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Raamo

Baking with Myhrvold's "Modernist Bread: The Art and Science"

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On 3/3/2018 at 4:25 PM, Chris Hennes said:

Sure. Their basic recipe for 1kg of dough is:

  • 480g flour
  • 315g water
  • 195g liquid levain (e.g. 100% hydration)
  • 10g wheat bran
  • 1g diastatic malt powder

Mix together and autolyse 30 minutes. Add

  • 12g salt

If using a machine:

  1. Mix to medium gluten development
  2. Bulk ferment one hour
  3. Perform four-edge fold
  4. Bulk ferment one hour
  5. Perform four-edge fold
  6. Bulk ferment 30 minutes

If by hand:

  1. Mix until homogeneous
  2. Bulk ferment one hour
  3. Four-edge fold
  4. Bulk ferment 30 minutes
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 five more times

After gluten is fully developed, shape, then proof. Lots of proofing options, but in general either

  • 14 hours at 55°F/13°C, or
  • ~24 hours in the refrigerator


 

The results were very good. This was the easiest dough to work with of all my various sourdough trials, and it had the best gluten development (I've had some problems with every loaf trying to become a focaccia). The interior texture was excellent. The crumb structure was pretty good (my previous method, with high hydration, gave somewhat nicer / uneven holes). The crust was very soft. The flavor was good—for bread generally, but not much to indicate that it's sourdough. It didn't have the dreamy sweet/sour/creamy flavors that I've gotten from my homegrown method (which is unfortunately a pain in the ass, and which forms a weak gluten structure that doesn't like to rise into a proper boule) 

 

I used half KA AP flour, half KA bread flour (a combination that's worked well for me). For proofing, I did not use the refrigerator, because my culture just goes dormant at fridge temps. And I don't have a 55° proofing box. So I used my standard proofing temperatures of ~75°F for a couple of hours (which emphasizes yeast activity) and a couple of hours at ~92°F (which emphasizes LAB activity). Times were extrapolated based on temperature / activity curves that I've used for this culture in the past. I used the machine variation of the instructions.

 

Do the MC people give much guidance on controlling flavor? What about crispness of crust? My method uses a smaller percentage of levain, and a relatively longer proof time. I may experiment with that.

 

Do you you have a sense of how instrumental the bran and malt powder are? These are new addtions for me.

 

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Do the MC people give much guidance on controlling flavor? What about crispness of crust? My method uses a smaller percentage of levain, and a relatively longer proof time. I may experiment with that.

 

Do you you have a sense of how instrumental the bran and malt powder are? These are new addtions for me.

 

 

For flavour, I would suggest using a more mature levain, and/or longer proofing time.  Maybe altering the recipe to include a higher percentage of levain?  Not sure about the role of the bran (maybe just flavour?).  Malt powder is to keep the yeast fed and happy during a long proofing time, if I understand correctly.

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@Chris Hennes, @Kerry Beal Reading your posts about Jewish Corn Rye inspired me to make it, and it is a wonderfully flavoured bread.  Since everything can be improved (or at least messed around with and screwed up....) I wondered what would happen if it had an overnight proof in the fridge....  I added some diastatic malt powder to help with this.  The flavour was good, but I thought the crumb was a little tight.  I suspect that the commercial yeast was just too voracious for the long proofing time. I guess my choices, if I'm going to try it again, would be to increase the amount of DMP and/or decrease the amount of commercial yeast.....

 

Thoughts or suggestions, anyone?

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4 hours ago, paulraphael said:

The crust was very soft.

Interesting, that hasn't been my experience at all with this loaf, but of course I'm proofing very differently than you. How are you baking? I just use a home oven and a hotel pan as a lid, no steam injection, etc.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Chris Hennes said:

Interesting, that hasn't been my experience at all with this loaf, but of course I'm proofing very differently than you. How are you baking? I just use a home oven and a hotel pan as a lid, no steam injection, etc.

 

In a dutch oven. I preheat to around 525F, drop the dough in, slash it, cook covered for 12 minutes, uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes. Maybe going a little lower and longer would help with crust development. 

 

I'm more interested in flavor than the crust, but it would be great to improve both. 


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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I'm preheating to 500°F and baking at 450°F for 25 minutes, then removing the lid and baking for five more. 

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I had pain roustique dough sitting in the fridge for a week.  Work and all. It made a lovely loaf today.

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IMG_8708.JPG.ed3b2164c71c62305619ce8c73cd7651.JPG

 

Couple of loaves of Jewish Corn Rye. I was too lazy to feed the rye starter that had been in the fridge untouched for weeks - so I just used it as is and gave it a couple of extra hours of bulk ferment. I've got corn beef brisket sous viding for 16 hours - will take it all to work tomorrow so we can have some corned beef on rye for lunch. 

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13 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I was too lazy to feed the rye starter that had been in the fridge untouched for weeks - so I just used it as is and gave it a couple of extra hours of bulk ferment. 

 

As far as the science goes, I'm not sure what difference it makes to feed a dormant starter separately, vs. feeding it by just adding it to a bread recipe. I haven't yet heard a good argument for why this would matter to the yeast and LAB. It would extend the bread's fermentation time at any given temperature, as you did ... this would seem to cause more enzymatic development relative to yeast / LAB.

 

I'd love to hear a microbiologist/breadmaker's thoughts on this.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

 

As far as the science goes, I'm not sure what difference it makes to feed a dormant starter separately, vs. feeding it by just adding it to a bread recipe. I haven't yet heard a good argument for why this would matter to the yeast and LAB. It would extend the bread's fermentation time at any given temperature, as you did ... this would seem to cause more enzymatic development relative to yeast / LAB.

 

I'd love to hear a microbiologist/breadmaker's thoughts on this.

 

 

 

I too would like to know what the baking scientists and experienced bakers have to say.

 

My working theory, supported by my limited (and inexpert) experience, is that the dormant starter is more sour than freshly-fed starter. The final result is a more sour bread, and that hasn't necessarily been a good thing.

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11 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

I too would like to know what the baking scientists and experienced bakers have to say.

 

My working theory, supported by my limited (and inexpert) experience, is that the dormant starter is more sour than freshly-fed starter. The final result is a more sour bread, and that hasn't necessarily been a good thing.

These two loaves were very tasty - not too sour at all for a rye.

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Before Christmas I purchased a nice big square banneton - it arrived smashed to bits after a very long wait, and was finally replaced after another long wait. Then I realized that the loaf it was going to make was too large to fit in the cast iron dutch oven I have. 

 

Anna N and I have been watching thrift stores for an appropriate vessel to act as a cloche for larger loaves and the other day I found one that I judged suitable. It needed to be the right size and height and lie flat against the baking stone. I had hoped I would find something with suitable handles - but the perfect one was a chafing dish cover that had plastic handles. I had to drop in to the machine shop I frequent and happened to have it in the car - John took one look and said he would make me some metal handles to replace the plastic. I picked it up a couple of days back and today I put together a 1 kg loaf of Pain Rustique to try both the banneton and cloche.  

 

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On 3/19/2018 at 11:29 AM, Smithy said:

 

I too would like to know what the baking scientists and experienced bakers have to say.

 

My working theory, supported by my limited (and inexpert) experience, is that the dormant starter is more sour than freshly-fed starter. The final result is a more sour bread, and that hasn't necessarily been a good thing.

I agree, I don't see the difference between feeding a dormant starter separately or just adding it to a bread recipe as-is, it's being fed both ways, I do it all the time. The only argument I can think of, and it is a good one, is that you want to make sure that starter is dormant, and not dead. It's not always easy to tell. 

 

A dormant starter usually will be more sour. Feeding a starter less often (deliberately) also makes it more sour from what I understand, although I couldn't explain the science.

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It's also unclear to me if a more sour starter necesarilly results in a more sour bread. Unless you use an enormous proportion of starter in your recipe, most of the fermentation products of the yeast and LAB will be created as the bread itself ferments. It seems to me this would be more a function of temperature of fermentation than of the amount of acid present in the starter. Although perhaps the condition of the starter will significantly effect the relative populations of yeast and LAB, and maybe this could persist while the bread ferments.

 

Here's a chart showing time/temperature curves of C. milleri yeast and L. sanfranciscensis yeast, two of the more common organisms in starters. It suggests that that LAB is more active than yeast, except in the range of 70–75°F, where they're about equal. Highest relative activity of LAB is around 50–55°F (where overall activity is quite low) and 80–90°F (where overall activity is very high, but yeast activity progressively drops off.

 

I like some sourness, so I ferment mostly at room temperature (for rise) and then put the dough in the oven heated by pilot light (which is around 92–94°F) in order to get more LAB activity. It's important to realize that the bread dough has a lot of thermal mass, and so over the 2–4 hours it spends in the warm oven, it takes a long time to warm up and doesn't ever get all the way up to the oven temperature. Evaporative heat loss probably has something to do with this. I keep the dough loosely covered with cloths.

 

My results with this approach are hard to evaluate, especially since I'm always monkeying with other variables (intentionally or not). The bread is always good, but sourness varies, and not always predictably. One issue is that I have no idea what organisms are in my starter. I use a culture from Ischia Island, off the coast of Naples, that's popular in the Neapolitan pizza world. It makes delicious bread, and has many other attractive properties, but has some distinctive qualities that make me think the organisms are different from the ones in the chart.

 

Yeast_vs_LAB.thumb.jpg.68d788e03503611b147b962f4ad97cd7.jpg

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@paulraphael When you say "Highest relative activity of LAB is around 50–55°F" are you quoting the article, or reading that off the chart? From the image it looks like the whole low- and high-end of the temperature range is dominated by the LAB, with the yeast only becoming equally active around the middle of the range. It looks like a proof stage at 39°F (my preference for convenience) or 55°F (MB's preference, for taste) both yield a relatively high level of lactic acid production.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

@paulraphael When you say "Highest relative activity of LAB is around 50–55°F" are you quoting the article, or reading that off the chart? From the image it looks like the whole low- and high-end of the temperature range is dominated by the LAB, with the yeast only becoming equally active around the middle of the range. It looks like a proof stage at 39°F (my preference for convenience) or 55°F (MB's preference, for taste) both yield a relatively high level of lactic acid production.

 

I'm looking at the chart. And yeah, you're right, the high and low end are dominated by LAB. I'm not paying attention to anything below 45F or so, because the resolution of the graph is too low there to really make anything out, and because all activity is quite low generally. I realize many people like to to delay fermentation in the fridge for convenience, and that that's the best temp control in the house, but I think to really know what's going on down there we'd need a higher resolution graph. I'm also pretty convinced that the organisms in my own starter just go to sleep by 40F or so. I don't see any activity. 

 

Edited to add: I just noticed that the chart has ratios in the righthand column. At 40% it shows a very high ratio, but follows it with a question mark, which suggests that this is extrapolated data. There's a guy on the pizzamaking forum who's well-pickled in all the sourdough science, and in response to questions about refrigerator fermentation he just says the science isn't there—the studies focus on temperature ranges where the littel bugs are most active. So for now we may have to settle for empirical evidence.

 


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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Posted (edited)

I know there is at least one eG member who has probably been waiting anxiously for somebody to attempt this recipe. 

 

 Today everything lined up for me. I was able to borrow a food processor large enough to handle the dough and I had the time and the energy to try and pull it together

 

 

0B2C249E-BDCF-4D61-A3D4-4FD7BD3331E9.thumb.jpeg.8c03eb78085441a5a76b787886092dda.jpegBE1DC64B-BAC5-4BAD-A948-2E34A14719EE.thumb.jpeg.5e04ac72d70b6691ca928b9b38f7042e.jpeg

 

 This is the Van Over  method for French lean bread.  It is from page 54 of the kitchen manual. 

 

There can hardly be an easier way to make a couple of  loaves of every day bread. Bung the dry ingredients into a food processor, pulse a couple of times, stream in the water and process for 45 seconds.  The only slightly tricky thing is to make sure that the dough is between 24 to 26.5°C after the 45 seconds.  Bulk ferment, shape, proof and bake.  

 

 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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16 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I know there is at least one eG member who has probably been waiting anxiously for somebody to attempt this recipe. 

 

 Today everything lined up for me. I was able to borrow a food processor large enough to handle the dough and I had the time and the energy to try and pull it together.

 

 This is the Van Over  method for French lean bread.  It is from page 54 of the kitchen manual. 

 

There can hardly be an easier way to make a couple of  loaves of every day bread. Bung the dry ingredients into a food processor, pulse a couple of times, stream in the water and process for 45 seconds.  The only slightly tricky thing is to make sure that the dough is between 24 to 26.5°C after the 45 seconds.  Bulk ferment, shape, proof and bake.  

 

 

 

 

Wow!  Those are beautiful!

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Modernist Sourdough. Again just took levain out of the fridge where it had been languishing for a few weeks and used it. Mixed in thermomix and allowed about 4 hours of turns before putting in a banneton and bunging it into the garage until this morning when I gave it about 40 minutes steam bake at 425 in the CSO.

 

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Shokupan. Little bit of work to make the gelatinised rice beforehand as I had to grind the rice first but great rise, nice light texture. Made fab french toast for breakfast. Pretty nice toasted with butter or in a sandwich with cheese and ham. Will make some burger buns next.time.

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The crumb from the Van Over bread and the reaction to it from my son-in-law:

 

 

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I made it. Dough was difficult to handle so I used 500g tins. Didn't have pearl sugar so dried some simple syrup in the oven and crushed as a substitute.

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Posted (edited)

Made the master brioche (50% butter) recipe yesterday, left the dough in the fridge until this morning, took it out, shaped and baked (made a double recipe so I did a tray of rolls and also a pan loaf). Marvelous, decadent bread. (Brushed the tops of the rolls with a confectioners sugar/egg white glaze for some added sweetness - breakfast of champions, really).

 

IMG_2031.thumb.jpg.fbe2cc648dc6515088314a9000ef21ea.jpg


Edited by kevinkeating (log)
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