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texassourdough 05-15-2010 03:51 AM

Happy Yeast!
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I made my "normal" five pound batch of sourdough boules yesterday and, after dealing with cooler temperatures over the winter and spring it was a joy to see my yeast happy and in the zone. (My starter has a strong preference for warmer temperatures - like 75!)

The bread is very simple. 100 grams of 100% starter expanded with 200 grams of water and 200 grams of flour (100 whole wheat, 100 bread flour) overnight. Then expanded to 2.5 kilos with 1220 grams bread flour, 780 of water, 45 grams of salt for a final hydration of 70%. Hand mixed followed by stretch and fold. 3 hour bulk ferment, only 1 1/2 hours after forming.

Happy yeast is so much fun!

Frances 05-15-2010 06:30 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
Ohhh, those look yummy!

egalecki 05-15-2010 06:56 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
MMM. Those look very tasty. It is always nice to have happy yeasties- Mine tend to be ok at our normal room temperature, and they get a bit sour at 75. They don't like it t 65 at all, though, and take forever to get anywhere. It's a very narrow band of happy.

Do you mix all your breads by hand or just some of them?

GianniFocaccia 05-15-2010 08:05 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
So how does it feel to have your first 1,000 posts completed? Wow!

egalecki 05-15-2010 08:27 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
compared to some, it took me forever to get here....

I gotta say, having il pizzaiolo after my name does make it look like I know what I'm doing...;)

Tscarborough 05-15-2010 08:56 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
That is some pretty bread. I bet it smells just as good and tastes even better.

I am firing the oven this morning for some bread this afternoon. I made 2 loaves of honey wheat (with fresh Utah honey given me by Derkp!), 2 loaves of rosemary (from the garden) bread, and some pizza dough for tonight. I used some durum wheat in the pizza dough so I am curious to try that.

Eventually I will get a sourdough culture started...

texassourdough 05-15-2010 11:28 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
Thanks, Y'all! I thought you might enjoy them!

Elizabeth, I almost never use a mixer for bread. (I sometimes use the mixer for sweetened breads like raisin bread but...) In this case the first expansion is simply stirred. The second expansion I mix to a ragged dough with a King Arthur bread whisk, dump it on the counter and using wet hands sort of shove it around and mix it to a slightly smooth blob and let it sit about 20-30 minutes. Then I give it some kneading - no more than a minute or two. Then one or two stretch and folds at roughly 30 minute intervals. I poked this down at about 2 1/2 hours. Then formed boules at 3 1/2 hours and baked about 1 1/2 hours later.

I fully agree, cold weather is a drag. My yeast really shuts down below 65 degrees F and is pretty slow below about 70. (I usually compensate by reducing my expansion ratio - instead of going 100 grams of start to 500 and 500 to 2500 I usually go 100 to 400 (adding 150 grams each of water and flour) and then 400 to 1600 grams final and only make three loaves. But the timing is always (as you allude) uncertain for even when at max vigour the yeast is not very predictable (probably is but the vigour vs. temp is so critical). I have a proofing box I can use but I rarely use it unless it is really cold. WRT sourness, my starter is so mild any extra sourness is great.

The joy of those loaves was that everything was right on. The times were just what they should be. The yeast was happy and that made the baker happy! don't need pizzaiolo after your name for us to know you know your stuff!

Tscarborough... sounds like you had a good baking day! Good luck!

MK1 05-15-2010 07:24 PM

Re: Happy Yeast!
I follow JH like the bible and he has the dough bulk ferment for 2.5 hours and then form and rise for 2. Can you tell me why you bulk 3 and form 1.5? Is this dictated by your culture or are the 2 not that critical? JH also uses a stiff starter for his this non-retarded dough and a liquid starter for the overnighter. Why?
This bread is my house bread, I bake 4 a week. I think it tastes like really good bread.


texassourdough 05-16-2010 09:10 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
Hi Mark!

My yeast is not normally this active so I usually do 3 bulk followed by 2 to 2 1/2 depending on how fast it is rising. My yeast was going bonkers and I was doing other things and didn't realize until I got to forming at 3 hours. It was a little later than I normally form big deal. The final rise was abbreviated because it was rising like gangbusters and I didn't want it to overproof. The results are just about perfect IMO. Good rip and pretty loose/varied crumb which suggests it was pretty much proofed to perfection. So main reason was "I erred" but...

Every sourdough starter is a different and while I consider JH a wonderful guide you ultimately have to personalize to make the bread the best.

My real curiosity is this is two really aggressive rises in a row from my yeast. I am curious if the starter has undergone a permanent change (it is seven years old so that feels unlikely) or if it s just the fact I have the house warmer than normal right now????

Good Luck!

meco211 05-16-2010 09:27 AM

Re: Happy Yeast!
Nice looking bread. Nice big pockets inside!!

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