A Starter from New Zealand!
I was sent a sourdough starter from New Zealand by Neville Chun. He sent me some pictures of sourdough breads that he has baked:
Look at what baking ovens he has!:
What is really astounding is that his starter proofs in only 2.5 hours! You have to use quick and one day sourdoughs to use this starter. It is the fastest most vigorous starter I have ever seen. He sent me not only the starter, but also a recipe and technique for “Pain au Levain” Kiwi style. So I guess we can call it Kiwi Sourdough. Here is his recipe sent to me:
Kiwi version of Pain au Levain
Day 1 Starter Culture
Mother rye seed firm 100g
Coarse ground organic rye 150g + 150 g Bread flour
Day 2 Main Dough
organic flour, predominately white to 80%. 1000g
Water, adjust to flour hydration, 750 – 800g we want a very sticky dough which will firm up with proving
Organic Barley Malt syrup or a good local organic Honey – 1 tablespoon
All of Starter Culture above
Mix flour, water, Barley Malt or Honey, Starter until just coming together and looking shaggy
Stop mixer and let autolyse for about 1 hour
Add salt and mix again until dough combined, but don’t overmix
Bulk ferment for 2.5 hours, folding 2 times at 50min interval
Bring dough out and shape into bannetons
Prove for 2.5 hours
Bake at 230C for about 30-40 minutes with steam on insert
I make this loaf on Day 2 and don’t retard overnight. I find it loses a bit of flavour being in the fridge and the culture seems to be very strong and fast to leaven the loaf.
Here are pics of the method:
Starting with the overnight preferment:
I had trouble with the hydration of the dough. I think the overnight preferment just soured too quickly and acidified my dough. Kiwi flour seems to absorb more water than my flour also, as Neville’s dough looks like a lower hydration than my dough did. The dough was at 80% , so it is really a Ciabatta style of dough. I modified the recipe to 75 % hydration and added a small amount of salt to the preferment to keep it from souring so quickly. Here are my modifications:
- NZ Starter – 100g
- Coarse cracked Rye berries – 300g
- Bread flour- 300g
- salt – 5g
Next morning mix up your dough (This recipe will make 3 – two pound loaves) :
- All of the preferment
- Water – 680g
- 950g Bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon Malt Syrup- non diastatic
- Salt – 25g (add this after autolyse)
Mix preferment and the rest of the ingredients except the salt just enough to make a shaggy mess. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Now add the salt and mix for 8 – 10 minutes on slow speed. Unlike regular long fermented sourdoughs, this is a quick sourdough so you will need to mix longer than usual to develop the gluten, as it will not have the long hours to develop by itself. After mixing, pour the doug into a folding container. Let the dough raise for 2.5 – 3 hours, folding the dough approximately every 40 – 50 minutes. You should see the dough getting stronger with each fold. After bulk ferment, shape the dough and place in heavily floured bannetons or bread molds. Let dough raise until light and bubbly, 1.5 – 2 hours. Bake as usual in a preheated oven at 475 degrees for the first 15 minutes, turning the oven down to 425 for the last 15 minutes. Either use the roasting pan method to trap the steam or spray water several times in the first 10 minutes of the bake. I did not slash the loaves as my dough was just to wet. As you can see from the pictures of the very holey crumb, my dough was much wetter at 75% hydration than at Nevilles 80%. If you wish to add more flour to handle the dough more easily, it will still be great bread. This is one of the tastiest breads I have made yet, thanks to Neville!
Here are pics of my Kiwi Ciabatta:
The crust is crisp and the crumb is so moist, tender, chewy and full of holes with large chewy pieces of cracked rye berries. It toasts up really nice, and makes super sandwiches. This bread is really terrific!
Thankyou for your recipe and hard work Neville…and your starter!