#21  
Old 09-05-2011, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Looking good Chris!
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  #22  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:38 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris!

That is really close! They don't look particularly flat and they opened pretty well but...it could be more...

My guess is your proof is essentially right on, but a bit over (possibly just ten/fifteen minutes. And, though your color is good, you probably would benefit from a bit more steam if possible/practical. And...as always tighter is better and it is really hard to separate skin tightness from the above in my experience - particularly from pictures.

Key thing I would suggest is bake a bit earlier and slash a bit closer to the centerline. Batards (and single slash loaves need to really open to create a broad "rip". You got a good rip but baking earlier will give more. And slashing a bit closer to the center will let the rip go across the top and not simply to the top. Given the color steam is probably okay. Tautness???like I said, can always be tighter but I think the earlier and slashing will give you a look much closer to what you want.

Nicely done!
Jay
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  #23  
Old 09-06-2011, 08:28 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Faith and Jay, Again, Thank you for your input throughout!

Chris
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Last edited by SCChris; 09-07-2011 at 08:09 AM. Reason: Added pictures
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2011, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

nice Chris
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2011, 08:23 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris!

I missed that upload so I am way late! Looks pretty good. About as holey as I ever want bread to be. Looks like wet dough (based on the hole size/look), pretty well developed (for wet dough too!), good transparency in the crumb. Not much more you can ask for!

Assuming you continue using this recipe (and I would recommend doing it unchanged a few times to get a feel for how reproducible or not it is) there are several key variables that will affect hole size (assuming you do everything else the same). In particular, it appears you are using a relatively short bulk ferment and long final proof (because that allows more time after loaf forming for the holes to grow). Shifting the time to a longer bulk and shorter proof will give you smaller holes and you can play with the loaf formation to get the structure you want. (Note: Nothing wrong with what you have - just an alternative.) More degassing in loaf forming would also tend to give you smaller holes/more uniform crumb IF you want it. To me part of the fun is shifting back and forth to make bread that looks like I want it - and then, like right now, I get whacked with a shipment of weird flour (way low protein) and it makes me feel like an idiot!

Good work! Show us some more loaves!
Jay
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  #26  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:16 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

I'm taken by the difference in the crust and interior and not only in taste. Of course the sourdough leaven takes much more planning, given the longer bench and proof times, but I didn't expect the varnish like aspect of the crust and the deep chestnut colors.. Spectacular and very satisfying.

Re: your shipment :-)

Untill I got my hands full of dough, I didn't realize how many variables there could be and the same is true of Pizza and my WFO.



Chris
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  #27  
Old 09-22-2011, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Quote:
I didn't realize how many variables there could be
Man, Chris.... you're not kidding! Over the past year books I've picked up: The Bread Builders, Crust and Crumb and recently Tartine Bread (stopped by the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco but Chad wasn't there).

I have yet to even set fire in my oven much less embark on a sourdough adventure like yours and right now I'm a little overwhelmed at the sheer variables. Do you have a system you use to track the bread 'building' phases and timing for your oven? That last batch you made looks fantastic.

John
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

John, I've been working within my ability to make a small change and understand the results.. Just Barely. I really need to journal everything on the batches, and there are so many variables.

Soaker? What is it and how long was it aged and at what temps?
Preferment? What is it and how long was it aged and at what temps?
Bench rest temps and times
The Degree of Shaping involved, how rough was I and rise times and temps and Oven temps turn down times or not steaming intervals or not did I keep the bread in the oven with the door open at the end? Did the bread sing? Oh man!

An then there is the “shut up and do it and don’t bother me with the specifics” mode that I can easily fall into, understanding that there is nothing like time in the saddle.

As for using the WFO and batching bread, I'm right there, on the edge of regularly doing large batches in the WFO but right now I'm using the kitchen oven, Blasphemy I know. But until I have a better feel for the dough and how to mostly control it, I've been minimizing the variables. I'm building up a local group of Bread interested folks, so when I run a load or 2 or 3 I have help for the process and homes for the product..

I have a Sourdough recipe that I feel I understand and I know at this point I can run a 16-18 lb load successfully but.. A few more runs in the kitchen oven to work a few rough spots out or at least soften them a bit seems like a smarter place to learn a bit more.

Hmm maybe I Knead to write a jornal app, or at least find one.

Chris

Last edited by SCChris; 09-22-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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  #29  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:19 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris/John!

Chad's book Tartine Bread is one of my favorites for it reveals the psyche of a fanatic and how he pursued/created the bread he wanted. That said, his approach is not universal and people in other regions/climates need to modify his approach for their own environment and desires. (Example: Chad's effort to control sourness is simply not necessary with my starter. I need more sourness than his approach gives (and I have had his bread and his is WAY more sour than I can possibly achieve!). I love the general technique and his book has definitely influenced how I make sourdough.

I don't consider an indoor oven blasphemy, Chris. Making 12 to 15 pounds of bread in order to get the crust I can get out of my indoor oven with 3 pounds is a big barrier to using a WFO. The big advantage of getting a reliable routine is that then if something big changes you have a pretty good idea something went wrong. There is a certain amount of natural variation in the results and you need pretty good consistency if you are to see and understand the impact of small changes. And...as I have long said...making a bunch of changes guarantees you will have no idea what caused the result. That doesn't mean you have to make the same bread every week (though I did so almost every week for about a year and a half - when I finished I knew two flours, and my process). But IMO you need to work toward a "standard" bread that serves as your "reference" so that when weird things happen you can go to it and have confidence that variations result from something abnormal - example: soupy dough - is it flour protein, hydration error, protease breakdown, ????, etc.

Keep after it!
Jay
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  #30  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Once you get the basics down now you get to play with the intricate things for a consistent loaf. Being that I think sourdough is more time and temperature dependent the changing seasons is my new challenge. Dough proofing can swing between 4 hours and 10 depending on the temp of the house. Easy to deal with if your making 3 lbs of dough but with the WFO it's not uncommon for me to do 30 or more lbs in a bake. I'm sure you will find the never ending quest for your perfect loaf, always learning something new.
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