I have been experimenting with low hydration, extremely aged motherdough in the 40% and 60% hydration range. This post is about the 40% motherdough or seed dough as I often call it.
Here in Washington, we often have temps between 40 and 55 for months in the winter and springtime. I made up some 40% motherdough a month ago and had it in the trunk of my car because I no longer have my dedicated refrigerator set at 48F. Since moving, it has been in the refrigerator though (last two weeks). I took it out and used it to make up a batch of sour seed dough.
My thinking is this: When making up a SF style dough, you often want the dough to slow down and putter along quietly and slowly. Often though, it ferments too fast and your over night cold proof is ready to bake sooner than you would like. So I was thinking of ways to slow it down and let it take it’s time proofing, even when it is a warm proof.
I used a 40% and a 60% motherdough which had been aged a long time( I made the 40% motherdough on March 12) to accomplish this goal. The 40% motherdough has a small amount of whole wheat in it. The 60% did not. I basically am using these old motherdoughs not only as a flavoring, but also to add some acidity to the dough which slows the fermentation down. Because this dough is so aged, I also use vigorous fresh sourdough culture for the active yeast that is necessary.
Cold motherdough adds other enzyme changes (not a scientist here) which enhance the flavor and help to create a crisp, crunchy crust which shatters when you try to cut into it.If you cold ferment the dough, you get a terrific mild bread with a hearty wheaty flavor that is expected with motherdough breads.It’s the kind of smell that permeates the room and had the neighbors knocking at your door. It’s hard to describe, but when you add some sour to such a bread as well…. it just doesn’t get better than this, does it?
So for the 40% Seed Dough you would make up a 40% motherdough and just abuse it by leaving it to rot for weeks. Make it up, put it in your fridge or dedicated fridge (over 40 and under 50 is perfect) and forget about it for a while (You can also make up the dough and leave it out at room temperature for several hours to get it jump started).
I know, hard to do when you are foaming at the bit and dreaming of that shattered crust, covered in lovely blisters and chewy, soft custardy crumb with a delicious sour tang (patience is a virtue).
40% motherdough (seed dough) using 100% hydration starter:
- 6 oz/170g vigorous starter @ 100% hydration
- 5 oz/141g water
- 1 oz/28g whole wheat flour (freshly ground if you can get it)
- 16 oz/453g good strong bread flour
- 157g of 166% starter (5.5 oz)
- 141g water (5 oz )
- 28g whole wheat flour (1 oz)
- 510g of bread flour ( 18 oz )
total= 836 g ( 1 lb 13.5 oz) @ 40% hydration
- 6 oz/170g aged 40% seed dough (also called motherdough)
- 16 oz/453g water
- 6 oz/170g vigorous 100% hydration regular starter fed within 8 hours (feed in the morning).
- 2 oz/56g whole wheat flour (freshly ground if possible)
- 16 oz/453g strong bread flour
- .6 oz/17g salt stir this in well and then add:
- 7 oz/198g bread flour