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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1

    Originally posted by scottranda View Post
    Alright folks. I've done multiple loaves with great success! But, I had a hiccup today which is causing me to throw out the entire dough. The dough is unworkable.

    I did 500g of flour, 333 grams of water, and 10g of ....

    Oh wait, I just now realized I forgot salt! Crap!

    Well, I did everything completely normal/textbook from Chef Jacob's videos. The only thing I did differently was the autolyse was ~1.5 hours (and not 30 min). My dough was soooo sticky. I added flour, more flour, more flour, just trying to get it to slap and fold properly, then shape properly.

    So, my question is, would my 1.5 hour autolyse caused that? Or my idiotic self which just now realized I forgot the salt?

    By the way, I'm keeping up with your posts! And I'm actively making several loaves. It's been awesome! My wife and family loves it! I bought a batard/oblong banneton (I asked for the boule/round banneton for Christmas but I couldn't wait until then). Plus I got some rice flour which really helped with the transition out of the banneton. Really appreciate you all helping me out!
    scottranda ...

    The hour and half autolyse would not cause your problem. I don't add my salt until I start the slap and fold process, so that's not your problem either. You don't list if or how much starter you used. That could be your problem.

    If you used...

    500 grams bread flour
    200 grams sourdough starter
    333 grams water
    12 grams salt

    You mixed together a 72% hydration dough. A high hydration dough like that is much easier to fold instead of using the slap & fold process.

    How much starter did you use? What was your total water weight?

    Comment


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      166g of starter, which is 83g water and 83g of flour. I added 417g of flour, and 250g of water. It was ~67% hydration.

      I would have added the salt right before slap and folds, but I forgot. So, it's neither the long autolyse or not adding the salt? Was it my formula/recipe?

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      No it wasn't your formula. That's the same formula I've used for years. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how it became so wet with just 67% hydration.🤔 I frequently autolyse my original mix for an hour before adding the salt and doing the slap & folds.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1

    scottranda ...

    Next time you get a real wet dough like that before adding flour try this folding technique first to see if it starts getting some gluten development.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CQHuWDEo3SA

    Comment


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      The dough started out normal with my slap and folds. But the more I slapped and folded, the more it kept sticking! Should I just have kept at the slap and folds? I was going at it for ~5 min, but it got stickier and stickier!

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Hmmm... if it were me, I would quit the S&F and go to the folding technique, in that situation. I'm still stumped about how that happened.
  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1474
    • Charlotte, NC

    Originally posted by Breadhead View Post
    Hmmm... if it were me, I would quit the S&F and go to the folding technique, in that situation. I'm still stumped about how that happened.
    Who knows!! Frustrating though! I have to wait until Christmas to get the rest of my "bread gear"!

    Comment

    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
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      If you have an extremely wet dough, you can treat it as a no-knead dough and refrigerate it overnight. Then bake it the next day. Here's an interesting video on shaping high hydration dough.

      Comment


      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        That's the way I shape my 90% hydration ciabatta bread dough. In fact I don't do the fold over he does. I final proof it in a rectangle shaped vessel, turn the dough out of the vessel gently and cut it with a bench scraper and put it in the oven/BGE to bake. No shaping required at all.👍

      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        Rewatching this. This is helpful. Hoping this turns out!
    • Breadhead
      Banned Former Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 1

      Originally posted by scottranda View Post

      Who knows!! Frustrating though! I have to wait until Christmas to get the rest of my "bread gear"!
      Bread Gear... less is more!
      • Digital scale
      • Bench scraper
      • Mixing vessel (plastic, Pyrex, Stainless Steel) it doesn't matter. Something to cover it with. I use shower caps because it's fast and easy.
      • Spoon... wood, stainless steel or I use a Danish dough hook.
      • Dough lame... something to score/dock your dough with.
      • Bannetons... many different shapes.
      • Bread peel... to transfer dough into/out of oven.
      • Silicone baking sheets (or parchment paper)... to make transfering your dough into/out of the oven easier.
      • Stainless Steel mixing bowl... to cover your dough for the first half of the baking process, to trap the steam.
      • Cooling rack... something to elevate your loaf on, to cool after removing it from the oven.
      • Misting vessel... something to spray your dough with after you score it, before you transfer it to your baking stone.
      • IFH thermometer to determine the temperature of your baking stone.
      • Stand Mixer... I only use my stand mixer to knead 80/90% ciabatta dough. I never use it for mixing 75% hydration dough or under.
      The hard part of learning to really understand bread making is... less is more!!!

      The least you handle the dough the better... high speed mixers are not good. Stretch your dough gently by hand. It takes longer but it gives you better bread.

      Slow everything down... it's like BBQ, longer is better. You cannot, cannot, cannot... eat all of the bread you are going to make once the bread bug bites you, MBMBS, Must Bake More Bread Syndrome.

      Once you have MBMBS... EVERY loaf becomes a personal challenge. It's NOT about the bread! It's about YOUR technique!

      After EVERY loaf you will inspect the crust, the crumb, the beauty of the ears, the rise (oven spring) the bottom of the loaf and taste of your results.

      If you really have MBMBS... you will not eat 5% of the bread you make. You will look for friends and family to give it to.

      Remember "It's not about the bread" It's really about "Can I do this"?

      One of my mentors in my professional career became famous as the CEO of Starbucks coffee - Howard Behar. I worked with him before he went to Starbucks. He took Starbucks from 30 stores in Seattle to an international coffee giant.

      Howard wrote a book about his time at Starbucks... he named it, "Its not about the coffee". It's a book about leadership. His message was... coffee is just a product. The TECHNIQUE in which we present it MAKES our coffee special.

      Remember this... the less you handle your dough, the better it will get!!! Less is more.

      Comment


      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        I have all that gear, or will get it for Christmas. Hard to wait!
    • Thunder77
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 2514
      • Halethorpe, MD
      • Weber 22.5" Kettle with SnS Brinkmann 5 burner gasser. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

      Why do we want to use higher hydration dough? I have seen a lot of recipes for it.

      Comment

      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
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        Originally posted by jgjeske1 View Post
        Why do we want to use higher hydration dough? I have seen a lot of recipes for it.
        According to Ken Forkish: "There are opposing points of view on how wet doughs should be. I prefer the flavor and texture of breads and pizza doughs made with more water than is typical. I am by no means alone in this. Many good bakers feel the same, including most of those I learned from. My experience is that including a little more water in the dough, say 75 percent instead of 70 percent hydration, results in more gas production, and if fermentation isn’t rushed, those gases provide a lot of flavor. However, these wetter doughs are very slack and need some help building up their physical shape so they don’t fall flat. They are also stickier and a little trickier to handle than stiffer doughs."

        Comment

        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 1

          Originally posted by jgjeske1 View Post
          Why do we want to use higher hydration dough? I have seen a lot of recipes for it.
          The higher hydration will make your crumb softer, less dense. There is a delightful difference in the crumb when you go from 66% hydration to 75% hydration. I intentionally recommended everyone learn with 66% hydration because it's easier to handle that dough, less chance of failure.

          If you want to try a high hydration dough i suggest you go to YouTube and Google "Ken Forkish" and watch his videos of how to fold the dough to develop the gluten strands. Then watch his shaping video for high hydration dough. Those videos will guide you into a successful attempt of higher hydration loaves.
          Last edited by Breadhead; October 11th, 2016, 12:06 PM.

          Comment

        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 10820
          • Near Richmond VA
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          I have had Jeffrey Hamelman's book BREAD for at least several years, so I thought I'd pull it out and try one of his formulas. The one I chose was his PAIN RUSTIQUE. It's a 69% hydration formula with a an poolish. So last night I made the poolish, and this morning I baked the bread. Since there are just the two of us now, I normally bake either 60 - 75 g rolls or small batards sized to last for a meal or two. So today I divided the dough into 4 pieces and wound up with batards of 214 g. They were baked for about 25 min at 460*, (until they reached the color I wanted). When they were ready, I cracked the oven door to allow them to slowly cool in the warm oven. By keeping the batards in the oven to cool, the surface remained dry and crisp without being chewy - just the way we like them. Here are some photos:

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          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Sweet.👍 Those loaves look fantastic, good job. The crumb looks great. I really like a darker shade crust too. I always cook to color.

          • Thunder77
            Thunder77 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thise are fantastic looking loaves! Nice color, beautiful crumb. 👍

          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Those are some great looking loaves, Ron ... Congrats!
        • scottranda
          Charter Member
          • May 2015
          • 1474
          • Charlotte, NC

          RonB and others... You bring up a good question which I've been working through. Once you've developed a dark color (and hopefully a crispy crust), how do you keep it crispy? Anything to-do or avoid? Most of the time, I bake my bread at 8pm, so I have to eat it the next day. I let the oven cool, then leave it in the oven (oven door closed) overnight (avoiding ants). Is that a no-no? My crust is now golden brown, but the next day, the crust isn't as crisp as I hoped. Should I just leave it out on the counter? Should I crack the oven door?

          Comment

          • Breadhead
            Banned Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 1

            Originally posted by scottranda View Post
            RonB and others... You bring up a good question which I've been working through. Once you've developed a dark color (and hopefully a crispy crust), how do you keep it crispy? Anything to-do or avoid? Most of the time, I bake my bread at 8pm, so I have to eat it the next day. I let the oven cool, then leave it in the oven (oven door closed) overnight (avoiding ants). Is that a no-no? My crust is now golden brown, but the next day, the crust isn't as crisp as I hoped. Should I just leave it out on the counter? Should I crack the oven door?
            AFTER BAKING - STORAGE
            The proper storage is critical to keeping your loaf's crust crispy
            As soon as the bread begins to cool on the cooling rack, the bread starts to go stale. The interior of the loaf dries out and the crust starts to absorb moisture, making it soft. If you love crusty bread, store it in a brown paper bag or let it just sit on the counter. Don't use plastic wrap or a bag because it will soften the crust and preserve the moist interior.

            Comment

            • RonB
              Club Member
              • Apr 2016
              • 10820
              • Near Richmond VA
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              scottranda - When your bread is done, leave it in the turned off oven, but on the grate - not a baking stone or steel. Leave the door cracked open so the oven will cool faster. An inch or two will do - use a folded potholder or towel. Then store as Breadhead suggests.

              Your bread will not over-cook because the oven will cool fast enough to prevent that, but the added heat will prevent the crust from getting soft.

              To reheat the next day, preheat the oven to around 400* - the actual temp is not critical, but make sure it's hot. Then microwave the bread just long enough to feel warm. When it's warm, put it in the oven for two or three minutes. Please watch it and don't let it get too brown. Serve warm of cold, but let it cool in the oven if you want to serve it cooled.

              Comment

              • RonB
                Club Member
                • Apr 2016
                • 10820
                • Near Richmond VA
                • Weber Performer Deluxe
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                  Rotisserie
                  Smokenator 1000
                  Cookshack Smokette Elite
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                  Chefalarm
                  Dot
                  lots of probes.
                  CyberQ

                Here is a link to a video about handling high hydration dough. What I found interesting is that you can see the changes in the dough as time progresses. There are lots of videos like this out there, but this one is very straight forward. A link to the recipe is just above the video.

                Comment

                • scottranda
                  Charter Member
                  • May 2015
                  • 1474
                  • Charlotte, NC

                  Breadhead In addition to my overnight brisket (which was awesome, btw), I also did my first overnight bread. Used Breadhead's recipe with 6g starter and 66% hydration. My wife said it was the BEST thing I've ever made. And I've made her a lot of food!

                  You're right, it does taste better with the long preferment. MORE BREAD TO COME!!

                  Comment


                  • scottranda
                    scottranda commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Does the fact I used just a little starter the reason why it took so long to proof?? (Everything else was similar to my other breads)

                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm assuming you're talking about the final proofing. It can take a little longer after spending the night in the fridge. During the preferment the starter content you started with compounds it's volume many time over. When I take it out of the fridge it takes 2 to 3 hours to pass the poke test.

                  • scottranda
                    scottranda commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, final proof. But, my 6g starter with water and flour preferment was left out on the countertop. Not refrigerator.
                • chudzikb
                  Charter Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 181

                  I have done the overnight deal in the refrigerator when I did not have the time to properly proof. it did change the character of the bread and the taste profile. More tangy. Also did a dark, properly baked loaf this week. Was by mistake, I fell asleep! My kids like it lighter. But, the darker loaf was pretty good, I must say. Had a different taste profile and was crunchy.

                  Comment


                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you want a hard crust I bake it hotter and longer. If I want a hard crust I bake under the SS mixing bowl at 550°. Then when I remove the bowl I reduce the cooking temp in my BGE to 500°. Then I cook to color looking at the loaf through the top vent hole.

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