Real barm bread
I'm blessed in that I have a husband who not only washes dishes, but also makes excellent beer and wine. A couple of days ago he was mopping up the 'warm' cupboard after his beer primary foamed over. I handed him a small bowl and spoon and asked him to skim some foam of the top of the beer for me - real barm!
After sitting for an hour or two the bowl of barm had subsided to a murky, foamy puddle of about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of the bowl. Then the adventure began...
I added some flour and water and mixed it up. I didn't measure, but it ended up about the consistency of a 100% hydration starter when you first mix it up. I then literally watched it rise!
After 10 minutes...
After 20 minutes...
After an hour and 45 minutes...
It filled the jar just before 2 hours. The dome collapsed slightly just after this.
I then stirred it down and took off 100 grams for a new build. This one had 100 grams of barm starter, 200 grams of water, 100 grams of bread flour, 50 grams of whole wheat and 50 grams of coarse rye flour. I then added water and bread flour to what was left in the jar and let that go again. It doubled after 2 hours and eventually filled the jar again.
Once the starters were risen and bubbly again I made dough with them. The white dough was 100% bread flour, 68% water, 29% barm starter (100% hydration) and 2% salt. The multigrain dough was 71% bread flour, 29% whole wheat flour, 68% water (note that I later added a bit of water), 29% multigrain barm starter (100% hydration) and 2% salt.
Beautiful silky dough! I did a few stretch & folds, then put the dough in the fridge overnight (and half the next day; I was busy making dough for the shop). When I had time I folded and shaped the dough into boules and into baskets to proof for a couple of hours. I had a certain time in mind to bake it (I was baking a bunch of different things) but when I poked it to make sure it was ready it poked back! This stuff is strong like ox and had a huge amount of push left! I had to bake it though, so onto peels, scored and into the oven. Five minutes at 475F, then about 20 minutes at 425. Finished temperature was about 204F inside. Fabulous oven spring!
I cut the multi-grain loaf today. I was very pleased at the crumb - fairly open and very moist.
And the great thing is - no sour! Basically this is just S. cerevisiae without the bacteria that make sourdough sour, so it makes a sort of 'sweet' starter. I'm interested to see how it keeps in the fridge, and whether it later develops any additional characteristics. Next time I will also cut down the percentage of starter to about 20% of the flour.
Next adventure - bread made with the sludge from the bottom of the beer primary!