Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

by - March 24, 2020

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread

Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread


At this time, I don't want to run any risk going out for spinach.  So, I just used whatever we had.  The green colour will stand out more if more spinach were used.  Unfortunately, I only had this much Spinach.

However, this Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread turned out very nice.

Characteristic of this bread:  The texture is especially soft, fluffy and moist on the first day and  second day it becomes slightly dry but, still soft. There is a very slight mild sourness.

There are two more recipes using instant yeast that you may like.  Spinach Bread (Straight Dough) and Spinach Loaf (Yudane Method).  

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Spinach Soft Sourdough Bread 

INGREDIENTS:

600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)

Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:3:3):
40g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
120g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
120g water 

Main Dough:
350g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
260g levain (above)
30g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 1/4 tsp salt
30g butter
50g spinach
120g full cream milk (hold back 15g and add in later if necessary)

450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

Levain - 190g total (ratio 1:3:3):
28g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
84g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
84g water 

Main Dough:
255g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
190g levain (above)
25g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1  tsp salt
26g butter
40g spinach
90g full cream milk (hold back 10g and add in later if necessary)


METHOD:
  1. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in aircond room (approximately 25 - 27C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. You will get more levain.  But, you need only the amount mentioned on the recipe.
    3. Note - If you like to prepare levain on the same baking day, please use the ratio 1:1:1.  Let it ferment at room temperature (approximately 30 - 31C) until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.  
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Blend spinach and milk in a food processor until fine.
    2. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes until reach window pane stage.  I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating. 
  3. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  Use one of the methods that suits your schedule.
    1. 60 minutes proofing - In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot.
    2. Cold Proofing - Shape the dough after resting for 15 minutes and cold proof in the fridge for around 12 hours, bake the next morning after the dough rises and  reaches the pan of the rim.  However, cold retarding will yield a more sour bread.  If the sourness is not desired, it may be reduced by adding more sugar if a cold retard is used. Some may not mind the sourness though, so it is up to you for your personal taste.
  4. To shape:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin.
    3. Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
  5. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the dough proof in awarm and dark place until it reaches the rim of the pan (This one took approximately 4 hours at room temperature of 28C - 30C).  It may take longer to proof depending on your ambient temperature and your starter.
  6. To bake:
    1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190C.
    2. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let it cool on rack completely before slicing.



GENERAL NOTES:

SOURDOUGH STARTER
A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  

There are so many ways and methods of how to maintain the starter.  Below is my method of starter maintenance.  This is just for your reference. Please try and find a way or schedule that works best for you.

I bake almost everyday.  So, my starter is left at room temperature and I feed it twice a day every 12 hours at its peak when it is tripled.

Example
10.00 am - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 26C - 27C
10.00 pm - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 25C - 26C 

I feed a very small amount of 1g starter + 10g water + 10g flour if I am not baking, so that I will not end up with too much discard.  When I am baking, I will feed the starter accordingly to make up the quantity required by the recipe to be baked. If I know that I won't be baking for a few days, I will then feed it only once a day at 1:10:10, transfer to the fridge when it is doubled, and feed again 24 hours later.

If you do not bake daily or if you bake perhaps once or twice a week, then you may place your starter in the fridge and feed once a week.  But, you will need to refresh your starter 2 days before the baking day. There is no way around this, sourdough baking takes planning! 

How I judge my starter is healthy?  My starter usually tripled in size (or at least double) in within 3 - 4 hours at room temperature (27C - 28C) for feeding ratio of (1:1:1 = starter:water:flour)

When is a starter at its peak?  My sourdough starter is usually at its peak when it is tripled in the jar. The surface of my starter looks bubbling and uneven.  It usually stays at its peak within 30 - 60 minutes before it starts to reduce/fall.  

Why use starter at its peak?  This is when the starter is most active and it will result in a better rise for your bread in general.  By the way, you can use when it is doubled/before its peak too.  But, not it starts to fall.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

GLUTEN DEVELOPMENT & WINDOWPANE TEST
Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

KNEADING TIME
For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

FLOUR
The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

HYDRATION
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING
Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

Proofing:
  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.

BAKING TEMPERATURE AND TIME
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

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2 comments

  1. Is it true that sourdough bread cant rise as tall as commercial yeast bread?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's depend on your sourdough starter. If your sourdough starter is strong, it should do the same work. Cheers :)

      Delete

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