Sourdough (rec.food.sourdough) Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 09-03-2004, 10:23 PM
Mike Dilger
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


After about 6 months of baking sourdough whole wheat bread, by George, I think
I've got it! I've got a highly repeatable and very tasty bread. For those of
you who are interested in making this extremely simple and basic rustic bread,
with a wonderful nutty flavor, which tastes excellent dipped in virgin olive
oil, read on.

First, the equipment:

1. A baking stone. I have a fibrament that I ordered off of the web. I like it.
I haven't tried anything else to compare to, but compared to no stone, the
fibrament rocks.
2. A bannaton. This is just a wicker basket with a cloth lining. Available at
cost plus.
3. Parchment papers. Also at cost plus.
4. A peel. Also at cost plus.
5. A large glass mixing bowl
6. A large wooden spoon (very thick and solid looking), and a regular spoon.
7. An oven. If you have an older oven, test the temperature range at each dial
setting graduation with an oven thermometer. My oven set to 350 is actually
running at 425 (410-440)! Definitely check first!
8. A kitchen towel
9. A water sprayer/mister.

And the ingredients:

1. Wheat flour. Preferably bread flour. You can grind your own from hard wheat
berries. I highly recommend the Country Living Mill if you want to do this.
2. Water. Municipal tap water is just fine.
3. Salt.
4. Baking powder. I use Rumsford. Purists use none.
5. Sourdough starter. This is talked about ad nauseum on this list, so I'll
defer details, except that I use a mix of Carl's (great yeast properties) and a
potato starter that I started here in San Francisco (great taste / bacteria).
Both of these starters use white bread flour, so technically the bread is not
100% whole wheat.

The process:

1. The night before, put about 4T of starter into the large mixing bowl, and add
about 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix. Cover with a wet
kitchen towel. Leave overnight.

2. Mix in your salt and baking powder. I don't measure it, but the
salt is probably about 2 teaspoons, and the baking powder probably about 1
teaspoon, maybe a touch more.

3. Add water. Add enough water. Again, I don't measure anything, so I add enough
for a loaf of the general size I'm interested in. Stir it all up into a bready
soup with the thick spoon.

4. Add whole wheat flour, and keep stirring, until it gets really pasty and sticks
in globs to the spoon. Use another regular spoon to scrape off the globs. Throw
more flour on the spoon and in the bowl and keep stirring and adding flour. But
stop once it's thick enough that you might be able to knead it once, and still be
able to pull you hand out without it sticking to your hand.

5. Coat your hands in flour and knead. The dough should feel light and airy, fluffy
and warm. Don't let your hands stick; if after a kneed or two it's getting
sticky, add more flour. But don't add too much flour! My rule of thumb is five
kneads. If I can knead it five times without my hands sticking, and I have to
recoat the loaf and my hands with a thin layer of flour, and then can knead again
five more times and its about to stick to my hands -- then I'm DONE. This is NOT
a whole lot of kneading (maybe 40 kneads total), which is different from white
bread. You need some kneading to develop the gluten, but wheat flour is prickly
anyways, and so you won't easily get the huge bubbles you find in white bread.
Lots of kneading is not so important. I find it more important to keep the dough
feeling softer, wetter, lighter -- which means less flour, and less ability to
knead.

6. Coat the loaf in flour, and coat the banneton in flour. Put the loaf in the
banneton (I put seam sides down), and cover it with the wet kitchen towel.

7. Let it rise for about 6 hours. This depends on how active your starter is, but
6 hours always seems to work for me. It should not quite double, but get close
to double, with maybe some visible bubbles breaking through the surface, or
stretch marks.

8. Preheat your oven to 425F. After it's preheated, set it on bake, and leave it
for another 5-10 minutes or so. This helps heat up the stone, which takes longer
to heat than the air in the oven.

9. Put a parchment sheet on the peel, and then turn it over on top of the banneton.
Get it centered, and then turn the whole thing over, letting the bread drop onto
the parchment onto the peel. Do this only AFTER the oven is ready, because it's
gonna start spreading out sideways right away, and you want to move quickly.

10. Slash the loaf. Then spray it with the mister. Really get it nice and wet.

11. Slide it into the oven. For the first 5-10 minutes, spray it again about 3 times,
and then use the peel to rotate it around and spray the backside at least once.

12. Let it bake about 45 minutes. I usually spray it down again about 25-30 minutes
into it. It seems you can't spray it too much. This makes the crust a bit
chewier (although it is still closer to cracker-crispy than it is to chewy, which
is A-OK by me), and also helps keep the crust from burning, so you can get the
middle baked longer (a common early problem, especially with too much heat: a burnt
crust and a raw middle).

13. After the duration, take it out. Set it on the counter, uncovered, and let it
cool for at least an hour.

14. You're done! Eat some. Dip it in first cold press virgin olive oil! After
letting it sit out for a day, store it in a plastic ziploc bag on the counter
at room temperature, without zipping the bag closed (just fold it under) so it
doesn't get too dry.


Comments appreciated. Improvement suggestions appreciated. This works quite well for
me, but I am no expert.

Happy baking!

-Mike


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Old 12-03-2004, 03:39 AM
Ed Bechtel
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

Mike,
I've read your post several times.
It looks like a good start to finish description of your process - one I'd like
to try as might others.

My comments

1. Can you guess at either how much water you add in step 3 (a wild guess will
do - is it a coffee cup full or two coffee cups full?)
or guess at how much your final loaf weighs. I don't know if you have the 1.5
lb basket or the 4 lb basket.

2. Have you tried the recipe without Rumsford? I wonder if it helps fluf up
your bread like a quick bread or do you do it just because?

Thanks for sharing your procedure.

Ed Bechtel

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Old 13-03-2004, 01:45 AM
Mark Evans
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

hello all

I've been browsing the postings for a bit as I've been playing with a
couple sour dough starters over the last couple months (with good
results) -- tho I only get a chance to bake once every week on the
weekend

I've been using the Levain recipe formulas from Daniel Leader's book
Bread Alone.
I really like his simplicity and rustic approach, The wheat "country'
breads are great. I've made a starter from organic whole wheat and
spring water, developed on its own over the last several weeks. I use
about 20% organic wheat to 80% organic (local whole foods coop) white,
well hydrated... very active and aromatic.

anyway, that's all. Just curious if anyone has 'visited' Leader's books.
Just an observation
there seems to be a rather laboratory approach to some of the baking
here... very precise measures.

but I must say, Ed B's pics are a delight!

mark evans
madison Wi


On 2004-03-09 16:23:52 -0600, Mike Dilger said:


After about 6 months of baking sourdough whole wheat bread, by George, I think
I've got it! I've got a highly repeatable and very tasty bread. For those of
you who are interested in making this extremely simple and basic rustic bread,
with a wonderful nutty flavor, which tastes excellent dipped in virgin olive
oil, read on.


  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-03-2004, 06:00 AM
Mike Dilger
 
Posts: n/a
Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


Ed Bechtel wrote:

1. Can you guess at either how much water you add in step 3 (a wild guess will
do - is it a coffee cup full or two coffee cups full?)
or guess at how much your final loaf weighs. I don't know if you have the 1.5
lb basket or the 4 lb basket.


I'm guessing it's 2-3 cups of water and 3-5 cups of flour.
The basket is about 12" across and about 4" deep, with sloping sides.

2. Have you tried the recipe without Rumsford? I wonder if it helps fluf up
your bread like a quick bread or do you do it just because?


I do it "just because". It probably isn't necessary.

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about this bread is that it's never
very sour. Now I'm trying to get it sour. I'm letting a sponge sour past the
frothy stage, and I think I'll have to add commercial yeast to get it to rise.

-Mike

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Old 14-03-2004, 02:28 PM
Dick Adams
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


"Mike Dilger" wrote in message =
...

I (add Rumsford) "just because". It probably isn't necessary.


Possibly not.

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about this bread is that it's =

never
very sour. Now I'm trying to get it sour. I'm letting a sponge sour =

past the
frothy stage, and I think I'll have to add commercial yeast to get it =

to rise.

What you are telling us is extremely depressing!

Or perhaps you are embarking upon a heuristic exercise?

You might try Googling "souring the sponge".

---
DickA



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Old 15-03-2004, 05:04 AM
Mike Dilger
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process



Dick Adams wrote:

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about this bread is that it's never
very sour. Now I'm trying to get it sour. I'm letting a sponge sour past the
frothy stage, and I think I'll have to add commercial yeast to get it to rise.



What you are telling us is extremely depressing!

Or perhaps you are embarking upon a heuristic exercise?

You might try Googling "souring the sponge".


First, I am a newbie baker. My post is parroting back what I've learned, in hopes
to get corrected. There are so many recipes that I really want to focus on
understanding the fundamentals, so I can go my own way.... not in copying someone
else's bread and failing to understand the wheres and whys and what-ifs.

That being said, yes, it is depressing that I haven't gotten very sour bread yet.

Today I baked a loaf (white french) whose sponge was as large as possible (it
contained all the water of the final loaf, and most of the flour, at 100%
hydration), and I let the sponge sit at about 75F until the yeast activity had
slowed down and it smelled sour (about 1 day). Then I added the rest of the
flour (and salt), kneaded, let it double (6 hours?), and baked it. My fears were
unfounded ... no commercial yeast was needed... in fact, it might have trebled
had I let it (it was still rising at a pretty steady clip).

Thing is, it tastes like Colombo sourdough, more like soft white french bread
with a light hint of sour taste, not like those tangy San Francisco bread bowls
that I eat clam chowder out of. So... I guess I have to let the sponge go for
a week next time (I like to overshoot ASAP, and then zero in on center).... or
else I need to find a new starter.

-Mike

  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-03-2004, 01:39 PM
Dick Adams
 
Posts: n/a
Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


"Mike Dilger" wrote in message =
...

I'm trying to get it sour. I'm letting a sponge sour past the
frothy stage


You might try Googling "souring the sponge".


... it is depressing that I haven't gotten very sour bread yet.


So... I guess I have to let the sponge go for a week next time ...


Googling, it seems, is not for everyone.

---
DickA

P.S. To Google "souring the sponge", one goes to the Google search
engine at http://www.google.com , writes "souring the sponge", including =
the
quotation marks, in the box, and presses the return key. That should
bring up an article that used to be in the r.f.s. Q&A FAQ. There are
still people who will encourage you to do what you are doing, and they
continue to report that their wives and kids love the loaves they make.







  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-03-2004, 02:29 PM
williamwaller
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

On 3/14/04 11:04 PM, "Mike Dilger" wrote:



Dick Adams wrote:

Incidentally, the one thing I don't like about this bread is that it's never
very sour. Now I'm trying to get it sour. I'm letting a sponge sour past
the
frothy stage, and I think I'll have to add commercial yeast to get it to
rise.



What you are telling us is extremely depressing!

Or perhaps you are embarking upon a heuristic exercise?

You might try Googling "souring the sponge".


First, I am a newbie baker. My post is parroting back what I've learned, in
hopes
to get corrected. There are so many recipes that I really want to focus on
understanding the fundamentals, so I can go my own way.... not in copying
someone
else's bread and failing to understand the wheres and whys and what-ifs.

That being said, yes, it is depressing that I haven't gotten very sour bread
yet.

Today I baked a loaf (white french) whose sponge was as large as possible (it
contained all the water of the final loaf, and most of the flour, at 100%
hydration), and I let the sponge sit at about 75F until the yeast activity had
slowed down and it smelled sour (about 1 day). Then I added the rest of the
flour (and salt), kneaded, let it double (6 hours?), and baked it. My fears
were
unfounded ... no commercial yeast was needed... in fact, it might have trebled
had I let it (it was still rising at a pretty steady clip).

Thing is, it tastes like Colombo sourdough, more like soft white french bread
with a light hint of sour taste, not like those tangy San Francisco bread
bowls
that I eat clam chowder out of. So... I guess I have to let the sponge go
for
a week next time (I like to overshoot ASAP, and then zero in on center)....
or
else I need to find a new starter.

-Mike


Mike,

Many of us build and maintain our starters with rye flour. Before you give
up on your current starter, which sounds like an excellent one, given its'
leavening force, try feeding it rye meal or flour for several cycles. This
will have a subtle, and slightly souring effect, on your bread. Note that I
am not suggesting you make rye bread, just amend your starter.

I think Kenneth mentioned "cold aging" in another post. The technique works
wonders in the flavor department. The improvement is substantial. It is
simple. After you've mixed and kneaded your dough, store it in the
refrigerator or cold basement for at least 24 hours. I often let mine age
for two days. On baking day, let it return to room temp, it will rise
nicely. Shape and bake. Peter Reinhart offers a good discussion the
bio-chemistry of this technique in Crust and Crumb and The Baker's
Apprentice. Both books will be at your local library.

There are a number of good links to explore. One I like is from a very
knowledgeable baker who posts here.

http://samartha.net/SD/

If you decide you need to buy a culture...

http://www.sourdo.com/index.htm

http://www.gemcultures.com/index.htm


Will




_______________________________________________
rec.food.sourdough mailing list

http://www.otherwhen.com/mailman/lis...food.sourdough


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Old 15-03-2004, 04:38 PM
Dick Adams
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


"williamwaller" wrote in message =
news:[email protected] mail.otherwhen.com...
=20
Dick Adams wrote:


followed by a bunch of quoted, requoted, & rerequoted stuff that I had
very little to do with except to imply that I was not in agreement with =
it.

Sometimes I write that it is not necessary to include the thread history
with each post because it is usually available by clicking on the news =
ID
which usually appears at the head of each post, and, in the case that it
is not, any thread can be recovered from the Google archive.

I am sorry that I got into this because I know very well that there is =
no
way to dissuade newbies from the notion that it takes a sour starter to
make sour bread.

---
DickA





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Old 15-03-2004, 05:39 PM
williamwaller
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

On 3/15/04 10:38 AM, "Dick Adams" wrote:


"williamwaller" wrote in message
news:[email protected] mail.otherwhen.com...

Dick Adams wrote:


followed by a bunch of quoted, requoted, & rerequoted stuff that I had
very little to do with except to imply that I was not in agreement with it.

Sometimes I write that it is not necessary to include the thread history
with each post because it is usually available by clicking on the news ID
which usually appears at the head of each post, and, in the case that it
is not, any thread can be recovered from the Google archive.

I am sorry that I got into this because I know very well that there is no
way to dissuade newbies from the notion that it takes a sour starter to
make sour bread.

---
DickA

Dick,


If you would point me to the links for appropriate posting etiquette, I will
read them. You're way ahead of me on thread searches and so forth. I am
quite willing to learn.

Mike's post reminded me of a number of bread adventurers. At some point many
of us thought sourdough was supposed to be sour or really sour or really,
really sour. I remember adding a Laura Brody sour enhancer product to a
batch years ago. Our benevolent friends at King Arthur stocked it and
recommended it. (You only do that once, I might add)

Mike apparently has a good starter. The elusive flavor he seeks requires
longer dough fermantation. He will learn more quickly if we show him the
other dials to adjust.

Will


_______________________________________________
rec.food.sourdough mailing list

http://www.otherwhen.com/mailman/lis...food.sourdough




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Old 15-03-2004, 08:31 PM
Dick Adams
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


"williamwaller" wrote in message =
news:[email protected] mail.otherwhen.com...

If you would point me to the links for appropriate posting etiquette


http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/newcomertips.html

http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/sourdoughfaqs.html

Mike apparently has a good starter. The elusive flavor he seeks =

requires
longer dough fermentation.

That is consistent with the general belief. However, it seemed that he =
was
talking about a longer *sponge* fermentation. That would be consistent =
with
the general erroneous belief.

He will learn more quickly if we show him the other dials to adjust.


You can lead a dial diddler to dials, but you can't make him diddle.

Usually, the newcomers (newbies) prefer to make sour bricks from
overdeveloped preferments. Typically they report that their bread is
just as they had hoped it would be, that their wife loves it, and that =
their
kids cannot get enough of it. That is why they are called nOObies. In
fact, in most cases, even the birds will not eat their stuff.

Every now and then, however, some one appears briefly on the scene=20
who figures out how to make credible bread, for instance:
http://www.cookingwithcrack.com/bread/sequence2/

There are a few others, but I can't find the links right now.

Carl's starter is at www.carlfriends.org

--=20
Dick Adams
firstname dot lastnameat bigfoot dot com
=20





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Old 15-03-2004, 08:35 PM
Dick Adams
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process


"williamwaller" wrote in message =
news:[email protected] mail.otherwhen.com...

If you would point me to the links for appropriate posting etiquette


http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/newcomertips.html

http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/sourdoughfaqs.html

Mike apparently has a good starter. The elusive flavor he seeks =

requires
longer dough fermentation.

That is consistent with the general belief. However, it seemed that he =
was
talking about a longer *sponge* fermentation. That would be consistent =
with
the general erroneous belief.

He will learn more quickly if we show him the other dials to adjust.


You can lead a dial diddler to dials, but you can't make him diddle.

Usually, the newcomers (newbies) prefer to make sour bricks from
overdeveloped preferments. Typically they report that their bread is
just as they had hoped it would be, that their wife loves it, and that =
their
kids cannot get enough of it. That is why they are called nOObies. In
fact, in most cases, even the birds will not eat their stuff.

Every now and then, however, some one appears briefly on the scene=20
who figures out how to make credible bread, for instance:
http://www.cookingwithcrack.com/bread/sequence2/

There are a few others, but I can't find the links right now.

Carl's starter is at www.carlsfriends.org

--=20
Dick Adams
firstname dot lastnameat bigfoot dot com
=20






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Old 15-03-2004, 09:17 PM
williamwaller
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

On 3/15/04 2:35 PM, "Dick Adams" wrote:


"williamwaller" wrote in message
news:[email protected] mail.otherwhen.com...

If you would point me to the links for appropriate posting etiquette


http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/newcomertips.html

http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/sourdoughfaqs.html


Thanks. Per the first... I will start snipping.

Mike apparently has a good starter. The elusive flavor he seeks requires

longer dough fermentation.

That is consistent with the general belief. However, it seemed that he was
talking about a longer *sponge* fermentation. That would be consistent with
the general erroneous belief.


I think Mike was talking about a longer sponge fermentation too. He hasn't
gotten the gist of the build process. He's still using the starter like
commercial yeast. Get it bubbling like mad then make bread right away.

He will learn more quickly if we show him the other dials to adjust.


You can lead a dial diddler to dials, but you can't make him diddle.

Usually, the newcomers (newbies) prefer to make sour bricks from
overdeveloped preferments. Typically they report that their bread is
just as they had hoped it would be, that their wife loves it, and that their
kids cannot get enough of it. That is why they are called nOObies. In
fact, in most cases, even the birds will not eat their stuff.

Come on... We've all made bricks and lied about it, or our wives or children
have politely lied to us about it. You cannot get to good bread without
pulling a few weeds. Sounds to me like you've experienced the birds'
perspective too.


Every now and then, however, some one appears briefly on the scene
who figures out how to make credible bread, for instance:
http://www.cookingwithcrack.com/bread/sequence2/


Indeed he has. His bread looks great. But he's probably not the noobie you
think he is... Kamut isn't something that leaps off the grocery shelf at
you. I had never heard of the pressure-cooker-to-copper-pipe-bleed-in-oven
routine before. It sounds very interesting.

Is there anyone out there who can add some intelligence to this technique?

There are a few others, but I can't find the links right now.


Surfacing the pressure cooker trick was plenty good for me...

Will

Carl's starter is at www.carlsfriends.org







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Old 15-03-2004, 10:10 PM
Kenneth
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 15:17:34 -0600, williamwaller
wrote:

I had never heard of the pressure-cooker-to-copper-pipe-bleed-in-oven
routine before. It sounds very interesting.


Hi Will,

I have posted my technique before, but would be happy to post it again
if you would like to have it...

All the best,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 15-03-2004, 10:15 PM
Kenneth
 
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Default Sourdough Whole Wheat - receipe, equipment, and process

On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 17:10:36 -0500, Kenneth
wrote:

On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 15:17:34 -0600, williamwaller
wrote:

I had never heard of the pressure-cooker-to-copper-pipe-bleed-in-oven
routine before. It sounds very interesting.


Hi Will,

I have posted my technique before, but would be happy to post it again
if you would like to have it...

All the best,


Hi Will,

Hey, I am a wild man. Here it is:

I bought a cheap (about $15) pressure cooker, and drilled a hole in
the top. I got appropriate copper fittings that allowed me to run a
tube from the cooker lid down the back of the oven, and into the vent.
Please note that I used the pressure cooker as a boiler only because
it seemed a convenient way to have a lid (with the tube) that could be
easily removed while still not leaking steam. The name "Pressure"
cooker sometimes rattles folks, but let us remember that the tube is
open at the other end so there is no pressure buildup at all.

If you need further information I will be happy to provide, but for
now, this may be enough to get you started.

HTH,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."


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