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Now that is a good tasting loaf! | Sourdough Companion

Now that is a good tasting loaf!

I think that I may finallly be ready to move up to a new formula.  The Norwich Rye Sourdough is working out just about every time I give it a go.  I still need some work on my slashing, but it's comming together.  Better yet the stuff has good texture and tastes great!

 

This recent attempt turned out a little lower on hydration than I wanted.  I think the "inexpensive" (cheap) scale I have been using is about worthless.  So instead of 900 g of flour I think I was a little over 1000 g and water was under 500g.  Pretty dry stuff.  Stretching and folding was a little difficult due to the lack of moisture, but in the end it all came together.  I let this one retard for a full 16 hours and it has a very nice sour flavor and smell.

 

                  

                     

 

I do have a question...

 

Autolyse.  I've read that sometimes it's good to go as long as 60 minutes.  I'm not sure I understand why 60 minutes would be better than 30.  Isn't the idea to give the moisture a chance to be fully absorbed by the flour and not just coat it?  If that happens in 30 minutes what would be the benifit of 60 minutes?

 

Does the higher the hydration mean the more open the crumb?  I think I've read that somewhere.  Is this correct?

 

Thanks again for all your help.  Any suggestions on what to try next?  :)

 

6 comments

The autolyze period does quite a bit more than just guarantee that the flour has fully absorbed  the available water. Since the salt is not mixed into the dough at this stage gluten development and fermentation are taking place fairly rapidly. The fermentation should be fairly noticeable (if the dough is carrying enough water, which itself will depend on a multitude of variables, or, as we say at work, "a whole lotta things".) You can poke at the dough and the change should be obvious, and the mass will probably show a bulge, or crown. Gluten development will be less obvious until you actually handle it, but when using mechanical mixing we have found that we can mix a typical dough to full development in about 4 minutes as opposed to 10 or 12 without an autolyze.

And in fact you can eliminate almost all mechanical mixing by simply aging and turning (folding, punching) the dough, and the quality will not suffer. It may be improved.

Yes, keeping the hydration level as high as possible does improve the "lacey" quality of levains. But at the same time the dough needs to ferment long enough to convert as much of the starch as possible. Just what it's converted to I wish I knew. Maybe Leaddog has the answer. There's more to this subject that I don't know than there is that I do, and every year I realize the depth of my ignorance more profoundly!

Good luck,

Muff

 

[quote=Muff]There's more to this subject that I don't know than there is that I do, and every year I realize the depth of my ignorance more profoundly![/quote]

So true...and this realisation is a sign of wisdom, Muff - not only in the context of baking, but in all things! That's my belief, anyway.

Jigsaw, have you checked the Recipes section here? There are many, many great breads to choose from. Why not just have a look through, and pick something that appeals to you and that has directions you can easily get your head around? One of the most enjoyable aspects of this wonderful world of SD is the ongoing discovery of new breads. Once you start trying new ones, I'll bet you'll soon have a "must-bake" list that is ever-growing and that will keep you going on new breads into the indefinite future. In time, you'll pick up the sorts of breads and techniques you prefer, and can start making your own tweaks. I've found, though, that continuing to try new breads, not necessarily within your comfort zone, keeps you stimulated and motivated to keep on keeping on with your baking...although, I think most home bakers will agree that once you get into this, there is no turning back!

Cheers
Ross

[quote=Muff]

The autolyze period does quite a bit more than just guarantee that the flour has fully absorbed  the available water. Since the salt is not mixed into the dough at this stage gluten development and fermentation are taking place fairly rapidly.[/quote]

How long would you think you could / should let it autolyze before you have gone to far?  Does the longer autolyze period = more flavor?  And if it does would it be at the expense of something else, like rise or texture?

My first attempt with the Norwich Rye was interrupted by my son needing his bike fixed amongst other things...  Autolyze of about 5 hours...  I got all tied up in the bike and forgot all about what I was doing beforehand. 

I only got one slice of that loaf so it's hard for me to compare it to the most current one which is already gone too.  (Luckily I baked two this time!)  However my wife says that the first Norwich Rye was the more flavorful, but couldn't comment on the texture.  I do think that this recent loaf rose better.  It about doubled in 1 1/2 hours after the 150 minutes of fold and rest were done.  Then in the fridge they went after dividing, resting and then shaping.  16 hours later they were about 1/4 to maybe 1/2 larger than when they first went in. 

The long autolyze loaf didn't seem to do as well for what I can remember.  No rise in the fridge, but I wasn't expecting any at the time...  Plus these loafs opened up at the slashes and seemed to have the best oven spring I've seen yet.  Much better than the long autolyze loaf...  However Norwich #1 had a pretty high hydration and this recent try didn't...

[quote=Muff]which itself will depend on a multitude of variables, or, as we say at work, "a whole lotta things"[/quote]

Yeah to many things changing at once for me to tell just what caused what.

 

SO.... 

High Hydration = open lacy good texture.

Short Autolyze = More kneading / stretching and folding necessary and possibly less flavor

Long Autolyze = good fermentation and gluten development

Really Long Autolyze = ?

 

 

 

 

Ross,

Did just that.  I think tomorrow will be the Honey Oat and Flax Sourdough.  I happen to have all three things handy at this time, plus an abundance of starter all ready to go. 

[quote=rossnroller]Once you start trying new ones, I'll bet you'll soon have a "must-bake" list that is ever-growing and that will keep you going on new breads into the indefinite future.[/quote]

Just that short little perusal of the recipe section resulted in 5 that jumped out at me which I now have printed out and ready to go.  :)  Though just watching the right side of this page always results in something catching my attention.  You guys make such nice stuff!  With all the ovens I've seen there recently I'm starting the planning for the one I want to build next spring / summer.

As far as motivation goes...  There is something that really feels right and good about taking a bunch of flour and some water and making something so wonderful.  I find that I spend a lot of the time I am on the web looking at different baking sites and reading and reading.

 

Recently read that Sourdough bread has positive health effects and can cause a lower blood sugar level for the same amount of insulin production.  One of my co-workers is diabetic and tried a little experiment for me...  he spent a week writing down everything he ate each day and the resulting blood sugar levels.  Then the next week he added in a slice or two of sourdough toast for breakfast and ate exactly the same things each day.  The week with sourdough had lower blood sugar levels each day and throughout the day than the week without.  Bread is something he always thought that he couldn't eat as it really causes a rise in blood sugar.  Apparently not the case with Sourdough.  :)

 

Thanks!!

 

James.

 

 

Autolyze - the concept of autolyze has numerous effects.

As soon as the water and flour come together the enzyme activity starts. The activity both strengthens gluten proteins and then softens them. The more you use the autolyse technique for gluten development the richer deeper flavor  and color you will achieve in you final product.

The more heavy mechanical mixing that you use the more oxygenated the dough will become and the less flavor and color you will achieve.

Without getting to scientific. The stronger your flour is the longer you can extend the fermentation period, during fermentation the proteins are broken down.

The longer you autolyze the less mixing you need. Both processes develop structure.

Your flour quality will have a major impact on how long you can ferment your dough.

Long ferment 24-48 - thicker crust, deeper color, fuller flavor.

High hydration levels do directly relate to open (large holes) crumb structure. Only if you don't degas the dough during moulding.

Have fun - talk soon

... pretty well sums it up.

About blood sugar and bread: "bread" is one of those foods accused of having a high glycemic index, in that it povides a mass of readily available and digestible starches. But I've always assumed that the longer a dough ferments the less readily available starch remains. In fact, some of the starch winds up as protein, in the form of yeast, or at least it would seem so, since one of the things going on is that yeast is budding, especially at higher temperatures. And if it were not so you could not build starters.

So you start out with a flour that can be anywhere from 8-15 percent protein. There's almost a neglible amount of ash, but let's round it to 2% (higher extraction flours, which I've never used, can go quite a bit higher than this; they're not easy to find if you aren't bolting your own flour.)  So leaves 83-90 percent starch. Hardly all of that is converted to fermentibles or there wouldn't be anything left to eat! But something happens to it- it's not just "starch" any more.

So a working premise for exploration: highly fermented loaves have a lower glycemic index than rapidly fermented ones.

Just as a note: I've often seen pan bread and hamburger buns made using the no-time method: all ingredients combined on the mixer, mixed about 10 minutes and taken straight to make up and into the proof box, total time perhaps 30 minutes. Some of it looks OK, but it isn't very good and doesn't keep well. Of course, the (conventional) yeast levels are pretty high. But the point is that product has to be different to your digestive system than all the other methods.

Just thoughts,

Muff