Author Topic: Moby, the White Whale...  (Read 1198 times)

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Offline mitchjg

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Moby, the White Whale...
« on: May 26, 2014, 12:17:58 PM »
Mmmmph has been kind enough to package and distribute his home grown starter, Moby aka Cape Fear, to several members of the forum.  I thought I would share my initial results.

And, I would invite others using Moby to post their results on this thread, too.

I had my first couple of rounds with Moby in the last week and I have found it to be very, very active.

1 While my other 2 starters double on the counter in 4 - 4 1/2 hours, Moby doubles at around 3 hours or so.
2. When a bread was supposed to triple at 12-15 hours, it was already tripled at 11 hours.  And that was at 64 degrees when the recipe had suggested 68.
3. When a pizza dough was to be ready at 4 pm yesterday (45 hour rise), it was ready at 6 am!

Excellent rise all around.  The bread really blew up nice and tall!

Flavor is great.  It seems more mild than my others but there are so many variables, it is too early to tell.

 
Mitch


Offline Donjo911

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 12:35:59 PM »
That is some huge rise!  Great looking color on that bread too. It looks like Ken Forkish's Bakery!
And... fine looking pies too! :drool:
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 12:53:29 PM »
That is some huge rise!  Great looking color on that bread too. It looks like Ken Forkish's Bakery!
And... fine looking pies too! :drool:

Thanks on all counts.  The rise from this starter is amazing.  The Forkish comment is great in that the recipe I used was his!
Mitch

Offline Tampa

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 02:53:00 PM »
Beautiful pictures, Mitch.  That was indeed kind of Mmmph to create and distribute Cape Fear.
Dave

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 07:44:43 PM »
Fine looking baked goods...More, more, more!
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline norma427

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 07:54:27 PM »
Mitch,

Great works of art!  :chef:

Norma

Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 08:08:13 AM »
I too was a Moby III recipient. The smell of the starter is absolutely intoxicating. Like others, I get a much faster rise with Moby than I do with Ischia. I think Moby is the "perfect" starter for bread. Without a doubt, I will no longer use Ischia for bread making. Not trying to put down Ischia, I just believe it is better suited for pizza than bread.

I'm going to need to do some more tweaking, but so far I'm very impressed!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 02:20:34 PM by JD »

Offline DannyG

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 08:55:18 AM »
I have also received the Moby III and was surprised by how active it was compared to my Ischia. The instructions that came with it was excellent and it was no problem getting it going. I made pizza over the weekend (sorry no pics but will take some next time) using fazzari's five fold sourdough method. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29760.0

Moby III has a really nice fresh odor and like Mitch, I found it to be lighter in flavor than my Ischia in a good way. The rise was excellent and made for a great crust. I'm looking forward to the next bake.

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 10:34:18 AM »
Mitch and JD, great looking breads/pizzas!  Mitch, that round loaf looks beautiful! 

If I might make a suggestion for those who are just receiving their cultures: Instead of throwing away the excess culture when you refresh it, spread some out on parchment paper and let it dry, and hang onto it. That way if your culture gets a bit funky over time due to inattention (as mine did) you will have some nice, fresh, non-funky culture that you can rehydrate and use. 

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline mitchjg

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 02:48:21 PM »
Beautiful pictures, Mitch.  That was indeed kind of Mmmph to create and distribute Cape Fear.
Dave
Fine looking baked goods...More, more, more!
Great works of art!  :chef:
Norma
Mitch and JD, great looking breads/pizzas!  Mitch, that round loaf looks beautiful! 
TinRoof

Thanks to each of you, too kind.   :chef:
I appreciate it and, again, very much appreciate the effort from Mmmmph.

I too was a Moby III recipient. The smell of the starter is absolutely intoxicating. Like others, I get a much faster rise with Moby than I do with Ischia. I think Moby is the "perfect" starter for bread. Without a doubt, I will no longer use Ischia for bread making. Not trying to put down Ischia, I just believe it is better suited for pizza than bread.

JD:

I love the look of that bread.  It has the kind of holes I was striving for.

It sounds like you prefer Ischia for pizza.  Can you share why you think Moby may be better for bread, but Ischia for pizza?

Thanks,
Mitch
Mitch

Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 03:46:03 PM »
Quote
JD:

I love the look of that bread.  It has the kind of holes I was striving for.

It sounds like you prefer Ischia for pizza.  Can you share why you think Moby may be better for bread, but Ischia for pizza?

Thanks,
Mitch

Thanks Mitch. I cannot say I prefer one or the other for pizza, I've only made bread with Moby so far. I think Ischia has a very distinct pizza sourness to it though. The Moby reminds me of what a true sourdough bread should taste like. I don't really get the same feeling from Ischia breads, but everyone has different opinions.

Offline biondanonima

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 02:38:43 PM »
These pics of bread made with Moby/Cape Fear look great - I'll have to keep an eye out for the next giveaway!  My home-grown starter works well enough for pizza but I'm finding it doesn't always give me the lift I want for bread.

Offline mitchjg

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Olives Meet Moby
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 09:23:32 PM »
I made another bread today with the Moby starter.  After we both ate way too much bread with our soup, my wife tried to get me to bring my loaves to a local restaurant to create a business.  I will stick to baking for us and friends but it really was quite delicious.

Ken Forkish encourages you to bake the bread seam side up to let it open wherever it wants to open.  Got a really nice ear.

Thanks again Mmmmph.

- Mitch
Mitch

Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 10:30:20 PM »
I had a lot of leftover starter from making bread this weekend, so I gave NY style a try. This was a 50% starter (don't tell Scott), 58% hydration and 24hr cold ferment (don't tell Craig). I've never had much action in the fridge with Ischia, but the Moby dough ended up overfermented. It was probably ready at hrs 8-12.

As expected, the crust lacked color but the flavor was nice. I may try it again with a proper room temp fermentation, but I'm sure I'll run into the same color issues. I will continue to make bread with Moby. .

Jalapeno Bacon:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 10:32:47 PM by JD »

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 12:19:32 AM »
This was a 50% starter (don't tell Scott), 58% hydration and 24hr cold ferment (don't tell Craig).

 :-D FWIW, I think Craig would take far more umbrage with the refrigeration than I would with the use of a starter. I have no issue with starter, just when people attempt to associate it with authentic NY style.

That being said ;)  Why not call it 'NY artisan' style? You're the teacher now. No need to 'pull a Varasano' :)  Considering all the angst that you initially went through, wouldn't you want to spare others from the same fate and disassociate it a bit?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 02:09:12 AM by scott123 »

Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 07:59:48 AM »
You're right, I struggled for about 6 months following Varasano's advice to use a starter for NY style. I'm not going to call it anything because it's not something I'm going to keep doing seriously, I just had a lot of extra starter and felt like experimenting. I am quite impressed with Moby's performance in the fridge at least.

If I had a more powerful oven, I would try utilizing starter in my pizza again. 

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 09:18:28 AM »
JD, can you say more here?

I was not aware of a relationship between CF an color with starter.  (I am aware of the lack of rise with a CF dough with starter)

And, are you saying starter is not useful with less powerful ovens?   Seems fine to me, at least judging from breads. 

Thanks,
Mitch
Mitch


Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 09:35:07 AM »
No no, I'm speaking specifically to NY style pizza. I love using a starter for bread, much prefer it over bakers yeast. I'm in no way an expert in starters, so I'm just going to attempt to regurgitate what I've learned on these forums:

A natural starter acidifies the dough while bakers yeast does not (or is marginal), this is what creates the unique flavors we seek in sourdoughs. Due to (insert big science words here), an acidic dough does not brown well. You don't notice it in bread because of the long bake times, but when you are making pizza in under 8 minutes, the effects are very noticeable.

Much like Caputo is better off in high temp ovens, lack of color from an acidic dough can also be mitigated by using a higher temp oven. You use a blackstone or WFO, right?


JD, can you say more here?

I was not aware of a relationship between CF an color with starter.  (I am aware of the lack of rise with a CF dough with starter)

And, are you saying starter is not useful with less powerful ovens?   Seems fine to me, at least judging from breads. 

Thanks,
Mitch
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 09:36:39 AM by JD »

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 09:46:55 AM »
Ah, I see.  Thank you.

I was not aware that a more acidic dough (i.e. starter based dough) will not brown as much (I guess all other things being equal, etc.).  Interesting, I will have to surf around to see if I can understand the science behind that.

To extrapolate, do you think that means, again AOTBE, I would get more browning and/or faster bake with Caputo in my WFO if it was a yeast based dough?  I have never tried that.

- Mitch

PS BTW, I went through the same thing a couple of years ago following Varasano on the cold ferment with starter and no IDY.  After a few poorly risen bakes, I added in the IDY to the Varasano (continuing to use starter) and, whaddya know, the dough rose beautifully. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 09:49:31 AM by mitchjg »
Mitch

Offline JD

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 09:54:46 AM »

To extrapolate, do you think that means, again AOTBE, I would get more browning and/or faster bake with Caputo in my WFO if it was a yeast based dough?  I have never tried that.


Actually no, any regular malted flour would brown faster than Caputo. Caputo resists browing, which makes it more ideal for higher temp WFO applications. All I'm suggesting is the (lack of) browning can be mitigated by using higher temps.



PS BTW, I went through the same thing a couple of years ago following Varasano on the cold ferment with starter and no IDY.  After a few poorly risen bakes, I added in the IDY to the Varasano (continuing to use starter) and, whaddya know, the dough rose beautifully. 

Yep, same issues I had. What's interesting though is how well the Moby rose in the fridge. If it was not for the lack of browning, I'd give Moby a fair shake at NY "Artisan" style.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 10:01:48 AM »
I will keep "Googling" around to learn more.  But, I found this right away:

"Lastly, bread with no salt will also has a crust which is lighter in colour (given the same baking time and oven temperature). This can be explained as follows. Salt will slow down fermentation, so when there is no salt, the yeast activity will increase i.e. the yeast will metabolise more sugar in a given period of time. As a result there will be less sugars left in the dough and the pH of the dough will be lower (more acids will be formed). Sugars play (together with proteins, moisture and heat) an important role in the Maillard reaction. But the Maillard reaction is also influenced by the pH : a higher pH will speed up the Maillard reaction. So in this case where the pH is lower and where there are less sugars left, the colour of the crust is lighter."

from

http://www.classofoods.com/page1_4.html

So, acidic dough has a less strong Maillard reaction (browning, etc.) and there more sugars consumed (used in forming the acids) which also drives a less strong Maillard reaction.

So much to learn.

Thanks!

Addendum - Sorry if this is off topic but this thread really boosted my learning in a funny way.  I did a search on "acid and Maillard reaction" and came across an article on the use of baking soda to speed the Maillard reaction.  It does so because it raises the PH.  Then, my little brain flashed - the banana muffins we baked yesterday browned very poorly (and the rise was just ok, not great).  I went downstairs and asked my wife (in a, hopefully, safe and blame free way): "Did you add the baking soda to the flour yesterday in addition to the baking powder?  Or, did you add baking powder only?"  Ah hah, mystery solved.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 10:28:56 AM by mitchjg »
Mitch

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Moby, the White Whale...
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2014, 01:00:53 PM »
Mitch,

From time to time, Tom Lehmann alludes to the effects of fermentation acid byproducts on crust coloration. For example, see:

Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19156.msg191743;topicseen#msg191743

PMQ Think Tank Reply #10 at http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/trouble-browning-crust.15294/#post-93350

PMQ Think Tank Reply #14 at http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/ask-tom-lehmann-a-question.9214/#post-64013

But for the more detailed understanding of the phenomena that are involved in this matter--the big science words that Josh alluded to a few posts ago--see the section entitled Acidification at http://www.theartisan.net/The_Artisan_Yeast_Treatise_Section_Two.htm. Prof. Calvel, who was the father of much of the above discussion, also talked about the phenomena in his book The Taste of Bread. I quoted him on this matter in the second paragraph of Reply 136 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5851.msg86732#msg86732.

Peter


 

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