Sourdough bread

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Sourdough bread

Postby Rik vonTrense » Sun May 28, 2006 6:23 am

Any one interested in sourdough either buying it or eating it may find thisd link interesting...........


http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=836

In a moment of mental stress I bought a loaf in Tesco as the familiy had gone away for a crash weekend to Bolton.

Although if anyone is interested in making sourdough (you have to be a devotee to want to ) please let me know....

Personally I do not like it although some rave over it .......to me it tastes just like bread that has gone sour and fit only for the bin.


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Postby Spuddy » Sun May 28, 2006 10:39 pm

If it tastes that sour then it ain't been done right.
Certainly from an Italian perspective a sour dough is just a way of using some of the previous day's dough to inoculate the following day's one.
The mother culture (just flour and water) is allowed to ferment in order to develop the natural yeasts before being added to the dough. Then some of that dough is saved to start the dough for the next day, etc.
Although there is often a VERY slight sour aftertaste to the resulting bread there should NOT be any strong acidic flavour. Some modern commercial "sour dough" breads taste (to me) artificially soured and are too overpowering and VERY fake!!
A good sourdough should be subtle in it's "sourness", the flavour of the bread itself should ALWAYS be primary.
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Mon May 29, 2006 4:35 am

Spuddy....

the current sourdough idiom is slightly different to saving a starter from the previous days batch.

A starter is actually cultivated over about a fortnight to obtain your starter culture. This culture is regularly fed with water and flour to replace that which is taken out.

So the sourdough system evolves over two and half days.

You take a portion of your starter and mix it with half the flour and water to make a poolish and you feed your starter.

The poolish is allowed to ferment to make your starter dough.

The following day the rest of the ingredients plus the salt is added and your dough is mixed this is set aside to prove and if you are making on a daily basis then you now make your poolish for the next bake.

When your first batch is proved you knock back and set aside again. This time you weigh off and shape your bread and set aside to prove for the oven..

All this is done in a cool atmosphere so the dough proving is an unhurried thing and allowed to rise at it's own pace.

Only when the loaves are three quarters risen is it put in the oven for the final oven spring and to kill the yeast.

This method is a bit different to saving a pice of sough for the next days starter as it is a fresh starter each time although the original culture lives on in the piece of saved dough and it does away with the need for fresh yeast although yeast could have been used in the first place to make the very first batch of dough.......this method was used by all the cooks on chuck wagons and sea going ships that baked bread.


.The Flour Bin sells an artificial sourdough taste to add to your dough makings and it's rubbish.
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Postby Patricia Thornton » Mon May 29, 2006 10:47 am

Rik, you must have been very, very stressed to pay 2.49 for a loaf in Tesco. I think you'll have to put a stop on family trips, besides which, I've now had some fresh rennet delivered so I'll soon be gearing up to start on cheese and will need you full attention!

I make all our bread since we prefer the taste of home made and it keeps well but I've not had any luck with my two attemps at making sourdough starter, despite my feeding and watering it every day. In the end, I came to the conclussion that life was too short and I was probably better sticking to what I know.

I would be interested to know if anyone has seen multigrain flour on their travels. My requests to friends for this (which I last bought in Waitrose) has resulted in bags and bags of various wholegrain flours but not one single packet of multigrain.
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Postby dougal » Mon May 29, 2006 11:44 am

Patricia Thornton wrote:I would be interested to know if anyone has seen multigrain flour on their travels. My requests to friends for this (which I last bought in Waitrose) has resulted in bags and bags of various wholegrain flours but not one single packet of multigrain.


Have a look at this site:

http://www.theflourbin.com

They specialise in mail order, but I've no idea about export...

Unfortunately, their site design seems to prevent me linking directly to a particular product, but their "8 Grain" might be of particular interest... :D
Although there is absolutely nothing to stop you blending your own... :D :D



And Rik, you don't have to like everything that everybody says is 'good'.
And other people should be free to disagree, without rancour, on matters of personal preferences in food taste.
But its important to recognise that there is a difference between personal preference and any concept of absolute good and bad. And these are different again from concepts of popularity and approval by respected figures. I can find a critic's opinion useful, as long as I know 'where he's coming from'. (I don't want to go near any restaurant that Michael Winner might like.)
I feel sure that you would deride anyone saying, for example, that Stilton was terrible stuff, and overpriced - solely on the basis of their own first attempts to reproduce it, and without a sympathetic understanding of the product's creation.


Nancy Silverton's La Brea bakery was pretty famous for the quality (taste, textures, etc) of its "Desem" style sourdough bread.
EDIT: see later post.

She seems to have found a way to go international with what she maintains is still an "artisan" product.
Here's the story...
http://www.checkout.ie/Feature.asp?ID=215
Now, I'm not suggesting for a moment that I approve of transporting part-baked frozen loaves across the Atlantic - but I do recognise that such a product is likely to be more expensive than a locally made product.
I haven't tasted the product, so I simply can't judge the value.
But you should be able to find a worthwhile, local, craft-made loaf that is competitive.
However, if you really don't like that type of product at all, then just walk past it, the same way I do with the Turkey Twizzlers, the Vegan burgers and the ready-made garlic mashed potatoes...

Rik, have you tasted Poilane's bread? London-baked, but pretty close to the Rue Cherche Midi original. Not cheap, but it'd give you an idea of the sort of tastes that are admired in naturally fermented bread. Worth looking out for. You could phone them on 020 7808 4910 and see if you might have any fairly local availability.
Last edited by dougal on Mon May 29, 2006 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Mon May 29, 2006 12:33 pm

Yes Dougal I have in fact I have put the fancy P on my loaves as a mark of respect for years.

My Father was a miller and I followed in Father's footsteps for a few years and the early party of my life was spent studying Leslie Smiths Flour Milling Technology and passing my London City and Guilds exams in that subject.

I have baked all types of bread from all types of flours but the attractions of other things took my interest rather than spend a lifetime on shiftwork until one attained the heights of a Port Mill manager so it wasn't like Father like Son for me.

The only thing is I have baked bread ever since.

The Flour Bin supplies their multigrain as just that ther actual grains that you mix with your own flour. In fact all their specialty flours are like that
you mix then to your own ratios........plus plenty of Flour Moth infection I found to my chagrin.

As you pointed out it is better to mix your own multigrains and add to your flour.

I will agree that there are some good artisan bakers out there and many that use their own wood fired stone bakehouses.

But my comments still stand as per La Brea Bakery's sourdough country oval loaf.......I fail to see the justification in paying that price for that loaf.

People can get caught once like I did but there again I did it out of professional curiosity .

Remember we are talking of charging the general public in excess of �5.00 for a 800 grm Bloomer......when I consider it cost me pennies to produce the same sort Bloomer it brings things into their right perspective

I am not paying out salaries to keep some one in luxury that is the thing.


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Postby Rik vonTrense » Mon May 29, 2006 2:03 pm

Just out the oven at 2.45pm

400grm white cobs made with buttermilk cost me pennies to make.

I will cut one when the cool a bit.

Image

They were made from half a pack of Hovis premium flour which I bought because I am out of Wrights Royalty the cost of the hovis flour 1.5 k pack was 85p.

So cost break down is about 15P per loaf.




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Postby Patricia Thornton » Mon May 29, 2006 2:31 pm

I think I'm going to have to stop using this site because every time I do I feel like such an idiot; other members seem so much more knowledgeable (or plain sensible)........... I can honestly say it's just never occurred to me to mix my own grains, I'll give it a go.

Whilst I agree with the saying that, 'if you pay peanuts you are likely to employ monkeys', my opinion is somewhat ambivalent when it comes to the cost of a mass-produced loaf of bread.

I'm a dreadful snob so I could easily be tempted to try bread at 2.50 a loaf (whilst hating myself for doing so, knowing the cost of the ingredients). However, I would feel somewhat justified paying that price at a local hand made bakery, but it would somehow, seem different, paying that price at a supermarket. (On the other hand, perhaps I've been away too long)
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Postby aris » Mon May 29, 2006 2:40 pm

Don't forget to factor in the cost of electricity or gas for your oven!
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Mon May 29, 2006 2:41 pm

I don't wish to continue being critical about the La Brea bakery but the only point I am trying to make is that in my humble opinion the bread is not worth the charge that is made......to me that is. But maybe to someone that doesn't know a spatula from a spoon and wants to spend their money it is a different matter.

The taste is nothing to rave about.
The crumb is horrendouse.
The bread tastes like it was made from Russian filler wheats.
Today is is stale and only fit for toast.
To me it is an underproven disaster even for sourdough.

This is the �2.49 loaf which made eight thin slices.


Image

I did not choose the hovis flour but it was the best they had.
My own flour gives a better crust and a better crumb.

Image


This is a comparison between the two loaves except mine doesn't have a fancy paper bag.

Image

But there again I do not wish to become an entrepeneur and make a million..............


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Postby Patricia Thornton » Mon May 29, 2006 3:02 pm

If bread can cost upwards of 30p a slice in the UK, I now (partly) understand how Selfridges justified charging 7.99 for a salt-beef sandwich when I was last in London.

Mind you, I wasn't picking up the bill.........
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Postby pokerpete » Mon May 29, 2006 3:06 pm

Rik vonTrense wrote:Just out the oven at 2.45pm

400grm white cobs made with buttermilk cost me pennies to make.

I will cut one when the cool a bit.

Image

They were made from half a pack of Hovis premium flour which I bought because I am out of Wrights Royalty the cost of the hovis flour 1.5 k pack was 85p.

So cost break down is about 15P per loaf.
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As a matter of interest, what size dough mixer do you use?
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Postby jenny_haddow » Mon May 29, 2006 3:33 pm

And oven?

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Postby Rik vonTrense » Mon May 29, 2006 4:00 pm

For that amount of dough I use an ordinary Kenwood Chef 700 series.

I have a larger Major that can take 5 lbs of flour.

I also have a Swedish Electrolux Assistent which can take 15 lbs of dough

I use a Bosch Fan oven I also have a Bullseye gas range but I only use that for 3ft French Fiscelles.

20 mins @ 220C switch off and leave for five mins..

I let the dough prove twice and stretch it each knockback before weighing off and forming the loaves to prove for around an hour.
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Postby dougal » Mon May 29, 2006 4:23 pm

My apologies for confusing two american ladies with reputations for natural leaven breads.
Its not Nancy Silverton that's celebrated for the Desem bread - that's Laurel Robertson.
Ms Silverton is noted for the intricacy and extreme amount of time and effort in her book's recipes for 'sourdough' breads - and hence is probably the unlikliest figurehead for an international branding, marketing and expansion campaign by multinational foods group IAWS plc.
Keller's Ketchup anyone?
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