Tuesday, September 6, 2011

City Bread, An Accomplishment


City bread, round one

I've been wanting to make a bread that is not quite as hearty as Tartine's whole wheat, and definitely something with an earthier more wheaty flavor than the country loaf. I also like my bread with a bit of bite, though I know that in France that the mark of a great baker is one who produces loaves with imperceptible tang. I'm a San Franciscan. We can take a little sour with our bread, and frankly, the chewy texture that comes with long fermentations - which also leads to a more sour bread - is one of the primary reasons I started baking my own sourdough at home.

The bread of my dreams is one that I remember when I worked at Oliveto. I was addicted to it. It was wheaty with a lovely tang. The texture was incredible, chewy, bold, and the crust was incomparable.  I'm sure it was Acme or Grace, perhaps one that Oliveto had commissioned the bakery to produce for their dining room. Grace and Acme are two bakery giants over that way. There are actually many impeccable bread bakeries back home aside from Tartine. If you ever take a trip to the Bay Area, be sure to map out a bread tour. Many of the bakeries are in the East Bay.


City bread, round two

I've not gotten around to trying to make my dream bread because I really wanted to keep moving along on the proper Tartine path. Alas, sometimes no matter how diligently we stroll down one path, there will always be another that beckons us, and sometimes we must follow, even if we don't realize why we've made the detour until we are half way down the road.

I think the Universe wanted me to work on this loaf in my mind, because I ended up making it when I made a chanterelle pizza for my last post by accident. Here's how it went: I know Chad's bread measurements for all of the breads up to the variations on whole wheat by heart, as well as the method that he outlines in his book. Last week I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to make the dough for my upcoming round of pizzas (I skipped over those, so I'm backtracking a bit). I was so tired that morning that I mismeasured the flours, et voila! I ended up with my dream bread. Sort of. The first round was the debut loaf, great for pizza crust, but as a boule, the method needed to be adjusted (and no, you will NOT see the pictures for that inaugural loaf!). I have since done two more rounds of the bread with adjustments, which are the makeup of this post.

City bread, round two, closeup

What I've come up with in this bread is one that is just wheaty enough, the crumb is open, it's chewy and with a touch of sour. Because I like my bread with a little tang, and with a chewier interior, I am going to continue to experiment with longer fermentation times and, primarily, fermenting and proofing in the fridge.

The thing I love best about baking bread is that it mimics life. No two loaves are the same, nor are two days, nor two moments for that matter. Bread, and life, can be begun over again, adjusted, manipulated, contemplated, a strategy forged to make it better suited to your preference. Each effort is a building block of self-understanding. There are no mistakes. Only lessons and new beginnings which are better than those before, because we've grown so much wiser than even one day ago, and can make better choices down this path. That is a monumental gift given to us that sometimes we forget. But when we remember, it reminds us  of the malleability of our lives, the magnitude of our strengths.

City bread, round 1, closeup

This bread is my new City Bread, my fork in the road, something to call my own. I've been working hard to understand how to work with dough, how to yield to it and listen to what it needs rather than beating it into submission, or meeting it with deaf ears. I have been diligently following the Tartine book for a while now, and I needed some deviation, something that would give me permission to experiment, a strategy to alter the landscape of my life and remind me that I have many more choices than I've been willing to see. And I've needed some successes to lend my life some purpose.

This past week I've had multiple successes with my bread as well as my writing, I feel accomplished, and I've been able to share them, both, with my friends and now you. I think that it's crucial to design a life where you have daily accomplishments. Your spirit does not measure the size of them, all it knows is that you were successful. Hooray! And when we feel successful every day, it propels us to a place of continued striving. It allows a sense of purpose to fill us. The goal is to attain little accomplishments every day - a good workout, a loaf of bread - to keep up the momentum. And you have to acknowledge them too. There is no virtue in belittle an accomplishment or telling yourself that you could have done more. That tells your spirit, every day, that you aren't successful, or grateful for that matter. And I don't know about yours, but mine does not thrive in a dampened world. Our spirits need support and nurturing, we have to be kind to ourselves while we have the privilege of being here.

Crumb from round two

Here is to everyone who might find themselves at the fork in their road. Whichever route you take, may it lead you to a greater understanding of who you are. May you have successes every day that know no measure, and may you never forget to praise yourself for them. If you don't the accomplishment was not worth pursuing to begin with.

Here is my City Bread, in two rounds. Quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!


ROUND ONE

Begin this bread the night before with a levain. For round one I made a whole wheat levain, as I usually do, with my 100% hydration rye starter. Instructions are below.

700g bread flour
300g whole wheat flour
800g h20
200g whole wheat levain
20g salt

To make the levain, in a bowl, take one tablespoon of your active rye starter and mix it with 100g h20 and 50g each AP and whole wheat flour. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot in the kitchen to ferment overnight.

The next morning:

1) Dissolve the levain in 750g of water, then stir in the whole wheat and bread flours until it's a shaggy mass. Autolyse for 1.5 hours.

2) After autolyse, stir in 20g of salt and the 50g of remaining water. Vigorously mix this with your hand until all of the water and salt is incorporated, and the dough becomes a smooth mass. Let it rest for 30 minutes, our fermentation has begun.

3) After 30 minutes of rest, perform your first series of turns (there are four total). Dip your hand under the dough, then pull the bottom of the dough over the top, turn the bowl 1/3 turn and do this again. I fold the dough like this for a total of 3 times. Cover with plastic and rest for 30 minutes.

(turn two) After 30 minutes, repeat the turns as you did above. (turn three) For the third series of turns, be more gentle with the dough. As you can see, it has become more aerated, and the gluten structure is developing. You do not want to collapse those lovely gas chambers. (turn four) For the last series of turns, be very, very delicate with the dough. Perform your turns gingerly, or you risk deflating the dough.

Dough after the first two series of turns

Dough after the last two series of turns


The dough, during the turns, has been fermenting for two hours. Let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.

4) Pop the dough in the fridge and let it ferment for another 2 hours and 15 minutes.

A note on fermenting and proofing: The weather is hot where I live at the moment, which makes a huge difference in fermentation and proofing times and refrigeration is the best method to employ to keep the dough from overfermenting or overproofing.


5) The dough has been fermenting for a full 4.5 hours. Scrape it onto a workspace.


6) Divide the dough into two pieces, shape into loose rounds and let them rest on the bench for 15 minutes. It's hot here, anything more than that is too long, which is why we are preshaping very casually. If you want a longer bench rest, then preshape your dough a little more tightly.

Make sure you cover the dough while it rests on the bench so that it does not form a skin. I just inverted a couple of bowls over it.


7) Shape the dough into boules, then pop them into linen lined bowls dusted with rice flour. Pop the bowls into the fridge and proof for 3 hours 30 minutes. I had a guest coming over, so I cut the proofing time short. I really wanted to proof for at least 4.5 hours, but, well, there's that.



8) 20 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 550 degrees with your combo cookers inside.

9) When the combo cookers are hot, and the oven is sufficiently preheated, gently invert your bowl onto a peel that you have dusted liberally with semolina so that it will snap right off of the peel.

10) Score the loaves, then get them into the combo cookers, get the lids in place, turn the oven down to 450 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes to steam the loaves.

11) After 30 minutes, remove the lid of the combo cooker and bake for however long it takes to finish. I think mine took another 35 minutes. The temp of the bread upon removal was 215 degrees.



I apologize, but I didn't take proper pictures of the interior. All that was left to photograph was this chunk, and you can see that the side has gone dry. But I wanted you all to see the crumb nonetheless.




Verdict

Crust: super shattery. I gave a loaf to my friend, and a half loaf to my neighbor and they raved over the crust and the crumb. The bottom crust was awesome. Crumb: Open. It was tender and with just the right amount of 'sourdough chewiness', which is what draws me to this bread. Flavor: Earthy. Wheaty. The wheat was just assertive enough without being overpowering. I am looking for a bread that is bit more sour, which is why I did round two and increased the proof time by an hour. But this bread as it is is pretty perfect when you are looking for a loaf that is mildly sour. This loaf would be perfect with membrillo and manchego cheese. Ease of handling with the dough: Simple. Notes: I would love to see this bread with a little more tang to it. In round two, I increased the proof time a bit to see if I could accomplish this. See round two below





ROUND TWO

Begin this bread the night before with a levain. For round two I made a rye levain with my 100% hydration rye starter. Instructions are below.

On bake day, gather together these things:

700g bread flour
300g whole wheat flour
800g h20
200g rye levain (instructions just below)
20g salt


Make the Levain:

1) To make the levain, in a bowl, take one tablespoon of your active rye starter and mix it with 100g h20 and 100g of dark rye flour. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot in the kitchen to ferment overnight.

Levain, the morning after

The next morning:

2) Dissolve the levain in 750g of water, then stir in the whole wheat and bread flours until it's a shaggy mass. Autolyse for 1.5 hours.

Dough just mixed

Dough after autolyse

3) After autolyse, stir in 20g of salt and the 50g of remaining water. Vigorously mix this with your hand until all of the water and salt is incorporated, and the dough becomes a smooth mass. Let it rest for 30 minutes, our fermentation has begun.

Just salted dough

Dough after being salted and rested

4) After 30 minutes of rest, perform your first series of turns (there are four total). Dip your hand under the dough, then pull the bottom of the dough over the top, turn the bowl 1/3 turn and do this again. I fold the dough like this for a total of three times. Cover with plastic and rest for 30 minutes.

(turn two) After 30 minutes, repeat the turns as you did above. (turn three) For the third series of turns, be more gentle with the dough. As you can see, it has become more aerated, and the gluten structure is developing. You do not want to collapse those lovely gas chambers. (turn four) For the last series of turns, be very, very delicate with the dough. Perform your turns gingerly, or you risk deflating the dough.

Dough after first turn. Already developing great gluten structure

Gluten structure after the first turn

Dough after the second turn. Excellent gluten development

Gluten strength after the second turn

Dough after the third turn. Super aerated


Dough after fourth turn. Nice fermentation here


The dough, during the turns, has been fermenting for two hours. Let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.

5) Pop the dough in the fridge and let it ferment for another 2 hours, for a total fermentation time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.


After 2 hour refrigerated fermentation

6) The dough is ready to be turned out onto a workspace. I don't normally flour my workspace, but I did this time and I didn't like it. I don't like the risk of incorporating raw flour into my dough, so I scraped it up as best I could, and worked on a naked bench.


7) Divide the dough into two pieces, shape into loose rounds and let them rest on the bench for 15 minutes. It's hot here, anything more than that is too long, which is why we are preshaping very casually. If you want a longer bench rest, then preshape your dough a little more tightly.


8) Cover the dough with bowls to prevent it from forming a skin while it rests on the bench.


9) Shape the dough into boules, then pop them into linen lined bowls dusted with rice flour. Pop the bowls into the fridge and proof for 4 hours. I wanted to go longer, but I don't think the dough could handle it. I really pushed the fermentation at room temp with the hot weather today. When the weather gets cooler, I am going to push the proofing time to see what sort of flavor develops with lengthier proofs.

Dough in linen before proofing

Dough fully proofed


10) 20 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 550 degrees with your combo cookers inside.

11) When the combo cookers are hot, and the oven is sufficiently preheated, gently invert your bowl onto a peel that you have dusted liberally with semolina so that it will snap right off of the peel.

Dough on the peel


12) Score the loaves, then get them into the combo cookers, get the lids in place, turn the oven down to 450 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes to steam the loaves.

The two loaves after 30 minute steam


13) After 30 minutes, remove the lid of the combo cooker and bake for however long it takes to finish. These loaves took another 36 minutes. The temp of the bread upon removal was 215 degrees.




Verdict:

Crust: Super shattery. Very nice. Great bubbles. Crumb: Relatively open. And it was tender, a little more than the wheat levain based bread. It still had a lovely chewiness to it. This is the perfect egg salad bread.


Flavor: Beautiful. Earthy. A little more sourness than the loaves in round one. The rye definitely comes through in this bread, and I think it contributes to the tenderness of the crumb. Dough's ease of handling: Simple.


Notes: I really wanted to try a rye levain with this bread to see what sort of flavor it would contribute to the finished loaves, and to see what sort of latitude I had in handling the dough (i.e., how it would affect fermentation and proofing times). The rye was perceptible, but it made the fermentation and proofing time a little more precarious, simply because of the weather here (it's been close to 100 degrees). I would love to see if I can create a 'sister' bread to this one with a little more tang. This bread itself was perfect, and I would not change a thing (hang on to the formula above!), but if I wanted a more assertively tangy bread, I would reduce the room temp fermentation time in hot weather. Say, pop in in the fridge after the third turn when it starts to really take off. That way the fermentation time can be pushed (might be easier with the formula in round one, because rye ferments more quickly than wheat, though I think the small contribution of rye here would not pose too much of an issue for experimentation's sake), as well as the proofing time. I am going to experiment next with fermentation and proofing times, always in search of a bread with just enough tang and chewiness. I will post my findings as soon as those loaves are done. The temperature is supposed to come down quite a bit here in L.A., so that will affect room temp fermentation times. Keep this formula. It's definitely a winner.

To the staff of life!


This post was taken to Wild Yeast Blog's Yeast SpottingThese loaves were inspired by Tartine Bread book's breads.

36 comments:

  1. whoa...I am really impressed...this bread is super awesome. love it I also love the photos

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  2. Thanks Raquel! I can't wait to keep going with it to get my 'perfect' bread. Stay tuned!

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  3. Beautiful! I have your site bookmarked and always look forward to reading. I've tried your country bread recipe (the baby boules post) twice but my dough always ends up too sticky that I am unable to shape them properly and I end up patting them into rectangles and cutting to make into ciabatta loaves. Love the taste though. Maybe I'm not ready for such a high level of hydration?

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  4. Hi Gretchen. Hm. How are you doing your turns? Usually my turns are ample to strengthen the dough so that the high hydration is not much of an issue. And what about the weather there? If it's warm, that can contribute to spreading dough. I'm reluctant to say to pull back on hydration, but that's certainly an option. Hydration gives us the airy crumb and keeps the bread moist. If you did pull back on the hydration, even a very small amount can make a huge difference, like 20g of water. So, start wtih smaller increments that will allow ease of handling, but still maintain the integrity of the dough.

    But first, why don't you try this:

    Perform your turns at room temp. That eats up 2 hours of fermentation time. Then for the last 2 hours of fermentation time, pop the dough in the fridge. When you pull it out to shape, do a looser preshape, so you can shorten the bench rest. (A tighter preshape can allow for a longer bench, but might make the dough more difficult to work with since it will warm up). Then shape the dough as best you can. It does not have to be perfect. That will come with time. Get them into the linen lined bowls, even if they don't seem perfect. The proof will help to shape them too. Then refrigerate your proofs, that usually makes the dough stiff enough to manage before they go into the oven. No need to bring them to room temp. All you have to do is shape the loaves, put them into the linen lined bowls to proof, and proof them in the fridge. 20 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat the oven, and as soon as the combo cooker/oven are hot enough, pull the dough out of the fridge, quickly invert it onto a peel (lined with parchment is easiest), then score and slide into the oven.

    The refrigerator allowed me a few learning advantages: one, I got to see how dough ferments/strengthens/develops flavor through long, slow fermentation. And it also allowed me some flexibility in learning how to handle dough. Cold dough is easier to handle. Now when I handle warm dough, I do it more adeptly. So, be patient and use it as a crutch. It's ok. Refrigeration can never hurt.

    Last, I'm no expert. I'm just like you. And I love that I can share my non-expert experience with people so that they can see that working with dough takes practice and ingenuity. Make this process your own. Chad's breads are NOT beginner breads, and his book is not a beginner's book, regardless of what it might say. They are highly hydrated doughs, and he does not go into any detail about what to do if certain situations arise. But I think that was intentional. It is because of that that I learned how to manage my dough on my own, and I have a better understanding of it, a more intuitive one. We also can't fault the guy for not wanting to give away all of the secrets to what makes his bread (and cafe) so special. I think that his omission of things allows you to make his bread your own. Whereas other breads that I have made, the one's that give more direction, always feel like the author's bread to me. I also read other bread gurus books, and Susan's blog at Wild Yeast, to learn more about flour and hydration and all that jazz. So, pick up some books and peruse. There is so much to learn about bread.

    Finally, at what point are you using your starter? When do you feed it last before you use it for bread? I find that a more active starter makes a bread that's more easy to handle.

    Let me know how that works out, and good luck!

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  5. Thank you for all of those tips! It is hot where I live (the Philippines) with the temperature averaging 29 to 31. King Arthur's flour is not widely available either if at all so I use unbleached bread flour from a local mill. We do have shops that sell Bob's Red MIll flours and I use them but only once in a while and to feed my starter as they are pricey. That means I don't throw away any discard: I make them into pancakes , quickbreads even chocolate cake. But that also means that I don't feed my starter daily. I feed once a week and then 2 to 3x every 12 hours leading up to baking day. That may also be why my starter is not strong enough. I love learning from books and blogs like yours, Susan's etc and am truly grateful to all of you out there who are so generous with sharing your bread experiences. Will keep trying and tweaking. Thanks!

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  6. hi gretchen. It's my instinct to surmise that your starter needs to be fed more often. (did you happen to read my post on called 'sourdough starter, demystified'?) when it's really hot down here, i will feed my starter at least twice a day, and often 3x. if cost is an issue and you are only baking once a week or less, you are a perfect candidate for a refrigerated starter. here's the link: http://tartine-bread.blogspot.com/2011/08/sourdough-starter-demystified.html

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  7. hey gretchen, i also live in the manila philippines.. we should have a bake off someday. i have been cultivating my starter for 1 1/2 yr now and experimenting on sourdough frequently. how long have you been keeping your starter?

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  8. Hi Francis-Olive. That seems right. My starter looked way stronger when I was feeding it more often. Thanks again! Will read your articles on this.

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  9. Hi Francis-Olive. Is there a way to lessen the sourness of the final product? I replaced rye flour with the whole wheat flour and added cold water to make up for the wet consistency of the levain and hot temperature here in the Philippines. For the main dough, i used 95% local bread flour and 5 % rye flour. but it always comes out too sour for my taste. I just want a bit tang to it but still couldn't get it. What process do you think i should change?

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  10. hi baker boy,

    well, what is your fermentation and proofing practice? while cooler fermentation and proofing is what enhances the flavor of breads leavened with wild yeast cultures, it also lends sourness because of increased acetic acid development. just to remind you, acetic acid develops more bountifully in a cooler environment (i.e., refrigeration). so if you are retarding your fermentation in any way, this will increase the acid level in your final dough.

    another consideration is that an older starter will add more tang than a younger starter. in a younger starter, lactic acid is the predominant acid that develops, this acid is a smoother, mellower tasting acid. as a culture gets older, it begins to develop acetic acid as well, which adds the vinegary 'bite' that you might be noticing. to mention further, a stiffer starter will have more pronounced acidity than a liquid starter. (lactic and acetic acids are the byproducts produced as the bacteria of your starter eats the sugars in the flour that you feed it).

    now that you know that an older starter creates more of an acidic bread, as does a stiffer starter and a colder environment during fermentation, you might always consider using a 'pre-ferment' , a levain, rather than a large volume of starter to leaven your breads. using a levain requires that you take a small amount of starter, and mix it with a volume of flour and water. when left to sit for several hours, it becomes colonized by the microorganisms in the starter, and will grow strong enough to raise your dough. this levain becomes your 'young' starter, and will have a less pronounced acidity because you are only using a seed amount of your potentially acidic 'mother' culture (CONTINUED BELOW).

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  11. it might be worth noting that the tartine book calls for the creation of a larger amount of levain than needed for the formulae (it makes double the amount called for). the remaining levain becomes your new starter. it retains part of the old culture, thus, the identity of that culture is maintained, but since a 'seed' amount of the original starter was used, then the amount of acetic acid is able to be controlled. if the baker bakes consistently, then he is always creating a new starter/using a newer starter in his/her breads. because we know that older starters produce acetic acid (which lends more of a bite than lactic acid produced by younger cultures), one would surmise that if you bake consistently and take tartine's advice, using a piece of the levain as your new sourdough culture with a frequent baking schedule, then your leavening agent will always contain less acetic acid. understanding the nature of, and controlling the acid in your starter is the mark of a very good baker.

    another consideration is that because of the considerable fermentable sugars and minerals that rye flour offers to the yeasts in your culture/levain, it produces more acidic breads than those without rye. are you using dark rye? dark rye has more minerals and fermentable sugars than medium rye. try switching to medium rye which will produce less acid since there are less sugars present for the starter to eat, and thus, reduces the amount of acid it excretes.

    thinking about how all this works, it might be ideal for someone like you who does not want a sour bread to 1) avoid those recipes that call for a larger volume of starter as your leavening agent and always work with a levain. 2) pinch off a piece of your levain as the seed for your new starter every time you bake, to control the acid levels in your culture and thus your bread 3) avoid or limit refrigerated fermentation 4) you might avoid using a refrigerated sourdough culture, since one that lives in the fridge is bound to be higher in acetic acid than one that lives in a warmer environment 5) maintain a looser culture, one with 125% hydration is probably ideal for you 6) use a smaller percentage of rye in your bread, since rye flour gives ample sugars for the starter to feed on, thus producing a larger volume of acid which results in a more acidic loaf of bread. further, the type of rye that you use in your bread will affect the acidity in your bread. darker rye will produces more acidic breads, so stick to medium rye. but avoid light rye, which is devoid of the nutrients and depth of flavor that makes using rye so interesting. 6) consider keeping a white starter rather than a rye starter which would control the level of acid in a mature starter. you can convert any rye starter to a white one by reducing the amount of rye flour with your feeds and increasing the amount of white flour, until you are eventually using all white flour in your feeds.

    i hope all of this helps!

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  12. Hi Francis-Olive! My mother starter came from Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart which I started last year February. It calls for only white flour for the feeding and i noticed when I read his other book Artisan Breads Everyday, he switched from a wet mother starter to a more stiffer starter and so I also switched mine which requires less feeding per week. I've been keeping mine in the fridge and feeds it once a week when I'm not using it and then refreshing it the day before I would normally make my Levain.

    Chad's formula for the levain calls for 50/50 flour and whole wheat ratio but for some reason we don't have whole wheat flour at our local bakery supplier here in manila, what they do have is the whole wheat meal(grounded bran and germ from the wheat kernel) which is what you would add to your bread flour to make a whole wheat flour. They said that the germ from the wheat kernel becomes rancid really fast thats why they don't sell whole wheat flour anymore. And its one of the reason why I don't use the whole wheat meal for feeding my starter, i only use bread flour.

    For my Levain formula, I only use 12% dark rye flour (medium rye flour isn't available here in manila), bread flour 88%, and water 125%. This early morning, I wanted to experiment on the fermentation for the levain, I started my Levain at 2am and used cool water and instead of fermenting it for 12 hours, I only fermented it for 6 hours. The reason is that most of the breads tasted too sour whenever I ferment it for too long before making the dough So I cut back on the fermentation of the levain and even before it becomes a "young starter", i used it to make my dough. I proceeded with the normal bread making procedure and when i tasted it, it wasn't as sour and it was just right for my taste. I was reading your blog about the other Tartine bread that you have been making and you have been really helpful to my bread adventures!

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  13. sounds like it could have been the levain. i make mine overnight, so, it ferments for about 7 hours. i'm sure its a challenge to bake in the hot weather. you have to make considerable changes to all of your time tables. sounds like you found your solution to a more mild flavored bread. thank you for following my blog. it's really nice to hear, always, that people are out there reading it!

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  14. Hi Francis-Olive, now I get the point of the levain made from a portion of the starter and will try it. Baker boy, I'm very new to baking with sourdough. My starter is just under a year old. Good luck on your baking adventures!

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  15. I did 1 C Ground Oats, 1.25Cups Whole Wheat, 1.5 cup AP Flour, 1.75 C water, and 0.42 C 100%hydration white starter + a pinch of dry active yeast (1/8 tsp) . 6 hours in the frig, and 2 hour rise after it was out of the frig. Really good bread. Good and hearty, way better than white bread.

    The first time I didn't let the dough rise enough and the bread was like a brownie which was actually pretty good.

    Thanks

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  16. mmmmm. now there's a great idea. i would love to try oat sourdough bread. so, you did a 6 hour bulk ferment in the fridge? i would love to see pics of the bread. how was the crumb?

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  17. I am Francis' neighbor and I am so lucky to live next door to her.
    One: Because she is a lovely person!
    Two: Because her bread is Tote Amaze! I know she will self critique her work, but I'm here to tell you everything is even more delicious than it looks!
    Keep baking friend!
    We love your work!
    Love, Jenn, Brandon and baby Lola xo

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  18. sister! omg. did you totally love the rye and demi-wheat? so good. i cant stop eating it with cheese.

    check out the latest post. your bread is wading about the limelight over there ; )

    tell lola i said, 'hey girl!' she is such a hip little canadian chick!

    - frankie

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  19. when you do your turns during the first part of the bulk fermentation, do you invert the whole dough afterwards so the seam side is down in the bowl?

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  20. Great post!! What temp water are you using?

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  21. i dont take temps. just room temperature filtered water :)

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  22. Hello Francis-Olive
    Your blog has become my go-to reference in my pursuit of Tartine-loaf perfection. Thank you for that!
    My loaves are coming along pretty well, each better than the one before. But one skill I have yet to master is scoring.
    I've seen videos where the razor creates a clean cut which then opens into a clean cleft, maybe 1/4" deep, before baking and then that "Cheshire cat" grigne in the oven. But my razor drags through the dough and the cut immediately opens into a flat scar with no depth.
    Do you have any tips on scoring.
    Les

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    Replies
    1. That's so nice to hear Les.

      Scoring:

      1) if you work with high hydration doughs, you will sacrifice les grignes. it's just the truth. 'appropriately' (translation: not overly hydrated) hydrated loaves make for more prominent ears, so, even if your razor leaves a jagged slash, it will still open up to a full ear. (i'm thrifty, so i use my razor more than i probably should. i often have jagged slashes, and they smooth out upon baking).

      2) score deeply. i often go through the slash a second time. like 1/2"

      3) and here is the key: slash PARALLEL to the floor, not perpendicular. perpendicular slashes make the dough spread, parallel slashes make the ears perky.

      have a look at this post. it has a slashing video...

      http://tartine-bread.blogspot.com/2013/01/mongrel-spelt-mega-stout-video.html

      i hope this helps!

      francis-olive

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    2. Francis-Olive,
      My rye starter is 9 days old and compares favorably with your pics.
      Decided on making your Round 1 City Loaf bread...Last night I made the levain for the bread and this morning I mixed the ingredients, flour and wwflour, etc. I just finished the autolyse and added the salt and remaining water.
      Questions at this point...
      when you mention salt..does it mean table salt, or Kosher salt? I know it makes a difference.
      As I decided to make enough dough for one loaf, instead of two, I halved everything in the recipe. I am assuming that this will work?
      Finally, I did not have bread flour available, so I used AP flour, but added 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten. I was thinking that I was constructing my own bread flour. Is this correct thinking?
      As I decided to try 2 different types of starters, all rye, and combo AP+ww, I will use this starter for another Round 1 and see what difference it makes in the final product.
      Thanks for your blog....LOVE IT!!

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    3. hey les. i use either sea salt or kosher salt. never table salt. there's iodine in it and it's gross.
      um, well, using ap in place of bread flour is fine as long as the ap is a good quality (like king arthur, bobs red mill), and no you dont need to add vital wheat gluten to ap flour. there is PLENTY of gluten in ap. you only ever want to use vital wheat gluten as a last resort (i.e., for 100% whole grain loaves) and for bagels. it should never be an automatic ingredient to add. even with a 50% whole grain and 50% white (either ap or bread flour) you will not need vital wheat gluten. vital wheat gluten should be used cautiously and expertly. it can cause a gummy loaf with an off taste if the user does not know his/her way around that ingredient.

      with that said, next time, doing 100% ap loaves with either starter is fine. i make them all the time.

      fo

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    4. ps, there is such a high protein content in most high quality ap flours that most bakers actually prefer to use it over bread flour. bread flour makes a strong loaf of bread, and i generally only use it when i pair it with a whole grain, i.e., 110g of rye or whole wheat or spelt, and 390g of bread flour. the extra power in the bread flour makes up for the lost gluten when using whole grain flours. but as a rule, when i make all white flour bread, or breads with just a small percentage of whole grain flour, i always use ap flour. no need for more. ap does not have that much less gluten than bread flour (depending upon the brand of course), and is considered a high gluten flour with good quality protein. you only need to worry about those loaves when you are using high percentages of whole grain, and i never need to use vital wheat gluten (except for the reasons noted above). i do increase the amount of levain in these breads. yes, any bread formula can be halved. you may need to adjust the hydration a bit, but ive cut my own formulae down the middle from the amount of levain to the amount of salt and i've always been just fine.

      hope all this helps.

      fo

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    5. fo,
      thanks for your prompt, and to-the-point response to my questions...(but I am not les, I am bobinca.. :)
      Btw... any one interested in an opened bag of "vital wheat gluten" used only once?? :)

      Question:
      yesterday, I did all of the turns at 30 min. intervals, and then put in the fridge for a planned ferment of 2 hrs.Then I get a phone call that ruins the fermenting schedule. I have to go pick up my granddaughter and that means that the dough will have to stay in the fridge until the next morning (today). Can I pick up where I left off? Or, is the dough going to be over-fermented? What corrective measures would you recommend before I put the dough in the oven?
      Finally, are you using a stone under your combo cooker? or, do you put it in the oven without a stone?
      Thank you again for your most informative blog. I have been recommending this blog to my baking friends and they all think that it is fantastic!! I think it is better than most of the bread books out there.

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    6. My "first" tartine style loaf of bread....City Bread round 1..... crackling success!
      and, if you recall, I had added vital wheat gluten (1 tsp.) and I will never do that again.
      I could see that if I had added anymore than what I did, it would have been gummy.
      What surprised me the most was the degree of oven spring that I got. When I placed the dough, straight out of the fridge, into the cast iron dutch oven it was kinda flat. When I took the cover off at the 30 min mark, It had risen almost to the top of the rim of the dutch oven!! Baked for another 30 min. and it was perfect.
      P.S. I borrowed your spiral slash...looked like pics of your bread. :)
      Bottom line. I took a real sense of pride in developing my own starter and using it to make this bread.
      It really was "my baby"..

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    7. such great news! a perfect loaf of bread = a happy day. i must agree. and i always bake straight out of the fridge. and sometimes the dough doesn't 'look' right. always see the bread through the bake. it often surprises you. congratulations. and that spiral is crazy! i have some friends in europe and the middle east who always do the spiral now and send me pics of their bread. how cool is that? have fun eating your baby ;)

      f0

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    8. haha. freeze the vital wheat gluten (give some of it away, it's an awful lot. i don't know how anyone can use a whole bag, unless they are making bagels every day). you will need it for when you do 100% whole grain breads from time to time. unfortunately, you cannot extend the bulk fermentation. think of it as rubberbands during this fermentation stage. once they stretch too far, they snap and break and there is nothing you can do to save broken gluten structure. so, i'm afraid this is a moment of lost dough. it's ok. it happens. it sucks, but it happens. as a rule, i have only pushed the first ferment to 5 hours, and this was really pushing it. 4 hours is best. its the final ferment that can take the long fermentation.

      yeah. my stone lives in the oven. middle rack. always. it makes a huge difference with that bottom crust. especially if you have a cheap oven like me. my oven is so cheap! its a series of hot spots. not even at all. ah, well....

      and thank you for passing around the blog! my goal was to create something simple, informative and correct. i hated struggling with bread, so the blog was born so that people don't have to. it's like one of my recent posts 'it's just bread'. its just something that we do. it should be simple and satisfying every time. no mystery. no tedium. its just bread for dinner or whatever. i could not abide by all of those mysterious books and blogs that made baking scary. it does not have to be. i've never ever ever received one comment where someone's bread came out wrong from my blog, and that makes me extraordinarily happy, because it means i've accomplished my goal. i love that people making bread for the first time, using starters made from the blog are having bread on the table in a few days. this is what makes people continue baking. bad loaves will make people give up.

      bread is like life. it should be challenging, but fun. the anticipation that everything will come out right now matter what. it should be fulfilling. it should be promising. we should love it, ever minute of it. wake up looking forward to it, go to bed feeling happy with it, with our accomplishments within it. i think the tartine bread experiment gives people little successes in their day (that's how i feel every time a bread comes out right, to this day). it lifts my mood. i feel accomplished. i feel that i can take on the world. how is anyone supposed to feel that with books that cause failed breads one after the other (i have those books). it's a terrible thing. i suppose i could do more complicated things. take the temperature of my dough. get into arguments over this or that in the bread world. but i will leave that to the people who like to make life complicated. for me, it's just flour, water, starter and salt. c'est ca, et c'est facile!

      fo

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  23. Hello, after trying a few times Chad's formula, I must say I ended up a little bit hesitating whith such high hidrated doughs. These because I bought all the tree books of Chad, Hamlman and Reinhard in the same day. Of course, Tartine was the first try. Now, I keep to Hamelman's formulas until i get more confident. I don't like 65% hidration, and I feel ok with 70% but, 75% it's a mess. The breads from the first attempts were delicios but i hade large problems in shaping the dough. Now, I discovered your blog today, and I'm optimistic. I have a question on bulk fermentation. I saw you mentioned that there are high room temepratures, and that you bulk ferment 2 hours at room temp and 2 hour in the fridge. Can you tell me please what is that temeprature ? I have in this times about 72.5 F constantly and I think I can manage with all the 4 hours at room temeprature. What do you thing ? Thank you very much:)

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    Replies
    1. hey there Raluca. i have never had success with dough that has been fermented at room temperature in either the bulk fermentation stage or the final fermentation stage. i consistently use my refrigerator in the way that i outline, because after much experimentation, trial and error, this is what works best for me. but, everyone has a different experience. there is no harm at trying longer fermentations at room temperature to see what comes of it!

      francis-olive

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