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 05-03-2006, 09:20 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default Rubbery Texture?

I have made two loaves so far from sourdough starter that a friend gave
me. I followed her directions to feed the starter, weighed all
ingredients on digital scale, kneaded briefly in my KitchenAid mixer
then let dough sit for 30minutes for the gluten to do its thing before
adding salt.

Following a 2-hour fermentation and a 5-8 hour refrigeration-retarding,
I've been putting the boule right in a 480-degree preheated convection
oven. Water in pan, misting at 30-sec intervals. First loaf I left out
for 3 hours so it began its rise before the final oven kick. Second
loaf went directly from fridge to oven and was flatter. All tastes
great, but ... the outer crust is softer than it should be, so that
when I slice into it the overall texture is rubbery: this can't be
right. Help! What am I doing wrong?

Ideas, anyone?

Thanks!

Alphabetgirl


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Old 05-03-2006, 11:08 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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You would need to tell what kind of flour you used for one thing.
Letting it sit for 30 minutes wouldn't give enough time to let the
gluten do its thing. Your first proof should be 4-6 hours or longer
depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Also you don't say how
long you baked your loaf. In short you need to give more information if
you would like more help. Teresa
www.northwestsourdough.com

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Old 06-03-2006, 12:18 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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"alphabetgirl" wrote

Water in pan, misting at 30-sec intervals.


You only do this a few times right? You only want steam at the beginning. A
cup of BOILING water added to your hot pan should suffice, and when you
start your second bake the pan should be hot and dry fro your next cup of
BOILING water. An oven that stays humid too long can give you rubbery bread.
Also, are you letting the bread cool thoroughly before slicing? Tempting as
it seems, the feel and taste of your bread doesnt really come together until
it has been allowed to cool completely, you can rewarm it though if you
like.

Teresa wrote

"You would need to tell what kind of flour you used for one thing.
Letting it sit for 30 minutes wouldn't give enough time to let the
gluten do its thing. Your first proof should be 4-6 hours or longer
depending on what you are trying to accomplish."

Teresa this is garbage. Lurk in the shadows and learn. Most newbies, myself
included, dont bother to read the FAQs. Apparently you dont read threads
either. Dont you have link$ to books on Amazon on that much touted website
of yours? They make excellent reading also.

hutchndi


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Old 06-03-2006, 02:11 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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alphabetgirl wrote:

Ideas, anyone?



As an educated guess, you probably did not bake the bread long enough
and that will cause the crust to soften after baking as excess moisture
escapes. Another factor contributing to a dense chewy crumb is that you
also probably did not allow the bread to rise enough.

When you put the bread in the cooler the fermentation slows way down.
Also, when retarded dough is removed from the cooler, not much happens
until the dough warms up and that can take more time than you think at
room temperature. You can't count the time in the cooler or the time
warming up as full fermentation time.

You are still leaving out information necessary to help you discover how
to improve your bread. We know your recipe and mixing routine, but you
have not mentioned how the rise time is divided.

You should have a starter prep, dough mix, bulk fermentation, stretch
and fold or "punch down", Scale and rounding, rest, dough forming, rise
after forming, bake, and finally a cool down. Some may put a stretch
and fold series right after mixing. some may put a refrigerated rest or
"retard" in the process. The actual process can be debated, but the
point is that we don't know what you did.

We are left wondering about several things in your method even assuming
good starter prep and good mixing with an OK recipe.

Regards,

Charles
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:12 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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On 5 Mar 2006 13:20:39 -0800, "alphabetgirl" wrote:

I have made two loaves so far from sourdough starter that a friend gave
me. I followed her directions to feed the starter, weighed all
ingredients on digital scale, kneaded briefly in my KitchenAid mixer
then let dough sit for 30minutes for the gluten to do its thing before
adding salt.


I always add the salt before the kneading thingy. Never had
trouble.
[]'s


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Old 06-03-2006, 12:32 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Thanks, Charles. I'm beginning to see where I might have gone wrong:
the whole stretch and fold thing is a bit of am mystery to me. After
the first loaf fermented for 2 hours, I refrigerated it for a day, then
let it sit on my kitchen counter for 3-4 hours before baking it. The
second loaf went straight from fridge to oven. With both loaves, After
fermentation (2 hours) I used a bench knife on a to gently stretch the
dough, but I only did it once on each side as the dough consistency
seemed nice and elastic, looked spongy, and I didn't want to overwork
the dough. I put the boule in a banneton, covered it and refrigerated
it (1st loaf for 24 hours, 2nd loaf about 6.) I never did a punch down
-- if I should, at what point does this happen? Many thanks, Jessica



Charles Perry wrote:
alphabetgirl wrote:

Ideas, anyone?



As an educated guess, you probably did not bake the bread long enough
and that will cause the crust to soften after baking as excess moisture
escapes. Another factor contributing to a dense chewy crumb is that you
also probably did not allow the bread to rise enough.

When you put the bread in the cooler the fermentation slows way down.
Also, when retarded dough is removed from the cooler, not much happens
until the dough warms up and that can take more time than you think at
room temperature. You can't count the time in the cooler or the time
warming up as full fermentation time.

You are still leaving out information necessary to help you discover how
to improve your bread. We know your recipe and mixing routine, but you
have not mentioned how the rise time is divided.

You should have a starter prep, dough mix, bulk fermentation, stretch
and fold or "punch down", Scale and rounding, rest, dough forming, rise
after forming, bake, and finally a cool down. Some may put a stretch
and fold series right after mixing. some may put a refrigerated rest or
"retard" in the process. The actual process can be debated, but the
point is that we don't know what you did.

We are left wondering about several things in your method even assuming
good starter prep and good mixing with an OK recipe.

Regards,

Charles


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Old 06-03-2006, 01:05 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default Rubbery Texture?


"alphabetgirl" wrote

I'm beginning to see where I might have gone wrong:
the whole stretch and fold thing is a bit of am mystery to me.


There is a great classic film on the subject, produced, directed and
starring Ed Bechtal. It takes a while to download, but its worth it. Shows
the stretch and fold. Must see. http://www.skideezie.com/movies/SD.mov

hutchndi


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Old 06-03-2006, 04:20 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Amazing! Guess you can't overwork the dough after all. Thanks so much
for this.

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Old 06-03-2006, 04:22 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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amateur wrote:
On 5 Mar 2006 13:20:39 -0800, "alphabetgirl" wrote:

I have made two loaves so far from sourdough starter that a friend gave
me. I followed her directions to feed the starter, weighed all
ingredients on digital scale, kneaded briefly in my KitchenAid mixer
then let dough sit for 30minutes for the gluten to do its thing before
adding salt.


I always add the salt before the kneading thingy. Never had
trouble.



No, adding the salt after the 30 minute rest gives a small advantage
that is all but lost after everything else going on. If you're going to
do the 30 minute rest I wouldn't bother getting a mixer dirty. You only
need to mix enough to wet the flour, then after the 30 minutes is up
you can knead for up to about 60 seconds or until the dough is springy.
Again it isn't worth getting your mixer dirt unless you've got some
problem with your joints.

If you add the salt at the beginning the dough will be slightly wetter
and slacker but only slightly. I do have pix if anyone is interested.

TG

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Old 07-03-2006, 01:26 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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alphabetgirl wrote:

Ideas, anyone?


Tom, Dick and Harry all make sourdough bread. They all use different
methods. It doesn't matter to each as they all make bread that they are
happy to have. However, when Joe Newcomer asks a question about the
bread making process, they each answer from their own experience the
particular question. Sometimes that is just fine and helpful, other
times it is confusing or worse. A bit from here and a bit from there may
not work very well when combined.

I decided to answer your original question by making your recipe and
writing down the complete method used. I don't intend to debate the
process because I don't claim it to be the best or only method. In
fact, I use different methods with different breads or even different
ingredients. However it is fairly complete and works. I include
commentary on some steps.

All ingredients except the salt were weighed on a digital scale.

Recipe:
8 oz water
8 oz fresh sourdough starter
2 oz Whole wheat flour
10 oz Bread flour
1&1/4 teaspoons Salt (my guess since you did not say)

Methods:
Preparing the starter:

The day before mixing the dough, take 1 teaspoon of storage starter from
the refrigerated starter and mix with 1 Tablespoon of water and a
heaping Tablespoon of flour. What you want to have is something thicker
than batter and maybe thinner than dough. I mix this in a plastic cup.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit to ferment at room temperature
until bubbly. I mixed this in the morning.

After the starter is active, maybe about noon or later, stir in 1/4 cup
water and 1/3 cup flour and set aside to ferment at room temperature.
The starter should triple or close to triple by the evening.

I get a larger container for the starter and put in 1/2 cup water and
stir in the start from the cup and then stir in 2/3 cup flour. Set this
aside to ferment until morning when you are ready to mix the dough. The
starter in the morning should be active with breaking bubbles the size
of frog eyes. Well, bigger than BB's anyway.

Mixing the dough:

Mix together all the ingredients except the salt in the order given.
Stir after each addition and add the bread flour in two or three parts.
When all the the ingredients except the salt have been well mixed,
cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 min. Clean your dough
whisk or wooden spoon, you are done with it. From now on it is hand work.

Adding the salt:
I am not sure weather this is better called mixing or kneading, but this
is how I do it:

Measure the salt into a small dish. Sprinkle over the top of the dough
a very light amount of salt.
mix/knead in the following manner:

I hold the rim of the bowl in my right hand. with my left hand, fingers
together and slightly cupped, I plunge down the side of the bowl with
the left hand and bring up a portion of the dough and flip it to the
center of the bowl. Then I push/turn the bowl counter-clockwise with my
right hand about 1/8 to less than 1/4 turn. Repeat until you have
turned the bowl at least one full revolution. Then add another portion
of salt and repeat the mixing procedure again You should split the salt
into at least 5 or 6 additions Continue the mixing/kneading for a
couple of bowl revolutions after the salt is all added.

The dough will tighten a bit after the salt addition, but is still very
sticky and somewhat loose. Cover the bowl and let sit for 15 min.

Flour your bread board or counter. Use plenty of flour with this sticky
dough. I use the better part of a 1/4 cup measure. Scrape the dough
out onto the floured surface and let sit while you go wash the bowl and
your hands. Lightly oil the bowl.

First stretch and fold:
With a combination of patting with a flat hand and tugging at the edges,
form the dough into a rough rectangle about the size of a sheet of
paper, maybe 9x10 inches. Fold somewhat like a letter. First fold the
top third down to the center and lightly brush off any loose flour.
Then fold the bottom up to the center covering the part previously
folded down. Brush off any loose flour. Then lift the left side of
the folded dough and gently stretch it out a bit and then fold it in
towards the center. Take the right side and stretch it a bit outwards
before folding it into the center covering the part previously folded in
from the right. Brush off any loose flour

Pick up the dough and turn it over while rounding it to put back into
the bowl. The side that was the bottom when folding will now be the top
in the bowl. You will preserve this side to always be the bottom while
on the board and always the top when in the bowl until it is rounded and
shaped. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room
temperature for 1/2 hour.

After the dough has rested, flour your board again, if needed, and turn
the dough out onto the board and repeat the stretch and fold routine.
Then return the dough to the bowl.

Here is where in the process you have a decision to make and it depends
on the dough how you proceed. Very often I would let the dough rest for
an hour and do another stretch and fold. You would do this if the flour
or dough was a little weak or if you were trying to get a more sour
result. Another rest and another stretch and fold will tighten the
dough and extend the length of the process to encourage sour. In this
instance, I chose to not do another stretch and fold and just proceed to
the bulk fermentation or first rise. I had used strong bread flour and
the dough was so close to being good that I thought that careful
attention to the loaf formation would be sufficient.

I covered the dough in the bowl and placed it in the cold oven with the
light on for the first rise. The temperature in the oven varied from
74F to 78F. Leave the dough rise until at least doubled and it does not
push back when you press on it. this took 4 and 1/2 hours today.

Scaling and rounding:

If you were making more than one loaf this is where you would scale
and round the portions of dough. In this case we just round the whole
of the dough. Put the dough on a floured board and pat out in the same
manner as a stretch and fold except that you don't want a rectangle it
will naturally assume a circular shape and that is OK. Go around the
circle of dough bringing the edge to the center until the dough begins
to assume a rough ball shape. ( This usually takes at least 8 folds to
the center. Bring the four compass points to the center and then go
around and bring the edges between the compass points to the center)

Pick up the dough and turn it over while finishing the rounding in your
hands by pulling the edges of the ball down and under with the edges of
your hands. Set the rounded ball on the floured board and cover with
plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 15 min. (this would be a longer
rest if the dough were tighter. the objective is to have the dough
relax so it can take the final shaping)

Final shaping:

Begin as you did with the rounding step. put the top side down on the
floured board and pat out with the flat of your hand. By this time the
dough has developed to the point where it will not go as flat as it did
before. Pat it out without excessive force, but don't worry about being
gentle either with this dough. Again bring the edges in to the center
to form a ball with the dough. turn the dough over in your hands and
this time place the dough on an unfloured part of the board. You have
three objectives at this step. You want to complete the rounding. You
want to tighten the skin of the dough ball, sometimes referred to as the
"gluten cloak". Finally, you want to seal the seam on the bottom of the
dough ball.

Cup your hands around the dough ball. with the edges of your hands pull
down and under to round and tighten the ball. At the same time you turn
(rotate)the ball on the table. To seal the seam on the bottom, the
dough must catch a bit on the board. That is why you put it on an
unfloured part of the board. If the dough does not catch at all, dampen
the board very lightly. Just enough so the dough will lightly stick .
Rotate the ball on the board to seal the seam.

Place the ball seam side up in your basket to rise. If the seam did not
seal completely, you can pinch it shut with your fingers. Put the
basket into a plastic bag and close the top with a twist tie. Put the
bagged basket in the cold oven with the light on to rise.

The dough rose in the bag for two hours. At about 1&1/2 hours I took the
bag out of the oven and put in on the counter so I could preheat the oven.

I baked the bread on a sheet tray sprinkled with cornmeal. It would
have been better if I had baked it in a cloche, but I did not know if
you had one of those. I turned the dough out of the basket onto the
tray and slashed the top. The tray went into the oven at 450F. I
tossed three shots of water into the iron pan at the bottom at three min
intervals. I tossed about 1/4 cup at a time. After 15 min at 450F, I
turned the heat down to 400F and baked for a total time of one hour.

Results:
I got only fair oven spring, but the loaf looks very nice. Possibly it
could have taken a bit of a longer final rise before going into the
oven, the bottom is pulled up a little too sharply. the crust is crisp
and the crumb has a moderate amount of holes of varible sizes. It has a
moderate amount of sour taste and good flavor. I would not call the
crumb tough, but it is not Wonder bread either. I give it a C+ or a B.

Comments: If I was to do this over, I would use a strong all purpose
flour - like King Arthur or my local favorite, Dakota Maid. With the AP
flour I would probably give an additional stretch and fold and possibly
let it rise longer on the final rise. Maybe even another 5 min. in the
oven would not hurt.

I don't offer this as the best way to make a loaf of sourdough. It is
just what I did with your recipe this time. The advantage to you is
that you have a complete procedure that works and you can make your own
modifications. I suggest you change one thing at a time. You will note
that there is more fermentation time at room temperature than you described.

If you want or need to rest the dough in the cooler you can retard the
dough just before bulk fermentation or after the dough is shaped.
Maybe, you could even retard it after mixing and before any stretch and
fold.

Good luck,

Charles




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Old 07-03-2006, 01:50 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Wonderful!

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Old 07-03-2006, 01:54 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Charles: a magnificent and tremendously helpful explanation. I am 2
hours into bulk fermentation of loaf no. 3, and will pick up your
directions as I go forward. Thank you SO much for your time and
support: I know others will be grateful, too, for this post.

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Old 08-03-2006, 05:43 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Teresa this is garbage. Lurk in the shadows and learn. Most newbies, myself
included, dont bother to read the FAQs. Apparently you dont read threads
either. Dont you have link$ to books on Amazon on that much touted website
of yours? They make excellent reading also.


Well I don't know about garbage. I think the pictures on my site prove
my technique isn't garbage. Also, it is easy, I don't have to go to any
special trouble to get a holey crumb.I think people like an easy
method, I know I do.
Teresa

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Old 08-03-2006, 07:05 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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"northwestsourdough.com" wrote

I think the pictures on my site prove
my technique isn't garbage. Also, it is easy, I don't have to go to any
special trouble to get a holey crumb.I think people like an easy
method, I know I do.
Teresa



My apologies, I am guilty of prejudice in being short with you, as you pay
no attention to request to remove your link, until this last reply anyways.
Since you replied without the offending link, which does offend many here no
matter what a few odd defenders might say, perhaps we should discuss your
post:

"Letting it sit for 30 minutes wouldn't give enough time to let the
gluten do its thing. Your first proof should be 4-6 hours or longer
depending on what you are trying to accomplish. "

"Letting it sit for 30 minutes" is not her "first proof", and is the key to
the no-knead method spoken of here, pay attention to the threads, as
alphabetgirl is trying to do. There has been mention of Tom,Dick,and Harry
giving advice. I have not been doing this long, but wildly different advice
from posters have mede my experience less than wonderful. The best advice I
have gotten here is to read and follow advice in Jeffery Hamelman's Bread
book (which contains info on this gluten developing "rest" period), and I
believe that has been the key to success, if I read this book and payed
attention in the beginning I probably would not have needed this newsgroup
thereafter. You have a link to this book on your site, and I suggest you
purchase it yourself. After reading you basic recipe on your site, I can
vouch that Hamelmans is as easy in not easier, if thats what is important.

I might add that along with that book, King Arthur Flour has an (short but
good) Artisan Bread DVD. It is not about sourdough, uses a small (or so it
says) amount of commercial yeast in fact to make the featured breads, but
was a great help to me in seeing what wet dough should really look and
handle like, shaping, stretch and folds, and steps of which are better
viewed than described in print. They sell sourdough starter too, so I will
not provide a link....

hutchndi


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Old 08-03-2006, 08:42 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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On Wed, 8 Mar 2006, hutchndi wrote:

Since you replied without the offending link, which does offend many here no
matter what a few odd defenders might say, perhaps we should discuss your
post:
hutchndi


Hey - who are you calling "odd"? :{)


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