The Fresh Loaf

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red fife desem

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

red fife desem

Inspired by Benny's red fife bakes, and an earlier red fife by @suminandi that caught my eye, I wanted to see what I could learn from working with this flavorful but fermentation intolerant heritage grain.  I'll be doing a few bakes with this one using desem at different percentages of PFF.

Based on Benny's baking notes and comments from others, I erred on the side of caution in this one, and it might be a little underfermented.

Details to follow.

 

Update:

  • 20% PFF
  • hydration by feel in lower 70's
  • final pH 4.12 (very sour to taste)

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

Well well well, that is a good looking loaf of whole red fife.  It is gorgeously plump and has lovely blisters as well.  I can’t wait to see the crumb.  Well done especially for your first go at this grain.

Benny

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

The photo probably paints an overly optimistic picture.  The feel of the loaf in my hands suggests it is a little too dense to be a notable whole-grain bake.  Actually, this is a do-over from the initial version I mentioned in your thread.  I was making the ruisreikaleipa, sourdough pizza, and the red fife on the same day.  Needless to say, I don't have the precision timing required to pull this off reliably, and the fermentation schedules ended up colliding.  I also had to restart the rye sour.  Too much in one day!  The initial red fife dough (the one I mentioned was behaving strangely) got away from me while I was shaping and baking the ruisreikaleipa, so I quickly queued up a second one (shown here) after finishing the rye.  Something definitely went wrong, so I wanted to simplify the approach.  The second time around I just milled and mixed, and kickstarted things with @mariana's food processor mixing trick with a conservative 30 seconds of pulsing to save time, followed by Rubaud.  No soaker, no sifting, no bran toast-and-scald with postponed inclusion.  That's probably where I should have started.  Interestingly, the dough was *much* better this time around.  A little bit more fragile than other wheat, but nothing like the first one.  Your comment about acid and enzyme attacks got me thinking.  From WGB I was under the impression that cold temperatures and salt would protect the dough from enzyme attacks, but now I'm curious if even this is too much for some active freshly milled flour.  I can't say for sure the soaker was the culprit (as opposed to milling or treatment of the bran), but it seems like the most plausible explanation to me.  It is probably worth a dough strength comparison similar to what Kristen does in her 100% whole wheat video to confirm this. I had planned to bake this on the same day with a warm final proof, but it was only at 25% by the time I was craving sleep, so I stuck it in the fridge in a just below 40 F location and baked it the following morning after measuring a pH of just approximately 4.2.  I let it sit on the counter while the oven preheated, but probably should have waited for more of a visible rise before sticking it in the oven.  I believe The Bread Builders mentions gluten degrades at 3.9 (need to double check) and mentions a target pH for desem of 4.2, so I'm going to use the latter as a conservative cutoff for these whole grain red fife bakes.  I *think* bumping the % PFF is one tool we can use to achieve the same (or higher) level of proof for a given pH cutoff, but have no confidence in application of this theory.  It will be interesting to see if this helps things.  I was also curious about exploiting discrepancies in yeast and LAB lag cycles as outlined in GeorgeQ's discussion w/ Debra and others in his 100% spelt loaf post.  I'd like to make better use of the pH meter, since it is one of the few things we can measure, and if your acid/enzyme theory is correct, this would be a good loaf to learn from with it.

Benito's picture
Benito

The addition of salt for saltolyse is for me mainly to slow down amylase action.  Because there is no levain in there yet to acidify the dough I’m not yet worried about protease actions. You’ll recall protease enzymes in the flour are activated when the pH fall to < 4.  So the gluten shouldn’t be degrading very early on at all.  Knowing this I really should have consider following pH as the guide to when to end bulk and shape and when to bake.  I know some bakers have collected data that suggest that shaping done at pH around 4.4 and baking when pH is 4.1 is quite ideal.  That 4.1 would make sense since it is above the pH where proteases are yet activated.

Benny

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Thanks for your input and precision.  I would love to see your pH experiments with this grain.  It seems amylase reactions and starch damage would be the culprit in the first dough.  I recall some discussions suggesting there isn't quite enough salt in a standard formula to halt such reactions entirely, so perhaps it could still be a point of concern. This leads to the first question.

Are there adverse reactions that can still occur in hydrated freshly milled whole grain flour assuming standard 2% (bakers percentage) salt levels and cold (< 40 F) storage for periods less than 12 hours?

I've updated the post with a crumb photo.  It is fairly dense as expected and sourer than I would like.  I'm going to try another one with a higher % PFF and a same-day warm or room temperature final proof terminated at a higher final pH.  I don't yet know what final dough pH to target for a target final bread pH, but presumably, some allowance needs to be built in for the increasing temperatures early in the bake combined with dough at a very active period.  I think running the final proof at a cool (but not cold) temperature might also be helpful in this case, as in Kristen's 100% whole wheat video, although I haven't experimented much with that.  My understanding is that cooler temperatures should be favorable to the yeast, but longer fermentation times at lower temperatures could potentially reduce any advantages from yeast and LAB lag cycles.  I'm hoping to use these bakes and this forum to make this all a little less abstract.  It is a complex optimization process that I don't have models for.  This leads to a second question.

For a given flour and target hydration and a small amount of starter, What schedule of temperatures and feeds will achieve the highest pH for a final rise of 2X (or 1.5X, etc)? (I'm not implying that goal is always desirable, but it helps simplify the problem.)

The answer will, no doubt, vary according to the starter and grain, but I would be curious to see a working model for any starter and flour to help clarify these tradeoffs.

Benito's picture
Benito

I don’t have answers for either of your bonded questions, however, I wanted to say that your crumb is quite nice and better than my 5th and most recent bake.  My only more open crumb happened with I grossly overproofed the dough but then was able to get more open crumb.

I’ve forgotten what I may have said but wanted to also add that I did a flour stress test on the weekend because I bought a better quality bag of white flour and wanted to compare it to my current bread flour, 10% protein flour and whole red fife.  So I mixed each at 80% hydration and after 90 min of autolyse, compared the quality of the gluten at that hydration.  Amazingly my new flour which is an organic all purpose but said to have over 12% protein had better gluten strength and extensibility than my bread flour at 13%+ protein.  Not surprisingly the 10% protein flour didn’t fair well but the whole red fife faired poorly as well.  This leads me to think that 80% hydration is definitely too high for this flour.  I’d have to test it more but if I were to try another 100% loaf of red fife I’d want to be higher than 75% but less than 80%.