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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • MBMorgan
    Club Member
    • Sep 2015
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    Originally posted by Breadhead View Post

    Hmmm... Mr Forkish & Chef Jacob both call for lots of grams of flour to be wasted.😑 Both of them use huge quantities of flour and water to build a new starter/levain. I really don't get it.πŸ™ˆ

    Ken Forkish on the Field Blend #2 recipe wants you to use 100 grams of your regular starter/levain to develop the levain/starter for this dough. He adjusted the flour content some and the hydration content some, but if you go by the FINAL DOUGH recipe and the bakers percentage, where it says the starter/levain is 20% of the weight of the flour... everything gets easier. If I were going to make that dough I would treat the LEVAIN on page 159 as a pre-ferment. I would reduce everything by 50%.
    • Mature, active levain 50g
    • White flour 200g
    • Whole wheat flour 50g
    • Water 200g
    That way... I'm only going to throw away 140g of levain.

    Keep your FINAL DOUGH recipe and the bakers percentage exactly the same and keep your Levain at 20% of the weight of the flour and all is exactly as Mr Forkish suggested.

    I have no idea why he made his pre-ferment/Levain, as he calls it, so huge.


    I recently spent some time reverse-engineering the Forkish Levain and discovered that all he really does is this:
    • Starting the Levain:
      • For the first 4 days, maintain a 100% hydration Poolish using only WW flour. Dump 75% each day and feed.
      • On day 5, dump 85% and then introduce white BF so that the BF/WW flour ratio is 80/20. Adjust hydration to 82%.
    • Maintaining the Levain:
      • Every day, dump 90% then feed with an 80/20 mix of BF/WW. Maintain 82% hydration.
    The spreadsheet spells it all out ... AND ... in rows 28 - 35 shows how to start and maintain a much more manageable 200 gram Forkish-style Levain:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Forkish Levain Scaled Down.jpg Views:	1 Size:	636.4 KB ID:	308196

    Comment


    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, I had no idea I was going to stir things up with one question!

    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Pequod - That's good to know ... thanks! My wife's the pizza maven around here so I haven't bought his pizza book ... yet! I concur with continuing with conversion of every formula to use a 100% hydration poolish.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      I think the great value of Ken Forkish' contribution has to do with his techniques for high hydration dough. His recipes can be converted easily and are very similar to all other sourdough recipes. I like his choice of flours to effect the flavor profile too. He and Chef Jacob are my bread guys.
  • Ptrbve
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 70
    • Worcester
    • OlllllO

    I made my first sourdough bread about a month ago. I was happy with it. However it was beginners luck. My next few tasted good but did not rise correctly or look as good. I have used the starter for ciabatta also and been pleased. It makes a great pizza! Tonights sourdough tastes great and is my best looking and springing (in my opinion,
    anyway). Thank you Breadhead. Click image for larger version

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    Still room for improvement, though!

    Comment


    • Ptrbve
      Ptrbve commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you.

    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a beautiful job!

    • Steve Vojtek
      Steve Vojtek commented
      Editing a comment
      WOW!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
      My hat of to you...
  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1424
    • Charlotte, NC

    I've had my bread issues recently. Deflation! This week, I had some issues where I started it the night before, but forgot I was going to be gone the whole day. So, the next morning, I woke up, put in the rest of the ingredients (minus the salt) and had a 9 hour autolyse in the fridge (slow things down). Then, I added salt, I formed the dough and shaped it and put it in my banneton for an overnight. Woke up and the yeast must've been active bc the dough rose a decent amount in the fridge. I was afraid of overproofing, so without it passing the poke test (and the dough cold), I put it in the oven. Deflation. My ego too.

    Anything I should've done differently? I was really thrown off by not being home to make the bread. I did my best given the circumstances.

    Comment

  • Willy
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1766
    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

    scottranda I have been doing my SD overnight in the fridge--straight after mixing (with salt!), kneading, and doing stretch and folds. I have come to think (YMMV!!!!) that the "secret" is to use cold water and never let the yeast have a chance to get started. It's the bacteria and the natural enzymes in the flour, not the yeast, that make most of the flavors. I observe that once my dough is beginning to rise well, refrigeration temperatures will not be able to slow it down enough to last overnight without over-proofing. Now, once morning comes and I take the cold dough out of the fridge, it will take hours for it to start to rise again. I have even put the covered dough bowl out in the late morning sun to kick-start it--at which point it WILL take off quickly once warmed.

    If I do the pre-ferment at room temperature and then try to refrigerate the formed loaf (in banneton), the refrigerated loaf will have over-risen by AM. Also, I am most definitely not concerned about salt inhibiting the rise. Salt will (I read) slow things down (sometimes a good thing), but it WILL NOT stop the rise. I do not see any difference between slowing the initial rise or the final rise. The microbes are chewing sugars and producing tasty byproducts the whole time and they cannot tell if the dough has risen once or twice. I am convinced (well, almost) that the total fermentation time is all that really matters.

    Again, YMMV. Happy bread baking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment

    • Breadhead
      Banned Former Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 1

      I just cancelled my Pit Club account. Someone ought to takeover control of this thread. The best person for that duty would be Mbmorgan in my opinion. I'm quite pleased all of you guys enjoyed this thread and love making bread like I do.
      Last edited by Breadhead; May 4th, 2017, 09:02 PM.

      Comment


      • Steve Vojtek
        Steve Vojtek commented
        Editing a comment
        This is very sad. The Pit won't be the same without you Breadhead . Thank you for everything .
        I will never forget you.....my bread Mentor...now I have to find a tissue..

      • vandy
        vandy commented
        Editing a comment
        I sure do hate to hear that but I am sure you have your reasons and wish you well in your future endeavors what ever they may be. Thank you for all you have done for this group!

      • Ptrbve
        Ptrbve commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry to hear that Breadhead. You will be missed. Thank you for inpiring me to start baking bread and for sharing your knowledge.
    • Thunder77
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 2491
      • 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

      A tribute to Breadhead. I have been busy the last two weekends, and unable to make bread. Also, I really haven't had the heart to bake since losing our mentor. But my family has been clamoring for bread, so I baked today.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • Thunder77
        Thunder77 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you Breadhead! I owe it all to you and Chef Jacob.

      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        I owe it all to Chef Jacob, Ken Forkish and 1000's of hours of reading and watching videos. Bread making is an interesting study that NEVER ends. No one knows it all. I'm pleased to help you guys on your bread making journey.πŸ‘

      • Ptrbve
        Ptrbve commented
        Editing a comment
        Well done!
    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 10686
      • Near Richmond VA
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        lots of probes.
        CyberQ

      That's a great lookin' boule Thunder77

      Comment

      • scottranda
        Charter Member
        • May 2015
        • 1424
        • Charlotte, NC

        My bread never has the "flaps" when I score and bake it. Am I scoring wrong or not shaping perfectly? Sometimes I have high hopes it will have the nice ears, but just bleeds open after I bake it.

        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          The angle and depth of your knife and the oven spring will determine how your ears open. If you drop your dough into your Dutch Oven before you score it you are restricted to straight up and down cuts that will just spread open.

        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          If you're baking your bread on a pizza stone covered by a Stainless Steel mixing bowl... score your dough with your knife at a 35% angle cutting at about 3/8" deep. Then mist your dough with water before transferring it to the pizza stone. You've created a flap that will rise nicely.
      • Thunder77
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 2491
        • 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

        Try using your scoring blade at an angle to the bread, not straight into it. Also, Right before I put the bread in the banneton to proof, I use my bench knife to make some really tight tension pulls, so that the top of the boule almost, but not quite tears. And the steam phase is important, of course.

        Comment


        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          You're right. I don't always get it, either! I think the key to this one was the cast iron Dutch oven, and plenty of steam for the oven spring.

        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          The Dutch Oven is your problem... after dropping your dough in a 500Β° DO you are limited to straight up and down cuts. You've created a divot that will just spread, not rise. Score your dough at a 35Β° angle and you've created a flap that will rise nicely during the ovenspring process.
          Last edited by Breadhead; June 4th, 2017, 11:00 AM.

        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          FWIW, I score my bread before I put it in the DO. I put the boule on a piece of parchment paper, score it quickly, and plop it in the DO. When the steam phase is done, I pull the parchment out.
      • Pequod
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 402
        • Fairfax Station, Virginia
        • Gear
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        Originally posted by Thunder77 View Post
        A tribute to Breadhead. I have been busy the last two weekends, and unable to make bread. Also, I really haven't had the heart to bake since losing our mentor. But my family has been clamoring for bread, so I baked today.
        Nice boule! So...I don't think Breadhead is gone. Looky here.

        Comment


        • Pequod
          Pequod commented
          Editing a comment
          Breadhead - well I'm stupid glad you're back. The Pit wouldn't be The Pit without you.

        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          Well, I am also glad you're back! My sourdough bread would not be as good as it is without your help and guidance.

        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks guys...πŸ‘Œ I'm here to help!
      • Potkettleblack
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 1784
        • Chicago, IL
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        Click image for larger version

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ID:	330629 A bit of work in process. MIL in town tomorrow, so making Forkish's walnut bread. Interesting to work the dough with all the nuts in it. Can really feel the pincers method working to distribute them evenly. Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          Your MIL will think you are a real Master bread maker.πŸ‘
      • Potkettleblack
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 1784
        • Chicago, IL
        • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
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          Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

        First loaf is out of the oven on the cooling rack. This is the bowl one. The one in is the baneton loaf. Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          I like the color of your crust.πŸ‘ It looks like you got good ovenspring and your scoring opened nicely. Your MIL is gonna love your bread.😜
      • Potkettleblack
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 1784
        • Chicago, IL
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        Click image for larger version

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ID:	331074 The two loaves and a cutaway of the baneton loaf. This worked great. Dunno about the walnuts, but I was much happier with my boule forming technique and the whole process. This had the best flavor of any bread I've made. I think King Arthur has really come of age.

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Don't own but a hand mixer, but I have dough hooks for it.

        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          Two beautiful, stunning loaves! I love the alien-looking bubble on the first one. 😎

        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Opened the first loaf today. Less rise, and the alien bubble was a bit of a mouse hole. Probably a bit early for the sweet spot on the proof.
      • Michael Brinton
        Club Member
        • May 2016
        • 250

        https://aeon.co/essays/time-to-bake-...ourdough-bread thought you guys would enjoy this...

        Comment

        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 1

          Great article. I relate to this paragraph...

          More directly, there’s the time it takes to make the individual loaf β€” the mixing, fermenting, kneading, proving, proving again, shaping, rising and final introduction to the oven. If you’re making sourdough and start at 7am, you can have bread just about ready β€” still cooling β€” in time to accompany supper. When you are in a relationship with time, you are in some sense meditating; the repetitive physical process of kneading (or, for the Lepard-ite, kneading and reshaping, kneading and reshaping) leaves your mind wonderfully uncluttered and attentive. You are working at the loaf’s pace, and you draw from it exactly the satisfaction that fishermen draw from fishing.

          Touching and feeling dough with my eyes closed I can feel where the dough is... it's talking to me. Sometimes it says give me more work, kneading. Sometimes it says not now, take your hands off of me, I need time to relax.

          Once you understand your dough's message to you, you are on the edge of becoming a Master bread maker. Once you can make every loaf and every type of loaf look truly beautiful... you ARE a Master bread maker.πŸ€—

          I aspire to become a Master bread maker because it makes me feel good. I like to make it much more than I like to eat it. I find it easy to give my loaves away. I've thought of opening a stand at the Hermosa Beach farmers market to sell it but that would make it a job.😑

          Comment


          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            If it's your passion, is it really a job?
            I really got the handle on hand mixing ingredients to even distribution with the walnuts. Having a big thing to distribute evenly was proof of concept for me.

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            I make one or 2 loaves at a time, that's a hobby. If I have to make 50 loaves a week, that's a job.πŸ™ˆ I had a guy that owns a popular delicatessen ask me to make Brioche buns for him. I gave him the recipe.πŸ‘ I add my solids, nuts and or etc during the stretch and fold process. How do you do yours?

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            Do the pincers and fold step of forkish, then mix in solids, then pincers and fold until evenly incorporated. I think Forkish wants you to be sure the dough in well mixed before adding the nuts.

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        PK 360 grill

        Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

        The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

        Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

        Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


        Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

        fireboard bbq thermometer

        With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

        Click here to read our detailed review


        Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

        Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

        Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

        Click here to read our detailed review and to order