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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Willy
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1765
    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

    Mbmorgan Yeah, I hear you. My thinking is that as long as the temp of the lid stays well above 212°F, that should be sufficient. I'm guessing the radiant heat of the cover is not nearly as important as the heat conducted (with some convection and radiation as well) from the stone or CI bottom. I look at it like the cover just needs to be hot enough to avoid condensing the steam from the loaf. I could be wrong; I did make a mistake one other time. LOL.

    I haven't ventured into high hydration yet; my oven is open and the SS bowl is cooling for maybe 30-45 seconds tops, depending on what dexterity and cool-mindedness I have at that particular moment.

    Comment

    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1765
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      Mbmorgan I was going over this thread of Breadhead ‘s today and found a couple of interesting comments from you, so I thought I’d ask a couple of questions. First, I saw your comment about bread proofing more quickly at higher altitudes. My experience confirms this as well; I am at just under 5,000 feet and my rise times are always much faster than the various recipes recommended rise times. This gets me to thinking about how much flavor we might be missing from a longer fermentation time. The quicker rise makes sense to me in terms of reduced atmospheric pressure, thus making it easier for bubbles to expand in the dough, BUT I can’t see altitude affecting the metabolism rates of the yeast or the LAB. My tentative conclusion is that a lot of flour is left “undigested” relative to a “sea level baker” with longer ferment times. Your thoughts? (I am going to do more loaves that are retarded in the fridge)

      Second, I also saw that you were keeping your starter in the fridge, which I also did for several months. My experience was that I lost of tang during that time. Is that your experience or is the fridge working well for you?

      Finally, I chuckled when I read your line: “ who'd a'thunk Colorado native yeast would give S.F. sourdough a run for its money?” I was so excited when my first loaf turned out tangy that I almost peed my pants. LOL It was getting old buying loaves that were labelled as “sourdough”, but weren’t at all.

      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 10819
        • Near Richmond VA
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        Willy - reading through your post above about rising time I had a thought, (and it didn't hurt too much... ). It seems to me that the CO2 generated by fermentation may be expanding more due to the altitude. This is what you said, but a little differently than I. So it would seem to me that you could let the dough rise a bit higher without hurting the dough - maybe 2.5 times instead of 2 times, (or whatever the recipe sez). I'm at 300' so I can't do this, but this is what I would try if I were at 5000'. I'd make some dough and cut it in half. One I would bake by how much it has risen, and the other half I would bake by recommended rising time. Doing this might answer your question. BTW - I agree with proofing in the refrigerator.

        I do hope that others with high altitude experience will chime in.

        Comment


        • Willy
          Willy commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting point! Makes sense to me.I'd LOVE to hear what others say.
      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 5617
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
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          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
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          > 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

        Originally posted by Willy View Post
        Mbmorgan I was going over this thread of Breadhead ‘s today and found a couple of interesting comments from you, so I thought I’d ask a couple of questions. First, I saw your comment about bread proofing more quickly at higher altitudes. My experience confirms this as well; I am at just under 5,000 feet and my rise times are always much faster than the various recipes recommended rise times. This gets me to thinking about how much flavor we might be missing from a longer fermentation time. The quicker rise makes sense to me in terms of reduced atmospheric pressure, thus making it easier for bubbles to expand in the dough, BUT I can’t see altitude affecting the metabolism rates of the yeast or the LAB. My tentative conclusion is that a lot of flour is left “undigested” relative to a “sea level baker” with longer ferment times. Your thoughts? (I am going to do more loaves that are retarded in the fridge)

        Second, I also saw that you were keeping your starter in the fridge, which I also did for several months. My experience was that I lost of tang during that time. Is that your experience or is the fridge working well for you?

        Finally, I chuckled when I read your line: “ who'd a'thunk Colorado native yeast would give S.F. sourdough a run for its money?” I was so excited when my first loaf turned out tangy that I almost peed my pants. LOL It was getting old buying loaves that were labelled as “sourdough”, but weren’t at all.
        Willy - The faster proofing/rising does indeed happen at high altitude (I'm at 6300 ft. msl) due to lower atmospheric pressure. Basically, the expanding dough encounters less resistance and therefore expands more rapidly. You are totally correct that the yeast's metabolic rate shouldn't be affected by altitude ... and I suspect that we should be able to allow the dough to expand more than the "normal" recommended 2x volume. FWIW, I find it works best for me to let the dough expand (as RonB suggested) to 2.5x or even 3x the original volume during bulk proofing.

        As far as storing my poolish in the refrigerator goes, I do that routinely when traveling and I have experimented with attempts to increase tanginess by giving it a couple of days in cold storage once in a while ... with inconclusive results. At the moment, I have begun storing the poolish in the refrigerator during weekdays then setting it out on the counter for a couple of feedings during weekends ... mainly because feeding every day is getting tiresome. I'll let you know how that works out in a couple of weeks when I bake another sourdough loaf. Frankly, I'm starting to suspect that a really cold refrigerator (mine maintains 34 deg. F) may result in both the lacto and aceto bacteria going dormant ... and therefore not changing the "tang profile" at all. I believe that you were involved in some earlier discussions about exactly what "cold" means to a starter. I'm thinking that "cool" storage (around 55 deg. F) might make more sense ... like where my wine cooler runs. Hmmm ... I guess this means I'll have to find a way to make some room in there for the poolish ... ...

        Comment

        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 10819
          • Near Richmond VA
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          Willy and Mbmorgan - I found this info on temps at Wikibooks. Scroll down a bit to the "Temperature" section. The last sentence recommends 50* F. There's a lot of info at the link, but is does get fairly technical.

          Here's an article at Northwest Sourdough that deals specifically with storage temps. It also talks about losing flavor and tang over time.
          Last edited by RonB; January 25th, 2017, 05:25 PM.

          Comment


          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Ron ...
        • Willy
          Charter Member
          • Apr 2015
          • 1765
          • High Desert of the Great Southwest

          RonB Good read on losing tang. Thanks. It supports my suspicion that very long term and continuous refrigeration isn't conducive to good starter health. I also found the comment about a stable culture being resistant to "invasion" pretty interesting. It's the second time I've seen the claim that an imported (or "purchased") starter might be OK and wouldn't necessarily get over taken by local microbes. I'm sure it all depends on the various strains involved--both local and imported. After all, our starters seem to resist "infection" by whatever microbes come in the flour.

          Vinnie is now living in a wine cooler; we'll see how that works out.

          Comment

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

            I bought some vital wheat gluten today. Would it help my basic sourdough boule at all? If so, how much should I add? Do I only use it for whole wheat doughs? Ciabatta?

            Comment

            • Willy
              Charter Member
              • Apr 2015
              • 1765
              • High Desert of the Great Southwest

              scottranda I used VWG to boost the protein level of the flour when I made Reinhart's water bagels (Bread Bakers Apprentice). I figured that about 2.0% VWG (as part of the 100% flour, with VWG having 75%-80% protein)) would boost KA bread flour (12.7%) to around 14%, which is what their high gluten formulation is and what Reinhart preferred for the bagels. It worked well. I can't speak to any other use but I suspect that its use is appropriate when trying to create a stronger gluten structure. It sure made nice chewy bagels.

              I actually used 2.5% because I used 12.5% (dang memory) for the KA BF and 75% (low end) for the VWG instead of 12.7% for the BF and 77.5% for the VWG.

              The formula: .125X + .75(1-X) = .14, X = .976 BF, thus .024 VWG vs: .127X + .775(1-X) = .14, X = .98 BF and VWG = .02

              BTW, I think Reinhart's BBA is an excellent book.

              Comment

              • RonB
                Club Member
                • Apr 2016
                • 10819
                • Near Richmond VA
                • Weber Performer Deluxe
                  SNS
                  Pizza insert
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                  2 Thermapens
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                  Dot
                  lots of probes.
                  CyberQ

                It's generally used with whole grains, but it can be added to white flours to raise the protein level as well. (Basically, you can turn APF into BF by adding VWG.) As for how much to use, different sources recommend different amounts varying from 1 tbls per cup of ww flour to 1 tbls for every 2 to 3 cups of flour. I suggest starting with the lower amount and see if that improves the bread. Use more if necessary.

                Comment

                • Potkettleblack
                  Club Member
                  • Jun 2016
                  • 1794
                  • Chicago, IL
                  • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
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                    Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

                  The Modernist Cuisine folks use it in pizza dough to improve the chew.

                  Comment

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

                    Should I get a 3.2 quart or 5 quart combo cooker?

                    Comment


                    • RonB
                      RonB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      scottranda - I don't being larger than necessary would be a problem. However, if it's too small...
                  • MBMorgan
                    Club Member
                    • Sep 2015
                    • 5617
                    • 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

                    Originally posted by scottranda View Post
                    Should I get a 3.2 quart or 5 quart combo cooker?
                    I got the Lodge 5 qt combo and I think it's pretty much perfect. My larger 7 qt DO (not a combo) lets high-hydration dough spread out too much laterally ... so I don't get as much vertical development as I like. The 5 qt combo lid (used as the bottom) is rounded and seems to do a much better job of controlling the boule shape as it bakes.

                    Here's a link to the 5 qt on Amazon (minus the AR tag):

                    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                    FWIW, I remember hearing that Ken Forkish sizes all of his bread formulas to bake in a "3.5 qt" dutch oven. He then went on to say that you can use a 5 qt just a well. He doesn't seem to use a combo ... and I can't find that "3.5 qt" quote anywhere.

                    EDIT: I just check the 3.2 and 5 qt combo dimensions on the Lodge site. They are basically the same diameter but the lid and base of the 5 qt are deeper.
                    Last edited by MBMorgan; January 31st, 2017, 01:05 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Willy
                      Willy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm glad to see your comment about high hydration doughs spreading. The one I tried (on a pizza stone) sure did!
                  • scottranda
                    Charter Member
                    • May 2015
                    • 1474
                    • Charlotte, NC

                    If it's too small, is it a big problem if it "touches" the sides or top?

                    Comment


                    • RonB
                      RonB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      scottranda - there would only be a problem if your bread stuck to the CI. So make sure you use Pam on the sides. It could also affect the look of the boule slightly
                  • Willy
                    Charter Member
                    • Apr 2015
                    • 1765
                    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

                    I wonder what a pro like Forkish does commercially for high hydration doughs. Surely he can't have dozens of DOs?

                    @scottranda: I would suspect that a DO that was too short would make a funny looking loaf.

                    Comment

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

                    I added 2.4% of salt to my dough (by accident). Couldn't get the rest out. Will it be way too salty? Or negligible?

                    Comment


                    • scottranda
                      scottranda commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Willy 2%

                    • Willy
                      Willy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It'll be fine! If I'm wrong, let me know and I'll edit my post to agree with the actual results.

                    • scottranda
                      scottranda commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Willy I have so much confidence now. Thanks!

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