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FWSY Overnight Country Brown (page 173) Failures - Help

big_weight's picture
big_weight

FWSY Overnight Country Brown (page 173) Failures - Help

I successfully baked this recipe 3-4 years ago but have been away from bread baking since.  Did not have success this last 2 weeks during which I baked 6 loaves creating 5.5 bricks.  I ate one of them, which had great taste, just very dense.

I made 6 different attempts by cutting Forkish's quantities in half - the starter is fed 50g of starter, 50g of whole wheat, 200g of white wheat and 200g of water.  I cut the 1000g recipe in half to make only one loaf each time, using 302g of white wheat, 138g of whole wheat, 342g of water and 108g of levain.  If I do my baker's percentages correctly, I calculate 350g white wheat, 150g whole wheat and 390g water for a 78% hyrdration. 

I did the autolyse as specified and followed the mixing and stretch and folding schedule.  My actual dough temperature after mixing all hit the 77dF - 78dF "target", except for one attempt that was 76dF.

I let it bulk ferment overnight 15 hours as per book - I never got more than doubling (he calls for tripling) and the dough was essentially over-proofed when I shaped loaf and put in banneton with no discernible rise.

First attempt, I baked in cast iron combo baker (putting lid on bottom to ease loaf placement into pre-heated cooker) at 475dF; oven temp is spot on.  Bottom was tough, so I cooked remaining loaves at 450dF.  

After reading advice in somebody's unrelated posting last attempt I mixed the dough at 8am so I could observe for growth. Kitchen temperature ranged from 69dF to 70dF. It barely doubled in 9.5 hours, obviously never tripling. I shaped the dough and put in the banneton.  As before, no discernible rise.  Kitchen temperature ranged from 69dF to 70dR.  I baked it any way, but then put in trash.

White flour is Costco's Central Milling Organic All-Purpose Flour "Beehive" Unbleached Malted Flour at 10.5% protein.  Whole wheat if HEB Central Market 100% Whole Grain at 13.8% protein. 

 

My first thought is that the Malted Flour could be a culprit. I had used Central Milling flour from Costco before, but I know it was NOT malted.

I would appreciate any suggestions, advice and words of wisdom.

Thanks,

Bill

Abe's picture
Abe

After a hiatus. Did you make a new starter from scratch? 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

Using FWSY instructions with same Central Milling malted flour.

Abe's picture
Abe

I think it's best to look at your starter first. In the morning, so you can keep an eye on it, take a little of your starter and in a small jar do the following feed...

  • 25g starter
  • 40g water
  • 50g flour (40g bread flour + 10g wholegrain flour)

Keep it warm. If it fails to double within 4-6 hours then it's more than likely your starter isn't strong enough yet. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

...failed the test.  

I will see what I can rig up to keep it warmer and just be patient until it will pass the above test you laid out.

Thank you Abe.

Abe's picture
Abe

How long did it take to double? 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

the starter temperature is now 80dF.  I placed it in the oven with the light on.

I will put it in sous vide "hot tub" set at say 78 - 80dF, commit to feeding at least 2 times a day and see if I can strengthen it up. Ambient temperature in our house is not ideal for starter development  A web search indicates that some rye flour might also move the process along.  I don't see rye flour on local grocery store apps so I will order some online.

Thank you so much for your help.

Abe's picture
Abe

While 8.5 hours is certainly slow it's not way out. What you can do as a side experiment is while you are strengthening your starter is to continue to feed the off-shoot, with the same ratios, and see if it speeds up. Since it's doubling in about 8.5 hours I think it's fine to keep it on a twice a day schedule every 12 hours.

big_weight's picture
big_weight

Also, what do you think about feeding WW only since I don't have any rye flour?

Abe's picture
Abe

and WW are both fine. You have a starter, it just needs strengthening. You could make a loaf now but it'll most likely need a lot more time than suggested in the recipe. For now give your original starter, and the off-shoot starter, some TLC. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

Plus my bulk ferment tub will fit in the sous vide container.  I know the long bulk ferment aids flavor development, but the sous vide could be an option if I were time-constrained.

Thanks so much for your guidance.

Abe's picture
Abe

Once you get it to double within, or close to, that 4-6 hour window then you can try again. Timings in a recipe are a guide only, temperature is important!, and perhaps another first time recipe could be a better option. 

For now just concentrate on getting your starters stronger. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

Hamelman's Vermont SD at 65% hydration sounds good.  Oh to have some rye flour blend as it sounds like the rye gives it a great flavor.

Abe's picture
Abe

Is a great first recipe. And if you don't have whole rye you can substitute it for whole wheat. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

...with your help starter is heading in the right direction. 

At constant 78dF in the sous vide water bath 80% hydration levain doubled in about 5 hours.

At 71dF ambient temperature 80% hydration levain doubled in about 9 hours, which is down from approximately 12 - 13 hours. .

 

Abe's picture
Abe

And try another bake towards the end of the week. And even if the final dough seems slower than the recommended timings if you wait however long it needs it should still work. Recipe timings are guidelines. 

Watch the dough, not the clock.
big_weight's picture
big_weight

I went to a clear cylindrical bulk ferment container so it is easier to observe rise.

Generally speaking, given doubling numbers above, would this indicate that I could do final dough mix at 5 hours after levain mix at 78dF levain whereas I would have to wait 9 hours at room temperature?

Abe's picture
Abe

Is the difference of how quickly it matures at 78dF vs 21dF. Other factors will be how mature one wants the levain taking into account things like acidity and flavour. Also how much starter there is in the levain vs fresh feed. This should give you an idea of temperature importance and the feed ratio I recommended, with the timing given, will indicate whether your starter is strong or needs strengthening. For now just concentrate on giving it some TLC and you can try using it to bake with in a couple of days. 

Everything else being equal it does follow that a levain that is kept warmer will be ready sooner to mix into the final dough. And so too the final dough etc. 

Hamelman's liquid levain builds are 125% hydration as supposed to 80% you have been building. At such high hydration they tend to foam more than rise but that's perfectly ok. He also recommends  12- 16 hours for the levain so you can see he allows for timing differences. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

Gone for a week.

 

I will continue with the every 12 hour feedings at 25g starter, 40g water and 50g flour at 78dF until I leave.  Put something the last feeding in refrigerator then resume TLC schedule upon return.  

Should I put entire 115g from "last" feeding in refrigerator or just ~25g?

Abe's picture
Abe

You refrigerate all 115g when it has doubled. Not peaked but just doubled. It'll keep in the refrigerator till you return then you can give it a little more TLC when you get back before trying another bake. 

If before you travel it begins to peak within 6 hours then I might suggest a different ratio for feeding. Either way it'll be fine. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

going to and then fallen?

I am amazed at the science and the art associated with all this baking business.

Having looked at some of the TFL member bakes and processes in some ways I feel out of place here.

Please tell me if I am "abusing" you with all these questions.

Abe's picture
Abe

Peaked means at it's highest level. 

Trust me... this isn't the sciency bit. Peaking is more of a visualisation of when it's best to use. If you want science then you can go down the rabbit hole with things like pH level, buffering, TTA etc. 

As far as looking at everyone else's baking habits and wonderful breads this all comes down to experience. The more you use the starter the more you'll get a feel for it and you won't need to rely on anything else except going by feel. For thousands of years people made sourdough without knowing what yeast were. 

Ask away! If I don't answer it's because of the time difference and i'll get back to you asap. It's 1am here in London so i'll wish you a goodnight. Looking forward to your first bake. 

big_weight's picture
big_weight

...I obtained a very active starter during my travels.  Packed it in a small glass jar further packed within a gallon ZipLoc bag then into my suitcase.  Fed it once to make sure it was OK, then fed again yesterday morning to make a levain.  It doubled in 4 hours at 73dF room temperature and kept rising, at least tripling, but never fell after 9.5 hours..  

So, I mixed FWSY Overnight Country Brown per original 78% hydration at 7pm and left it out at 73dF.  Forkish calls for "tripling (or thereabouts)" during BF. After 10 hours bulk fermenting, it had at least quadrupled when I checked at 5am this morning, and was basically out of food at that time.  I pre-shaped, bench rested for 30 minutes, then final shaped.  At that point it was over-proofed but for the opposite reason as per my original post. I baked it anyway; will let it cool and worst case make croutons out of it.

I did take the starter we were working on last week out of the refrigerator. Kept 25g of starter, added 40g of water and 50g of flouf (40g white and 10g WW) and it is in the sous vide at 78dF as I type.

Definitely learning from my many mistakes.