A few pionts; Nancy Silverton's book

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Thembilina

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Oct 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/21/97
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>2. We use the sponge method because a 12 hour proof allows time for the
>lactobacilli to produce the flavor. It is the fast rising, ( no long
>proof required) of commercial yeast that destroyed the flavor of bread
>as it was enjoyed for the thousands of years prior to commercial
>yeast's development.-
>Jean

Speaking of flavor!! I never knew what a marvelous thing a few carraway seeds
could do for a loaf of sourdough! I'm in love! There is a deli in Los
Angeles called Langers, once a week my co-workers and I cough up the $8+ it
costs for a sandwich, and then salivate over their rye bread...now that I've
discovered the miracle of carraway, I'll keep my $8 and salivate over my own
bread!

Thembilina

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Oct 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/22/97
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>Now, I can tell you this: With most any sourdough culture, incubating a
>sponge 12
>hours at ambient temperature on a warm summer night will take it well beyond
>yeast
>peak and towards rotten. By that I mean that bread made from such a sponge
>will not
>rise much, and will tend to be too sour and to go to rags.

But isn't it more complicated than that? If I only use a spoonful of starter
in my sponge, I can leave it for 12 + hours before the yeast activity really
reaches its peak. And then too, doesn't it also depend on the starter
itself? I have different starters, each of which seems to require different
amounts of time to "do their thing".

Steven J. Kirincich

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Oct 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/22/97
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In article <344BD2...@cyberhighway.net>, Jean Wood
<sou...@cyberhighway.net> wrote:

> -We have, of course, read Nancy Silverton's book, and hesitated to
> comment too much, but because of the responses that seem to agree with
> our thinking:
>
> 1. Retarding the dough is used by commercial bakeries to conform with
> their time restrictions, and we can find no reason, either practically
> or of benifit to the bread, to practice this technique.
>
I was under the impression that the retarding process affected the
character of the loaf's crust. Has anyone heard about this?

Steve Kirincich
skir...@email.unc.edu

Dick Adams

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Oct 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/22/97
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Steven J. Kirincich wrote:

>I was under the impression that the retarding process affected
>the character of the loaf's crust. Has anyone heard about this?

This is my theory, ready to be stuck down by any one possessing
any semblance of a cogent fact:

The baker, being fatigued, headed for bed. But first he put the
dough in a cool place so that it would not rise too much by the
time he expected to awake. Nothing was lost, so it became his
practice to cool down the dough while he slept, as a matter of
convenience.

Customers, becoming aware of this practice, asked why it was done
in this manner. "To produce superior bread, of course!" said the
baker. The customers, very impressed with the baker's creative
imagination, carried news of this improvement to neighboring
villages, whereupon the village bakers in the neighboring villages
changed their schedules accordingly.

In those times, there were no refrigerators, the most appropriate
cool places were cellars, which happened to hold temperatures
close to 10 degrees Celsius. That temperature came to be regarded
as magical, and was passed from village to village and from baker
father to baker son for many generations by word of mouth and
secret notes, though nobody actually knew exactly why it was done
in that way.

Literature relating to the necessity to retard dough at 10
degrees Celsius was eventually translated into English by
enterprising new world scholars and culinary scientists, such as
Nancy Silverton, but necessarily embellished with rationale to
avoid the appearance of having roots in black magic and to stretch
out the content of bake books.

Please be sure to let me know if I am in error in this
supposition.

---
Dick Adams

Dick Adams

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Oct 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/22/97
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JP Harroun wrote in message
<344E84F3...@visionaryworlds.com>...

>In the South of France, the belief is that retarding the
>dough results in a more translucent crumb . . .

Many of the world's most stable historical rumors originated in
the South of France. I have it on good authority that the South
of France is the birthplace of the Old Wives' Tale.

>My bakery produces only Organic Sourdough breads.

Yeah, well my bakery produces only Inorganic Sourdough breads
(,boat anchors, and door stops).

(Actually, my bakery is in my wife's kitchen. So what?)

---
Dick Adams


Jean Wood

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Oct 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/23/97
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Dick Adams wrote:
>
> Jean Wood wrote in message <344BD2...@cyberhighway.net>...

>
> >1. Retarding the dough is used by commercial bakeries to conform with
> >their time restrictions, and we can find no reason, either practically
> >or of benifit to the bread, to practice this technique.
>
> Yes, I agree most wholeheartedly. Particularly if you a retired person. Us old
> retired people can easily get up in the middle of the night to fool around with our
> loaf.
>


We never get up in the middle of the night, as us old retired folks can
start the 12 hour sponge so we can make the loaves during the day (or
feed it and bring it up to speed if something requires us to leave it
longer or it is a fast yeast.)


> >2. We use the sponge method because a 12 hour proof allows time for the

> >lactobacilli to produce the flavor. . .
>
> Here I think that Jean is saying, once again, that the sponge is to be incubated for
> 12 hours.


>
> Now, I can tell you this: With most any sourdough culture, incubating a sponge 12
> hours at ambient temperature on a warm summer night will take it well beyond yeast
> peak and towards rotten. By that I mean that bread made from such a sponge will not
> rise much, and will tend to be too sour and to go to rags.
>

> But if you live high up in the mountains where it never gets very warm, or if you
> have constant air conditioning, you may not notice that.
>
> On the other hand, you can certainly keep a sponge in the frig for 12 hours or
> longer, most probably without approaching yeast peak.
>
> So, Jean, why don't you tell us this... What temperature do you propose for the 12
> hour sponge incubation? (Or did you mean "proof" some other way?).
>


The sponge is inbubated at 85-90 degrees. Some wild yeast strains will
reach their peak before this and some will take this long. As
previously stated, this time frame is for the benefit of the
lactobacilli, and if a fast wild yeast has again become dormant during
this time frame, feeding will revitalize these strains, ( they have been
activated for hundreds of years by feeding after periods of dormancy).
Since the lactobacilli grow best at 85 degrees or so, the refrigerator
is not the place for them to multiply. Since we recommend a proofing
box to control the temperature, locality, air conditioning etc. should
not be a factor. In Saudi Arabia where we had air conditioning, we used
the proofing box. In Egypt, where we could not use one for the First
and Second proofs, the ambient temperature was fine.

> The consistency of the sponge, the "hydration" as the bakers say, also affects the
> rate of sponge development. So perhaps one should specify that, as well as
> temperature, before specifying an absolute duration for sponge development.
>

Since we are talking about bacterial multiplication, how does "sponge
development" enter into this discussion? Certaily we specify the proper
consistency of the sponge (hydration) for purposes of adding certain
quantities to the final recipe and loaf consistency. However, the
amount of flour in the recipe can be adjusted as needed during
kneading.
> ---
> Dick Adams

--
Jean
http://www.cyberhighway.net/~sourdo

Ricardo Roselli Guersia

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Oct 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/23/97
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Hi Dick!

"Now, I can tell you this: With most any sourdough culture, incubating a
sponge 12 hours at ambient temperature on a warm summer night will take it
well beyond yeast peak and towards rotten. By that I mean that bread made
from such a sponge will not rise much, and will tend to be too sour and to
go to rags."

Well, I can tell you that even living in Brazil, where the nights can be
very warm, I've never had any problem incubating a sponge for 12 hours.
However, I can notice that it does rise to its maximum and then falls, so I
guess it really goes beyond yeast peak. But the breads that were made from
this kind of sponge never failed to rise very well, although they were
really a bit too sour. What I've done now to make the sponge a few hours
earlier, let it ferment at room temperature for a couple of hours and then
put it in the refrigerator. It has worked well for me.

Thembilina's idea of reducing the amount of starter sounds logical to me,
too.

Best regards,
Ricardo

Dick Adams

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Oct 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/25/97
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Jean Wood wrote in message <3450E5...@cyberhighway.net>...

>Since when the culture is fed after removal from the fridge it
>multiplies until it uses just about all the nutrients available
>to it, the final number of yeast cells would be the same when=20
>it appears active to the observer."

Here is a crude approximation to a growth curve representing (on
the vertical axis) the log of the number of viable cells following
inoculation at time =3D 0, time being represented on the horizontal
axis:

Log (#cells)
| x x o o o o
| x x
| x x
| x x
| x
| x
| x
| x x
|_____________________________________
time

Assume it represents yeast cells. The cells do not just sit there,
all healthy and nice, when their food is gone, and wait for more.
They loose their vitality and die off (x's).

If one waits for some arbitrary interval after the yeast peak
before introducing more nutrients, there will be fewer yeast cells
available to pick up the next growth cycle than there were at
yeast peak. They will also be sluggish, and it will take some
time for logarithmic growth to be resumed.

Your writing suggests you think that the number of viable cells
does not change after yeast peak is reached (o's) and that their
vigor is unaffected by starvation.

>Also, it is true that the more often a culture is used, the
>more active it becomes.

If it is fed at each yeast peak, near logarithmic growth can be
achieved.

---
Dick Adams

Jean Wood

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Oct 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/25/97
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Dick Adams wrote:
>
> Jean Wood wrote in message <3450E5...@cyberhighway.net>...
>
> >Since when the culture is fed after removal from the fridge it
> >multiplies until it uses just about all the nutrients available
> >to it, the final number of yeast cells would be the same when
> >it appears active to the observer."
>
> Here is a crude approximation to a growth curve representing (on
> the vertical axis) the log of the number of viable cells following
> inoculation at time = 0, time being represented on the horizontal

What do you think happens to the culture when it is stored in the
refrigerator for several months? It is re-vitlaized time after time
after this dormancy, and it always recovers. The yeast cells should all
be dead by this time, following your logic. After 4-6 months, it is
"sluggish" and may take several days. We have noted that the culture
becomes active much faster after it becomes dormant in the sponge stage,
indicating sufficient viable cells to re-establish the full activity in
a short time. If some cells die, it does not seem to be significant.
If the yeast in the sponge reach their peak about 2 hours before the
time required for the bacteria to multiply sufficiently, feeding then is
appropriate. However, as in the reply to Tom Gumpel, if the yeast are
very fast and use the nutrients early, they may do it again before the
end of this stage.

All of this started with a discussion of retarding by proofing at cool
temperatures. Since the yeast and the lactobacilli would both be
retarded, and since, with proper handling, the yeast can be active at
the time the loaves are made after 12 hours, we see no reason for
retardation. If some have a problem, it is probably a matter of
timing. Also, even if some of the yeast cells die, the "observable"
result that indicates the end point of sponge activity would be the
same.

Where did you get the information on the number of viable yeast cells at
various times during the proofing of a sponge at 85-90 degrees?
--
Jean
http://www.cyberhighway.net/~sourdo

nos...@auerbachatunity.ncsu.edu

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Oct 26, 1997, 2:00:00 AM10/26/97
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In <34548281...@news.ma.ultranet.com>, on 10/26/97
at 12:45 AM, so...@SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com (Kenneth Sole) said:


>These two loaves were different:

>The first was fully acceptable in every way. The second had a darker
>crumb (a more golden-ivory color) with much greater elasticity. The crumb
>had an opalescent quality nearly absent in the first loaf. The crumb was
>far less regular. The crust was slightly chewier. The taste was much more
>complex.

>These breads differed markedly. In terms of overall quality the "slow"
>version was vastly superior in my opinion.

Nice. You've replicated what is a commonplace in the bakeries I've spent
time in (in USA and France). I think the problem with Dick Adams
reasoning on this (his reasoning, not his bread, which I am sure is
fabulous) is that he focuses on the population of the beasts as the
dominant determinant of results; that is, he assumes that having taken the
exponential effects into account that long rises at low temps and short
rises at higher temps that result in the same population also result in
the same flavor and texture. This ignores that other non-linear, mostly
chemical, processes are going on--quite complex ones at that.
Some of my best bread is made in the cold months when I leave my bread in
the vestibule, at about 50F, overnight. The vestibule is my proofing box.



--
Regards,
David

Food without hospitality is medicine
--Tamil proverb
"What would life be without arithmetic, but a scene of horrors?"
-Rev. Sydney Smith, letter to young lady, 22 July 1835

take a look at: http://www.best.com/~derm


-----------------------------------------------------------
David Auerbach nospam@auerbachatunitydotncsudotedu
Department of Philosophy & Religion fix the above for the real address
NCSU
Box 8103
Raleigh, 27695-8103
-----------------------------------------------------------

Jean Wood

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Oct 26, 1997, 2:00:00 AM10/26/97
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> >What do you think happens to the culture when it is stored in the
> >refrigerator for several months?
>

> >It is re-vitalized time after time after this dormancy, and it
> always recovers.
>
> Not always.
>

We have never lost a culture.

>


>
> I am not too impressed with your polystyrene box plus light bulb
> "proofing box". I'll bet if you monitor the actual temperature of
> the sponge during "proofing", you will find that it is cooler than
> you thought. (I do not agree to simply poking a thermometer, at
> some arbitrary level, into the box to read the air temperature.)
>
>Proofing temperatures are always given as ambient air temperatures. The sponge may not be the same temp. as the surrounding air, but so what. This is true in a proofing box as well an oven with light on, or over a water heater, or near a wood stove. The proofing box is cheap, easy to put together and use, and has a uniform air temperature throughout, as opposed to an open warm area.

---


--
Jean
http://www.cyberhighway.net/~sourdo

Dick Adams

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Oct 26, 1997, 2:00:00 AM10/26/97
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nos...@auerbachatunity.ncsu.edu wrote in message
<345350c6$1$nhreonpu$mr2...@news.duke.edu> with reference to
<34548281...@news.ma.ultranet.com>, posted on 10/26/97
at 12:45 AM, by so...@SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com :

>Nice. You've replicated what is a commonplace in the bakeries

>I've spent time in ( USA and France).

The poster also reported having constructed a thermostated
light-bulb incubator that apparently is placed within his
refrigerator to hold a temperature of 50 degrees F. _within one
degree_. That is no mean feat! How do you think that masterpiece
of technological creativity compares with your niggardly
vestibule? (Cf. ibid.. >the vestibule is my proofing box<)

>I think the problem with Dick Adams reasoning . . . is that he
focuses on the population of the beasts . . .

You seem to be getting me confused with Granny B. I do not use
the b-word. Even during Wild Discovery.

>. . . (he) ignores that other non-linear, mostly chemical,


>processes are going on--quite complex ones at that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . . all those intangible, impenetrable,
imponderable things that you Francophile Academicians see so
clearly that are invisible to us plebes.

Actually, I like your vestibule idea. It tends to put bread making
into the domain of the technologically inept. By the way, the
wintertime setback temperature in this frugal household just
happens to be 50 degrees F. (plus or minus several degrees
on account of the way that mechanical thermostats work).
"Retarding" is a way of life in the wintertime (unless one is in
a hurry for some reason).

---
Dick Adams

Dick Adams

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Oct 26, 1997, 2:00:00 AM10/26/97
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nos...@auerbachatunity.ncsu.edu wrote in message
<34538a04$1$nhreonpu$mr2...@news.duke.edu>...

>nor when I said "beasts" was using direct quotation

David, you know how it gets my fanny out when people call my
microorganisms "beasts".

>I wasn't strawmanning you, so don't strawman me.

What is strawmanning? Sounds like good sport! Should I know more
about it?

>In fact, I don't recall insulting you at all.

I don't recall insulting you either. Sometimes you may reason
incorrectly, but what the heck?!

>So let me see if I have this straight: you are claiming that,
>within reasonable bounds, one can proof bread anywhere along the
>time/temperature curve with no difference in outcome?

Sounds right to me. No doubt there are differences, but they seem
unimportant to me. I certainly do not think there are obligatory
special temperatures, nor do I think that incubating at low
temperature has any major advantage other than convenience.

---
Dick Adams

P.S. Bread here takes up to 12 hours to rise at room temperature
(68 to 72 degrees). Some people are reporting 2 hour rises. It
is hard for me to understand how sourdough bread can rise that
quickly, but possibly that bread would profit in some way from
retardation that mine does not.


Kenneth Sole

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Oct 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/27/97
to

"Dick Adams" <dick....@bigfoot.com> wrote:

»nos...@auerbachatunity.ncsu.edu wrote in message


»<345350c6$1$nhreonpu$mr2...@news.duke.edu> with reference to
»<34548281...@news.ma.ultranet.com>, posted on 10/26/97
»at 12:45 AM, by so...@SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com :
»
»>Nice. You've replicated what is a commonplace in the bakeries
»>I've spent time in ( USA and France).
»
»The poster also reported having constructed a thermostated
»light-bulb incubator that apparently is placed within his
»refrigerator to hold a temperature of 50 degrees F. _within one
»degree_. That is no mean feat! How do you think that masterpiece
»of technological creativity compares with your niggardly
»vestibule? (Cf. ibid.. >the vestibule is my proofing box<)

No, actually, my "retarder" IS my proof box. It is in the garage,
and the temperature in there is currently about 40F...

»
»>I think the problem with Dick Adams reasoning . . . is that he


»focuses on the population of the beasts . . .
»
»You seem to be getting me confused with Granny B. I do not use
»the b-word. Even during Wild Discovery.
»
»>. . . (he) ignores that other non-linear, mostly chemical,
»>processes are going on--quite complex ones at that.
»
»Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . . all those intangible, impenetrable,
»imponderable things that you Francophile Academicians see so
»clearly that are invisible to us plebes.
»
»Actually, I like your vestibule idea. It tends to put bread making
»into the domain of the technologically inept. By the way, the
»wintertime setback temperature in this frugal household just
»happens to be 50 degrees F. (plus or minus several degrees
»on account of the way that mechanical thermostats work).
»"Retarding" is a way of life in the wintertime (unless one is in
» a hurry for some reason).
»
»---
»Dick Adams

»
»
»
»
»

--
-Kenneth

Please respond here, and also via email (after removing "SPAMLESS.")

Brown1Dog

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Oct 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/27/97
to

Dick Adams wrote:

>Actually, I like your vestibule idea. It tends to put bread making
into the domain of the technologically inept.

I wonder if the poster, or any of our members, believe that technological
sufficiency (near-ineptness), combined with what, for lack of a better term,
we might call artistry, can produce fine bread.

Robert
brown1dog@aol

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