I think the dough handling “flip in a bowl” is interesting for a number of reasons: history for one, but also that the dough looked to get good surface tension which helps with crumb … at least for me. And then there is less mess - YEA!
dough is fermenting (3 hrs now) and altho I understand it’s not supposed to rise much, I’m concerned that it’s so very “flat”. I can tell there’s nominal aeration, but at halfway thru fermentation just wondering if it should be further along.
Q1: Did the starter have to be active? I used refrigerated discard rye-starter, very sweet scent.
Q2: Used controlled mildly warm oven at 82d, and now that the oven has been cooling down, will move dough to the warmed up bread proofer keeping it around 82d (b/c our kitchen ambient temp is fairly darn cold:)
Please advise! Thanks very much!!
I had a similar fear / dormant looking dough about halfway thru. I suspect your dough will follow the same path and have much more activity toward the end of the timeframe. My starter was ripe but my temps were lower, so it all likely evens out. Fingers crossed for you!
Thanks for your reply! This first image is just after mixing (3:00PM) and at the onset of fermentation; see following photos taken at 5-hours (now 8:00PM) with noticeable yet very slight aeration, but definitely no where near a dome. When I gently pull the dough with Thermapen tip, I can see short “lines” in the dough that break immediately, but it’s clear fermentation is occurring, and it’s not “dead”. Wondering if it would be best to leave overnight in cold oven abt 65d to continue activity, and then bake in the morning, or is that too long and would affect flavor in a sour way? (which I don’t want). What do you advise??
Do these images reflect what the dough is supposed to look like?
Thank you, Melissa!
So, I went for it! Loved the dough-flipping-shaping in the bowl, so interesting how the dough is affected and the final loaf really settles itself out. Fortunately, the bread actually rose! Thanks so much for the great recipe. The many faces of bread; the last image is its grumpy side:) My favorite is just above grumpy with all the striations.
Beautiful! I’m so glad it worked well for you.
Lol at the grumpy side
Q1) Altho glad it actually did get some rise, I’m wondering if dough was supposed to have risen and expanded more?
1/2 recipe: overall dims of final baked loaf: 7"L x 6"W x 2-1/2"H
I had used discard rye starter + very warm water and kept ambient temp for fermentation about 82d…Perhaps an active SD starter may have helped, do you think?
Q2) I will surely make this again, yet want to experiment with slightly less cornmeal. What are your thoughts abt replacing 50-75g cornmeal with AP flour?
Q3) Last night in my excited baking flurry and inquiry to you, I realize posted quite a bit of material and want to be cognizant of space here…shall I remove any of these posts to limit input?
Thanks very much for the great recipe!
Well I have to say that if you haven’t tried sourdough cornbread you’re missing out. Such wonderful flavour. And even adding in a little cornmeal to your usual sourdough breads can lend it great flavour too. Not to mention the fun of shaping Broa de Milho. I think it’s done this way as the cornmeal does compromise the structure of the bread but this shaping method is effective in gaining more structure. Whatever the case it’s not the best of risers but it makes up in taste.
P.s. if you’re in the UK don’t use cornflour. That is cornstarch! Instead use fine cornmeal or fine polenta.
Q1 Many of the videos I watched showed an end product with the height of biscotti so from a quest for traditional standpoint, I wouldn’t worry about rise too much. The fermentation is more for flavor, digestibility and of course a bit of crumb aeration. How did you find the crumb?
Q2 More all purpose or bread flour will certainly help the rise. The dough is pretty dry so you probably don’t need to adjust water, but you can bring it down a little if you want.
Q3 your photos are lovely and they fit under the maximum size requirement, so I think all is well on that front
It doesn’t look much different from my crumb but it’s hard to tell. I’ll put another photo below of mine.
I’d say you’ve got three options for your next batch:
More water (usually helps open crumb and speed fermentation a little)
More all purpose flour
You can also do a combination of these three changes too
In your photo, it appears the crumb in your loaf has more holes consistently throughout; my loaf had holes, but not as many and they were dispersed more inconsistently.
Q1) I will surely try your suggestion using a little more AP flour, altho I plan to substitute for some of the cornmeal vs just adding more AP flour. I’m thinking approx 50-75g to substitue, altho what amount do you suggest?
Q2) I will also allow longer fermentation. I now have the bread proofer set up and plugged in, so it’s ready! Please provide the optimal & doable range of times, as well as the range of ambient temp, best suited for fermentation.
Lastly, I’d like to highlight after a long wait time for this bread to hit the oven, the tail-end of the process was most enjoyable and an unexpected surprising thrill…dough-flipping-shaping in the bowl! It was truly amazing to watch this lump of wet, dense dough dusted with flour become alive and somewhat “self-correcting” into its shape and outer texture of cracks, all from its own weight and flipping motion; in moments, the outer shell became very beautiful. Melissa, thanks again very much for your advice and guidance, so helpful technically and in spirit!
Q1) Yep, my wording was off – I also meant substitute AP flour for cornmeal, not add. I usually make flour changes in the 15-20% range so I can get a satisfyingly noticeable difference lol. So 75-100g substituted in a 500g flour dough. Go with whatever you feel comfortable with, of course.
Q2) The beauty of bread is that it can be made in massively different climates. And some of the excitement of sourdough is it’s inconsistency compared with commercial yeast (measureable number of microbes in a packet). Even when we nail down the same time and temp and grams of starter in a recipe, everyone’s starter will still be a little different.
Maybe aim for imitating the temp that you did in round one, since you’re familiar with it, and just change the amount of time. Or pick something that you suspect will work with your schedule for a typical day (cooler and longer?), but do it on a day you can check on things periodically, so you don’t end up with dough-soup. Then extrapolate from those results.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad I could help. I enjoy seeing these recipes come alive in other people’s kitchens. And I agree about the shaping – what a joy. I can’t wait to try it with an einkorn or rye.
I bake a lot - mostly sourdough ryes of one ilk or another - but I also regularly make polenta bread. So when I read Breadtopia’s post about this bread, I was eager to try it. The dough was easy to pull together, and I made the bread without any problem. However, I did not like the taste at all. I did not find that the rye and corn were at all complementary. Rather, it was as if the two flavors were fighting against each other. I broke the loaves into chunks and tossed out for the birds.
Interesting bread, and I’ve enjoyed reading about initiating fermentation with very small amounts of starter. I thought to try out these ideas with my long-time used milk-based starter. It came straight from the fridge, refreshed about a week ago, and went into a mixture of 10 g starter, 10 g rye flour, 10 g water that sat for about an hour before being mixed into the dough at about 3:00 PM yesterday. After “proofing” at ~72F until 9:00 AM today, there was essentially no activity, no change in appearance, no dome, etc. So, I kneaded in 1 t of instant yeast and we’ll see what happens next. That was an hour ago and I’m seeing a bit of raise, which is hopeful.
I’ll let it go another hour or two and then shape and bake whatever comes up.
Photos and remarks to come. Thanks for all your excellent advice and recipes.
Thanks for your reply and info. I’m still a bit lost on how to judge the length of fermentation, especially since I, and every other baker, is dealing with different variables…particularly temperature of ingreds and room/ambient temperature where the bread rests during fermentation. What characteristics determine the bread is at (that window of time for) optimal full fermentation and ready to bake?..yet well before it over-proofs? Also, wondering how did you know to set the bulk time at 6-1/2hours? Thanks again in advance for your expertise!
I’m not Melissa, but … I followed your bake and have made a similar Broa …
Melissa notes that the dough should “ferment until it’s aerated and domed (~6.5 hours in a 70F room)”. Those are the characteristics you are looking for to judge complete fermentation for this dough.
And the recipe photos show a before and at complete fermentation for her dough. The complete photo shows the aeration and dome that you are going for.
The tilde (~) means “in the range of” i.e. it is not an exact number.
Recipes for bread and particularly sourdough are more guideline than exact. As bakers, we all have to observe and make note of what things do, feel and look like, in our kitchen with our flours, liquids, temps, humidity and general stuff in the air that contributes to the fermentation process. It can be wildly variable for each of us … and even for each time we make a recipe.
And sometimes you are going to judge incorrectly. We all do . My own routine, particularly with a new dough (recipe), is to look at progress photos carefully and go for the look and any feel described by the recipe author.
@lshafer1 Bummer. I’m sorry the flavor wasn’t your thing. Lucky birds
@PLBT Definitely look at a lot of the photo galleries in the recipes on the blog here.
You will see many before and after photos of bulk fermentation and final proof. And as @easummers wrote, you’re going to have to do some trial and error. You’ll gain confidence the more you do and observe–with all of your senses, not just sight.
In fact, if you do recipes with stretching and folding, it can be hard to judge dough expansion because each round of stretching and folding de-gasses the dough a bit. So now you’re relying on the sound of the dough (crackling), the aroma, the look of the surface and, here’s the big one: past experience. Repeating the same recipe several times helps grow your experience, as does changing one variable at a time. A refined flour dough will have a different surface toward the end of the bulk (poofy bubbles and thin blisters) than a whole grain dough (fewer bubbles, maybe popped), for example.
Fortunately, the range of fermentation that produces tasty and attractive bread is pretty wide. Take this experiment for example: different length bulk fermentation and different shaping tightness. All the bread turned out well. (This experiment doesn’t test big time differences…I think good bread can come from a bigger range.)
@dvhirst865 I’m sorry to hear your dough isn’t rising.
I went ahead and worked in 1 t instant yeast (SAF Red) and let proof for 3 more hours, got a decent rise and decided to bake it off then. Here’s the result:
They are still cooling, so will report on taste and crumb later. The first one shaped absorbed much of the surface flour by the time I got the second one ready.
A word of advice to anyone trying the “toss in the bowl” exercise – clean the bowl out and dry it between uses, otherwise, you may run into problems with the bread sticking to the bowl. That happened to me, and so it took an extra 10 minutes or so to figure out the problem and fix it. The second loaf had more flour incorporated because of this, and thus (perhaps) has better structure and rose higher. I may try baking these next time in a romertopf or other containment. So far, so good. Thanks.