rising ability of SD

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Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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I recently bought a small bread baking book here in Germany. I chose if
for the selection of German type breads, even though the instructions
are less sophisticated than I'd like. In the intro is a statement that
puzzles me. "Yeasted doughs should rest until their volume has doubled
in size, sourdoughs need only rise about half." It is implied that this
is the first rise.
Where does this assumption come from? Granted, yeast has different
rising characteristics than SD, but I've never heard of NOT letting SD
rise to double.
Is this another example of bogus/misleading assumptions on SD?
Any ideas?

Kerstin

Bob

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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In article <39ED5279...@rhein-main.net>,


Hi Kerstin,
I have read a number of times that you do not let sourdough double in
the first fermentation. I read as many times that you do let it
double. I'm not sure which is correct. I'm guessing the reason for
not letting it double is to keep it from pooping out (pun unintended)
so that there will be enough oomph left for the proofing or loaf rise.
I have found that beyond a certain point my sourdoughs will not
continue to rise. Yeast seems to hold its vigor longer. I am also
interested in an authoritative answer to this question.
Bob


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Darrell Greenwood

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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In article <39ED5279...@rhein-main.net>, Kerstin Geiger
<kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote:

> Where does this assumption come from? Granted, yeast has different
> rising characteristics than SD, but I've never heard of NOT letting SD
> rise to double.

My own experience is doing more than one rise for sourdough creates
problems. In fact I perceive it to be a significant problem for novice
sourdough bakers who try to incorporate two rises into the making of a
sourdough loaf and end up with the proverbial door stop or heavy loaf.

With sourdough you have another reaction going on in addition to the
production of CO2, the degradation of the gluten by enzymes and acid
that a sourdough starter produces. This can result in the loaf failing
to rise sufficiently if the gluten degradation wins out over CO2
production.

Flipping the question around to "why two rises for yeasted bread", the
best answer I have been able to come up with is to improve
flavour/texture of yeasted bread by lengthening the fermenting process.
Safe enough for yeasted bread, counter productive for sourdough bread
because of gluten degradation and the slower rise time to begin with.

So with sourdough there is no advantage to more than one rise because
the flavour is there and you are more likely to run into gluten
degradation and a heavy loaf.

Cheers,

Darrell

--
Remove .invalid in address, i.e., darrell_greenwood at mindlink.net

Bob

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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Interesting comments, but I think we have two, separate questions going
here, and I'm not sure which one it is that Kerstin asked. The other
question is: when you allow sourdough to rise (one time only), do you
let it double or let it rise half again its original size. This was
the question to which I directed my earlier response. Any thoughts on
this?
Bob

In article <181020001143475514%darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid>,

--

VT BeasT

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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I've even read from a couple sources that suggest skipping the primary
fermentation all together and going straight from mixing to shaping and
proofing to make sure the dough has enough vigor to rise properly. From my own
experience I've only had trouble getting bread to rise on a few occasions with
my last starter. With my new starter I've had no problems at all. I've gone all
the way to a 12 hour primary fermention and it still has the strength to fully
proof the bread in about 4 hours. If I give the dough a 4-6 hour primary
ferment then the bread is usually fully proofed in 2-3 hours. Perhaps the
authors have used less active starters while coming up with their recipes.

Trevor

Darrell Greenwood

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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In article <8sl6kv$k4s$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, Bob <rbada...@aol.com>
wrote:

> do you let it double or let it rise half again its original size.

I let it rise to the point where there will still be oven spring, about
80% of the final volume. i.e., about double in height.

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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Bob wrote:

>
> Hi Kerstin,
> I have read a number of times that you do not let sourdough double in
> the first fermentation. I read as many times that you do let it
> double. I'm not sure which is correct. I'm guessing the reason for
> not letting it double is to keep it from pooping out (pun unintended)
> so that there will be enough oomph left for the proofing or loaf rise.
> I have found that beyond a certain point my sourdoughs will not
> continue to rise. Yeast seems to hold its vigor longer. I am also
> interested in an authoritative answer to this question.

I usually let the dough rise to about double, then form the loaves. They
in turn rise to about 3/4, so I have some oven spring left. Works like a
charm. I thought that was pretty standard. I think we also have to
consider the individual characteristics of the culture. Mine does just
fine with two rises. On the other hand in Ed Wood's book, the recipes
usually ask for the final dough to be shaped directly into loaves for
their final rise. Go figure.

Kerstin

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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Darrell Greenwood wrote:

>
> My own experience is doing more than one rise for sourdough creates
> problems. In fact I perceive it to be a significant problem for novice
> sourdough bakers who try to incorporate two rises into the making of a
> sourdough loaf and end up with the proverbial door stop or heavy loaf.

I take it you form the finished dough directly into loaves.
I haven't had a heavy loaf in many years, but I remember the
frustration. No NG then to help either...

>
> With sourdough you have another reaction going on in addition to the
> production of CO2, the degradation of the gluten by enzymes and acid
> that a sourdough starter produces. This can result in the loaf failing
> to rise sufficiently if the gluten degradation wins out over CO2
> production.

I've had that happen to me not long ago. Something came up and I knew I
wouldn't be able to attend to my dough, and I put it in the fridge to
slow the fermentation. To make a long story short, when I finally got
the dough out of the fridge to form into loaves, the whole thing
disintegrated into a sloppy mess. I was amazed at how fragile the dough
had become. It was clear this wouldn't bake right.

> So with sourdough there is no advantage to more than one rise because
> the flavour is there and you are more likely to run into gluten
> degradation and a heavy loaf.

This brings me to another question: How does retardation fit into that?
Do you think it's obsolete with SD? My breads are far more flavorful
when I slow the process down, and I can't say the gluten is suffering
measurably. After my fiasco I definitely know what that looks like.

Kerstin

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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Bob wrote:
>
> Interesting comments, but I think we have two, separate questions going
> here, and I'm not sure which one it is that Kerstin asked. The other
> question is: when you allow sourdough to rise (one time only), do you
> let it double or let it rise half again its original size. This was
> the question to which I directed my earlier response. Any thoughts on
> this?

Bob,
After reading the responses, it seems to me there are two philosophies.
1) form the finished dough immediately into loaves, let them rise ca.
80%, and bake. The flavor is already in the dough, no need to slow the
process down.
2) let the finished dough rise, then form the loaves. These rise ca. 80%
(sometimes a retardation phase is included) and then are baked. The
flavor is developed by slowing the process down.

It is interesting, though, that when you look up procedures in the books
by Dan Wing, Joe Ortiz, Peter Reinhart, and Nancy Silverton, all favor
the second variation. Only Ed Wood prefers the first.
It gets a bit more tricky when you press for details on how much the
dough should rise that first time. I find a lot of recipes call for a
time limit, i.e. let it rise for about 3 hours. Is that because people
prefer specified instructions as opposed to the ambiguous "double in
size", or is the SD not supposed to rise to double?
...and here the cat bites his tail again...

Kerstin


Darrell Greenwood

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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In article <39EEA257...@rhein-main.net>, Kerstin Geiger
<kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote:

> How does retardation fit into that?

Roughly the same thing as a two rise approach insofar as the
development of flavor/acid vs gluten degradation.

Additionally the microorganism balance (bacteria/yeast) changes with
lower temperature further changing the flavor components. In my own
experiments one also gets a significantly different crumb/texture, and
retardation is the only time I have had blistering of the crust.

It is remarkable to me how three ingredients, (flour, water, salt) with
their included life (yeast, bacteria) can produce such an infinite
variety of bread. Probably why sourdough bread is such a fun hobby.

Mike Avery

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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In article <181020001143475514%darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid>,
darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid says...

> [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
> the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]
>
> In article <39ED5279...@rhein-main.net>, Kerstin Geiger

> <kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote:
>
> > Where does this assumption come from? Granted, yeast has different
> > rising characteristics than SD, but I've never heard of NOT letting SD
> > rise to double.
>
> My own experience is doing more than one rise for sourdough creates
> problems. In fact I perceive it to be a significant problem for novice
> sourdough bakers who try to incorporate two rises into the making of a
> sourdough loaf and end up with the proverbial door stop or heavy loaf.

Most of the time the phrase "your mileage may vary" applies. What's the
temperature where you are letting the bread rise? What about the
humidity of the environment? How wet is the dough? What's your altitude
- high altitude bakers find that things are a bit different than at sea
level. So... you have to take a lot of advice with a grain of salt, and
see what works for you.

I am reminded of a time, years ago, when I baked a brioche from one of
Julia Child's cookbooks. She said it would take about four hours to
rise. I needed to transport the dough for about 4 hours to the place
where it would be used. It was just meant to be! Except, she lives in
Massachusetts, and I lived in Texas. The dough was overflowing the bowl
and threatening to hit the car's floorboards in less than an hour. I had
to pull over, punch the dough down, and knead it a bit. I think I
stopped three times on that drive. (I was using a rather aggressive
commercial yeast... and the temperature really seems to have excited it.)

Mike

Bob

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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I can understand why the single rising approach might work for you.
Who knows the variables involved in each of our very own,
individualistic baking techniques? (I have to bake extra hot to get a
good loaf!) But I am confused as to why you would suggest that this is
generally the best approach in light of expert opinion to the
contrary. As Kerstin pointed out in her post on this thread,
virtually all the sourdough experts employ a bulk fermentation followed
by a a loaf proofing. On the other hand, I do remember Joe Ortiz, who
does use two rises in all his recipes, saying that it doesn't matter
too much how you divide up the time between the two rises so long as
the time for both equals the total intended time for both risings.
This whole matter is very confusing. Would enjoy your or anyone else's
thoughts.
Bob


In article <181020001143475514%darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid>,
Darrell Greenwood <darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid> wrote:

> [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
> the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]
>
> In article <39ED5279...@rhein-main.net>, Kerstin Geiger
> <kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote:
>
> > Where does this assumption come from? Granted, yeast has different
> > rising characteristics than SD, but I've never heard of NOT letting
SD
> > rise to double.
>
> My own experience is doing more than one rise for sourdough creates
> problems. In fact I perceive it to be a significant problem for novice
> sourdough bakers who try to incorporate two rises into the making of a
> sourdough loaf and end up with the proverbial door stop or heavy loaf.
>

> With sourdough you have another reaction going on in addition to the
> production of CO2, the degradation of the gluten by enzymes and acid
> that a sourdough starter produces. This can result in the loaf failing
> to rise sufficiently if the gluten degradation wins out over CO2
> production.
>

> Flipping the question around to "why two rises for yeasted bread", the
> best answer I have been able to come up with is to improve
> flavour/texture of yeasted bread by lengthening the fermenting
process.
> Safe enough for yeasted bread, counter productive for sourdough bread
> because of gluten degradation and the slower rise time to begin with.
>

> So with sourdough there is no advantage to more than one rise because
> the flavour is there and you are more likely to run into gluten
> degradation and a heavy loaf.
>

> Cheers,
>
> Darrell
>
> --
> Remove .invalid in address, i.e., darrell_greenwood at mindlink.net
>

--

VT BeasT

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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As far as letting the dough double in volume during proof I've found that, for
me and my methods, unless I've formed good strong gluten the dough begins to
tear during proof and I have to throw it into the oven before it's fully
proofed resulting in a tight crumb. In this case, the dough never gets a chance
to double. When I do form good gluten, then my dough is able to easily tolerate
a doubling of volume in proof and still have enough stretch for a good
ovenspring. I hand knead all my breads so, for me, forming adequate gluten is
the major deciding factor affecting whether the dough can double or not.

Trevor

Bob

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Oct 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/19/00
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Comments understood, but... I've found, that intense kneading to
develop gluten results in tight crumb as opposed to very minimal
kneading with a long rising imparts a more open, spongey texture.
Others on this forum have commented as well that this is the case.
Comments? thanks
Bob


In article <20001019191322...@ng-fs1.aol.com>,

--

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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Darrell Greenwood wrote:


> It is remarkable to me how three ingredients, (flour, water, salt) with
> their included life (yeast, bacteria) can produce such an infinite
> variety of bread. Probably why sourdough bread is such a fun hobby.

Well said, Darrell!

Kerstin

Leo Bueno

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2000 11:43:47 -0700, Darrell Greenwood
<darrell_...@mindlink.net.invalid> wrote:


>
>My own experience is doing more than one rise for sourdough creates
>problems. In fact I perceive it to be a significant problem for novice
>sourdough bakers who try to incorporate two rises into the making of a
>sourdough loaf and end up with the proverbial door stop or heavy loaf.
>
>With sourdough you have another reaction going on in addition to the
>production of CO2, the degradation of the gluten by enzymes and acid
>that a sourdough starter produces. This can result in the loaf failing
>to rise sufficiently if the gluten degradation wins out over CO2
>production.


I take it that the glutten degradation explains why the dough feels
very sticky after the first rise. Whenever I notice that the dough is
sticky, the result is usually a door stop.

======================================================================
Leo Bueno leob...@usa.net 305-669-5260
P.O. Box 440545 Miami FL 33144-0545 U.S.A.
Castro Fall Poll - http://home.earthlink.net/~leobueno/adiosfidel.html
Cuba Books - http://home.earthlink.net/~leobueno/cubabooks.html
Examen de Cubania - http://home.earthlink.net/~leobueno/cubanidad.html
======================================================================

Bob

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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As a postscript to my own post, I just baked two loaves made in the
same way except that No. 1 had a bulk fermentation followed by a
shaping of loaf and loaf rising. No.2 was an immediate shaping of loaf
from dough and loaf rising only. Total rising times for each was the
same. Results: No.1 had a spongey, open crumb. No.2 was tight and
dense. I can't explain.

VT BeasT

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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>
>Comments understood, but... I've found, that intense kneading to
>develop gluten results in tight crumb as opposed to very minimal
>kneading with a long rising imparts a more open, spongey texture.
>Others on this forum have commented as well that this is the case.
>Comments? thanks
>Bob

Agreed -- I don't knead much at all...I either make a dough the night before
consisting of just flour, water, and salt. Hardly any mixing and by letting the
dough sit over night the dough has great gluten . Then I knead my starter in by
hand. Or, I mix a wet batter of flour and water, just enough until the flour is
wetted, give it a 45 minute autolyse, then add my salt, starter and the rest of
the flour and then just turn it every hour or so. I don't knead in the regular
sense, I do very little mixing, but because I always give a lengthy autolyse I
get excellent gluten development. I've finally managed to achieve the open
texture I want.

Trevor

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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Bob wrote:
>
> As a postscript to my own post, I just baked two loaves made in the
> same way except that No. 1 had a bulk fermentation followed by a
> shaping of loaf and loaf rising. No.2 was an immediate shaping of loaf
> from dough and loaf rising only. Total rising times for each was the
> same. Results: No.1 had a spongey, open crumb. No.2 was tight and
> dense. I can't explain.

This is interesting, Bob.
Seems to me that No.1 had its gluten better developed.
I found something related in "The Village Baker" on p.45 under the
headline "Punching Down or Knocking Back".

" An excess of force increases the elastic properties of the dough,
making it less easily worked. But some force is necessary. It seems that
certain doughs need to be punched down to stimulate their activity. The
punchings or turns start the dough rising anew, giving it a fresh,
stronger boost."

then on page 55 - comparing commercial vs. home baking

" When home formulas are used, longer proofing times, several punchings
back of the dough, and intermediate proofing stages are often necessary
to make up for lack of force that would have been generated by
[commercial] mechanical mixing...
"Among the more noticeable differences between commercial and homemade
bread is that of texture. Texture is affected by the development of
gluten." Ortiz describes the lack of texture in homemade bread as "tight
grain and small bubbles". I guess this would fit your No.2 bread.

There is of course more detail explaining all of this.

Kerstin

Bob

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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I think you're on the right track, Kerstin. I remember reading the
same passage in Ortiz. Related to this is Trevor's suggestion, in
another current thread, to make your dough (minus starter) the night
before. I tried this last night, and found the softest, velvety dough
this morning to which I added my sponge. It's now rising. Am curious
to see what the final product will be like.
Bob


In article <39F164B8...@rhein-main.net>,

--
Bob

Chuck Waterfield

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Oct 21, 2000, 9:39:21 PM10/21/00
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Okay, Bob. When are you going to write your book? :)

I can't believe how much research and experimentation you do! I'm jealous.
But I do appreciate you sharing all of your lessons with the rest of us!

Keep up the good work. I find you hitting most everything right on the
nose. I know I for one make much better bread thanks to you.

Chuck

"Bob" <rbada...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:8ss7qn$5gc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

Bob

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Oct 21, 2000, 11:03:12 PM10/21/00
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Hi Chuck,
Well, I was born and raised in San Francisco and weaned on superb
sourdough. My dad would take my sister and I to the Toscano Bakery
(then a maker of great sourdough), and we would watch the Italians
scale dough, shape loaves, and feed them into great, brick ovens.
Sometimes we would go home with warm bread in paper wrappers emblazoned
in red script, "Toscano.". Years later, when my work took me from the
Bay Area, I started trying to make sourdough because I missed it so
much. I still haven't succeeded in producing a loaf that is even close
to great bread, but my bread is improving. Let's say it's an unending
quest. I e-mailed Craig Ponsford at Artisan Bakery the other day after
seeing his web site and asked if I could visit his operating bakery (12
miles from here) since his web site implied that artisan bakers give
walk-throughs to hobby bakers. He said he'd get back to me on it.

By the way, the bread I made today with that smooth, velvety dough made
from the ultra-long autolyse was horrible -- not because of the long
autolyse but because I used a new starter I created. "It's alive, it's
alive!" Yes, and I created a monster. Should never mix variables in an
experiment, I know. Will try the super-autolyse dough again with my
San Francisco starter. Will keep you posted.

As to the two, new starters, I made them a few days ago using the same
flour but innoculating one with some rye flour. They turned out quite
different, but both were bad -- good leaveners but no flavor.

Will keep you posted if I stumble onto any successes.

Bob


In article <dzrI5.2078$AD1....@typhoon1.ba-dsg.net>,

Kerstin Geiger

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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Bob wrote:

> By the way, the bread I made today with that smooth, velvety dough made
> from the ultra-long autolyse was horrible -- not because of the long
> autolyse but because I used a new starter I created.

What a shame, Bob!
I think I'll give the long autolyse a try, too. Just to see what
happens.

Bread baking can be interesting, to say the least. I know I'm about to
change gears here a bit, but this brings me to another aspect of bread
baking: interpreting the finished product. Asking what went right, what
went wrong. Last time my sister tried to make bread, it was all crumbly.
To my chagrin I couldn't give her an immediate answer as to why that
happened. The answers I found after going through many of my bread
baking books (English and German) were as follows: 1) dough too firm; 2)
too much yeast; 3) SD no longer good; 4) no SD or not enough SD when
using larger amounts of rye flour. -- Go figure, since the sources
aren't all reliable! None of the more authoritative books on bread
baking has a comprehensive troubleshooting list - at least none that I
own. I'm sure most of that is buried somewhere in the texts, but I wish
there was a more consumer friendly format. Unfortunately the FAQs only
answer some specific questions that were asked at one time or another.
I'm not criticizing, I just wish we'd have something like an
authoritative troubleshooting list to fall back on.

Kerstin

Chuck Waterfield

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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"Kerstin Geiger" <kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote in message
news:39F2B676...@rhein-main.net...

> I'm not criticizing, I just wish we'd have something like an
> authoritative troubleshooting list to fall back on.

I was inspired after reading Dan Wing's book to try and put together some
sort of a systematic framework that showed how all the variables influence
the final product. Something of a different angle on troubleshooting.

I still want to do it. Just looking for the time. What would be GREAT
would be to make it some sort of community project... like "open source"
computer programming! We could all contribute, but additions would need to
be vetted by everyone and we'd have to do some real testing like Bob does,
rather than just add "traditions" to the list.

What do you think?

Chuck

Mike Avery

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Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
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In article <39F2B676...@rhein-main.net>, kerstin.geiger@rhein-
main.net says...

>
> Bread baking can be interesting, to say the least. I know I'm about to
> change gears here a bit, but this brings me to another aspect of bread
> baking: interpreting the finished product. Asking what went right, what
> went wrong. Last time my sister tried to make bread, it was all crumbly.
> To my chagrin I couldn't give her an immediate answer as to why that
> happened. The answers I found after going through many of my bread
> baking books (English and German) were as follows: 1) dough too firm; 2)
> too much yeast; 3) SD no longer good; 4) no SD or not enough SD when
> using larger amounts of rye flour. -- Go figure, since the sources
> aren't all reliable! None of the more authoritative books on bread
> baking has a comprehensive troubleshooting list - at least none that I
> own. I'm sure most of that is buried somewhere in the texts, but I wish
> there was a more consumer friendly format. Unfortunately the FAQs only
> answer some specific questions that were asked at one time or another.

> I'm not criticizing, I just wish we'd have something like an
> authoritative troubleshooting list to fall back on.

Although she doesn't seem to talk about sourdough bread, one of the best
troubleshooting guides I've found is in Beatrice Ojakangas' book, "Great
Whole Grain Breads". It's been out of print for a while, but the chances
are very good that your library will have it, or can get it on an inter-
library loan.

Mike

Charles Perry

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Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
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That is very interesting. I will have to try mixing the dough without the starter
as well as the salt. I have been giving the dough minimal kneading and then a 20
to 30 min. rest before kneading in the salt. That along with two or three "turns"
at one hour intervals has yielded very satisfactory although not great bread.

Just out of curiosity, have you been able to hand knead sourdough directly to a
state where it can produce a gluten window? I have not. The last time I tried,
with great determination, the dough began to break down before it could produce the
sought after window. In fact it was that experience that lead me to the minimal
kneading that I currently use.

Regards,

Charles


VT BeasT wrote:

> >> By the way, the bread I made today with that smooth, velvety dough made
> >> from the ultra-long autolyse was horrible -- not because of the long
> >> autolyse but because I used a new starter I created.
>

> The breads I've made from the long autolyse have ranged from good to bad.
> There's no questioning the level of gluten development -- it's quite superb.
> The problem for me, anyway, since I hand knead all my doughs is incorporating
> the leaven. Either I Make a fairly stiff dough and knead in a wet leaven, or I
> mix a wet dough with a stiffer leaven. Either way I sometimes have trouble
> getting the leaven fully incorporpoated into the dough (more trouble with the
> wet leaven and stiff dough). The resulting bread is either dense or light, but
> with dense spots with odd coloring where the leaven was still left in tact. I
> have had several successes with this method -- particularly with my first few
> tries (encouraging me to experiment with this method), but the success has not
> been sustained over the last several months that I've been using this method.
> Perhaps if I used a mechanical mixer things would be different (though I'd have
> to be careful of overworking the already fully developed gluten). Though I did
> have quite a bit of sucess using a 67% autolyse dough and a 67% starter, unless
> I was very careful I still couldn't hand knead the starter into the dough
> completely. Lately I've had much more success making a wet autolyse dough
> (around 80% hydration), letting it sit 45 minutes to an hour to develop it's
> gluten, then mixing in the salt, starter (about 80% hydration) and the rest of
> the flour to make a 67% dough. Instead of hand kneading, I just turn the dough
> every hour or so to more thouroughly develop the gluten and protect against
> excess damage caused by the stretching of gluten during my bulk fermentation.
> Before I add my starter and salt the autolysed dough has developed a surprising
> amount of gluten, despite it's wetness. After I mix everything else in, it
> seems to be a typical hand kneaded dough -- cohesive, but a bit grainy and not
> able to form a gluten window. After only the first turning of the dough (about
> 30 minutes after the final mixing), however, the dough can form a decent gluten
> window. By the second turning (an hour later) the gluten window is equal to any
> dough made by the 2 bakeries I've worked for -- with the additional benefit of
> having been mixed very little compared to the machine mixing at work. My breads
> are now light, with exceptional ovenspring, and excellent texture. Still not as
> good as I'm looking for, but considering my oven, pretty damn good.
>
> Trevor

--
Charles Perry
Reply to: che...@aol.com

** A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand **

VT BeasT

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 9:14:42 PM10/23/00
to

anne...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
In article <39F2B676...@rhein-main.net>,
Kerstin Geiger <kerstin...@rhein-main.net> wrote:
<snip>

>
> Bread baking can be interesting, to say the least. I know I'm about to
> change gears here a bit, but this brings me to another aspect of bread
> baking: interpreting the finished product. Asking what went right,
what
> went wrong. Last time my sister tried to make bread, it was all
crumbly.
> To my chagrin I couldn't give her an immediate answer as to why that
> happened. The answers I found after going through many of my bread
> baking books (English and German) were as follows: 1) dough too firm;
2)
> too much yeast; 3) SD no longer good; 4) no SD or not enough SD when
> using larger amounts of rye flour. -- Go figure, since the sources
> aren't all reliable! None of the more authoritative books on bread
> baking has a comprehensive troubleshooting list - at least none that I
> own. I'm sure most of that is buried somewhere in the texts, but I
wish
> there was a more consumer friendly format. Unfortunately the FAQs only
> answer some specific questions that were asked at one time or another.
> I'm not criticizing, I just wish we'd have something like an
> authoritative troubleshooting list to fall back on.


Hi Kerstin

I would really appreciate that too. I'm willing to taste test...! ;)
I can imagine just a simple flowchart... for example "Is the crust
black?" ----> over-cooked, possible cause(s) - oven too hot". (silly I
know, but that's the idea).

I have a constant comment regarding my bread - "not enough salt". And
from several people. I have upped the amount ever time, and I still get
that comment. "Why is that?" That's just another example of question I
would love to see treated in a simple flowchart way.

They are all out there - all the questions and all the answers - it just
takes having the right group with the right questions/experience/answers
/books etc.

I'm game to help ask the questions and try to spell them
correctly....don't have many answers (yet!)
Anne
email is anne dot charlet at bull dot net

VT BeasT

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
>Just out of curiosity, have you been able to hand knead sourdough directly to
>a
>state where it can produce a gluten window?

Never. I've tried long and hard, but never once succeeded in getting the window
with my hand kneading. Even when I used a brief (5-10 minute) rest between
several 15 minutes spurts of kneading I still couldn't get a window. My
experience seems to indicate that, for an autolyse to be effective, it has to
be longer than is typically called for. I think that 30 minutes is a bare
minimum. Better to let it sit for an hour or more.

Trevor

Phil

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
sorry, but what's a gluten window?

Charles Perry

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
Trevor:
I believe you are correct that a longer autolyse than is typically called for is
necessary with sourdough to be effective. In my case, the rest period is as much
for the gluten to relax so that the salt can be kneaded in with less effort as it
is specifically for an autolyse step.

Now suppose that I add the salt with the flour and quit kneading when the dough
comes together nicely. How do we tell when the autolyse ends and the primary
fermentation begins? And, does it make any difference? Sorry, just musing.

I think that you may be on to something with that procedure of letting the dough
develop somewhat before adding the starter. When dealing with regular yeast dough,
one of the tricks to develop more wheaty flavor is to extend the fermentation time
usually either by retarding the dough or using smaller amounts of yeast or both.
Somewhere, I forget exactly where, Julia Child speaks of the natural enzymes in
flour working to develop the flavor even without the yeast.

With sourdough I have always struggled with the problem in extended fermentations
where the sourdough tends to eventually break down the gluten or make it too sour
before all the flavor potential is reached. Your method may be a way around that
problem.

Regards,

Charles


VT BeasT wrote:

--

Kerstin Geiger

unread,
Oct 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/25/00
to

Phil wrote:
>
> sorry, but what's a gluten window?

Hi Phil,

It is a test for gluten development. You take a piece of dough and
strech it out thinly bewteen thumb and index fingers of both hands. If
the streched out dough doesn't rip, the gluten is fully developed. I
think this is in 'Crust & Crumb'.

Kerstin

VT BeasT

unread,
Oct 25, 2000, 8:54:30 PM10/25/00
to
>Now suppose that I add the salt with the flour and quit kneading when the
>dough
>comes together nicely. How do we tell when the autolyse ends and the primary
>fermentation begins? And, does it make any difference?

In a typical autolyse, you're not supposed to add the salt until after the
autolyse is complete. The pupose of the autolyse is to let the flour hydrate to
help fully develop the gluten and allow that gluten to relax, which helps make
extensible doughs. Salt tightens gluten and may interfere with it's development
by absorbing some of the water. I've found that, as long as you use a
sufficiently lengthy autolyse, then it doesn't matter if the salt has already
been added. The great length of the autolyse allows for a full, relaxed gluten
development regardless of the salt addition. As for when primary fermentation
begins, I'd just assume that as soon as your starter is added that's when
fermentation begins. This is probably technically incorrect since there is a
period of inactivity after a culture is refreshed or added to a dough, but
since I don't know how long this inactivity lasts, I just start counting my
primary fermentation hours as soon as I add the starter.

Trevor

VT BeasT

unread,
Oct 25, 2000, 9:09:53 PM10/25/00
to
>sorry, but what's a gluten window?

A gluten window is a way of testing the level of gluten development in a dough.
Simply grab a small part of the dough between your fingers and very gently and
slowly stretch it apart. If the dough holds together and stretches into a thin,
tranluscent membrane then you've made the window and know you've got good
strong gluten. If the dough tears apart before it can form a window then the
gluten development is not as strong. Not everyone reccomends developing the
gluten to the point where you can make a window -- some say this makes for a
tighter crumb. Personally, I think it's the extreme amount of mixing (usually
mechanica) required to develop gluten to this point that results in the tight
crumb. By using a long autolyse, instead of mechanical mixing, I think you can
develop strong gluten and still have an open crumb. In fact, I've been unable
to achieve a good open crumb unless I can develop the gluten in my dough to
this point.

Trevor

Mary

unread,
Oct 26, 2000, 7:47:53 AM10/26/00
to
I tried your long autolyse method with the bread I made last weekend with
the salt added in the beginning and let it rest for 12 hours. Worked
beautifully. I used the SDI French starter made up a little looser than I
had been, about 70% hydration. That helped with incorporating it into the
final dough. I agree the salt made no difference with the long time. The
crumb is lovely. Much more open than when I make the same bread without the
autolyse, just using a long fermentation for the dough at cool temps.

Mary

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