Lean Doughs

Lean doughs, which are made with little or no fat, comprise the world of bagels, baguettes and many other forms of non-rich breads. These breads are made using commercial yeast (instant dry, active dry or baker's yeast) and included techniques such as pre-ferments and "spiking." If you're using a natural starter, please post on the Sourdough Board.

Bulk Fermentation


I just recently bought "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish. The techniques and explanations in his book are great and I can wait to make some of the recipes. The only thing i am puzzled about is bulk fermentation. I wanted to ask what signs does everyone look for in determining when bulk fermentation is done, besides instruction in a recipe that give a time or say double or triple in size, can you do the poke test, I have heard people say to lightly slap the dough to get a feel of where its at. I would be curious to know how Ken has determined some bulk rises to be 5 hrs.

Autolyse and Preferments


I try use both a preferment and autolyse for all my breads. For low hydration breads, Bagels and Pretzels, if I make a preferment/biga  the hydration is to low to do an "autolyse" with the rest of the flour.  It becomes to difficult to incorporated the salt and other ingredients evenly. Is there still a benefit to mixing the remaining flour and ingredients and letting it rest for a while even  though its technically not an autolyse.


Subscribe to RSS - Lean Doughs