The Fresh Loaf

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yecora rojo desem again

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

yecora rojo desem again

A continuation of JMonkey's Desem with a whole wheat soaker (the epoxy method outlined in Whole Grain Breads) and an aliquot jar for proofing.  Bulk fermentation ended at <= 25% and final proof ended at around 75%.

Notes:

  • the aliquot jar markings in these images represent the starting height, 1.25x and 2x, even though the final proof was started at 1.75x -- in subsequent experiments and their images the final proof line was adjusted to 1.75x.
  • updated bakers percentage formula for these experiments in this link  (84% hydration)

 

Comments

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Very nice slo-mo! I like the way you marked your aliquot jar (25 & 75%) in advance.

When mixing a very dry starter (biga) into the water, have you ever tried dicing up the biga into small pieces with a dough knife and then mixing in the water with either an immersion blender (stick blender) of a food processor?

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Thanks.  I use the OCD aliquot jar volume via water weight trick, which I learned from Benito, who I believe learned it from you.

When mixing a very dry starter (biga) into the water, have you ever tried dicing up the biga into small pieces with a dough knife and then mixing in the water with either an immersion blender (stick blender) of a food processor?

Yes!  This is the main downside to the wild yeasted biga approach (low temperature makes it even worse).  The starter really seems to like these conditions, although I can't say I have systematically compared it with higher hydration room temperature starters in any way.  I have tried lamination mixing with a rolling pin (to increase surface area contact with the main autolyse before mixing), hand mashing with a potato masher, and pulsing with a blender mixing jar (BlendTec Twister) to rehydrate the thing for mixing.  The latter is probably my favorite.  It is another thing to wash, but I think it ends up saving time in the long run and it seems to result in a more uniform consistency with lots of stretchy gluten prior to mixing.  In my first attempt at desem, I probably spent 30 minutes in the final mix to identify and squish dense gluten strands by feel.  I've been using the same mixing jar approach to process autolysed "bran" (really #50 middlings) at higher hydration, which really seems to help transform the fine sand into viable gluten before mixing.

I hope to find or perform some controlled experiments to compare these various whole pre-bake steps.  I'm still waiting for The Sourdough Bakers Book of experiments.

Benito's picture
Benito

Very good looking loaf, it seems that you are really enjoying doing the desert and it is paying off with wonderful results.  Nice to see another baker using their aliquot jar, I have found it very educational and I’m finally starting to get a much better feel for fully proof dough by using it.  However, doughs with a lot of inclusions are harder to read so good thing I still use the aliquot jar.

Happy Baking

Benny

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Thanks.  A comment in Trevor Wilson's book about baking the same loaf repeatedly made sense to me.  A TFL comment in a post from dabrowman about baking as many different loaves as possible also makes sense :)  The community bakes will help with that.  I've been trying to bake this one on a daily basis with small changes here and there and hope to start documenting them better.

I saw your video with the water trick.  Very handy.  Using this jar is probably the single biggest thing that has improved my baking recently.  The markings are quite helpful, as I suspect it is very error prone to do by eye.  We use thermometers/thermostats for dough, oven and room temperature measurements.  We use scales for dough weight and hydration calculations.  Having a more reliable meter for dough rise seems to be a good standard practice, even if other measures are just as helpful.  Since target volume changes relative to a starting point are likely to change according to the dough and recipe, I'm curious if there are other approaches worth considering that might be more universal, such as establishing targets relative to the total volume increase (after an initial test jar), or perhaps even via rate of change.

I think more baking books should suggest this practice.  I started baking in the hot and humid NYC summer (often > 90 F), and after eventually finding some early success with a very short bulk fermentation and extended fridge retarded final proof, I settled into a groove and largely skipped over learning to read the final proof at room temperature.  This has been a great tool for that feedback, and I can use it to corroborate other measures, such as the poke test.

How much fine tuning have you done with bulk fermentation and final proof cutoff lines?  In particular, I'm interested in observations regarding how BF and FP targets relate to crumb structure and oven spring.  I watched the Full Proof Baking 100% whole wheat sourdough video you shared and noticed she aims for a 100% rise (in a wine fridge) before terminating bulk fermentation.  My attempts to push things in that direction with this desem warm BF + final proof resulted in very poor oven spring.  Her slow hands off approach is quite different (low temperature + minimal handling), and it could almost be argued that her dough is really a 100% preferment that is eventually shaped and baked.   It is still an interesting difference.

I'd love to see various doughs baked for a range of BF + FP targets.  I've been trying various things to improve the crumb in this desem loaf.  Attempts at pushing hydration haven't been too helpful and result in compromised oven spring *and* crumb.  I'm trying to terminate bulk fermentation earlier, relying more on time based gluten development from the soaker and an earlier and lighter final shaping with limited success.  Thanks again for your videos.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

This one was another epoxy method desem, but I sifted the flour after grinding and maintained two separate overnight soakers in a wine fridge: (1) a salted soaker with the bulk of the main flour at 75% hydration; and (2) a wetter unsalted 100% hydration soaker with the "sandy" middilngs (#50 sieve).  Recently, I've been adding the bran to the starter, but I'm not sure that approach is as beneficial in the case of the low 60% hydration desem starter.  So many potential tradeoffs!  An initial lamination mixing was performed with the blended/rehydrated starter, and then after a first S&F the bran soaker was re-incorporated.  The idea is that the bran will benefit from additional water and delaying re-inclusion in the mix will improve things with a good early gluten development.  It did feel that way during mixing, although I can't say I notice a big improvement from the previously yecora rojo desem bakes using a single salted soaker.  I've also been using the blender mixing jar (as mentioned above) to rehydrate the dense starter, which makes mixing a lot easier.

Note: I had logged an initial extraction rate of 80% with this flour and have been grinding and sifting in larger batches.  I store the the fine flour and sand middlings separately, which allows me to process the bran in different ways before remixing a 100% whole grain flour.  I ran out of bran after my last bake while I still had a fair amount of flour left, which shouldn't have happened.  I've been pushing the second stage milling finer after a cool down in the freezer (approximately -2 on the MockMill 200 Lino).  I just measured extraction again and got something closer to 88%.  So the last 3 bakes have actually reproduced something in the spirit of dabrowman's 107% whole grain loaf.

 

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

A more hands off version with fewer stretch and folds (I believe 1x after mixing) and looser shaping.  This was slightly under-baked due in part to a late oven pre-heat cut short by the fast final proof in this dough.  The impact of this more relaxed dough on crumb structure seems noticeable and is worth repeating.  The final shaping clearly impacted crumb structure in the center portion, and it is worth trying to do this earlier, possibly paired with looser shaping.  Once the aliquot jar indicates a 1.25x rise, things are already moving pretty quickly with this dough, and a 15 or 20 minute rest after pre-shaping may push the final shape a little later than it should be.  The pre-shape could be shifted a little earlier to accommodate this.

 

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Summary:

  • same formula (see link at top) 84% hydration, 30% PFF
  • epoxy method (sifted bran in starter)
  • minimal handling (Rubaud mix + 1 S&F)
  • final proof @ 95F (on top of pre-heating stove)
  • slightly higher final proof (bottom of aliquot sample was at 75% instead of mid-peak)
  • more centered scoring (2 o'clock) opens up the top of the loaf more
  • sharpened bread knife (cleaner cuts)
  • some dense areas: longer bake, more thorough mix?

This one seems slightly better.  After re-reading Laurel's Desem chapter I took care to setup a 95 F final proof with the covered banneton on top of the pre-heating stove (buffered by a few pots).  I also sharpened my bread knife for cleaner slicing.  The starter is maintained at 56F and appears to be ready the night before.  I can trying lowering the temperature to get a slightly younger starter for the morning mix.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Summary:

I need to start including aliquot jar photos at the end of BF (point of pre-shape) and at the end of the final proof.  The last few loaves have been slightly underbaked and I added another 5 minutes (30 covered, 10 uncovered, 5 at reduced temperature).

  • reduced hydration to 80.5 % (approximate)
  • same day soaker (several hours at room temperature) with more early gluten development to clean windowpane to compensate (FF, rest, Rubaud)
  • more continuous S&F's (4-5) throughout until early pre-shape well before previous 25% rise -- I prefer the more regular crumb this provides compared to last few relaxed experiments
  • a much longer post pre-shape bench rest was used to improved extensibility during shaping (via Trevor Wilson's post) -- I need to end BF well before 25% rise due to speed of fermentation in this dough
  • shaping was easier but this WW dough is still tight relative to any videos I've seen (Try 5% spelt for extensibility)
  • repeated 95 F final proof on top of pre-heating stove buffered with pans and bannetons
  • added 5 minutes to the bake at reduced temperature to help dry it out (roughly 30 minutes @ 500 F, 10 @ 450 F, 5 @ 350 F) -- the actual temperature is more complicated due to heat retention in the baking stone
  • what happens if the final proof is pushed to 85%, 90%, etc?
  • formula: https://fgbc.dk/182e

 

 

pmccool's picture
pmccool

First, thanks for posting this evolution as you work your way through different scenarios.

This last bake appears to still be slightly under-fermented.  My off-the-cuff suggestion would be to allow the bulk to go to 50% expansion, rather than the 25% of this bake.  It may also benefit from some additional expansion (compared to this version) after shaping, too.  While I like a fairly tight crumb, these pictures show that some areas weren't given enough time to aerate entirely.

Dropping hydration appears to have helped the final bread.  It might still benefit from longer, or hotter, baking but I would check the effects of longer fermentation before playing with baking temperature and duration.

Keep up the good work.  You are getting very close to cracking the code for this flour and bread.

Paul

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Thanks for taking the time to read through this meandering thread!  I'm grateful to have some feedback to help guide what otherwise feels to be a random search at times.  Your input on extending the BF and final proof is very helpful.  I think I've become overly conservative on the proofing for some reason.  I'll bump the 25% BF to 50% and perhaps increase the final proof from 75% to 100% and see what happens.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

The aliquot jar bands were adjusted to 50% and 100% rise levels, which triggered the end of bulk fermentation and final proofing respectively.  I used a 30 minute bench rest after the pre-shape again in an attempt to increase extensibility for the final shape.  I was concerned a 100% final proof wouldn't have anything left for oven spring, but it still opened up reasonably well.  It is good to know this is still within the limits of the dough.  If nothing else it will make me less conservative in pushing beyond the 75% mark.  With the additional time at the warmer 95F final proof this loaf got pretty sour, and is probably leaving desem territory.  Perhaps I can observe the impact of just extending bulk fermentation to 50% and keep the 75% final proof (or thereabouts).  That is very close to what Benny is doing with many of his bakes.

I had reduced the bulk fermentation in the previous bake (for the same fixed target final proof) on the assumption it would reduce degassing, which would translate to more openness, and because I was extending the pre-shape bench rest.  I guess a consequence of early shaping is that the shaped dough can be trapped in a smaller form via increased tension as it tries to expand?  I did notice that shaping at 50% the dough was more fragile and my fingers did break the "skin" slightly in a few places during shaping.  Perhaps that suggests a compromise of 40% or so.

 I believe this somewhat "rumpled" exterior occurs with overproofing.

The initial slice through the middle looked a bit wilted, but these slices from the same loaf looked better.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

This was essentially the same as the previous effort but with a 40% bulk fermentation in the low 70's and 80% final proof at 95 F. The aliquot jar bands were adjusted accordingly. This felt like a good compromise.  I may need to work on standardize the measurement process for more fine grained experiments (miniscus vs mid-point, etc).  At 40% it still felt slightly pillowy but seemed to hold up better to handling.  The overnight soaker didn't happen, and I made a same day soaker for a couple of hours at room temperature with lamination mixing of the blended rehydrated starter followed by a copule rounds of early Rubaud mixing and regular S&F's during BF.  I've tuned the wine fridge to a setting that keeps the starter at about 59 F, and I've been sticking with a 1x/day feeding.  There was also no sifting or special bran processing in this one.  It isn't clear to me if any of that is advantageous from a dough performance standpoint, and I still have questions about the role of the milling process.  Lately I've been milling in slightly larger batches and freezing it.  I read one post suggesting that is sufficient to overcome poor gluten development attributed to freshly milled flour, but haven't done any comparisons.  I've ordered 50 lbs of yecora rojo berries so I can test some of this  after settling on a fermentation plan and perhaps revisit hydration.  I planned ahead and managed a more controlled 95 F in my makeshift digitally controlled light bulb powered styrofoam proofer.  Adding a pyrex container of 100 F water gave it a head start with enough thermal mass so the little light bulb wasn't overwhelmed this time.  This should be a lot more uniform than the tower of pots, pans and bannetons I was using on the stove to achieve 95 F.  I often have slight irregularities from pre-shaping that make final shaping more challenging, and the dough lacks the extensibility I see in most shaping videos even after a 30 minute rest (few of which are whole grain).  The oven spring looked as good as it has for these yecora rojo bakes.

 

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I had a starter and soaker (pre-dough) ready and I'm queuing up another attempt.  Of all the bakes in this thread, I think this one is best:

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/479413#comment-479413

I agree with Paul's comment that this could use a little more aeration (red areas) but some sections seem better than others (green areas).  It doesn't seem too far off track.  Perhaps some of the tighter areas are due to handling as much as fermentation timing?  It might be worth dusting with tumeric or paprika after the pre-shape to help visualize the dough skin where degassing from handling is more likely to occur.  My original thought was that shaping on the early side would help to avoid any handling related degassing as long as the dough strength held up to the longer final proof.  This dough seems fairly tight, so that seems plausible. 

Although I had the aliquot jar marked for a 25% BF and 75% FP in this test, I actually ended the bulk fermentation (started pre-shape) earlier to accommodate the longer pre-shape bench rest I wanted to test to further relax the dough before shaping.  I was thinking it would reach 25% by the time shaping actually started.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the aliquot jar after the pre-shape rest.  In this case I probably over compensated.  The bands on the aliquot jar are placed such that that tops correspond to 25% and 75% markings.  From the photo below we can see the bulk fermentation probably ended at 10% or so.  A 30% number is commonly reported in TFL whole grain discussions.  I'm going see what happens if I end BF (i.e., start the pre-shape) at 30%, and then bake at 75%.

This bulk fermentation was actually stopped at less than 10 percent or so.  Perhaps it is worth repeating this version, but with a pre-shape beginning at 25%, which is more or less consistent with the suggestion of doubling.