Questions About Reinhart’s Whole Grain Bread Rye Meteil and Seigle
I’m a newbie to whole grain breads (and dusting off the bread-baking cobwebs after 25 years). I have made a couple of Peter Reinhart’s recipes from Whole Grain Breads and really like the ease of preparation and the quality of the resulting loaves.
I have some questions concerning his rye sandwich meteil and sandwich seigle. In both of these recipes he offers the option of using a biga in place of a sourdough starter, but he doesn't actually describe how to do it. I found a post from 12 years ago asking the same question. Has anyone else tried these recipes with a biga in the intervening years?
If using a biga, Reinhart says that the dough won’t be acidic enough to control the enzymes in the flour and recommends adding ascorbic acid to help control the enzymes. He doesn’t say when to add the ascorbic acid. Is it in the soaker, biga (starter), or at the final dough stage?
Would the addition of other acids (acetic and/or lactic) accomplish the same function as the sourdough starter in reducing the pH of the dough?
I also wonder why the meteil has the option of buttermilk or yogurt in the soaker, but the seigle’s soaker uses only regular milk, nothing acidic. Is there a reason for this difference?