Sunday, January 19, 2014

Guest Baker: Chad Robertson

So, a few of you have emailed me about Chad's extended autolyse, an arena new to me as well. I wanted to know what he meant by 'overnight', further, if we add the levain before or after autolyse is accomplished. So many questions swirling all round us, so I decided to defer to Chad himself for a method that would shed some light on things.

Of course, he could have sent me an email with a quick bullet-pointed method. Instead, what I got was a beautiful photographic explanation, proving once again that our Guru is all about style and grace.

(And the answer is yes, yes I do have a bat phone to call him when my dough is in danger).

Have a look.


Weigh out the flour and 80 degree water for the dough.



Mix up the flour and 80 degree water by hand until you arrive at a shaggy mass.

NOTE: We do not add levain or salt at this stage with this extended autolyse. Furthermore, to clear up any confusion, this does not change that we can add levain to our shorter autolyses, as Book Two and Book Three both instruct, and as directed in all of the other posts on this blog. This post is to clarify the longer autolyse that Chad mentions on page 23 of Book Three. You will find happy results with both methods.

Onward.

Cover the dough. Chad puts the bucket of dough into another container to insulate the resting dough, then places it on a high shelf where it's warmer. The key with this extended autolyse is to not let the dough get cold. This is a whole different animal here. When we are in the fermentation stage of our dough, going cold works to slow the fermentation of bread, thus allowing flavors to develop. With autolyse, the goal is to make the dough more extensible, and warmer temps help with this process. Why do we want extensible dough? Because extensible dough opens up more during baking, which is how we get that coveted open crumb. When the levain is added later, the acid will counter the extension benefits of autolyse, building and strengthening the dough. At the end of final fermentation, these two environments (autolyse, without added levain / fermentation of the dough once levain is added) create a balanced dough both extensible and elastic.

A note here, you should ferment your levain when your autolyse is working so they arrive at completion at the same time.

Chad's autolyse was 8 hours.


Salt and levain at the ready.


 Amalgamate the salt and levain into the autolysed dough.

2 hours bulk/ 3.5 hours bulk with stretch and folds until the dough becomes too tight to fold without pressing out the precious gasses. Chad's bulk was about 4 hours at 77-78 degrees ambient temperature. But this is where your prowess as a baker comes in. You have to learn to read your dough, right, so Chad's was ready at around 4 hours, maybe yours is ready at 3.5. Once you learn to read the signs of your dough, you will be turning out better and better bread with each session. Perfectly fermented dough looks like it's 'ready to go'. It's filled with gasses, it has increased by roughly 30 percent. When you touch it, it will feel springy and alive. Dead dough feels flaccid, weak. It does not hold a dome. It oozes rather than remaining taut. Dough that is not finished fermenting during bulk is small. It's still energized and springy, but it has not quite filled with gasses and expanded to its potential. It needs more time.

Get the dough onto a worktable. Divide. Preshape into a loose round in prep for bench rest. The more meticulous you are in your preshape, the longer the bench. I personally gather up the ends to the center of the dough with an easy hand. I don't want to press the gasses out of the dough after 4 hours of first fermentation.

This particular dough was benched for 15 minutes. Chad stresses the importance of 'proper curve retention' on the edge as the preshaped round of dough relaxes and spreads. A dough that is flat at point of contact with the bench means that it's underactive or underfermented, underdeveloped or too wet. Overfermented dough will stay very tight and round like a ball, and will start tearing on the surface as the high acid breaks down the gluten earlier than desired.

Speaking of hydration. Start with a modest amount of water in your dough, right, because you can't take it out, but you can always add more water at the start of dough if you need it, or even at the salt stage. Chad hydrates at 80% - 85% at dough time then based on how the dough feels -- and many variables will determine this: ambient temp, type of flour, strength of starter -- he will add more in increments. He pushes hydration to its limits, yeah, but it's always determined by the needs of the dough in a given bread. So, learn to read your dough and use any bread book or formula as a guideline rather than a bible. Your environment is much different than mine or his, so you have to make adjustments to accommodate it. You can make a Tartine Country loaf at 80% one week, then 88% the next. Listen to your dough, be flexible, and with this skill, you will truly learn bread.



Seam side up, into the banneton for final fermentation. After 4-hour refrigerated final fermentation.

Dust the bottom of the dough with rice flour. Chad gets his dough into the Dutchie first, then slashes. I slash first, then into the Dutchie it goes. I also use a lodge combo cooker because I find that it's easier to get the dough in and out. Many burnt knuckles made this piece of apparatus a necessity. So be careful if you are using a deeper Le Creuset! Oh, and a word on cheap Dutchies, over time the hot temps we use for bread will break down the enamel in the pot. I have ended up with enamel from the pot baked into my loaves. No bueno. This does not seem to happen with Le Creuset, so, if you are using enameled Dutchies, I think you get what you pay for.

Onward.

Have a look at Chad's 'slashes'. Here, rather than actually slashing with a razor, he snips the dough using a scissors, sort of in the manner of snipping an epi, and makes what I call his 'Stegosaurus' pattern (and yeah, he does this pattern in the bakery).

I always bake right from cold, as does Chad. He clarifies: baking from cold helps keep the loaf from burning since they always bake from so hot from the start. This ensures that they get enough oven spring from their super hydrated doughs.

Oven and Dutchie are preheated at 500 with stone in oven. Steam at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 475 degrees, steam for another 15, uncover, bake out till chestnut colored at 460 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing. I mean it.

To make this loaf, use the Ode To Bourdon formula in Book Three. Remember to autolyse warm and adjust your hydration percentage and fermentation times to suit your environment.

I will be back next week with some information about grain companies. I promise!

To the staff of life!


(All photos in this post ©Chad Robertson)

68 comments:

  1. So very cool that you can contact Chef Roberts like that (jealous!) but even cooler that he would take the time to craft such a response! I have definitely been puzzling over this extended autolyse. Leaving out the levain made sense to me since otherwise it would just be art of the bulk fermentation but this is certainly not mentioned in the book. Thank you so much for getting to the bottom of this! I will definitely have to try scissors next week!

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    1. there was no mention of fold and stretch?

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    2. Thanks Josh. Just added a line. All this time, no one caught it.

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  2. Thanks a lot for this wonderful site!!! Is there any way to include a video of pre/final shaping? I think it is rather crucial for developing a tense outerlayer for correct slashing and eventually a good oven spring. I have some problems in scoring the loaf, it will start running away covering the scores. Any idea? A good way to check the fermentation of the dough is the pushing the dough carefully making a small dent. If the dent pushes back, the dough needs more rising. if the dough pushes only half way through, then it is ready. If the dent stays then it is over-fermented. cheers

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    1. YOU should've written the book! Thank you so very much for filling in the details. You have inspired me to continue baking this book. I agree with Michalis, I think you & Chad need to make a DVD series to accompany the book. Like Breadhitz. Are you going to include any of the sweets from the book? Again, you have the most amazing blog, thank you.

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    2. I'm sorry Michalis. I don't have any videos. But If you go to Susan's Wild Yeast blog:

      preshaping a boule: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2011/06/08/video-preshaping-a-boule/
      shaping a pointy batard: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2011/08/02/video-shaping-a-pointy-batard/

      She has some videos, which is where I learned to shape. Chad shapes by using what I call a 'folding method' which you can see in both of his bread books. Susan's shaping will make a perfectly round boule. Chad's will make more of a 'rustic round'. When I saw Lori, one of his bakers, shaping the dough in this manner, I decided that I wanted to experiment with it. She got the dough nice and tight using this method, and the resulting loaves were beautiful and rustic.

      If your slashes are bleeding, it could mean overfermentation or very high hydration. Both of which I have experienced. In the case of high hydration, just be sure that the gluten is properly developed, and you will get more prominent slashes.

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    3. And thank you for the vote of confidence. But seriously, I love the Tartine book so much. I'm so glad that he wrote it and further shared his experience with us!

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  3. Thank you to both of you! I just started working with Tartine #3 and this is very useful. Can't wait to start another bake.

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    1. I think this last post is going to demystify things for us in regard to autolyse. I, for one, found myself in the dark about it. It's a simplistic thing, autolyse, but not a lot of in-depth info about it. We know that we should and why, on a basic level, but scientifically, I could not find much info. And I cannot afford the coveted Calvel book, so had to rely on the snippets that I could find about his method in my other books, and on the net. For instance, I didn't find a single thing about keeping the dough warm during autolyse in any of my books or on the net. Very eye opening.

      I will keep you all in the loop with new information about how to make our bread better!

      fo

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  4. Thank you for such a beautiful blog on a fantastic subject. I do have a question:
    You autolyse/bulk rise at warm room temperatures, then do a final proof for just four hours in the refrigerator (not overnight) and bake cold from the fridge? I can see how that would make scoring so much easier, but how does the loaf get to the final proof with cool temp and short time? I though the idea was to keep the dough as warm as possible throughout. or am I missing something.

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    1. Yes. Extended autolyse warm. Chad just did a four-hour final ferment for this particular loaf in the fridge. He probably could have gone longer. I didn't ask him why he chose that time frame. This is a matter of reading the dough. Since I have not personally done the extended autolyse warm, I would have to see for myself if my final could be pushed. I will, and I will post about it as we move along.

      Yes, we both always bake from cold. I find that you get better oven spring, as does Chad.

      You can bake the Tartine loaf after 4-5 hours final, and I've gone up to 25. I like longer final fermentations because I think the bread has a more interesting and developed flavor. Again, at this point, I am happy to experiment with longer final ferments with extended autolyse and report the findings.

      Achieving optimum extensibility through autolyse requires a warm environment, but with final ferments, my motto is long. cold. slow.

      Hope this helps!

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    2. thanks. Now I have something(s) new to try on my next attempt at the perfect crumb! I greatly appreciate your attention and response.

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    3. Pamela. Here is a little more info on autolyse. Every bread book I have says something different about autolyse, and often completely contradictory. But Hamelman says this:

      In levain bread production, the autolyse technique can be a great benefit: The levain contributes a considerable amount of acidity, one effect of which is the reduction of extensibility. The autolyse, by increasing extensibility, helps to offset the effects of the levain's acidity. Dough work-up is easier, and bread volume improves. - J. Hamelman

      As you can see, it's fine (and indeed beneficial -- this is what I meant by a 'balanced' dough) to add levain to your dough prior to SHORT autolyse. And I really cannot stress enough how my 1-hour autolyses seem to produce consistently optimum results. The dough with my 2 and even 3 hour autolyse was fine, but I really think I prefer a 1-hour autolyse. Plus it fits neatly into my bread baking schedule. I already do very long final ferments, so, 2 more hours really makes me have to plan things differently. So, unless I am going to embark on the extended autolyse as Chad does in this post, I will personally probably stick with 1-hour.

      Though milling my own flour is posing some very interesting experiments over here, all of which I will share with you all!

      -f

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    4. I'm excited to try the 1 hr autolyse with the overnight levain (up to now, I had been using the young, 2hr, just floating levain) and the overnight cold retard. I decided to feed my starter raisin/apple yeast water instead of regular water and that has really amped up the action. We'll see how these new techniques affect the results. Thanks again and I so look forward to your next installment.

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  5. Only Chad can make mixing dough in a bucket look cool...

    Thanks a lot for keeping us so well informed.

    Salut!

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  6. Thank you so much for posting this, it's answered more questions for me than the many sites I've been visiting!

    I've been experimenting with simply a 1 hour autolyse and have gotten such slack/extensible dough that my loaves flopped in the oven. I now understand, thanks to your post, it's finding that balance between extensibility and strength we are trying to find for that open crumb. The part I'm struggling with now is to determine the feel of the dough during bulk so I know when to stop stretching and folding, and let rest...

    Great posts, thanks again.

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    1. Excellent. This was the goal of the post.

      Well, for me, when my dough is gassy and I can't perform a full series of folds (I do four folds in a series), then I think about backing off. So, say I was able to perform 4 full series of turns, then the next one, I was able to only do 3 folds in a series, this is when I stop and let the dough ferment on its own. I have been experimenting with folding as well, but it seems that my dough likes to be left alone for at least the last hour and a half of bulk. Yours might be different. I live in a warm climate, so this changes bread making in a major way.

      Here's a thought, when you are folding your precious dough, and you feel like you may be pressing the gasses out of it, consider just leaving it alone to do its thing. :)

      Open crumb is about several different things, proper folding (amount and technique) proper autolyse, and typically, you get a more open crumb with higher hydration doughs, as well as with dough that comprises a good amount of white flour. The more whole grain your dough is, the tighter the crumb because the sharp edges of the bran cut away at the gluten network.

      Keep working!

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    2. Ahhh... Are you saying that the folding time is part of the same time of the bulk ferment... ie if I fold for 1 1/2 hrs then I would let the dough rest for the remainder of the 2 1/2 hrs if I was doing a 4 hr bulk ferment

      And if the dough does not rise 30% in that 4 hrs... do I let it go longer until it seems alive and springy

      Delete
  7. France,did I get it right: unlike the info in tartine3..( or # 1 for that matter) the levain is not added until after the autolyse, along with the salt???? This would be a change in the formula, which makes sense, but I am checking with you to see what your understanding is.very lovely and helpful photos. Thanks you for all the effort you put into the blog and baking.

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    1. Hi there. So, salt is never added before autolyse because it tightens the gluten network.

      For shorter autolyses, you add the levain. The amount of yeast in levain is rather small so does not significantly affect the benefits of autolyse. I typically do 1-hour autolyses, and have gone to 3 hours with fine results. Keep your eye on it though, and read the dough when you are pushing past 2 hours. I have made a few 3-hour autolysed doughs. They all expanded nicely. But I wouldn't go beyond that with autolyse with dough that has the levain added. 2-hour autolyse works fine as well, but frankly, I think my 1-hour autolyses give me the extensibility that I'm looking for. And while I will continue to experiment with Chad's uber long autolyse, as a rule, just for time's sake, I love my 1-hour autolyses.

      Just note, Chad stresses that for longer autolyses, we do NOT add the levain (or the salt for that matter, but then, we never add salt for autolysing dough, whether short or long), and we must be sure that the extended autolyse is accomplished in a warm environment, hence the reason he puts his on a high shelf where it is warmer in the kitchen.

      After having consulted with Chad, I feel like I can really experiment with the process with some understanding, rather than going into it blind. We decided to do the post to clarify things.

      In short: shorter autolyses, add levain (never salt), longer autolyses, do not add levain (and again, never salt).

      Cheers!

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    2. This got me, too! I just bought Book No. 3 and was excited to try a basic formula from it before diving in deeper. I read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-read the instructions for the initial mix because they were so counterintuitive. I'd say the instructions are misleading, because they instruct to add the levain in the first step, but do not mention holding out it if one is doing a long autolyse. As a somewhat experienced baker, I should have gone with my gut and left it out...but having tried Tartine bread and trusting Robertson's mastery of the dough, I gave the book the benefit of the doubt and followed the instructions to the letter, and quickly (well, after a 4hr autolyse) realized I had wasted a kg of flour and some effort. Perhaps if a second edition of the book is released it could be more clear!

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    3. always follow your gut. that's my motto!

      please follow my new blog: girlmeetsrye.blogspot.com

      i test all of the formulae and make sure they are up to snuff before posting.

      Delete
  8. cool. it will be fun to play with this. thanks for the clarification... since you use 250g/500g flour and he uses 150/1000g.. I would guess that the longer autolyses
    would favor no or less levain.. what do you think?

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    1. NO levain for extended autolyse. :)

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    2. ps, for shorter autolyse, levain added prior is fine, and indeed beneficial. have a look:


      In levain bread production, the autolyse technique can be a great benefit: The levain contributes a considerable amount of acidity, one effect of which is the reduction of extensibility. The autolyse, by increasing extensibility, helps to offset the effects of the levain's acidity. Dough work-up is easier, and bread volume improves. - J. Hamelman

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately for me, I found your post while trying to figure out why my dog looks dead after a very long autolyse. So the follow-up question is: How to revive it?

      Delete
  9. Thanks for your blog... it is really fantasic!

    My question is, you write "Steam at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 475 degrees, steam for another 15, uncover, bake out till chestnut colored at 460 degrees." This is different than the "master method" from Chad's No. 3 book. Is this a change you came up with on your own to suit your needs, or is this from Chad Robertson himself? Why the change?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi there. This was Chad's method for this particular bread. But I have, coincidentally, been doing the same for my bread lately, that is to say, a higher temp for the first part of the steam, then lowering it for the second half. Though I lower mine to 475. Then I toggle the bake out, anywhere from 450 - 475, depending on what the loaf of the day is asking for. I.e., if it's too blonde, I go to a higher temp at bakeout, if it's getting dark quickly, I lower it to 450. And I'm always spinning the loaf in the oven. The back of the oven is really hot, so you can end up with an unevenly browned loaf.

      We just got started with the new book, but I'm going to experiment with many different baking methods. ALWAYS starting on high temps though for excellent oven spring!

      Cheers!

      (thanks for saying the blog is fantastic :)

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  10. Thanks for a great blog France! And for this post with Chad's explanations and clarifications. I'm sure we all wish we were able to call him up too, but this is amazing enough. And very helpful! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for your note! Lets forge ahead. New loaves in the upcoming week!

      - France

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  11. Every time I follow the instructions in your blog (even if I botch up to no fault of yours- just mine), my breads end up much better than if I followed another recipe. Seriously. But this post is something else. It has made the bread we made at the bakery today leaps and bounds better than anything we're ever been able to pull off. Thank you so very much!!! Still so much to learn and do but today was a real breakthrough!...Gretchen

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    1. Thank you so much for saying this. Really. This is what makes me want to keep going, knowing that what I write is being clearly understood. My hope is that every recipe on the blog turns out a fabulous loaf of bread :)

      I'm really glad this post helped so many people. There is a remarkable amount of conflicting information out there about autolyse (and lack of, and just really wrong), for such a simplistic method, isn't there? Thanks to Chad for giving us another method to make our breads even more successful!

      France

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  12. Hi France,
    do you have an idea about Chad change the % of Leaven from 20 % to 15 % and why now he decide to add more salt up to 2,5 % ( from 2 % ) despite is now using more Whole flour than before ?? or more aromatic flour ever ??
    Michele

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    1. I don't know. But I can ask if you would like. It could be that bread, like so many things, is an ever-evolving craft. I increased my salt recently too. And decreased my levain! Check out the new post for a deeper explanation. I intend to keep lowering my percentage of levain (salt stays the same). And it is indeed because as a baker, our job is to coax the flavor out of the grain through proper and successful fermentation. Higher percentages of levain can mask the sweetness of the grain. For me, higher levain percentage was a crutch as a new baker. I have been reading lots of bread books lately, and I had totally forgotten that I increased my levain percentage years ago, because I was afraid that such a small amount would fail at rising my bread. I never thought about it since. And lately, with all of my reading, I was reminded that I should perhaps revisit the lessening of my levain, trusting that proper fermentation will rise my bread adequately, thus dispensing with the higher levain as a 'crutch'. Check out the new post. I talk about that a bit. :)

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    2. Thanks ,
      every is changing .....I'm going down with leaven and in salt too ......I usually use from 1.4 to 1.8 % .....because I always use more natural and fresh flour that are full of flavors
      Thanks

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    3. One guess I have is that with the increased whole wheat his starter probably will be much more active and ferment at a rapid pace. Introducing more salt and less levain will slow things down to be more manageable.

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  13. Ok, I'm trying now to figure out my needed time for making bread in this new way. Chad's contribution in this post is an eye-opening big help! Thanks for asking him for this and posting it. I understand the autolyze time now, and warmth, and extra hydration - whole grains absorb more liquid, as well as needing longer time to break down the phytic acid, which holds nutrients in dormacy. This process cannot be done in one day! I'm going to start autolyze 1st thing in the morning, putting on a high warm shelf. It takes my levain a few hours to come to the float stage with a recent feeding, which I'll do around 11-12am. Then around 3 add the levain and salt, and then the folds. It can then sit on my warm shelf till before bed. I like the refrigerator technique and have worked the baking first thing in the morning before heading out the door, into my schedule. So I'll get the dough in the bread bowls to further rise in the fridge all night, as I've already been used to doing.

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    1. Excellent plan! Please let me know how it all works out! And thank you for sharing a method for busy people. It is definitely a technique that we are going to have to creatively fit into our schedules. But frankly, I'm thinking if we do the extended autolyse and levain before we go to bed, they should arrive at completion at the same time. Have a look at the new post, a little eye-opening experiment with extended levain fermentation :)

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  14. Really interesting details you learned! Thank you for sharing them with us on your blog. I did my first loaf with a 4 hour autolyse (with levain mixed in as directed by the book) and it turned out just great. Really good texture. I'm guessing when you refer to long autolyse without levain it's the overnight method mentioned earlier in the book. Giving the wheat and 10% rye bread a try this week.

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    1. Hi Marcella. Yes. Long autolyse = no levain. I just did the 10% rye and posted, with another interesting experiment. Have a look! Glad we are on the same page!

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  15. Thanks for sharing France :-) Is this 100% rye flour?

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  16. Simply amazed! No idea how I stumbled upon your incredible blog, but I think I was looking for "slashing patterns" (no idea what the NSA thinks of that search term!). You are meticulous and articulate beyond belief. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been baking/trying to bake a la Tartine for a couple of years now, with very mixed success. Now, after reading this post of yours I want to make absolutely, positively sure I read this correctly, so please indulge me: I mix the water and the flour with NO LEVAIN? And I leave the shaggy mess for an hour--or more--and then introduced the levain and warm salt and water?

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    1. no levain for LONG autolyse.

      you CAN add levain for SHORT autolyses. 1-2-3 hours. i systematically employ a 1-hour autolyse for my breads and add levain. levain actually helps to balance the extensibility/elasticity of the dough in shorter autolyses. the acid actually tightens the gluten strands as the process of autolyse extends them.

      salt is only ever added to the dough after the autolyse.

      cheers!

      Delete
  17. Hi,
    great article. I was wondering if you know at what temperature and for how long Chad does his final proofing @ his bakery. You mention your final proofing is 4 hours refrigerated. Do you put it in the fridge? He never mentions what increase in volume we should be looking for at the end of final proofing. Double? For bulk fermentation the 20 to 30% actually helps a lot, and i use it as a guideline, rather than keeping eye on time or ambient temperature and i would like to do the same with final proofing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Chad does extended final fermentations at the bakery. If I recall correctly, 20+ hours (??)
      My final is not 4 hours, my bulk is 4 hours. And I refrigerate depending upon how warm the ambient temp is.
      Your bread will likely grow upwards of 50% depending upon the flour/type of dough you are making.
      I often give pictures of my dough before and after final fermentation so you can see the difference. But the only way to know how your dough will expand is to keep baking and experimenting with the same dough so you learn how the flour behaves.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  18. Hi France,

    I am 4 loaves in from the basic Country loaf and have had great success with look of the bread but unfortunately they were all bricks with very hard crusts. I am having the usual problems with the shaping and handling of the high hydration doughs but I feel that I am not getting the rise that is needed from my levain. Would you be willing to answer a few questions for me. I love, love, love your blog. I appreciate your effort to have a well written, beautifully photographed site like yours. I would like to get the basic levain down before switching to Rye.

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    1. I would be happy to help you. I took a little bread, but back now. What's been going on with your bread? Tell me from start to finish and lets see if we can figure it out. First, how old is your starter?

      Delete
    2. Finally, Here we are. Ok doc. I am now 10 loaves in the basic country loafn from May 7. I have yet to pull a magical loaf but I remain hopeful. My starter is about 9 or 10 weeks old (youngster I know.) I've been reading about your starter and am getting new info about feeding. I live in Hawaii so the temp is not a problem. I realize that I need to feed more often to get a more vigorous starter for the levain. I am trying to follow Chad's recipe to a tee.This is what's going on. I feed 2x a day 2 days before I start the levain. The levain takes about 6-8 hrs. to get good and fluffy. I add 20% to 70% water, mix, then combine the 90/10 white/whole wheat mixture into a shaggy mess. Autolyse for 40-50 mins- add salt and 5% water and transfer to a plastic, see-through, container for the bulk rise. I start turning every 30 mins. for 3 hrs. HERE IS WHERE I KEEP GETTING STUCK. I dont seem to get 20-30% rise until after 6 hrs. +. Sometimes I keep turning every 30 - 60 mins after and sometimes I stop turning after 3.5 hrs. and let it ferment. If I keep turning for a long period, I get no or little oven spring and no or little rise during proofing. If i stop turning after 3.5 then the dough is hard to handle and seems to fall flat on the bench...goop! I have proofed for 12, 16, 20, 24+ hrs. and still can't get a good rise. In the end, the bake looks beautiful and the crumb is pretty open but really chewy. The crust is hard as leather for all except the last 2 loaves (they were the best yet but not light and shattery.) I know there is a learning curve and I am LEARNING a lot. Am I just stubborn for sticking with this starter and not going over to the dark "rye" side?

      Delete
    3. Learning a lot while reading through your blog while answering many of the questions I have. I am sticking with the 50/50 Tartine starter but started a rye culture today...stoked!

      Delete
  19. Bonsoir, je suis Jean et je vous écrit depuis la France. Je suis un fou de pain. Je teste depuis quelques semaines les recettes de Chad. Génial, cette technique. le pain a des arômes extra.

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    1. Merci d'avoir écrit en Français! J'aime le pain du Chad aussi. C'est un boulanger incroyable!

      Delete
  20. I tired making the extended autolyse, but it turned very smelly after 4 hours. I mixed 250g of flour with 175g of water (70%) and left it in 30C temperature or above for 8 hours. The resulting smell was really bad, what could have caused this?

    Thanks

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    1. Hi Abdul. I don't know what the cause could be. Bad flour. Moldy starter. I'm not a fan of the extended autolyse. I think it's superfluous. We can make wonderful bread without it, and in my opinion, it just adds too much time to bread that already takes a lot of time. Cheers!

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  21. MIne did not rise much but was ok, tasted great, but was firm and had too many gaps under the ceiling. I think my starter was not lively enough i used some to make a new starter, it will be better next time, I am sure.

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  22. Hi, this has been so helpful as I venture into book No. 3. My big question is what is considered an extended autolyse? Anything beyond 3 hours? I did a 4 hour autolyse this morning and am thinking I needed to have left the leaven out. Does that sound accurate? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. To be honest with you, I did not have success with extended autolyse and I don't really find it appealing. It adds too much time to already long loaves. All of the info I have about extended autolyse is in this post. I wish I could be more helpful. I've just not been drawn to the technique, so, I've not been experimenting with it at all. Sorry! xo

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  23. Thank you very much for this post. I've got a question about the baking process. Am I getting you right: I have to steam when I use a Dutsch oven with lid?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Having the lid on provides the steam. We pull it off after 30 minutes (Chad calls for 20, I CALL FOR 30 minutes), then bake to completion.

      xo

      fo

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  24. I must admit my frustration. I wish I had found this site prior to baking this bread. I have book number 3 and have been working my starter and levain for the last week. I live in the prairies of Canada and due to Chad's suggestion of overnight autolyse to counter hard wheat on pages 23, and 37...I did just that. However her failed to mention that you should leave out the levain during extended autolyse. I now have a warm bubbly soupy mess. I've added more flour in hopes that it will pull together but I'm pretty sure I just wasted a ton of time and flour due to poor instruction. Fingers crossed I can salvage this... Pull and fold number 1 is done...

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  25. Love your blog! I'm still using Book 1 so I will explore his latest BUT I have a really active starter I just seem to hit a sluggish bulk ferment and then not a dramatic final rise. I proof in my 100 degree oven propped open a little so it's not full on for about 3-4 hours. Any suggestions as to getting more of a fluffy dough. Using Bread flour seems to help. Thanks!

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  26. I started 2-3 weeks ago baking tartine bread , with very satisfactory resaut. Thank you . I have been beaking for quit a while , made my starter from scratch several times. However, baking stright sour dough bread was not satisfactory, and I used baker yeast addition. I am pleased with the standerd recipe, however , i use 20% whole wheat . I like to bake 50% wheat bread and also Egiptian bread which is like pita bread but larger, with pricked crust and creamy hollow insid.

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  27. Where can I find those proofing baskets? I've been looking to buy new ones, preferably lined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazon has them. Also here: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/matfer-118510?k_clickid=819fbf7a-624a-477a-a0a6-3d0b6d2f0bf6&gclid=CjwKEAiAj7TCBRCp2Z22ue-zrj4SJACG7SBEYwnSYGn1oR-KdoqTBK6FJMV0gINQEosYfbqaBL5irRoCf9rw_wcB

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    2. Ebay has plenty of them, made from rattan for well under $10, depending on size, with liners and free shipping. They come from China, so shipping takes about 2 weeks, but I am very happy with quality.

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  28. Hi,

    I've tried the extended autolyse technique now several times and my loaves came out like pancakes. I'm using locally milled red hard wheat and the whole wheat white of the Bourdon recipe. I've also been using the country loaf recipe for the past two years and getting great results. I've noticed that the whole wheat recipes in Book 3 call for less leaven--15%--and more salt--and the addition of wheat germ. These seem top be the only differences besides the long autolyse. I have also made successful whole grain loaves already using the country loaf recipe. Since I've already made plenty of experiments with the long autolyse, unsuccessfully, and thrown away a lot of dough, I'm hoping someone could give me some feedback before I try again.

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  29. Thank you for this post. I read Tartine and #3 many, many times confused by there being no mention of leaving the levain out for an overnight autolyse. Though my better judgement said I should leave the leaven out, I followed the instructions for this bread as laid out in the book which ends up with me beginning by dispersing the levain in the water. Just for shits and giggles, I'm proceeding with the dough this morning as usual but I can tell it's already spent, of course.

    ReplyDelete

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