Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

by - October 28, 2020

Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 
Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread


I have been using Purple Carrot to bake Purple Carrot Soft Sourdough Bread and the colour turned out to be beautiful. I was thinking I should try it on an open crumb sourdough bread too.  Unfortunately,  I was unable to achieve a good oven spring using carrot puree.  I thought that maybe I added too much carrot puree.  So, I tried it a second time with a reduced amount of carrot puree.  It was slightly better but still lacking oven spring.  I guess it must be the carrot pulp that causes the bread to become dense.  So, I decided to use carrot juice instead and finally, that worked! I got oven spring.  However, the crumb still not as nice as my previous bakes and I am wondering if there is some property in the carrot that causes the bread to be dense.  Please let me know if you know the answer.

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 - Purple Carrot Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 

Total Flour:  300g + 30g (from levain) = 330g

INGREDIENTS:

270g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) - 90%
30g whole wheat flour - 10%
224g purple carrot juice water (reserve 10g for salt) - 77% final hydration
6g sea salt - 2%
60g levain (active sourdough starter - 100% hydration) – 20%

Purple Carrot Juice:
65g steamed purple carrot (from 1 medium carrot)
210g water 
  • Please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 
  • Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 6.5" oval shape
  • Ambient temperature after adding in levain:  25C 
METHOD:
  1. Feed starter - Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 3 – 4 hours.  Please feed your starter at the ratio that fit your schedule as long as the starter is at its peak when use.  
  2. Purple Carrot Juice - Peel, cut and steam the purple carrot for about 15 minutes.  Blend the steamed carrot with water.  Strain the carrot pulp through a sieve.  You will get roughly about 224g of juice.  If not enough, just top up with water.   The reason I steam the carrot is to prevent the carrot from oxidise and preserve the purple colour.
  3. Autolyse - Mix flour and carrot juice, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula then by hand.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes at low speed.  Cover and leave for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Levain - Wet your hand, add 60g sourdough to the dough and hand mixing until incorporated, about 3 - 4 minutes. Or use a stand mixer with hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes.  I used hand mixing for this loaf. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Sea Salt - Dilute sea salt with the balance of 10g carrot juice.  Pour on top of the dough, use hand to mix in the sea salt water.  It takes about 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated.  Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Stretch and Fold (S&F)  - Perform 1 set of S&F.  Please see the diagram.  Cover and rest for about 30+- minutes or until the dough spread.  Please feel and watch your dough and not the clock.
  7. Lamination -  Please watch the video below. Lightly mist the counter top with water and wet your hand.  Pull from centre out to form a rectangle shape.  Pick up one edge and fold into the center.  Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section.  Fold the top down half way.  Fold the bottom up.  Put dough in a clean dish.  Cover and rest for about 30+- minutes or until the dough spread.  Please feel and watch your dough and not the clock.
  8. Coil Fold 1 - Fold dough in the dish. Cover and rest for about 30+- minutes or until the dough spread.
  9. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for about 30+- minutes or until the dough spread.
  10. Coil Fold 3 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 60 - 90 minutes or until the dough rise about 40 - 50%. 
  11. Shape - Please watch the video below. Flour the counter top.  Shape and transfer to a heavily flour banneton.  
  12. Proof - Proof at room temperature for 15 minutes.  
  13. Retard - Then retard overnight in the fridge for 12 - 16 hours.
  14. Baking
    1. Preheat oven, with the dutch oven at 250C for 30 minutes before baking.  
    2. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring (please watch video).  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
    3. Lower the temperature to 230C (fan-forced) and bake with cover on for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 220C (fan-forced), continue bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.
    4. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.
Note:  
Usually 3 coil folds should be enough.  But, sometimes you may need extra coil fold if your dough is spread and not enough gluten develop.



Autolyse


Add Levain & Add Salt


Stretch & Fold (S&F)



GENERAL NOTES

BAKING
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.

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. 

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  at its peak when it is tripled.  

Example
10.00 am - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 27C - 28C
9.00 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 bake, I 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 1:1:1, 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 around 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.  The starter will not collapse when you tap the jar.  If the starter falls it means it has already past its peak.  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.


BULK FERMENTATION

Bulk fermentation starts when you add in levain to the dough and ends when the dough is ready for shaping.  

TEMPERATURE DURING BULK FERMENTATION

Ambient temperature plays a very important part in sourdough baking.  It will affect the dough temperature and eventually affect your fermentation time.  The cooler ambient temperature will extend the fermentation time.  The greater degree of proof, the stronger the dough will be as explained by Trevor J. Wilson. 

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 24C - 25C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 50% in volume. 

But, my kitchen ambient temperature (without air-conditioner) was 29C - 30C.  So, I have to bring down the temperature. 

How to bring down ambient temperature?
  1. Air-conditioner room - Rest the dough in air-conditioner room during bulk fermentation.  I used this option sometimes.  I turned on my air-conditioner when I added in levain and try to maintain temperature between 24C - 25C.
  2. Home oven (that's turned off) -  Place ice cooler packs inside along with an ambient temperature thermometer.  Then place your dough during bulk fermentation in the oven. Keep an eye on that thermometer and try to keep between 24 - 25 C.

DOUGH STRENGTH 

Too strong (tension or elastic) dough will take a longer time to increase (proof) in volume.  So too strong dough may not have good oven spring and open crumb.  While too weak dough (extensibility) dough may not hold it shape and rise with good oven spring too.  

So over-working the dough (too strong dough) or under-working (weak dough) may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.  

As demonstrated in an experiment by Kristen (Full Proof Baking) the over-worked dough rose super tall but was smaller in overall size and had a more dense crumb while the control dough rose tall during the oven spring and had a better overall result.

How do we know when it is enough and no more coil folds are needed? 
We usually do 3 coil folds for this method.  However, if by the second coil fold the dough is strong with less extensibility as you lift up a part of the dough then it should be the last coil fold, or just do a half coil folds instead of full. The resistance of the dough to being folded should be an indication to refrain from folding further.

How do we know when to do the next coil fold or stretch & fold?
When the dough spreads. Please do not rely on the time given in the recipe as it is just a guideline.  Please watch your dough and not the clock.  

SALT

You may wonder why most of the recipes asked to add salt after autolyze and adding levain.  Salt will tighten the gluten and make it harder to stretch. 

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