Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Addendum to "Things I Still Don't Know"

More Tartine Bread
I thought I would answer some of my questions from my "Things I Still Don't Know" blogpost and show off some pictures of my other Tartine loaf.

Poor scoring.

Open crumb...a little too open?
I had a fabulous breakfast this morning of the whole wheat tartine loaf. Amazing.
Toast with almond butter and a cup of Earl Grey (with skim milk)
One of the original problems that I cited in my previous blogpost was temperature vs. time for proofing bread. Here are the two things I have found in my reading. According to Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice, 17 degrees Farenheit up or down causes the time to half or double, respectively. As an example, he says that if the bread takes 1 hour to rise in a 90 degree F proof-box, it will take 2 hours at 73 degrees F (Reinhart 40) and he gives further examples illustrating the same principle (Reinhart 88). The temperature around the dough is going to effect the dough, obviously, but even more important is the dough temperature itself (which comes from a variety of things like the temperature of the water put into it). To check dough temperature or even bread temperature in the oven, you can use the same kind of thermometer you would use to read your turkey at Thanksgiving (or some other holiday) to ensure you don't kill your guests. You can also use this thermometer to check the temperature of the water. Just make sure that you have on that reads as low as 60 degrees F and as high as 220 degrees F. Some bread books will also give advice about their particular recipes. In Tartine Bread, Chad Robertson mentions that if the dough is mixed using cooler water, at around 65 degrees F and fermented between 55 and 65 degrees F (rather than the traditional 78-82 degrees F with 80 degree F water), then it will take 8-12 hours instead of 3-4 (Robertson 74-75). his means the time doubles if it is 15 degrees F or so cooler (about the same as Reinhardts 17 degree F approximation).

I also wondered aloud what might become of my accidental mixture of sourdough starters. As it turns out, the two different types of yeast seem to coexist peacefully. The indication of this is that the new mixture smells like an exact half-half mixture of the home starter and the Alma Mater starter. Go figure.I can't guarantee this would happen with any mixture, but it seems to be the case from mine. I also discovered a recipe that mixes two different starters which I am excited to try: txfarmer's baguette recipe (although I will replace the rye with whole wheat because I am not a huge fan of rye).

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