Wheat, Barley & Rye Sourdough

Here's what I'm currently baking.

I have evolved it from my standard dough - Mick's Basic - plus some inspiration from Dan Lepard's Barley and Rye bread in The Handmade Loaf. Exactly as Mick's recipe but the flour mix is 80% strong white/10% barley flour/10% rye flour.

Plus a tablespoon of honey.

It's nice and light but still reasonably complex in flavour.

Happy Baking,
Matt

Method

 

37 comments

Hi Chembake,

Happy to shake hands on that and I wish you well with the technical forum.

Best Wishes,
Matt

Chembake,
I know Graham will shake his head while I induldge(scuse me Graham)but I think you would like my webcast and some of our guests, have a look

www.stirthepot.org

Jeremy

Hello Graham, thanks for the opportunity...Whenever there are any queries (and within my capability) I will try to attend to it immediately?

Jeremy, LOL, that moniker was just decided some time ago when I participated in some newsgroups, but its appropriate as my main professional interest in baking and food processing is formulation chemistry and ingredient interactions that occur in food.

Therefore you are right?.I am a test tube guy that also knows how to make bread?
I am overseas right now ( in Southeast Asia )as a technical consultant to some food companies in that region. I use to live in Belgium, in France, in Germany in Australia then now in Asia.
It?s good to know that we share the same behavioral peculiarities.. but maybe as a chef you had ample opportunities as its really needed in hospitality situations where you deal a lot with customers and infinite patience and courtesy is mandatory requirement in such professions.

Where as in the laboratory situation, the environment is different than in the kitchen.

I used to think that baking is mysterious, my baking mentor during my younger days used to bedazzle us with his skill and idea that breadmaking is mysterious but after my university training science it removed that mystique. Everything that occurs in food processing can be explained through food chemistry.
Regarding the comparison of sourdough and plant baking, from the scientific point of view they are the same and regarding its importance, I think they are equal,but everybody had its preference on what bread they want to eat.

What makes the sourdough desirable is the clean labeling as its made usually by natural means without the use of additives that is rampantly applied in other areas of food processing
In America there had been some news earlier that large institutional baking organization are gradually closing down their production plants due to declining demands for Wonder bread.
If we look at bread from the historical point, naturally leavening process was discovered by ancient people when during battle the army bakers left an unleavened dough in one of their garrisons.
When they returned, several days later they found out that the breaddough had grown in size, but they baked it anyway. To their surprise, it was found to be more delicious than the unleavened bread they are used to. This was used to be the way of baking leavened bread, but later the bakers discovered that talking a part of the dough and setting aside to grow then (and repeating the process) to be used for future breadmaking will allow them to perpetuate the quality of their bread , It allow them to make bread in shorter time, without the need to make an unleavened bread dough everytime and leave it for several days to weeks before they bake it.
It was during the 19th century when European brewers discovered that the residue of beer can be used to raise the dough. This was the yeast in top fermenting brew or ale that produces vigorous fermentation if compared to the lager( or bottom fermenting yeast ) which is slow .
In the early part of the 20th century there was a need to improve the quality of yeast in brewing so yeast processing plants were established. The bakers also tried the yeast and it works satisfactorily in bread as it was in ale.
Years later this plants refined the yeast to be best suited only for baking or brewing.
The revival of traditional baking was the due to the earnest effort by Raymond Calvel a French Bread technologist/chemist who was unhappy of the quality of modern French bread( which to him was tasteless) that he want to regain the quality of the bread that he was used to in his youth. This work leads to revival of traditional baking in many countries later. But unknown to many people the traditional style of baking was still silently practiced in many areas of the breadmaking world. The works of Calvel just popularized the traditional baking methodology.

Hi Chembake!
The moniker chembake did give me an inkling that somehow you were in a testube enviornment,and overseas? Where? Apologies at least for me accepted, although I used to be a stubborn young cook and a cranky Chef I learned a lesson and that is to listen, to take things with a grain of salt(no pun intended)! Sparring isn't what were doing, sharing our bakingtriumphs and failures, foremost this mysterious and also enjoyable craft we all love, and I also disagree that sourdough is less important than let's say commercial plant baking, this I think and may be corrected was the foremost method since it was taken up by the neolithic explorers of early yeast accidents and experiment!

Cheers and happy baking!
Jeremy

The new [url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/phpBB]Technical Centre[/url] forum is up. Chembake we are not depending on you to be there 24 hours, but your technically frank comments will be appreciated in this forum.

Graham

[quote="Graham"]
Thanks Mick and KazaKhan?®©

I hope chembake accepts the offer and everyone can make up. One day it would be great if we could all meet and bake together for a local market. A large woodfired oven and some simple accomodation....[url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/boonderoo]Boonderoo Farm[/url] would be perfect if they would have us. The conversations would be amazing and we could even stage a pretend kitchen fight, just like in the movies. It would be pretend, wouldn't it?

Graham
[/quote]
I'll put my hand up for that and a dough fight

Cool

Graham,

It may seem that emotions have run high on this thread, but the issue for me was misplaced feedback, not that I couldn't handle the feedback. What a sound idea to offer Chembake his own area so that his knowledge is targeted to the right customer.

Best,
Matt

Hi Graham,
Any farm would do, and if nobody minds I'll cook the 1st meal, perhaps sacrificial lamb? Oh yeah, some flatbread too!
Thanks for your offer to chembake, thin skinned types get ready to rumble!
Whew what a show!

Jeremy

I'll bring the home-brewed beer

Very Happy

Hello Graham thanks for your trust?

Smile

Regarding my own technical forum its a good idea but would it not be too much? Artisan baking is not that technically oriented unlike industrial baking, and its more about bakery craftsmanship, than science?.

Surprised

But I leave it up to you?.but as I am overseas and I might be able to answer questions in a delayed manner. That is when I am awake, have done my job and when my notebook is connected to the internet.

To Matt ,Bethesbaker, and Jeremy, you have been a worthy ?sparring partners? and I ask apology for what ever pain that I have?inflicted ?on you guys. There is nothing personal in it<G> just my knack for argument and spirited discussion??
I promise to tone down my stern attitude and try to be more sensitive to other peoples feelings,?.but I am afraid after all the years my partner( incidentally a professor) stills gives me a failing grade ( an F) for it<G>

Laughing

Dear Graham,

You are indeed a wise and diplomatic person ('til the Ashes series starts anyway).

Mick

Thanks Mick and KazaKhan?®©

I hope chembake accepts the offer and everyone can make up. One day it would be great if we could all meet and bake together for a local market. A large woodfired oven and some simple accomodation....[url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/boonderoo]Boonderoo Farm[/url] would be perfect if they would have us. The conversations would be amazing and we could even stage a pretend kitchen fight, just like in the movies. It would be pretend, wouldn't it?

Graham

[quote="Graham"]
Offer chembake a dedicated technical forum where bakers can seek feedback on technical and quality issues and enter at their own risk. Chembake we know that you know your stuff and lots of people are very interested, but only a certain few are prepared to take the way it is delivered...which is often with a slap on the face.
[/quote]
I think that would be a good idea, I'm very interested in the science side of bread making. I'd like to see discussion of the pros and cons of various ingredients and processes.

Wow! I think we can officially say that the sourdough.com.au forum has matured. We have just experienced our first major skirmish.

As admin person I have a suggestion: Offer chembake a dedicated technical forum where bakers can seek feedback on technical and quality issues and enter at their own risk. Chembake we know that you know your stuff and lots of people are very interested, but only a certain few are prepared to take the way it is delivered...which is often with a slap on the face.

Personally I think you will get quite a following and I would love for someone with psychology training to explain why some very talented students are attracted to the 'old-style' way of training. Childhood spanking perhaps?

So there is the offer...I would love to see you giving technical advice to artisans who are experimenting more than conventional bakers but do not have the same support network.

Just as long as you are able to keep your methods [i]inside[/i] that zone! You have to be very courteous...think Anthony Hopkins in a pleasant role...when you venture out.

Graham

[quote="Jeremy"]
I think everyone and specifically Matt were taking it on the chin, it's just the holier than though additude I think got a gut response some of our more polite group of forum users!

Jeremy
[/quote]
Yes, I agree with the point about attitude.
Its a pity really, knowledge 10/10, presentation 0/10.

>It's funny, I thought that this forum was for all with an interest in sourdough

bill . I think you are right..

Cool

it so happens that many participants of this forum got inebriated after quaffing the hooch ...of their old cultures or levains.

Laughing

>Reducing students to tears is just a form of abuse of power. I'm not >surprised they thank you in later years just like a beaten dog will >fawn around the person who made them suffer. But that's just your >professional life.

LOL! ..Bethesbaker,,you made me laugh, thank you!
Reducing to tears? Abuse of power? Is that how you view education..?
Did you ever study in your formative years or just keep gallivanting around like a spoiled kid?
Did your parents never taught, or implement to you some form of discipline??

How did you come up with such ridiculous idea?
The school where I worked for some years should have fired me for for student abuse but it did not as I was doing things the way it should be?
Sorry no amount of explaining can change how people who trained under my wing did not have an axe to grind against me. Yes, there are a very few mediocre ones who resented it but where are they, they just dropped out of school as they don?t belong there. Therefore my demeanor helped maintain the quality of the schools output of culinary graduates.
Many of those who shed a tear for being reprimanded did manage to finish the course and succeed later in their profession and trades.

>There isn't much in the recipe section of this forum. A guy comes >along and makes a contribution saying, "this is what I'm doing at the >moment - you might get something from this." He's posting this for >others with an interest in home baking not saying "look at this >perfect loaf - this is how you must make it."

I am not against that particular guy if that is how he want his creation to be appreciated but he must also consider that there are readers who see things in different perspective; which if he only thinks of it more is beneficial in the long run.
Besides I am not making it big, he is, I am just commenting that his loaf is somewhat improperly made or displayed?which ever is true depends upon him.
Besides?.
Accumulating Recipes,, is not the way to learn the craft of baking or any cookery related trades. Learning in trades is digesting the fundamentals coupled with constant practice and using the basics to guide him to improve his skills. It helps a lot if a competent ?someone? can guide him to correct his mistakes. But he must be prepared to accept criticism and not be offended by it.

Recipes have so many permutations that it?s impossible to know all the combinations as mathematically speaking is not worth accumulating such infinite variations.
A well trained and experienced baker think that if he knows his trade by heart, he can come up spontaneously with any recipes of his specialty easily, but a mediocre one is proud of his accumulated collection of recipes but unfortunately lacks the means to put it in practice and will never get beyond the point of just a dabbler.
Is that what the many members of the forum are looking at?

Well I have no problem with that?if it?s your personal choice?

Going back to trades, it follows the same way as other forms of learning?
There is no royal road to knowledge, and along with it comes hard work, you can? t learn baking by playing with the keyboard and the mouse but you have to train and work for it in real life.

If somebody offers a comment , it should not be taken as an affront but looked at broader perspective as a valuable suggestion to improve their craft.

>He wasn't aware that quality control was operating on the forum in >the form of your self-appointed presence.

Again , I am not a self appointed quality control person but want that the nature of his presentation should be improved next time.

>He points out to you the spirit in which it was submitted but you are >so arrogant you can't hear what he is saying - especially the point >about discouraging people who do not have much experience.

Arrogance?. or you are just extremely insecure?

I am not discouraging people to do what the like, but at least they must exercise care and respect on what they do.
If they present something they must think that the readers are not kids but mostly matured people where many of it know the subject more than they do. They should show at least a little respect to their readership.

Keep in mind that the internet has a broad spectrum of reading and viewing audience, anybody?.. smart or stupid, shallow or profound, professionals and tradesman, your peers and even anybody above you can read it and had the freedom to make a comment either positive or negative about it.

>Plus you go on to insult someone who is a trained and working chef >who has spent a considerable amount of time developing his bread >skills and sharing his experiences.

Insult?....considerable years?? Is that how you look at it?
It means nothing to me?.but
I can?t help if that is how you see it? Go on? wallow in your self created misery?

>I thought this was a forum for sharing ideas not living up to your >ideas of perfection.

Did I ever say so?? It?s just your biased opinion.. ?
Well that is how you see it?but a forum focused on a particular bread making line can come up with different variants of topic and that does not exclude some critical comments? Keep it mind that forum discussion can led to many topics just like a newsgroup.
Its not about perfection, negative views but the exchange of ideas ?.the spirit of discussion?that makes it lively.
But you don?t have to both agree or disagree with the points of its participants.
A forum like this is a sounding board- a discussion board, anything can emanate from it, topics and issues that you both like and dislike. If you care only for topics which are congenial to most then the forum is going to stagnation, and finally demise?as not many people will browse in it as there is no drama That makes its reading exciting?
That is not the how it should be? contrasting personalities arguing about a particular topic of interests add color to the drab atmosphere of such discussion board.
People here should be at least, pleased that there is somebody who have a different mindset to add spice to the otherwise IMO stagnating forum.

Look we are not going anywhere in this discussion, lets put it this way, we stand in the same ground where we can look at things in the same perspective and make and equivalent assessment but unfortunately for you I see it deeper than you and my problem is its difficult to explain it on the level that is comprehensible to you and the rest of the offended fellows.

[quote="chembake"]
If you are worried that new comers will be intimidated by such then that will weed out the dabbler from True passionate people where not an amount of negative criticism can change their minds about
Their hobby.
[/quote]
It's funny, I thought that this forum was for all with an interest in sourdough.

Rolling Eyes

If a less than fawning comment is going to bring on this type of response everytime then I think I'm in the wrong place. I'm not defending chembake, of course his criticism and defence thereof has been a little rude nor am I having a go at him I would've taken that criticism on the chin. But surely chembakes lack of politness here doesn't give everyone an excuse to be rude?

I think everyone and specifically Matt were taking it on the chin, it's just the holier than though additude I think got a gut response some of our more polite group of forum users!

Jeremy

>Obviously you must be the creator and judge of everything that is >perfect so I will no longer try to invite some insight on my over 20 >years experience in the culinary field and as a home baker who also >did work in some bread bakeries doing stages here and there! Good >luck trying to find the "perfect" loaf, each one is different in the final >result and nothing the same, some imperfection can be considered >positive

Jeremy,I had more than three decades of food processing experience( starting from my teens) that spans a wide area if baking, confectionery technology and trades aside from university education in chemistry and food technology.

I understand the point in reality, that perfection is an absurdity and what we see as real is just an feeble approximation to what is perfect.
But we must try our best that we can to raise it a notch or two higher?..

What is baking is all about its constant practice that makes our loaf a lot better everyday. If somebody will critique it ..then you must look at it from a broader perspective.
I just want that as much as possible anybody should try to present whatever image for sharing to look nearly professional, it does not only look good to other people but the will praise you for the level of skill you exerted on such item, meaning that you respected your audience for such and you will gain respect in return.

If supposing you can?t then,,,expect some feedback,,,it might be good or bad ?but try always to see it in a broadminded manner...see the more of the good side and less of the bad side.

Chembake,

Reducing students to tears is just a form of abuse of power. I'm not surprised they thank you in later years just like a beaten dog will fawn around the person who made them suffer. But that's just your professional life.

There isn't much in the recipe section of this forum. A guy comes along and makes a contribution saying, "this is what I'm doing at the moment - you might get something from this." He's posting this for others with an interest in home baking not saying "look at this perfect loaf - this is how you must make it."

He wasn't aware that quality control was operating on the forum in the form of your self-appointed presence.

He points out to you the spirit in which it was submitted but you are so arrogant you can't hear what he is saying - especially the point about discouraging people who do not have much experience.

Plus you go on to insult someone who is a trained and working chef who has spent a considerable amount of time developing his bread skills and sharing his experiences.

I thought this was a forum for sharing ideas not living up to your ideas of perfection.

Mick

Obviously you must be the creator and judge of everything that is perfect so I will no longer try to invite some insight on my over 20 years experience in the culinary field and as a home baker who also did work in some bread bakeries doing stages here and there! Good luck trying to find the "perfect" loaf, each one is different in the final result and nothing the same, some imperfection can be considered positive!

Jeremy

JEREMY
>Well yes and well no! No being that I don't agree with this whole >concept of criticizing from a web photo and judging as if you are in >that place to judge, bread is a living thing and we all are either really >great or just learning and yes being,

Well you had never been in the position to judge the correctness of the picture in labeling..you are just a kitchen boy doing your stuff what you do best?with scant experrience examining things as part of the job.

>The photo gives and illusion of the product rather than an accurate >or tangible hands on feel!

If the assessor?s only means of judgment is just by seeing the scant evidence, then it must be provided with utmost precision or accuracy and the best picture must be selected.

> And I know I am very critical of myself when I bake and have >chucked many a loaf knowing that something was just not right, but >each one of us should be happy when we feel we have a good loaf

Being happy with ones creation is good?.but happiness is a personal thing?what you feel good about yourself does not reflect the true state of things..you might be happy with your kitchen creations even if look crappy to more knowledgeable people n that particular line and what must be considered the qualified assesment of that particular item.

>and I think we aren't so thin skinned as you think we maybe, it's just >that well,constructive criticism should come with suggestion rather >than outright judgment that in itself is just another opinion and >freely >thrown around as if it's the final word, were just baking >bread!

Constructive criticism with some sweetening in words ?.is concealed flattery ?.

Smile

> I work in the restaurant world and I have been to bread baking >school, I'm still learning as well

Well its good to know?keep up the good work!

Cool

Matt being a graphic designer you should have understood the rules of presentation, you expect it to
Viewed by Ordinary individuals , peers, your employer and even to people higher in training than
You should do the best you can. Therefore you can expect either criticism or praise or both.
If you are worried that new comers will be intimidated by such then that will weed out the dabbler from True passionate people where not an amount of negative criticism can change their minds about
Their hobby.

Chembake,

I'm sure you're a nice chap and I would indeed respect your honest opinion if I was one of your students, or indeed a professional baker (and I don't mind receiving receiving criticism - I'm a graphic designer so it is part of my job).

However, I'm just a home baker putting up a little recipe to share with others in a friendly way.

So because of that context, your point of view is unnecessarily critical, as Jeremy points out.

There might be other home bakers out there who are proud of what they've baked and want to take part in this community ? but who see experts stomping all over less than perfect bread and are thus held back from taking part ? an awful shame as we've all got to start somewhere.

Please be more sensitive about posting your opinions.

Jeremy - great post. Thanks for your input.

Matt

Well yes and well no! No being that I don't agree with this whole concept of criticizing from a web photo and judging as if you are in that place to judge, bread is a living thing and we all are either really great or just learning and yes being, the photo gives and illusion of the product rather than an accurate or tangible hands on feel! And I know I am very critical of myself when I bake and have chucked many a loaf knowing that something was just not right, but each one of us should be happy when we feel we have a good loaf and I think we aren't so thin skinned as you think we maybe, it's just that well,constructive criticism should come with suggestion rather than outright judgment that in itself is just another opinion and freely thrown around as if it's the final word, were just baking bread! I work in the restaurant world and I have been to bread baking school, I'm still learning as well.

Happy baking
Jeremy

jeezus! I think that it's perhaps the way the photo was shot and the signature
slash on the top of the loaf that may give an odd appearance, but really now, some decorum in the forum please!

Jeremy

Hello Matt.

Laughing

I?m really sorry if my candid comments did offend you?

I had been doing that in past ,the bakery, baking school and in the baking laboratory?In that particular situation there is no room for being overly sensitive? for constructive crticism? we look at things in a "clinical " manner and criticism is taken with a stride?But there are indeed some people who are not used to it specially students and apprentices.
I still remember a few of my students cried over my frank comments about their products, but in the end they learned a lot from my candor than the flattery from my colleagues.( other teachers)?They become better bakers and I am certain that they realized that in the end as when I saw those guys years later,they are always pleased to see me and a few of them thanked my crititicisms.

Cool

If they have grudges or what you call an axe to grind they will not even greet me or talk to me?

I think you are right, you did not displayed the right choice for pictures.
If you present something for photography one of the requirements to have a good image to present and if possible have somebody whom you know criticize your product before you even tried to show it to knowledgeable strangers..
Tell your friend, your colleague etc what is their honest opinion with the item.
Then multiply that criticism by 10 and you will expect to get harsher opinion from other people that you don?t know.
If you think that the image you have in hand does not look even good based on the comments on people( whom you know) then better kept it for your self.
Make another item or more of it properly , consider the causes of the fault of your previous product, try to think of the reason why it was having that defect.

Then you will understand your product more, learn from your mistakes and improve your breadmaking skills.

Jeremy, in baking,,, specially for product presentations there is no place for an onion skinned fellow ??bakers who does not accept criticisms?does not deserve to be called skilled bakers as they already find perfection in their lousy products and does not want to improve their mediocre craftsmanship?.
But ? there is some truth in your opinion...
Indeed the angle how the picture was taken can influence the appearance?.and can greatly influence also the impression from other viewers?.
That is why a competent food presentation photographer has to take lots of pictures at different angles instead of just the one convenient for him. And cull the set and select the best image?he will even make some tricks to improve the image further?

My mistake for not submitting a perfect loaf.

You seem to have a little axe to grind Chembake. I do hope it doesn't scare off other home-bakers.

Matt

Matt I am not picking on you....sorry if thats how you look at it...
But if you are happy with your loaf and its only for your sonsumption I will not pick on it, but if you show the loaf for somebody who knows how should it appear, keep in mind that then sombody would surely find something a little difference on it.
If you want to sell that loaf and a discriminating baker will judge that loaf I am certain he does not care if you put more water on it but the product should look attractive inside and outside.

Hello chembake,

What makes you believe it was overproofed?

Matt

Hi Matt,
I wasn't going to butt in but that looks like a fab loaf and hardly what I would consider an overproofed loaf from that pic!
Happy baking,
Jeremy

Hello Matt,
A properly baked sourdough loaf should have good symmetry and does not look flatish or shrunken.
What you loaf exhibited is the defect of an overproofed dough

Hi,

Thanks Jeremy.

Chembake, I can't help feeling you are nitpicking here. I wouldn't consider this loaf exhibits either of those. It is a little wrinkly as I left the water content at 700g, so it was a wet dough. There was good oven spring, as exhibited by the open cuts, and the finger poke test prior to baking did indeed have some spring left.

That is half a loaf by the way.

Here is another pic.

[img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y80/Tenzo/Quarter.jpg[/img]

Best,
Matt

Hmnn the loaf should appear better if you did not overproof it.

If I bake such kind of naturally leavened dough I don't allow the dough to rise beyond its prime or when the finger indent still shows some springiness and will tend to retract a bit, meaning its just full proof for such mixed cereal breads.
Take note that the dilution of the wheat gluten with added non wheat flours will tend to weaken the dough so you must exercise care in the rising..
What you did when the finger indent remains, indicates the dough is already overproofed.