#101  
Old 11-05-2007, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

For the record, I have not gotten very satisfactory windowpane tests, but have been doing the folding and that seems to really help.

Drake
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  #102  
Old 11-05-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

Drake,

It really depends on method. Reinhart, for example, espouses pretty full kneading by machine while still keeping within temp limits. People who use similar methods should be striving for a good windowpane. Hamelman, by contrast, recommends very short mixing times with one or two goes at the strecth and fold. This procedure accomplishes the same end; it's just that Hamelman is most frequently dealing with levain doughs, and he's wary of overheating. Reinhart, though he does do sourdoughs, also tends to use a lot of IDY, which is more tolerant of higher dough temps. Different strokes, I guess.

Jim
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  #103  
Old 11-06-2007, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

Well my culture finally woke up, so we'll see if that makes any difference in the outcome of my baking. Yesterday morning I fed it and when I got home 12 hours later, it had doubled. I fed it again and this morning it had doubled again. This has NEVER happened before, to either my culture or dough. So before I fed it this morning, I took a bit out to make the liquid levain for Hammelman's Vermont Sourdough. Hopefully it will be ripe when I get home so that I can proceed as planned.
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  #104  
Old 11-07-2007, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

Ok I had another go with the Vermont Sourdough, but this time my culture seemed to be a bit more active so we'll see if that made any difference. I'll be able to cut it open in the morning. I also have two loaves of olive levain proofing in the fridge. I'll cook those tomorrow.
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Playing with sourdough-magnoliasourdoughtry2-1.jpg   Playing with sourdough-magnoliasourdoughtry2-2.jpg  
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  #105  
Old 11-08-2007, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

Here's a cross section of the loaf. The crumb is much improved from anything I've made thus far w/o using IDY. Its still not where it needs to be, but I imagine that has a bit to do with the liquid levain I used. Hammelman's recipe has you add 2 tbs of culture to a few cups of flour and water and wait 12-16 hrs for it to ripen. Well with my culture not being as active as it could have been, the liquid levain had only got to about 1.3-1.5 times its volume, and I was crunched for time so I used it as is. The culture is pretty active now though...more than doubling in volume after feeding it and waiting 10-12 hrs at 70F. Anyway, the crumb is quite lighter than before, and although you can't really see it in the pictures, there is a good hole structure as well (still needs work though). Before the crumb was about as dense as a batch of brownies made with two eggs. So slowly but surely I'm getting there. I also like how the crust has been coming out lately. Deep brown, crunchy and chewy at the same time. I just need to figure out what to do with all this bread I keep making. Only so much two people can eat before it goes stale. There's always bread pudding, I suppose.
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Last edited by rlf5; 11-08-2007 at 05:29 AM.
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  #106  
Old 11-08-2007, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

First, those loaves look excellent!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlf5 View Post
Hammelman's recipe has you add 2 tbs of culture to a few cups of flour and water and wait 12-16 hrs for it to ripen.
That part does not seem quite right to me. I usually close to double my starter (if I have 400g of starter, I add 200g flour and 250g non-clorinated water) and let THAT ripen for between 8-16 hours. Nancy Silverman says between 8-10 hours and Hammelman says 12-16, so I figure anywhere in there is good. But that is obviously a lot more than 2 tbs...

I can't remember exactly from where I am, but when I make 8 lbs of dough, I think it is around 1100g of active levain.

Drake
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  #107  
Old 11-08-2007, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

For Hammelman's Vermont Sourdough recipe (and really most of his natural levain recipes) he has you add between 1 and 3 tablespoons of mature culture to about 6 oz of flour and 7 oz of water, and then wait 12-16 hrs. In Reinhart's recipes he usually has you use about 6 oz of culture, and wait for 4-6 hrs.
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  #108  
Old 11-08-2007, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

OK I see that now, but what I do is just maintain a larger batch of culture separately then go straight to his final dough number and build the bread from there with the mature, ready to use culture. So if was making 2 loaves of his home sourdough, I would just put the flours water and 10.8 oz of active levain together. Mix, rest, then add the salt...final mix, etc...

I think it is easier to keep a large batch of levain really active than to just get a small amount going...

BTW, all that bread freezes really well!

Drake
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  #109  
Old 11-08-2007, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

I used to keep a larger batch of culture, but lately (the last two weeks) I've switched to a much smaller one of only about 200g. It takes up less room in the fridge or counter, and requires a lot less flour to feed it (though flour is quite cheap). That way I don't feel as bad when I have to throw half away at each feeding. I usually save the discarded amount until I have enough for pancakes or waffles, but sometimes it fills up quick and I have to toss some.

Yes the bread does freeze well, but my freezer is filling up quick. Sometimes I like to make bread just to make it or to try a new recipe, so I can build up a pretty large surplus. Once I'm comfortable with the outcome I can start giving extra loaves to friends, but until then its just me, the wife, and the dogs
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  #110  
Old 11-08-2007, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Playing with sourdough

Here's a couple pics of the olive levain loaves I just took out of the oven. They were made with a culture that I purchased last week, which was MUCH more active than mine at the time. I'd feed this culture and it would have doubled in volume in about 4 hrs or less. Funny this is now, the culture that I cultivated myself does the same, but in about 8 hrs or less. So now I have two cultures to take care of. I'll see if over time the one I bought turns into the one I cultivated myself. Anyway, I should get to cut it open later on tonight when its properly cooled. The one on the left didn't really open like the one on the right because an olive got in my way and I kinda skipped over it. Also, the tops are ever so slightly scorched b/c I didn't watch it the last 3 min of baking. Amazing how fast it can turn from beautiful rich brown, to carbon black.
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Playing with sourdough-olivelevain1.jpg   Playing with sourdough-olivelevain2.jpg  
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