I bought two items to use in my pizza dough. There is a really great website that explains all of the variables that go into and how to solve problems with pizza dough. The first is diastatic malt powder. This includes an enzyme called alpha-amylase which breaks down the long starch molecules and tenderizes the dough. The second is NFDM or non-fat dry milk powder. This should help with fermentation tolerance and crust browning.
I used the diastatic malt power in the pizza dough recipe first. And I did notice a slightly looser dough and softer crust. But I want to go a little further. The package suggested one quarter of a teaspoon per loaf. My recipe creates 3 pizza pies, so I used one teaspoon. Next time, I will bump it up by 50% to a teaspoon and a half.
I tried another bread experiment today. My goal was to figure out a basic recipe for my current sourdough culture. If you remember, I switched to a more watery pancake-like mixture.
So, I decided to start with 2 cups of flour by weight (240 grams). Next, I added 8 grams of Kosher salt. And then I started to add the culture in small amounts. I would stir and check to see if all of the flour was incorporated into a ball. If there was still dry flour left, I would add more culture and continue the process. I finally stopped after adding a total of 300 grams of the culture. Of course, what is the hydration of my current batch of culture? This is the big unknown in the equation. There are amounts of flour, water, yeast, lactobacillus (what do pickles, cheese, yogurt, bread, salad mixture in a bag, intestines, and a female reproductive organ have in common?), and ethanol. This is an exercise that will be left up to the reader.
The result was a dough of 545 grams (3 were lost) that was formed into an 10″ x 5″ x 1/2″ rectangle and put into a silicone bread pan. I sprayed water into another pan and put it on top and then placed them both into the oven (with the light on) to proof. After six hours, I baked it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. After taking the loaf out of the pan, I discovered that it rose 2″ for an increase of 4X. Not bad! This tells me that I need to double the recipe for one loaf of bread.
4 cups of flour (480 grams)
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt (16 grams)
18 ounces of starter (600 grams)
P.S.: I bought some halogen work lights to illuminate the bread. Wow! What a clear example that I need to learn about the white point feature of the camera. And I need to save the images in RAW format, so I can try to undo mistakes like this…
Pictures after the cut:
I baked some more bread today.
Update: I forgot to add that I made sweet potato french fries on Saturday. Very good!
I tried a free form attempt at making sourdoug bread. I used some new techniques.