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Offline sallam

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dough with 80% starter
« on: June 24, 2019, 05:30:20 AM »
Did anyone try this before? building a sourdough starter in steps until 80% of the final dough's flour is used in the starter, leave it to over ferment a bit, then mix in the remaining 20% flour, ball, rest a bit then shape and proof in trays ?

I'm trying this today. I started with 10g seed taken from a jar of a stiff mother that I leave in fridge for months with no feeding. Then build up my starter from there in several steps. I usually prepare a 20% starter this way,but this time I'm trying the opposite: 80% starter

The idea is to get max sour taste. But the problem is that when I leave the dough to reach that sourness, it looses the rise effect in oven and comes out tasting rich and beautiful, but flat. The more complex taste, the more flat it gets.

So I thought.. why not leave aside 20% of the flour, so that when the dough over ferment (and consequently loses its power) I then add that ramaining 20% flour to re-feed the dough to regain its strength , and I want to catch that strength in the same oven trays so as not to loose the rise from the new power obtained from those 20% food.

I'm curious if anyone tried this technique before ?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 06:59:54 AM by sallam »
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 11:00:34 AM »
I would also suggest getting some litmus paper strips to monitor the pH as you go through the process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline DanAyo

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 12:37:33 PM »
1) The idea is to get max sour taste. But the problem is that when I leave the dough to reach that sourness, it looses the rise effect in oven and comes out tasting rich and beautiful, but flat. The more complex taste, the more flat it gets.

2) So I thought.. why not leave aside 20% of the flour, so that when the dough over ferment (and consequently loses its power) I then add that ramaining 20% flour to re-feed the dough to regain its strength , and I want to catch that strength in the same oven trays so as not to loose the rise from the new power obtained from those 20% food.

Hey there Sallam! I know you from TheFreshLoaf! We are presently featuring Pizza on our Community Bake. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60568/community-bake-pizza I hope you (all are invited) participate in the bake.

1) The reason your dough is flat is probably because the lengthy ferment necessary to multiply the LAB (bacteria) has degraded the gluten network so much so that it is unable to contain the CO2 gas. Thus a flat (non airy) baked dough.

2) I look forward to your findings on the 80/20. But, if I was to venture a guess I think you’ll find that the 80% (of total flour) will be weak and degraded. The remaining 20% of virgin flour will not be enough to overcome the levain. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I love to learn new things :-)

Have you considered dabrowman’s NMNF (No Mess No Fuss) starter?

If you use whole Rye to feed your starter it will be capable of reaching a lower PH (more acidic). Any whole grains are better than white flour for acids. The bran allows the LAB the ability to reach lower PH than without.

When it comes to “sour” sourdough there are 2 basic extremes. Acetic acids (sharp, vinegary) and lactic acids (smooth, yogurt like). What sour would you like best? Acetic acid is much easier to produce than lactic. Each acid requires different fermentation temperatures, and ideally hydrations. And the longer they ferment the more pronounced the acid flavor will become.

Sour flavored sourdough at it’s best is not easily obtained. The information written above is what I believe to be true at this present time. I remain receptive to the possibility that some of the above may be incorrect. So it is possible that tomorrow I could be singing another song ;D
Dan Ayo
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Life is a journey of exploration and learning. Earthly perfection is unattainable, but never the less consistently sought.

Offline sallam

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 01:41:59 PM »
I would also suggest getting some litmus paper strips to monitor the pH as you go through the process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Thanks Tom, great tip.
I'm a home baker.

Offline sallam

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 01:57:34 PM »
Hey there Sallam! I know you from TheFreshLoaf! We are presently featuring Pizza on our Community Bake. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60568/community-bake-pizza I hope you (all are invited) participate in the bake.

1) The reason your dough is flat is probably because the lengthy ferment necessary to multiply the LAB (bacteria) has degraded the gluten network so much so that it is unable to contain the CO2 gas. Thus a flat (non airy) baked dough.

2) I look forward to your findings on the 80/20. But, if I was to venture a guess I think you’ll find that the 80% (of total flour) will be weak and degraded. The remaining 20% of virgin flour will not be enough to overcome the levain. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I love to learn new things :-)

Have you considered dabrowman’s NMNF (No Mess No Fuss) starter?

If you use whole Rye to feed your starter it will be capable of reaching a lower PH (more acidic). Any whole grains are better than white flour for acids. The bran allows the LAB the ability to reach lower PH than without.

When it comes to “sour” sourdough there are 2 basic extremes. Acetic acids (sharp, vinegary) and lactic acids (smooth, yogurt like). What sour would you like best? Acetic acid is much easier to produce than lactic. Each acid requires different fermentation temperatures, and ideally hydrations. And the longer they ferment the more pronounced the acid flavor will become.

Sour flavored sourdough at it’s best is not easily obtained. The information written above is what I believe to be true at this present time. I remain receptive to the possibility that some of the above may be incorrect. So it is possible that tomorrow I could be singing another song ;D
Nice to see you around Dan  :)
Your song it alright.
Thanks for inviting me to the community bake.

I do use NMNF starter. Its great to have a maintenance-free starter for months.
You're right, bran makes a difference in starters. When building mine, I use :
60% white flour
20% whole barley flour (no rye at my end)
20% wheat bran
50% hydration or probably less (its crumbly)

I know different acids develop better in different temp. But currently I'm short of fridge space, so I RT ferment for about 32 hours, from seed to shape.
I'm a home baker.

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Offline DanAyo

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 03:29:35 PM »
You are blowing my mind, Sallam :-D

Unless your room temperature is cold, 32 hr is not possible without badly degrading the gluten. I truly wished that was possible. It would make a soupy dough that would probably be too sour for me, and I am a “sour head”.

Let me explain why I say so. For a couple of years now, I have baked Teresa Greenway’s SFSD. Her method produces the nicest lactic sour I have found. I've spent years searching. Her method uses long fermentation maintaining a dough temp of ~77-79F for 16-17.5 hours. That is a feat not easily accomplished without degrading the dough. IMO, 32 hours is out of the question. The only way I can do it successfully (Teresa’s technique) is using Morbread flour or adding ascorbic acid. I have baked over 200 loaves using this method, counting experiments and successful loaves.

Too bad you can’t get rye ??? Whole grain barley should work fine, though. I suggest trying your NMNF and using it to develop a 100% hydration levain using 100% whole grain to build it up over several feeds. Since your starter is 50% hydrated start with 15g starter. Your starter contains 10g flour + 5g water. If you want to build 1:1:1 use 15g starter + 15g water + 10g whole grain. For each build there after use the same weight of both flour and water. That will maintain 100% hydrated levain. Wet levains favor lactic acid, so does warmer temps. Lactic acid can be fermented as warm as 93F, but doesn’t need to be that warm. The warmer, the better.

You may also like the flavor (and enzymatic active) of using a small portion of whole grain in the actual dough.

I am no expert on pizza dough. My experience is based upon bread. But the priciples should remain the same.

Lastly, you have already discovered that grossly over fermented dough is sour. The balancing act to good sour dough is the relationship between fermentation and warmth coupled with the need to maintain the strength (gluten network) of the dough. And in my experience, that is no easy thing, but it is definitely possible.
Dan Ayo
“Inquiring minds want to know...”
Life is a journey of exploration and learning. Earthly perfection is unattainable, but never the less consistently sought.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 10:19:07 PM »
A lot of it depends on your culture. Some produce much more acids/enzymes than others. I can easily go 48 hours at 62F and have gone as long as 60 hours. At [email protected], I have little to no detectable acidity but a whole lot of flavor/aroma. We've seen others that completely destroy a dough in less than 12. You might try starting a new culture.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline sallam

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 12:11:18 AM »
You are blowing my mind, Sallam :-D

Unless your room temperature is cold, 32 hr is not possible without badly degrading the gluten. I truly wished that was possible. It would make a soupy dough that would probably be too sour for me, and I am a “sour head”.

Let me explain why I say so. For a couple of years now, I have baked Teresa Greenway’s SFSD. Her method produces the nicest lactic sour I have found. I've spent years searching. Her method uses long fermentation maintaining a dough temp of ~77-79F for 16-17.5 hours. That is a feat not easily accomplished without degrading the dough. IMO, 32 hours is out of the question. The only way I can do it successfully (Teresa’s technique) is using Morbread flour or adding ascorbic acid. I have baked over 200 loaves using this method, counting experiments and successful loaves.

Too bad you can’t get rye ??? Whole grain barley should work fine, though. I suggest trying your NMNF and using it to develop a 100% hydration levain using 100% whole grain to build it up over several feeds. Since your starter is 50% hydrated start with 15g starter. Your starter contains 10g flour + 5g water. If you want to build 1:1:1 use 15g starter + 15g water + 10g whole grain. For each build there after use the same weight of both flour and water. That will maintain 100% hydrated levain. Wet levains favor lactic acid, so does warmer temps. Lactic acid can be fermented as warm as 93F, but doesn’t need to be that warm. The warmer, the better.

You may also like the flavor (and enzymatic active) of using a small portion of whole grain in the actual dough.

I am no expert on pizza dough. My experience is based upon bread. But the priciples should remain the same.

Lastly, you have already discovered that grossly over fermented dough is sour. The balancing act to good sour dough is the relationship between fermentation and warmth coupled with the need to maintain the strength (gluten network) of the dough. And in my experience, that is no easy thing, but it is definitely possible.

You're right, temp. is important. My RT here is high, around 82, but I push that up with a simple setting: I put a glass jar of levain in a water bath, about 105-110F (similar to fermenting yogurt) giving LAB maximum environment. I do the same for all build stages, from 10g seed until it gets to 240g, then I add the rest of the 80% of the flour, and all the recipe's water, keeping aside only the 20% flour plus the salt (2% sea salt) In each stage I overferment. It springs back to life once fed the next stage, no worries. Don't really know the science behind it, but my levain adapts to that setting fine. Or maybe that's the norm.

My experiment went fine, my kids loved the flavor, and oven spring was good, but it seems that it could use a couple of hours in final tray proofing for even higher oven rise.so I'll try 34 hours next time.

Keep in mind that those 34 hours are from the first build stage until oven time, and that I usually shoot for over-fermentation in each build stage, except final proofing in trays of course.

As for starter:water:flour percentages, I have developed a little NMNF calculator that I rely on. Try it, you may find it useful:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59616/nmnf-sourdough-calculator

But as of late, I got the hang of it, besides, my digital scale broke, so I now do it by feel. I can't go wrong, since My recipe's uses 1kg flour, so I open the bag, and take from it until it finishes. Works fine.

I've read your blog post about Teresa Greenway’s SFSD at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59406/sfsd-using-extended-warm-and-cool-bf
That's interesting. Is it different than the usual long RT fermentation followed by an overnight or even 24hr retard? When I do so, when there is space in my fridge that is, I RT ferment until it peaks, then punch down before retarding for 12 hours or more. I learn a lot from Tom Lehmann, The Dough Doctor, and from Debra Wink at TFL. I owe them much of my humble dough knowledge over the years.

The thermal log you ran was very interesting
Unfortunately, I have no retarder, only simple home kitchen setting. I guess the dough would cool faster in my 34f fridge.. but yes, it brings a beautiful complex flavor when the cold retard adds up the acetic acid.
I'm a home baker.

Offline sallam

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 12:31:46 AM »
A lot of it depends on your culture. Some produce much more acids/enzymes than others. I can easily go 48 hours at 62F and have gone as long as 60 hours. At [email protected], I have little to no detectable acidity but a whole lot of flavor/aroma. We've seen others that completely destroy a dough in less than 12. You might try starting a new culture.
Yes, I know about your amazing technique. I learn a lot from you.
My culture is fine. Started it back in 2017 from scrach, and it serves me nicely ever since. Lately I  converted it to NMNF method, which goes maintenance-free for months. I take only 10g seed at a time, and a few weeks before its all used up, I build a new mother from it, and allow it to age for a few weeks before starting to use it. Its an acid power house. I know you like to experiment, so why not try it one day.. the NMNF post is so lengthy, so you can get to the bottom of it using my calculator: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59616/nmnf-sourdough-calculator
I'm a home baker.

Offline DanAyo

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 07:16:44 AM »
Sallam, you wrote “Keep in mind that those 34 hours are from the first build stage until oven time, and that I usually shoot for over-fermentation in each build stage, except final proofing in trays of course.”

I took your ferment time to mean the duration of the fermentation in the final mix. How did your 80/20 work? Please post images if possible.

I’m always looking for more sour.

I wonder if a tiny bite of ascorbic acid (added at the final mix) might help to strengthen the dough.
Dan Ayo
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Life is a journey of exploration and learning. Earthly perfection is unattainable, but never the less consistently sought.

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Offline Bchad

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Re: dough with 80% starter
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2020, 05:52:51 PM »
I would also suggest getting some litmus paper strips to monitor the pH as you go through the process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

So Tom is there away to adjust ph of starter? if so how? And at what ph level should we be satisfied with

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