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Enriched Sourdoughs
Posted: 04 December 2007 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have a lovely active stiff sourdough starter, well two:  one white and one whole wheat/white, both based on Rose’s from the Bread Bible.  I have read and pretty much understand how to substitute stiff starter for commercial yeast, but what I really want to know is:
Has anyone substituted stiff starter in an enriched dough like brioche, Sally Lunn, panetonne…? Moravian Sugar Cake is a family tradition and I know it’ll knock our socks off if I can use the sourdough starter instead of commerical yeast.  I’m going to venture out and do it anyways, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!!!

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Posted: 04 December 2007 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The main issue is that sourdough takes so much longer than regular yeast and all of those doughs have eggs in them.  I think you are taking a risk, but people have different tolerances for “egg dangers”—-but I have read this elsewhere as a reason these aren’t made with sourdough.

They also tend to have more fat/oil and sugar—both can inhibit yeast growth in larger quantities—something else to consider.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And yet commercial yeast hasn’t been around all that long… how did they make brioche, or even croissants before that?  And with a lack of refridgeration to boot… anyways, I’m not afraid of those eggs.  Won’t baking kill any bad guys anyway?

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Posted: 04 December 2007 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m certainly not a food historian, but I don’t think that either of those breads are that old—and perhaps the earliest versions of them would barely resemble our modern versions.  It is a stretch for me to believe that a croissant made without refrigeration and without commercial yeast would taste the same as one made today.  Also, I don’t know about you, but I doubt my 21rst century stomach could handle the digestive tolerances of even the 19th century. But historical speculation aside, if you are comfortable with the risks, then I say go for it.  I’m curious myself, so I hope you’ll report back.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi,

I would be wary of leaving any egg products out at room temperature for long periods of time. Salmonella contamination of eggs can take place before the shell is formed because the chicken can have infected ovaries.  You might want to try pasteurized egg products that are available in some supermarkets.
I believe that brioche is a very old recipe.
As for nineteenth century recipes. I have baked in a historic kitchen and we used a liquid brewers yeast(called Ale yeast) that was supposedly historically accurate. We researched the recipes and tried to reproduce them as accurately as possible. We baked in a brick oven and the breads turned out be be very delicious and yes we did make ones with eggs and butter.I don’t think your palate would be all that challenged by 19th century food.

Jan

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Posted: 04 December 2007 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the information Jan.  I always imagine that baked goods made today probably taste better than their historical predecessors, but I see that isn’t always the case.  I still have to wonder though if pie crust was really as flaky before the advent of refrigeration, etc.  It makes sense that bread would/could be as good, but I wonder how an early 19th century cake would compare to one made with modern flour, leavening, an electric mixer, and a steady oven.

Your idea to used pasteurized eggs is a good solution.

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Posted: 05 December 2007 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi,

You are correct that the quality of ingredients was probably different and less consistent than nowadays. I am not sure about the flakiness of pastry back then though they did have ice houses and cold rooms in the cellar to keep things cold. I believe they also had ice boxes in the late 19th century-the precursor to the refrigerator.
As to cakes made without baking powder or soda we still can make pound cake and sponge cakes without it. I have made many cakes without a mixer and they turn out just fine with a good texture and crumb. Leavenings already existed in the nineteenth century though.  As for baking in brick ovens and cast iron stoves that is just a matter of experience you learn to judge temperature with your hand but it can be tricky.  I still find that I have to learn about new ovens and test them a bit before things turn out as I expect them to. Ovens today can be finicky and of inconsistent quality too.

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Posted: 05 December 2007 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Provided you handle your ‘contaminated’ eggs properly (washing hands, no cross contamination, washing utensils, etc), then I don’t see an issue.  Mr or Mrs salmonella cant survive the hot temperatures of bread baking!

If you use a very active starter, the rising times won’t be much longer than using commercial yeast.  Try bring your refrigerated starter to super active stage by doing periodic 6 to 8 hour room temperature feedings, prior to using it on your recipe.

I’ve seen a recipe of panettone with sourdough.

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Posted: 05 December 2007 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Oh, one more thing, regarding refrigeration.

Having baked some bread in Italy last month, made me think that ‘room temperature’ is a modern day concept and it is relative.  Room temperature in Italy was 60 degrees (air) or about 45 to 50 degrees (countertops, near windows, etc).  In Hawaii is 80 degrees.  Huge difference.  You take for granted that you ‘can’ leave butter, chocolate, opened wine, and even raw eggs at ‘room temperature’ for much longer times than at ‘hot room temperature.’  Even at grocery shopping, I bought this whole milk (the kind unpasteurized that has an expiration date of 2 to 3 days), and I was told to get out of the supermarket as soon as possible, so the milk will be in the cold outside of about 25 degrees.

I’ve also rolled pastry, and in Italy, last month, there was no need for refrigeration!

Perhaps the goodies you mention that today require refrigeration during the preparation, in the past were done only in the winter?  It sort of makes sense, since back you could get only what is in season (no Matson refrigerated containers to ship things around!)

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Posted: 06 December 2007 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi,

If anyone is interested in some information about food history check out Food History News for a start. Here is the link:
http://foodhistorynews.com/index.html I par.ticularly like the section called “debunk house” which gives insight into myths about cooking in the past.

As to the seasonal nature of baking brioche wouldn’t eggs and milk(hence butter) have been more readily available in spring and summer?

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Posted: 06 December 2007 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks, Hector, for sharing your personal experience.  I had a “sourdough” panettone a few years ago and it was sublime.  I’m not worried about the eggs or butter or whatever… and my glorious starter is quite quick, as you mentioned… what I really want to know is this: 
If I am making a dough whose liquid is all milk and I’m substituting the 0 of dough with starter (a la The Bread Bible’s instructions), is there going to be a loss of flavor, or rather, change of flavor when I put in a water and flour starter?  Perhaps the milk loss is compensated with the sourdough qualities?  What do they do in ItalY???  Is a field trip in order??? (I wish)  I “know” it is done, I just want to know how.  I think it’s time to get my hands dirty, or floury…  I’ll keep you all posted.  I’m off to check out “food history news”....

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Posted: 06 December 2007 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Why don’t you add some dry milk powder, that way you can have the best of both worlds.

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Posted: 06 December 2007 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lizarose, you need to bake what you write, and do report back.

I’ve just watched Giada and Mario visiting several restaurants (USA I think) for Italian Xmas goodies.  Panettone was featured, and they even show how they make it!  It looked just like Rose’s TBB recipe.

I haven’t started my panettone runs yet this year, but if I do, I will report!  My intention is to use sourdough.

Just a note, my sourdough starter from TBB does not impart the traditional sourdough acid taste.

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Posted: 06 December 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Nor does mine, I do so love it (the sourdough starter).  That’s why I’m so inspired to use it in enriched doughs.

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Posted: 10 December 2007 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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YOU CAN BAKE BRIOCHE & OTHER SWEET BREADS WITH THE TRADITIONAL AMISH SWEET SOURDOUGH STARTER (HERMAN)
COMBINED WITH ROSE’S STIFF SOURDOUGH STARTER

In making soft sourdough breads and rolls I start my recipe with a old Amish sourdough starter called Herman, which I adapted for sourdough baking. I mix it into the recipe, add all the liquid and flour, and add Chia gel which can be substituted for eggs and used as a flavor enhancer. Plus the addition of finely ground flax seeds and dried coconut granules, Acorn squash, and Spectrum’s vegetable shortening. And kneaded the dough for 3 minutes. The dough for this recipe is very sticky.

Then I (Autolyse) the dough for 20 minutes.

After (Autolying) the dough I proceeded to knead in the stiff sourdough starter, for 2 minutes, add the salt and knead another 3 minutes, and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour, then I’m ready for the long over night ferment.

Very Little kneading required—-I’ve mixed up this recipes with less than six minutes of actual kneading. Due to the long overnight ferment and the stiff starter.

Long Overnight Ferment—-8 to10 hours or up to 24 hours. During the winter I let it ferment in my mud room (45?F) overnight or in my cool laundry room (65? to 69?F) or in the fridge.

In the morning, I proceed to let the dough rise at (70?F) for 2 hours or until it doubles in volume. When the dough has increased in volume I make 2 Business Letter Folds, and place the dough in it’s container and let the dough (triple) in volume.

At the Final Rise—-the dough will be very light and full of air—-real puffy. When I dump the dough onto a floured canvass cloth I carefully stretch the dough into a rectangle trying not to deflate the dough and carefully roll into a log. And while I’m rolling up the dough it’s rising and getting real puffy.

The dough can be very very light and airy it all depends on what you’re working with. I produced a dough very much like Brioche by using puree acorn squash, and mixing in the above ingredients. I also used the Sweet Potato Bread recipe from “The Bread Bible.” It came out very light, and airy with small and large holes, and golden in color. Very much like a dessert bread. Very soft and moist. I also adapted the recipe to my style of baking.

The Old Amish Traditional (Herman) Starter would be wonderful to use as a sweet sourdough in making Brioche. When combined with a stiff starter it will produce high rising breads that are lighter and laced with small and medium size holes. The bread is beautiful.

When you combine The Old Amish Traditional (Herman) Starter and and Rose’s Stiff Starter, they will work hand in hand together producing beautiful loaves of pan breads, soft rolls, French breads, free form loaves, and boules, even tortillas.

Herman & Stiff Starter—-You will get a higher oven spring when you combine them together. Plus the sweet liquid sourdough starter will help in producing holes in you’re breads and the stiff sourdough will provide a high elastic rise.

No yeast is needed when you combine these two starters together.

When using The Old Amish Traditional (Herman) Starter and and Rose’s Stiff Starter the dough will rise fast if risen at a temperature of (75? to 80?F).

I’ve been meaning to take a look at the recipe (Brioche) but I’ve been super busy. I’ve been wanting to adapt the recipe using the sweet sourdough starter will see what I can come with.

Chaconey, The Sweet & Stiff Sourdough Baker

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Posted: 14 December 2007 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Okay!  I’m making some progress here… I’ve got a dough in the fridge (for Sourdough Moravian Sugar Cake), but in the meantime, check out this link:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4200/sourdough-challah-photos-recipe

This details one person’s making of Maggie Glezer’s sourdough challah recipe from her book, A Blessing of Bread.  It doesn’t have milk in it, but it does have eggs.  The initial ferment is only two hours (and she says it may not rise at all), then it’s braided and then rises for 5 hours!  All in all the eggs aren’t out all that long. 

1.  use a really really active starter
2.  feed the starter
3.  make the dough (w/eggs)
4.  short fermentation
5.  long proof
6.  bake

Glezer notes that if the dough is more than 12% sugar the rise is hampered.  I may be in trouble…

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