A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Confused: Starter vs Levain  (Read 10914 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #140 on: December 18, 2017, 01:49:13 PM »
Almost  ;D

There you are! Happy with flavor too?

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #141 on: December 18, 2017, 01:50:21 PM »
Sure. Let me make sure I can replicate these results a few more times before I put it in writing  :-D

Would you be willing to share your entire process so far?  I am also interested in your baking method.  That pie looks fantastic.

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #142 on: December 19, 2017, 04:46:43 PM »
Made another batch but cut the bulk short because I was impatient. I think itís very important to have a strong first ferment and even more important to let the dough proof fully in balls before using. Currently, the balls are proofed a little bit but you can tell after baking they arenít as proofed or well fermented as they should be.

Even if youíre not using sourdough, itís a good takeaway - the proof of the balls matters quite a bit. I found that to be the case when doing thicker, Pan style pizza but really handstretched round pies are no different. Iím finding the more proofed and puffy the dough, the better.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #143 on: December 19, 2017, 05:59:23 PM »
I agree totally ...but there's a fine line when they've gone too far and OS and lightness of texture suffer. I'm not always clear just  where that line is...I like to work to the edge of well-proofed. But we know about edges...and falling off :(


In your experience, Lou, can you provide insight into when things have gone too far....from just great to just plain disappointing?

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #144 on: December 19, 2017, 07:34:37 PM »
I've rarely pushed it "too far." I think you're better going towards over than under. For example, my underproofed and underfermented pies were slightly dense in the crumb, a little too evenly brown - not enough flavor development.

I think the dough ball is "over" when it's so proofed there are thin spots that burst and burn at higher heat. I think there might be something to say about sourdough vs commercial yeast in that regard. I've gotten some wild fermentation with commercial yeast where those thin spots and crazy bubbles were created relatively quickly. I got a well proofed ball but quite a lot of bubbles on the surface with thin spots that made themselves apparent in the crust. With sourdough, I find the leavening power to be strong but even - so fermentation doesn't really spiral out of control like that for me. I like my dough to feel very puffy with quite a lot of activity on the bottom of the ball - the perfect loaf has a good illustration.

I agree totally ...but there's a fine line when they've gone too far and OS and lightness of texture suffer. I'm not always clear just  where that line is...I like to work to the edge of well-proofed. But we know about edges...and falling off :(


In your experience, Lou, can you provide insight into when things have gone too far....from just great to just plain disappointing?

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #145 on: December 19, 2017, 08:01:54 PM »
Thanks Lou...me too. I think I knew when it was too much...but it wasn't off by much because the dough opened evenly and strong...just a bit sticky. Over definitely better than under   My fermentation was very even,,,but those etra hours were just too much. The total time was 42 at RT followed by 55 CF...The simple solution would have been to back off the RT time in balls just a bit to allow development at CF...with a bit more RT available if needed prior to opening. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 08:04:21 PM by Jersey Pie Boy »

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #146 on: December 20, 2017, 11:54:23 AM »
I must note with the amount of leaven Iím using (10%) the dough balls are very elastic and not soft/supple when opening. Any idea how to get them a bit softer (like, say, the Doug at Varasanoís in Atlanta which looks to open effortlessly?) even at room temp they are a little tight.

Maybe less leaven (5% ish?)

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #147 on: December 20, 2017, 12:18:41 PM »
I'm not knowledgeable enough in the reasons why,  but  my dough balls at 5%, as well as 1.5 to 2.5% do open very easily, though not over extensible. I find them easier to work with than my IDY dough..but that may be because the IDY doughs are usually long CF/plus RT hybrids.

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #148 on: December 20, 2017, 01:49:40 PM »
Iím thinking less starter, more water, or both.

My doughballs that pancaked weíre hand mixed. I started mixing small batches in the kitchenaid and itís been a night and day difference.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #149 on: December 20, 2017, 03:20:33 PM »
That's interesting to know...

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline surgtech2006

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 143
  • Location: New York
  • Make Pizza, not war
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #150 on: December 21, 2017, 10:19:50 PM »
Iím thinking less starter, more water, or both.

My doughballs that pancaked weíre hand mixed. I started mixing small batches in the kitchenaid and itís been a night and day difference.
How long in the mixer? Do you track dough  temp during and after mixing?

Jerry

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #151 on: January 06, 2018, 03:13:56 PM »
Well, after a number of questionable batches and my sourdough pizzas coming out too much like bread (chewy and not getting nearly the rise or proof my commercially yeasted dough does,) Iím taking a step back and switching my starter over to entirely white flour and building strength before attempting more sourdough

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #152 on: January 11, 2018, 12:16:48 AM »
First batch with the all-white flour starter and balls are holding shape and rising/proofing predictably. Hopefully, this was the solution to my problems!

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #153 on: January 12, 2018, 12:46:09 PM »
Well, back to problem solving. Balls are holding shape which is great but they are a little tight and definitely more pale than I would like (even though the starter used was extremely active.)

Iím thinking maybe I need to back off on the starter amount (used 12%) and maybe try 5% or so? Iím thinking there isnít a ton of sugar present if itís not browning the way Iíd like?

Strange phenomenon. The dough is very active/airy after tempering and stretched well enough, and the pizza itself is very airy but the dough is actually tough - you can feel it in the jaw when chewing. Too much acid maybe? Itís very strange...

Any thoughts appreciated
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 03:26:17 PM by hotsawce »

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #154 on: March 24, 2018, 10:14:18 AM »
Well, still having issues. Iíve been feeding my starter only bread flour at 12 hour intervals, when peaked, at 40% inoculation. Itís appeared very vigorous and itís definitely leavening my dough.

Iím he only problem is the dough/gluten feels very stiff/weak and tears. For example, I made a room temp dough using 1.5% starter at my ambient room temp around 6pm last night. I came back to it this morning and it had increased in volume by 20% or so. It wasnít overly active but it definitely felt alive.

The dough failed with a windowpane Test. It just kind of tore easily. Itís a little difficult to describe. Even just removing the bulk dough from its container, you can tell something doesnít feel right.  Yesterday, same issue. The balls hold shape and are active, but the gluten just tears.

This is my starter currently - and this is about the time Iíd feed it. You can see itís very active, has just started to sag from its peak.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline the1mu

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1210
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #155 on: March 24, 2018, 10:46:01 AM »
Well, still having issues. Iíve been feeding my starter only bread flour at 12 hour intervals, when peaked, at 40% inoculation. Itís appeared very vigorous and itís definitely leavening my dough.

Iím he only problem is the dough/gluten feels very stiff/weak and tears. For example, I made a room temp dough using 1.5% starter at my ambient room temp around 6pm last night. I came back to it this morning and it had increased in volume by 20% or so. It wasnít overly active but it definitely felt alive.

The dough failed with a windowpane Test. It just kind of tore easily. Itís a little difficult to describe. Even just removing the bulk dough from its container, you can tell something doesnít feel right.  Yesterday, same issue. The balls hold shape and are active, but the gluten just tears.

This is my starter currently - and this is about the time Iíd feed it. You can see itís very active, has just started to sag from its peak.

Still sounds too acidic to me. 40% for 12 hours is double what I do for a 12-14hr rise. I use 20% inoculation to feed my starter at 12 hour intervals. It is usually just peeking in that window. This is around 68-72į ambient.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #156 on: March 24, 2018, 10:50:00 AM »
Lou, obviously I'm no expert, just a home pizza guy, but from reading Doc Tom, I'm not sure the dough at that stage needs to pass windowpane..maybe not a all for pizza?


But after bulk, I know my gluten isn't fully there yet..I can tell the difference compared to when I make sourdough bread...when the bread dough is ready for preshaping, it leaves the plastic container cleanly...not the case with my SD pizza dough. I can tell fermentation is underway but not near the stage of finished yet,...that's what it will do in balls.  Not  sure about the tearing, but 1.5  is a very low percentage of SD so that if the starter for any reason isn't quite there, the small amount leaves no real margin of safety.  Again, , this my amateur understanding only. If I wrong, I will gladly learn the right answer.


Aric's reply was being typed same time as mine...I'm thinking maybe yes, the 40% inoculation combined with the low starter percentage in final dough may be the issue. Above disclaimer applies :)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 10:53:32 AM by Jersey Pie Boy »

Offline hotsawce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #157 on: March 24, 2018, 01:09:56 PM »
Iíll go back to 20% inoculation. I was doing that a few weeks ago and it wasnít super active. My ambient room temp is around 70 to 75f.

If itís too acidic, it doesnít really smell that way. Not getting strong vinegar smells. Just yogurt transitioning to fermenting apples at peak.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4381
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #158 on: March 24, 2018, 02:00:15 PM »
The aroma sound just right. Keep us posted, Lou!

Offline vtsteve

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Vermont, USA
  • If my pizza is wrong, I don't want to be right!
Re: Confused: Starter vs Levain
« Reply #159 on: March 24, 2018, 02:20:57 PM »
Iíll go back to 20% inoculation. I was doing that a few weeks ago and it wasnít super active. My ambient room temp is around 70 to 75f.

If itís too acidic, it doesnít really smell that way. Not getting strong vinegar smells. Just yogurt transitioning to fermenting apples at peak.

I'd rather smell vinegar than acetone or acetaldehyde (green apple) -- I'd wash it for a few days, and afterward feed before it peaks. 
In grams we trust.
My wood-fired NY thread: Pizza Thursday

A D V E R T I S E M E N T