasn't seem to done anything weird yet. I didn't taste it, but in terms of smell, it seemed pretty neutral to me.
other than your starter is slow, and that your maintenance feed is ??? I would expect a 20g all around feed to be ready in under 4 hours not overnight. To stimulate growth, more flour food is needed.
Is the mother starter chilled?
What kind of starter is it? Rye, whole wheat?
What temp is the starter rising in the room?
I think you've gotten too lax with the starter and should demand more of it. It happens easily enough. Especially with chilled mothers. (the starter I mean, come to think of it, when I'm cold my brain doesn't work much either)
What happens when you take 10g of mother and add 100g each ww flour and warm water? How long does it take to peak? ...note temperature, lag time (roughly 4 to 8 hrs) and hourly rise after the lag time.
The lag time will tell you how strong your yeast numbers are in the starter. You will not see a lot of action at first, yeast are building up, doubling with every growth cycle. When the population is big enough and the food starts to wain, they kick out gas where they are concentrated and the starter starts rising. Pretty much looking like your baked loaf above if they were the same consistency. The loaf needed a few more folds before the final proof to degas large bubbles and re-distribute food more evenly.
Use when it peaks or chill peaked starter overnight and use in the morning. If you start the test in the morning, this could very well happen.) If your recipe needs more than 200g starter for Tartine, make a slightly larger test using 1:10:10 example: 13:130:130. Save the rest feeding 1:5:5 (or something a little less wet) to rise 1/3 and chill as a mother.
Did you stick to the letter of the Tartine recipe? If not, it might be worth going back and doing so.
Those are some tragic photos you've posted but then again, we've all had similar experiences so you've got nothing but sympathy from me. it can be hard to separate out all the problems; which is why it might be worth starting from scratch again,. Bearing in mind, of course, Mini's advice about making sure you're using your starter at it's peak. It's something that happens as a matter of course in a commercial bakery like Tartine - where daily use ensures replication - but is often trickier to work out at home.
I'll try my best to answer the starter question.
What I do is keep a mother starter at 50% hydration in the fridge. The base is a rye starter, but when I want to bake with it, I feed it at 1:1:1 of starter, water and whole wheat flour. In all honesty, I don't know how long it takes to peak, because I will feed it before I go to bed, which is usually about 8-10 hours before I wake up. That build is always left at room temperature, which sits around 22*C for me.
Roundhay, I no longer stick to the Tartine recipe in the book, and have been trying to adapt the recipe to fit my schedule. However, between what you and Mini have said, I think I'm going to take a step back from doing weird things and start from square one to see how that goes. I think I have come to the point where I am trying too many things, and have been doing so much to the point where I'm not actually learning anything.
a first step is to convert a few spoons of rye starter to a wheat starter feeding 1:4:4 and let it peak and fall back just a little before feeding again. After a few feedings and gradual lowering of hydration over the next few days, use it to make your whole wheat loaf. I get the feeling the starter is balking at ww instead of it's preferred rye. That might explain the delay in yeast activity. See if it helps.
It doesn't take much to maintain two mothers once you get the ww going.
Assuming the kitchen is at about 22*C, is there a rough idea of how long it would take for my starter to peak and fall?
hope this helps :)