#21  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Sorry to hear your bread didn't work out Frances - I had a similar experience during a pizza night where I burnt the bottoms of all eight loaves I put in!
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:55 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Smile Re: First go at sourdough

I am 100% with all of you. I do not like interruptions on bread day. And I don't even want to leave the house even though there are potentially hours at a time when one could. As Frances experienced...little things add up and the bread is not "right" (better than most anything regular folk routinely eat, but...not what you wanted).

IF, and I think most of us feel this way, baking bread is therapeutic the little perturbations create tensions and frustrations that more than destroy the therapeutic benefits.

For many of us bread is a passion that seeks repeatable perfection.

Today is NOT a baking day so I get to do errands... But this Friday WILL be reserved for baking!
Jay
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  #23  
Old 05-13-2009, 06:40 AM
egalecki's Avatar
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Jay, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who just can't bring myself to leave the house while I'm baking. Yes, I could go to the store or something while it's rising, but what if something happened while I was gone?????

I saw somewhere that CJ says you can take the bread straight out of the fridge and put it in the oven, but I am not sure when the bread would go in the fridge if that's the case. My shaped loaves, when I have put them in the fridge, don't rise much there at all. What temp do you suppose the fridge should be for it to rise in there? Or do you put them in when they've already risen?
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  #24  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

My problem with the fridge is not enough room. If you're making 5 or 6 kilos of bread shaped in about 12 to 18 loaves and you already have the usual food for a ravenous family of five in there... well, you'd just need a far larger fridge than I have.

I'm also really gald to hear that you all don't like leaving the house while baking - I thought it was just me being weird.
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2009, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

I have the same problem with the fridge - there is never enough space in there! We are seriously thinking about getting a small second hand fridge for the garage.

I managed to have a day with minimal interuptions and had a go at baking some full wholewheat sourdough. As you mentioned earlier Jay - I was in the Bread zone and thoroughly enjoyed being in the moment.

I would appeciate some comments on how they came out. I used a wholewheat flour which had about 15 percent of the bran removed. I was wondering whether they should have come out a darker brown. I am also interested in any comments on whether the slashing came out as it was meant to and any tips for improving it next time. Here are some pics - (please excue the excess flour - I still havent got that regulated very well)

First go at sourdough-1-img_3215.jpg First go at sourdough-2-img_3217.jpg
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  #26  
Old 05-14-2009, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

First, here's to the paranoid bakers who hate to leave their little yeasties alone in fear they will run amok and something bad will happen! Clearly we have at least a small club here at the Forno Bravo Forum!

Now...to address Salv's bread request for "critique".

Only you can decide what you want, Salv. So feel free to listen, but don't take anyone's word as gospel. YOU are the one who is making the bread and it is YOU who should decide what you want.

The loaves are beautiful though not what I would personally go for. But I have to qualify that a bit for they are whole wheat and I do not routinely do 100% whole wheat so...

First, I know you are bugged by the flour. My answer is forget the flour. If you use alder baskets like you and I do and you make wet dough you have to use quite a bit of flour to prevent the dough from sticking and making a messy twisted loaf as it comes out of the basket wierd. My answer is either use flour or drop the BP to a drier and less sticky dough. The flour doesn't bother me at all.

The thing I would change is the crust colorization and variation. Your crusts are more uniform than I prefer. Two aspects. One, it appears you are slashing your bread with the blade vertically. Slashes should be shallow in order to "ideally" create a thin, sharp edge that will brown more.

Second, the loaves look too light in color (in general) to me. I would like to see them darker, probably five to seven minutes more, but if the interior temp is 206-207 I would put them in a hotter oven, not give more time.

And finally, the slash openings are a good width but it looks like they were formed more by "oozing" of the loaf than by oven spring. NOTE: I am being pretty picky here. There is some rip, but I like MORE rip, so I by my values I think your loaves are just a hair overproofed - say 15 to 30 minutes.

All that said, they are beautiful. They no doubt taste good. And you are the one who has to decide the look and texture you want! I would definitely eat those loaves!

If you make changes, let us know what you do and what you think... But remember, don't change everything at once. One change at a time, never more than two.

Jay
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  #27  
Old 05-14-2009, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Elizabeth...when we have proofed the bread overnight it had gone in directly after being shaped...that said not all bread responds well to that method...we had little sucess with a 100% wild yeasted bread...however using commercial yeasts at about half their usual amount gave admirable results...fridge temp should be in the 40F neighborhood...and they won't look like much has happened...you have to kind of trust the WFO to work its magic

Salv...I agree with Jay...you have to decide what traits you like best in your bread...we can help you with identifying the proper variable and how to manipulate it to achieve your result...flour is a necesary evil but can be brushed off...100% WW breads are tough...for our Farmer's market booth we have just begun making a multigrain bread based on Reinhart's from his Whole Grain breads...we are told it is a great tasting bread but for us it just is not our style...very dense and heavy...when you have a high percentage of bran it will undoubtedly tear apart the strands of gluten you worked so hard to develop...the first time we made the multigrain I docked the loaves and just watched them deflate on the peel...they came back to a reasonable look after baking but it is just so touchy that now we do half in loaf pans and half as boules with no docking...I might suggest you try more of a blended loaf starting perhaps with about 30% whole wheat and the remaining flour weight in bread flour...makes for a nice looking loaf in our eyes...but definitely up to you
All the best!
Dutch
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  #28  
Old 05-15-2009, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

I think they looks fantastic! For what it's worth, I personally prefer my bread to be slightly less well done than some bakers here, so I would say the colour of those loaves is perfect! Its all about personal preference. I also like the look of quite a lot of flour on the surface and mostly sprinkle some extra on before slashing...


What were they like inside? Have you still got any left that you could show us? What did they taste like? And how did your family like them? That's the most imortant question after all.
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  #29  
Old 05-16-2009, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Thanks for the advice Jay and Dutch. I'm still working out what I like and don't like with each bake so all the comments are useful. I think I will have a go at different amounts of whole grain/white and see what works best. I know that I still have plenty of practice to do on my slashing.

I get the message loud and clear about the flour on the loaves and it is not something that will concern me from now on. I think I will take France's approach and appreciate the aesthetics a little more. I don't think I will do anything differently re the colour either - I had a well soaked oven at just over 550 F and the loaves were around 209 F when taken out. The important thing I am looking for is a nice crunchy crust and I did get that.

Frances - of the four loaves I gave two away, ate one over the course of five days and put one in the freezer. They were really tasty and they kept so well - I ate most of the loaf without any toasting. My Mum and Dad loved their loaf as well and have put in an order for another one! (Mum's doctor keeps advising her to eat more wholewheat bread) I didn't take any photos of the crumb but it was quite dense with the occassional small hole. I will take a pic of the one in the freezer when I take it out in the next few days.

Probably my favorite loaf so far has been a walnut and raisin loaf that was made with commercial yeast and around 20 percent wholewheat. I made four loaves and three walked out the door with guests and one was eaten within two hours. I was wondering if anybody had a formula for a sourdough version they could share. Heres a pic of the loaves I made.

First go at sourdough-3-img_3202.jpg
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  #30  
Old 05-16-2009, 07:34 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Hi Salv!

As I indicated, my critique was very personal. I have a very clear idea of what I want my bread to look like! I did some experimental loaves yesterday for a pizzaria that were NOT QUITE right and I photographed them and was going to upload them to highlight some of the details of my comments, but I haven't gotten them on my computer yet.

Your email is right on. Do it the way you want. RE: flour, take a loaf and knock the flour off of half and leave it on the other and see which you prefer by taste. I kind of like it because it screams hand made. (Also I don't want my loaves to be perfect boules for the same reason.)

209 is really pushing the bread. Can't believe you aren't getting more surface browning! My 5% whole wheat loaves yesterday are darker than your 100% whole wheat and I pulled mine at 208. Must be something about pure WW.

These walnut raisin loaves are all but perfect in my book. That's the rip I want. And if you look at the front left loaf there is a curl of "crust" that is quite brown. I want a bit more of that but...the look is what I love! Note the three colors, the basic crust is a medium dark brown. the rip is lighter, and the curl is darker. And the rip is evendifferent colors - a darker "light" brown where the original slash opened and a lighter rip as the loaf opened during the baking! Beautiful!

Now to prepare for a pizza party!
Jay
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