So you’ve got sourdough?
For the purist, die-hard sourdough bakers out there, you may just follow the below guideline without the suspiciously dangerous 2 grams of industrial yeast… simply using the sourdough you’ve prepared in part II of the trilogy.
For everyone else, you may chose to bake with a little extra fresh yeast with your sourdough, and when I mean little, I really mean little. Using yeast isn’t criminal, it’s a natural cultivated living organism that happens to be the cousin of wild yeasts. Indeed, commercial yeast, poetically known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the yeast found in sourdough Saccharomyces exiguus and its buddy Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, are closely related.
If you were telling me about adding enzymes obtained from genetically modified corn, then I would have a problem. The reason why we use a little yeast is to adapt to the delicate local palate of Hong Kong. We use yeast to decrease the last fermentation time and thus the acidity. We get just the right balance in texture, crust and acidity we need for our 3 Michelin star French restaurant, Caprice.
From the sourdough you have nurtured, and based on 1kg of T65 flour (…or in plain English: bread flour) you will need:
- 40% sourdough
- 80% hydration (that would be water)
- 2 to 2.5 % salt (I like sea salt)
- ~0.3% fresh yeast (optional for the purist)
Knead all of this and store it for 18 hours in the fridge. The next day, leave it at room temperature for 3 long hours to allow the dough coming back to room temperature; shaping that fragile dough cold will tear and break its texture.
Scale, pre-shape if needed, shape and proof at room temperature for another good 3 hours or more depending on the room temperature.
Score, bake & eat!
We base most of our breads on this sourdough. For example for our grain loaf, we would mix rye, whole wheat, the grain mix and sourdough to obtain the balance we’re looking for.
The method we use is easy to operate in a very large operation like ours. Once you introduced a sourdough cycle in your operation, it just works naturally and the quality speaks for itself… and you’re not likely to go back to direct baking method anytime soon! We are currently testing other sourdough methods including one based on a blend of specific cultivated microorganism, it’s looking very interesting actually… keep posted!
Honestly, handling sourdough isn’t rocket science. It’s just beautiful!
Happy baking! :)