Pâte Fermentée

Never really got the hang of pâte fermentée (the addition of a proportion of mature dough to a new dough). If a recipe calls for it I put it in but without really thinking it through. Is it to add flavour to a commercially yeasted dough or a hang over from when old dough was used as a leaven for the next batch? If you’re making sourdough with an overall fermentation period in excess of twelve hours I can’t really seeing it adding much to the flavour.

Anyway, I’ve been messing about in the bakery again. I thought I’d I’d have a go at combining a wholemeal and a white dough. So in the morning I mixed 480g wholemeal dough (i.e. enough to make a 400g loaf) and let it ferment until the evening when I mixed it in with a campagne dough to an overall weight of 2150g – the dough weight for a 2k loaf. This is easy to do if you use spreadsheet calculators; just change the dough weight from 2150g to 1670g (2150 – 480) and all the little figures change before your very eyes. (You see, you really are going to need to invest in Bethesdabakers Breadsheets when I finally get it finished – days not months)

Fermented the dough in the fridge overnight, shaped and proved for 3.5 hours in the morning, 65 minutes at 210C.
fermentee 01 smallfermentee crumb 001 smallQuite a big volume for a small crumb. Quite like a wholemeal crumb but less crumbly. Cut it this morning (day after baking). Nice and moist, good but not assertive flavour. See how this develops in the next couple of days.

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One thought on “Pâte Fermentée

  1. Looking pretty damn fine to me … Likewise, I’ve used pâte fermentée when a recipe calls for it without really thinking through what it adds to the final loaf. Of course if you wanted to be proper scientific about it – get yer lab coat on, Hartley – you’d have to do a side-by-side comparison with a straight sourdough.
    Btw, as for Noddy – I’ve never seen him in possession of the log book for that car. Suspect him of twocking it off Big Ears.

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