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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Willy
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1806
    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

    Top | #541
    Breadhead The microbes are local, plus, I’m sure, in the flour you buy. Wild yeast is no doubt also in the flour. It’s the local ones that come to dominate. In San Francisco, one of the local strains of LAB is Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, which is a producer of acetic acid which is what makes SF sourdoughs so tangy. Regrettably, my local LAB seems to produce more on the lactic acid end, though keeping Vinnie in the fridge has soured him somewhat. It’s funny, my first couple of loaves were quite sour, but whatever LAB was producing the sour has gradually been overcome by “gentler” microbes that tend towards lactic acid production.

    I’ve often wondered if maybe using a tablespoon or two of vinegar (in place of water) might not help with tang. I’ll try that one day soon. BTW, since it’s the LAB that produce most of the flavor and since they need more time than the yeast to do their thing, that’s why I am not concerned about Vinnie being at his peak when I make a batch of dough. It just takes him a little longer and slow is the name of the game.

    Thanks so much for all your help and advice in getting me started on this bread craze.

    Addition: I just noticed that Peter Reinhart (in Crust and Crumb) makes two mistakes. First he refers to L. sanfranciscENSIS as L. sanfrancisCO and, second, he states that it is unique to San Francisco, which contradicts Wink, who says it is found worldwide. Apparently, it is a dominant microbe in San Francisco and, alas, not so dominant where I live.
    Last edited by Willy; December 7th, 2016, 12:32 PM.

    Comment


    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      Willy, I know that King Arthur Flour recommends adding some citric acid if you want a really sour flavor. I believe they even sell it.

    • Willy
      Willy commented
      Editing a comment
      jgjeske1 Thanks for the tip!
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2

    Top | #542
    Willy ... as you found out already, you can manipulate your starter to produce whatever strain of bacteria you desire.

    If you leave your starter on your counter top both the lactic and acidic acid thive. Combined you end up with a very mild loaf of bread, barely a hint of ANY tang.

    If your starter lives in 38° temperature the lactic acid bacteria goes almost dormant and the acidic acid thrives. With the right manipulation of your current starter with your local wild yeast I bet your can engineer that starter to produce a very tangy loaf of sourdough bread.

    On your next feeding you ought to create another starter. One for the fridge and one for the counter top. It would be a fun experiment and you would learn a lot of fun stuff.

    There are many bread bakers that have reproduced the San Francisco tang right here in Los Angeles. It just requires some basic science of how to have the acidic acid dominate your culture.

    Comment

    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1806
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      Top | #543
      OK, here is a first crude experiment to help decipher (a tiny bit) bread cooking. The basic bread recipe:
      --400 grams active poolish starter (passed the float test) –100 grams whole wheat flour, 100 grams bread flour, 200 grams water
      --290 grams water
      --550 grams bread flour
      --1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
      Autolyse for 30 minutes (flour and water only). Add 400 grams starter and salt, mix in KitchenAid with dough hook until it passes the window pane test—ten minutes total mix time.
      Do three folds 10 minutes apart
      Refrigerate overnight.
      Bring to room temp and allow to rise more.
      Do one more stretch and fold, then do a tension pull. Wait ten minutes and do another tension pull. Turn into floured banneton and let rise until it passes the finger test.
      Put in 500° oven with pre-heated pizza stone and pre-heated stainless bowl. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 425°F, remove the bowl and continue to bake.

      Data:
      Time Color Weight (grams) Internal Temperature (°F)
      0 ----- 1212 67
      20 Whitish/blonde 1178 157
      25 Tanning on ears 1148 192
      30 Light browning 1128 200
      40 Nice (medium) brown 1100 204
      50 Done (dark brown) 1070 203
      55 Done 1054 203
      65 Overdone/black 1030 204

      The two things that stand out to me are: 1) The “final” internal temp is reached long before the loaf is done. That temp is likely the local boiling point for water. 2) Crust formation does not impede moisture loss. Also, the crumb was still moist and edible.

      I will do this test again and let the bread bake longer. I’ll also follow weight loss as the bread cools.

      Sorry, but the data columns "unalign" when I post.
      Last edited by Willy; December 10th, 2016, 10:29 AM.

      Comment

      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 5730
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

          > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
          > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
          > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

        Top | #544
        Originally posted by Willy View Post
        OK, here is a first crude experiment to help decipher (a tiny bit) bread cooking. The basic bread recipe:
        --400 grams active poolish starter (passed the float test) –100 grams whole wheat flour, 100 grams bread flour, 200 grams water
        --290 grams water
        --550 grams bread flour
        --1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
        Autolyse for 30 minutes (flour and water only). Add 400 grams starter and salt, mix in KitchenAid with dough hook until it passes the window pane test—ten minutes total mix time.
        Do three folds 10 minutes apart
        Refrigerate overnight.
        Bring to room temp and allow to rise more.
        Do one more stretch and fold, then do a tension pull. Wait ten minutes and do another tension pull. Turn into floured banneton and let rise until it passes the finger test.
        Put in 500° oven with pre-heated pizza stone and pre-heated stainless bowl. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 425°F, remove the bowl and continue to bake.

        Data:
        Time Color Weight (grams) Internal Temperature (°F)
        0 ----- 1212 67
        20 Whitish/blonde 1178 157
        25 Tanning on ears 1148 192
        30 Light browning 1128 200
        40 Nice (medium) brown 1100 204
        50 Done (dark brown) 1070 203
        55 Done 1054 203
        65 Overdone/black 1030 204

        The two things that stand out to me are: 1) The “final” internal temp is reached long before the loaf is done. That temp is likely the local boiling point for water. 2) Crust formation does not impede moisture loss. Also, the crumb was still moist and edible.

        I will do this test again and let the bread bake longer. I’ll also follow weight loss as the bread cools.

        Sorry, but the data columns "unalign" when I post.
        Willy - what you are seeing with regard to internal temperature is 100% consistent with what I was reading on the Serious Eats site yesterday. According to them, at sea level, the IT simply cannot go above 210 F (just below the boiling point of water) until, presumably, no more water/steam is available in the loaf. Here at 6300 ft. msl in Colorado, my loaves shouldn't be able to get more than about 198 F (just below the 200 F boiling point at this altitude) ... and they don't (which is why I chose 195 F as a good IT below which I will keep on baking if the crust color will allow it). FWIW, I think of it as a sort of "stall" ... just like we see in pork butts, etc.

        Comment


        • Willy
          Willy commented
          Editing a comment
          Makes perfect sense (I LOVE when that happens!). I usually read a bit lower (200°F) tho. I'm at 4,700 feet.

        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          The interesting thing I see in your experiment is the the crumb is still good even when the crust is burnt. I learned long ago don't worry about the crumbs internal temperature, just cook to color. I like to get the blisters nice and pronounced and the color a dark golden brown.
      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 5730
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

          > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
          > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
          > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

        Top | #545
        This week's science experiment(s):

        Disclaimer: Due to technical difficulties (with me forgetting to take any) there aren't any useful pics to share.

        Earlier in the week, I baked a Forkish-style "White Bread with Poolish" loaf ... modified to use my established poolish instead of Forkish's method of starting a poolish using commercial yeast. The dough was a problem. It was much gooier and stickier than any other 75% hydration dough has ever been before. It literally fought me every step of the way. That's the bad news.

        The good news is that I tried a whole new baking setup that worked really well. Instead of baking in a Dutch oven as usual, I baked instead on a 14x14x0.25" baking steel and used my 7 qt. DO inverted as the "lid". Rather than risking scorched knuckles, I transferred the boule to and from the steel with a well floured wooden peel.

        Everything worked perfectly ... except for the aforementioned gooey, sticky dough from hell. As soon as I jiggled it off the peel and onto the steel it changed shape from a boule to something resembling a frisbee. It spread out so far laterally that I was barely able to get the (hot!) DO to fit over it. The resulting loaf was actually pretty good ... decent crumb and excellent flavor (I was shooting for a mild sourdough tang ... and that's what I got). Vertical oven spring was minimal and lateral spring took the loaf all the way out to where it was touching the rather large DO all around.

        As a result, I have completely rethought my baking technique and decided that an inverted DO "lid" is an excellent way to do it. However, instead of using the baking steel (it's my wife's pizza steel and she just won't keep it clean), I bought a Lodge 5 qt combo Dutch oven that should be just perfect for the job:

        Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice...😆👍 I would try mounting a loaf on that skillet and put the DO on the top.

          I've had high hydration dough lose it's shaping when putting it on the stone before.😡 You don't get the oven spring you want but it still tastes good.

        • Willy
          Willy commented
          Editing a comment
          I've been using Breadhead's idea, which is a pizza stone and a stainless steel bowl for the top. The SS bowl is much lighter and easier to handle than a DO. Add a metal cabinet pull to the outside top of the bowl and you're good to go.
      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 5730
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

          > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
          > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
          > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

        Top | #546
        "I would try mounting a loaf on that skillet and put the DO on the top. "

        That's the plan. FWIW, I discovered a few days ago that it seems to be the norm over at Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/10/b...o-it-righ.html

        In the future, I'll probably only use the DO "right side up" for baking seriously uncooperative high hydration dough.

        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          High hydration dough does add challenges.🤔 That's why I suggested those that are just learning to start with a 65% hydration dough in this thread. Even moving from 65% hydration to 70% can be a challenge for most beginners. Then 75% and 80% can throw off experienced bakers.
      • Thunder77
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 2569
        • 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

        Top | #547
        71% hydration boule. Nothing special, except that I got a bit creative with my scoring. Good stuff! Family seems to have agreed, since there isn't much left. 😎
        Attached Files

        Comment

        • MBMorgan
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 5730
          • Colorado
          • > Weber Genesis EP-330
            > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
            > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
            > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
            > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
            to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
            > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
            > Thermoworks Smoke
            > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
            > Thermoworks Thermapen
            > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
            > Anova sous vide circulator
            > Searzall torch
            > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

            > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
            > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
            > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

          Top | #548
          Nicely done!

          Comment

          • Breadhead
            Banned Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 2

            Top | #549
            Oh my... nice job! It looks like you're getting a groove with your lame. Of all my long learning curve of baking bread, learning to score a loaf to get a pretty looking loaf like that was by far the most challenging. I like how the tips of the ears are slightly burnt and the blisters are great too. Again... nice work!

            Comment


            • Willy
              Willy commented
              Editing a comment
              Breadhead I agree--scoring was surprisingly hard for me. I finally watched a video you posted and realized I was cutting too slowly. I'm still not great, but I'm doing OK now.

            • Thunder77
              Thunder77 commented
              Editing a comment
              Willy, I'm still working on my batard scoring. One step at a time. :-)

            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              Willy ... on a batard I make 1 long cut from end to end with my lame at a 35° angle. Stare at it before you stick your lame in it to plan your cut and move fast. You want to cut a flap not a groove.
          • Willy
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
            • 1806
            • High Desert of the Great Southwest

            Top | #550
            OK, so I made a "real" (non-test) loaf today. I upped the hydration by 5% and my loaf is much flatter--haven't peeked at the crumb yet. The reason for this post is to report that the loaf lost 12 grams AFTER removal from the oven--over the space of about an hour. It went from 1076 grams upon removal to 1064 grams an hour later. I think the "crust stops moisture loss" claim can be filed with the "searing the steak prevents moisture loss" idea as a myth.

            I'll also say my higher hydration skills are not quite (OK, far from) up to snuff.
            Last edited by Willy; December 11th, 2016, 07:04 PM.

            Comment


            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              You're probably right it doesn't stop it entirely but 12 grams is less than a 1/2 ounce. It does slow down the evaporation of the steam.
          • MBMorgan
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 5730
            • Colorado
            • > Weber Genesis EP-330
              > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
              > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
              > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
              > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
              to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
              > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
              > Thermoworks Smoke
              > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
              > Thermoworks Thermapen
              > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
              > Anova sous vide circulator
              > Searzall torch
              > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

              > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
              > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
              > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

            Top | #551
            Originally posted by Willy View Post
            I'll also say my higher hydration skills are not quite (OK, far from) up to snuff.
            Yeah ... tension pulls in particular are a real bear when you get up into the 70+% range. I find that using a bench scraper and moving as quickly as possible really help ...

            Comment


            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              I also think having a real good window pane test during the mixing process is very important in high hydration dough. That will make preshaping and final shaping easier.
          • scottranda
            Charter Member
            • May 2015
            • 1457
            • Charlotte, NC

            Top | #552
            70% hydration.

            10% semolina flour, 90% bread flour.

            I finally got my cambro proofing vessel (early Christmas gift). Helped tremendously get my proofing right. I was flying blind before.

            Wife said it was my best yet!
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              jgjeske1 RonB THANKS GUYS!

            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              That's a really nice crumb... it appears you got great oven spring.

            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Breadhead ! Thanks to my new see through cambro proofing vessel, I'm not flying blind!! Now, I have no excuses!
          • scottranda
            Charter Member
            • May 2015
            • 1457
            • Charlotte, NC

            Top | #553
            Let's talk about getting a nice crust. My crust is too soft. Like Breadhead said, I want crumbs to dust off the table.

            How can I get a better/harder crust? Is it all temp? Air flow?

            Comment


            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              👍 on what Willy said.

            • Willy
              Willy commented
              Editing a comment
              Agreed with RonB regarding cooking to a darker color. Your loaf color is darned pretty, but a tad light colored compared to mine and to most of the photos posted herein. FWIW, I never leave my loaves in the oven when done--always straight to a cooling rack

            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              I bake mine covered for 20 minutes (yes, misting with water before). Then I bake to color, but perhaps I can leave it in a little longer. I'm just afraid of too dark, and burning it. I always go straight from oven to cooling rack (propping the bread up on its side).
          • RonB
            Club Member
            • Apr 2016
            • 10881
            • Near Richmond VA
            • Weber Performer Deluxe
              SNS
              Pizza insert
              Rotisserie
              Smokenator 1000
              Cookshack Smokette Elite
              2 Thermapens
              Chefalarm
              Dot
              lots of probes.
              CyberQ

            Top | #554
            scottranda - When the bread is done, do you leave it in the oven? That will help with a crisp crust. Just prop the oven door open an inch or two to cool. As the bread cools, moisture leaves the loaf and has to pass through the crust. That will soften the crust enough to destroy the crunch you are after but leaving it in the hot oven as it cools helps the moisture evaporate quickly preserving the crispness. Also, baking until the crust is darker wouldn't hurt either.

            Comment


            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't leave it in the oven. But, like you and others are saying, I need to leave it in the oven longer (uncovered). I guess I'm afraid of burning it. I'll experiment with my next loaf.

            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              scottranda - It took me a while to get up enough nerve to leave the bread in the oven, but I'm glad I did because it does work. Just turn the oven off and crack the door. I don't leave bread on the baking stone or steel though. I move a rack one grove above the steel and put the bread on that.
          • MBMorgan
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 5730
            • Colorado
            • > Weber Genesis EP-330
              > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
              > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
              > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
              > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
              to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
              > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
              > Thermoworks Smoke
              > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
              > Thermoworks Thermapen
              > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
              > Anova sous vide circulator
              > Searzall torch
              > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

              > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
              > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
              > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

            Top | #555
            Originally posted by scottranda View Post
            Let's talk about getting a nice crust. My crust is too soft. Like Breadhead said, I want crumbs to dust off the table.

            How can I get a better/harder crust? Is it all temp? Air flow?
            Just bake it longer. These days, I bake to color: 30 minutes covered then 15 to 25 minutes uncovered ... all at a constant 475 F (it's a Forkish thing) and never fail to get a good crust. If that doesn't fix things, think about sugar in the dough. If the yeast effectively depletes all (or most) of the sugar in your dough, it'll never brown properly.

            Comment


            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, I do 20 min covered, but I inevitably take it out 7-8 min after uncovering it in fear of burning it. Your sugar comment is also a possibility. I always pre-ferment, but I don't think I preferment too long (~12 hours with 1-3% yeast starter). I'll try longer baking times though.

            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              Seconding this notion. Your loaf looks a little blond. If you're worried about burning, keep the light on and keep an eye on it. 7-8 mins seems too short for proper crust.

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