Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bread Adventure - Sourdough

In baking, I find baking bread the most challenging.  The yeast, the kneading time, the dough texture-smooth, elastic, enough salt?, steam injection, baking temperatures, all constitutes your final Bread.  Can you eat it? or use it as a paper weight.  With a lots of help from some of the baker blogsites and baking pracitce, I bake twice a  week at home, I think I am finally getting to know the personality of the ingredients involved.  Just like Canneles de Bordeaux or any other French recipes thus far I've tested, the ingredients are very basic, but the outcome of the product is determined by the baker's knowledge and experience with the process, techniques, and heat.

My breads use both home made natural Starter and or pre-ferment with dry yeast.
Baking Adventure Notes:
1.   When the home made Starter (natural grape juice as agent), the Starter dough helps form a very creamy and sticky dough when mixed with the main dough ingredients.
The natural Starter has enough power to ferment the dough the 1st time, very well, however, it seems to fail at the subsequent proofing.  The dough would sit there motionless after hours or even after a day.
This is a science that I will leave for other bread expert blogger http://www.breadcetera.com/
until further testing, . .  
2.  When the home made Starter is mixed with main dough that contain yeast, the dough proofing at 2nd rise is stabilized.
3.  Overall, my 325 watt Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer is no match to our classroom's commercial mixer.  I finally let my mixer just knead till the true window pane - see through membrane is formed, 20 - 25 min vs 8 - 12 min.
4.  Not enough salt will cause not enough browning.  Not enough kneading will cause dense texture.

Sourdough with Poolish -

Sourdough - Long - not enough oven spring, . . .not enough kneading . . .
(The scoring is not to the traditional.)

Sourdough made with home made Starter -

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