Thread: inoculation
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:16 PM posted to
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Default inoculation

Thanks, All, for you replies. Very helpful.

Thanks, Samartha. You said:

Different amounts give different effects.

And Kenneth said:

The proportion does "matter" in that different proportions
produce different results.

Exactly what I'd like to research a little more. The effects of which
I believe myself to be aware, and please correct me if I'm wrong, a

LARGER = Extended Fermentation on more of the flour in the recipe
previous to it's addition to the final dough--greater conversion of
tastless starches to yummy sugars, possibly greater proportions of
lactic and/or acetic acid in the final dough.
LARGER/SMALLER = SHORTER/LONGER doubling times on the final dough.

Are any participants aware of previous discussions on this topic in
order to avoid repetitions for those who've been with this group
longer? That might serve me well, avoiding for the rest of you
needless repetition. Or perpahs it's all entertainment...

Again, Samartha:

With sourdough, it's hardly happening that most of the flour is in the
starter. You would need to check your recipes to confirm that.

Yeah. It seems odd to me, but I've been trying to develop some
recipes. For instance, I note the typical amount of leaven sponge
added to many recipes--20% to 40% of the final weight. Then, let's say
I'm adding those grains, though less than a "hippie bread" amount, at
40% of the flour in the recipe. I divide the target dough weight by
100(flour) + 65+/-(H2O) + 40(grains). I then multiply that amount by
the 100, then the 65, then the 40, to get the weights of those
ingredients. I multiply the target dough weight by .30+/- to get the
amount of leaven sponge I'll use. Since the leaven sponge I use in the
final dough is a 66% hydration, I calculate similarly the amount of
H2O and Flour I need to subract from the total amounts. Those weights
are the final additions of H2O and Flour to be added to the Leaven
sponge. I figure this way I'll know that I'm getting the right totals.
The results in the case that I've used a lot of additions--say a
raisen/pecan/date loaf, or a multi-grain near-hippie bread (most of my
bread is simple wheat/white/rye combinations where this it never an
issue)--is that the 30%+/- leaven sponge amount to the final dough
weight carries most of the flour in the recipe. So what I'd trying to
discover is whether my approach might need modification. That is, is
the leaven sponge % always calculated against the final dough weight?
If so, why? I thought the reason could be related to the force
(weight) of the dough to be countered (lifted). Maybe I'm far off the
mark. Dunno.

Dick phrases some lower-cased questions expressing capital concerns:

let's say i dilute 1 oz. of storage culture to 2 lbs. of
dough. does it matter if i do it in several stages, like,
say, one part ripe culture to three parts other, or all at
once? would one to two be better, or one to four,
or one to five or ...? what is the right degree of ripe?

Exactly. For instance, I made a leaven sponge last night. It was late,
so I decided to reduce the size of my usual inoculation (feeling more
confident in using this word correctly) by more than half, hoping that
it would extend my usual four hour ferment by four more hours. This
way I can wake and begin mixing. It seemed to work out well. But what
are the effects on the final dough? What are the limits on
significance of these effects? It seems that if the cell populations
increase to double the size of the dough, regardless of whether one
uses a large amount of inoculation for a shorter time, or a small
amount of inoculation for a longer time, the final cell populations
will be the same. The difference being in the amount of time the flour
is hydrated and enzymes working.

Anyway, thanks again.