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Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

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  • Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

    Did a big bake today.

    As I typically do, I fired up the oven last night. We had a little party last night so I was late putting my preferment together...and late getting started this morning. Did two types of bread with two separate preferments. (King Arthur Organic AP and a Rye bread composed of 70% Minnesota Girl AP and 30% Organic Rye...with about a 1/4 of caraway seeds)

    The AP organic sourdough was: Preferment...250 grams starter, 500 grams water, 500 grams AP. Put preferment together at one am. At ten a.m. I mixed the preferment with 2000 grams of water and 3350 grams of AP.

    The Rye was exactly the same thing, except doubled. (in other words, 2500 grams of 100% preferment, 6700 grams flour, 4000 grams water, etc.) As noted above, it was 30% rye flour, 70% AP.

    Went out and started a fire in the (already hot) oven. Fifty minutes after initial mixing, I added 75 grams of salt to the AP sourdough...150 grams of salt to to the rye.

    Bulk ferment for about three hours at 78 degrees. ...a couple of stretch and folds every fifty minutes or so for three hours. Loaf formation and then continue to proof for about another hour.

    Oven hearth was 560 when it went in. Total of 29 loaves. Most around 1.5 pounds...a few just over two lbs. I think it was 16 loaves in the first batch...13 loaves in the second batch....or something like that. First bake took exactly 30 minutes. Second bake came out at 34 minutes.

    Fun day...a little tired though.

    Edit: I forgot to include the water I use for the salt addition. For the smaller batch (the AP sourdough) I mixed the salt in with 125 grams of water before adding to dough. For the larger batch (the rye) I mixed the salt in with 250 grams of water before adding. I think my hydration for both was 70%, but I'd have to check my math again to be sure. Another thing for anyone paying attention, I heated all my water to approx 100 degrees fahrenheit (38 degrees C) before combining with flour. Be careful here...too hot and you'll kill yeast in your preferment.

    Last edited by WJW; 02-16-2013, 09:59 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

    You are a glutton for punishment, Bill! That is a lot of oven loading! And prep. Great crust and crumb! Great rip! A great example of why I believe in not making bread in WFOs in small batches. You simply can't get that look! (At least I haven't seen it yet!)

    Well done!


    • #3
      Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

      Very nice Bill, I need to do a big bake soon of sourdough. I have been doing other stuff in the oven so storage of breads becomes a problem. Rule is I give away what won't fit in the freezer.

      I'm taking a class in Rye breads at the end of this week in VT. Hope to bring back some helpful hints on high % rye breads.

      Just picked up a nice 20 quart Univex mixer for a song. It will be nice for those in between sized batches.

      Nice job! Faith


      • #4
        Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

        Thanks for the compliments you guys.

        As far as being a glutton for punishment Jay....as you well know thirty loaves in a WFO is work. Fun work, but work all the same. I did a bake with my oldest daughter a couple months ago and she was shocked at how physical it is. She's a foodie, a really good cook, and bakes some fantastic pastries...but doing s&f's on a forty pound lump of dough, lugging firewood etc was a new experience for her. She laughingly remarked that she now understands why the "village baker" of the olden days always had an apprentice and was often a burly guy with big arms.

        As far as the oven loading, I'm getting better at it. I think I can do twenty loaves at a time in the oven if I place them carefully. Any more than that and I think I'd have bread so close to the walls that I'd be getting some burned loaves. But twenty is going to be doable. Based on that, I think I can get sixty loaves out of a single firing! Not that I need sixty loaves, but it might be fun to try some time. I'll have to find some more room for proofing....I'm just about out of space in this little kitchen and my wife has been pretty clear that I'm not taking over "her" kitchen.

        One thing I could see that would help with the loading is having enough peels. I've got four peels and I think I'm going to put together four more. I can easily hold sixteen loaves in the oven. But I only have peels for eight loaves. Being able to lay out two loaves per peel, doing all the slashing at one time, and then....simply loading one peel after another would make big bakes easier and more effcient. As it is now, I slash eight loaves, load...close the door... then have to get eight more loaves out of the banetons, slashed, and loaded. That makes for somethiing of a fire drill. In the pic below I have one load baking (note brick pushing against oven door to help hold steam), with the lext load lined up and ready. It would be nice to have all of the loaves already on peels. It would also help for the big pizza parties.

        Faith...I'm looking forward to hearing your tips on the rye.

        Last edited by WJW; 02-17-2013, 10:01 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

          Hi Bill!

          I almost commented on the Village Baker aspect of your baking efforts. While I would be willing (to try) mixing a 100 pound batch of dough by hand, things begin to get interesting in my experience at 20 pounds or so. Not difficult, but the big mass of dough takes on a life that batches under 10 pounds or so just don't have.

          One alternative to more peels is bigger loaves. I would especially recommend you consider Pane di Genzano (Local Breads by Leader). This is a truly wonderful bread. About 80% hydration and uses bran to keep the loaves from sticking. The bran toasts during baking and the end result is one of the great sourdoughs IMO. And big loaves 5 pounds or so.

          Another thing to think about is if the loaves are too close you will get light spots on the sidewall and side blowouts from time to time.

          Your wife is pretty sporting to let you dominate the kitchen like that for hours. Consider making a proofing rack to hold your proofing loaves. That would hold them in a vertical stack and not take up so much footprint AND you can seal it to make it humid and avoid humidity (dryness) issues that you have with open proofing.

          Good work!


          • #6
            Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP


            Hope you have a great class and learn lots from Hamelman. It will be interesting to see what you think you learn. When I did the SFBI class, I knew almost all the facts so it was the little details that had most impact. Subtle things in handling and slashing.

            Have Fun!


            • #7
              Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

              Jay...Love the idea about the pane di genzano. I'm going to try it. As far as my wife being a good sport...she's really not We have a little guest house (sort of a mother-in-law flat) with its own kitchen. That's the only only place I'm "allowed" to bake. When I built the oven I had no idea I'd be baking bread, but by happenstance the oven is only a few steps from the guest house kitchen. It actually works out really well because it's small enough that I can really control the temp in there. If I want to proof at 78 degrees on a day where it's only 60 outside, no problem. Come to think of it, the proofing rack might be easier still to control... It certainly would take up less space. I'll have to do that. I think I have seen some pretty cool stainless racks on wheels at costco.

              A Question...

              My starter works very well now. If I ramp it up for a couple of days before a bake it is raring to go when I start my preferment. That being said....the bread is not very sour. It's delicious, but not real sour. There is definitely a sour dough flavor there, but it's very subtle. Nothing like the "in your face" sour that you get with some of the store-bought stuff. I realize those guys are adding acetic acid and that's not a flavor I'm looking for anyway, but I would like to have the option of making something that tastes more like my idea of a classic san francisco style sour dough. I wonder if my notions of "sour dough" are screwed up by a lifetime of eating storebought stuff which is done with added acetic acid?

              I have read (and think I've seen you say as well) that a dryer starter is a better environment for lactobacillis and that will increase acidity. Is that all there is to it, and how much dryer? Is it worth trying a new starter culture?

              Can I maintain two independent cultures on the same counter top and expect two significantly different flavors?


              P.S.: That's interesting about the too close loading and blowouts. I have seen that on occasion and it makes sense that it happened when tow loaves were too close. So with that in mind, it looks like sixteen loaves averaging 1.5 pounds is probablly my max capacity for a single bake in this oven.
              Last edited by WJW; 02-18-2013, 10:48 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Big Sour dough Bake...Rye & Organic AP

                There are quite a few things you can do to impact sourness but if you really want sour you need SF starter with lactobacillus sanfrancisco. But it probably won't stay true more than 6 months and you will likely end up with both of your starters converging. My starter was from Sourdough International and was from France. It evolved over about two years to be the loveliest starter flavorwise I have ever had. Lovely. About three years ago a Sonoma sourdough starter entered my life and they slowly impacted each other until they are now very similar. Well, were, I finally gave up and now my rye starter is based on Sonoma and my other starter is ????? good but not what I had. Like yours, very mild, complex. Lovely!

                The problem is you can't keep the sanfranciso out of your other starter so it will get tarter and other bacteria will dilute the sanfrancisco. Keeping your starters really healthy helps but...when you don't bake every day that is hard.

                If you don't want to maintain an SF starter I would simply vary my preleaven routine to max sour and dryer is sourer. Another easy way is to increase the starter percentage (but that will change your timing! And of course you can always add acetic acid!

                Do try the Genzano. I do mine indoors and make single loaves of about 4.5 pounds. It barely fits in my big oven! The dough is like a pillow and jiggles like jello. It is wild! I think the only thing that lets it work is the heavy coating of bran absorbs water from the crust and gives it a tough skin. You DON'T slash it. It is one of my absolute favorites - so much so that when we went to Rome two years ago I hired a driver at a cost of several hundred dollars to drive us to Genzano to buy a $5 loaf of bread! And it was worth it. Sergio (the baker of Genzano in Leader's book), and the town were delightful! And there are about a dozen different Pane del Riccio di Genzano in the town.