Can any type of flour be used?
Yes, as long as at least half of it’s strength. Strength meal is higher in gluten, which means that the dough does not lose its shape and that it better retains the gas from fermentation.
Is it possible to make 100% wholemeal bread?
Yes, but with a modification. Wholemeal flours absorb more water, so the initial hydration should be greater. Increasing the amount of water from the original recipe by 50 ml is sufficient to achieve a proper consistency.
Is it necessary to knead during the first fermentation?
It is not necessary, but it is recommended. During kneading, greater ligaty, elasticity and tenacity of the dough is achieved, resulting in a bread with better crumb and bark.
My oven has no resistance option just downstairs. What can I do?
During the first part of cooking it is important that the heat comes from the bottom, to avoid excessive roasting of the top. In case our oven does not have the resistance option only below, we can select the resistance up and down, and place a tray on top of the oven to prevent the heat from affecting directly on the bread.
How do we know how long we have to leave the first fermentation?
The rate at which bacteria and yeasts metabolize flour sugars is a function of temperature, so the time varies depending on the season. In general, in summer it is enough with 7-8 hours, while in winter it takes a little more time, 15-16 hours. In any case, what we should observe is that the mass almost doubles its initial size. We can make a mark on the bowl by starting fermentation to see how it evolves.
The dough sticks to my hands when I work it. What can I do?
In the case of beginner users, we recommend reducing the hydration of the mass, since the higher the, the more complicated it is to manage. To do this, we keep the amount of flour (500 g) and reduce the water (350 ml). In case of using 100% wholemeal flour, we would maintain the values of the basic recipe, since by the characteristics of this type of flour the absorption of water is greater. In any case, we recommend moistening your hands to knead.
Is it necessary to cover with a plastic film, or is it served with a kitchen rag?
Plastic film is required. Due to the long times of the first fermentation, it is necessary to cover with a film to prevent the top of the dough from drying.
Can Masa Mater be used to generate our own sourd mass?
Yes, a small amount of Masa Mater can be recycled to generate our own sourdest. However, the proportion of different bacteria and yeasts has been perfected to obtain optimal organoleptic qualities. This proportion is altered during domestication: yeasts are imposed on lactic bacteria, and the results may be somewhat different depending on the flour being used.
Can I save part of the envelope for other use?
It’s not recommended. Each envelope is packaged in a protective atmosphere, so opening it loses this method of preservation. The bacteria and yeasts it contains may be affected by the presence of oxygen, so storing part of the envelope without the original conditions could affect the viability of microorganisms.
I’m going on a trip and I won’t be able to keep the envelope cold. How long can it be at room temperature?
Whenever possible, you should stay in the coolest place. It can be maintained up to a maximum of 1 week at room temperature.
What if the first fermentation exceeds the required time?
When the time of the first fermentation is longer than required, the acidity of the bread will increase considerably. Also, if the dough is overfermented, it will be sticky and unsyelped.
If it’s raw, can I put it back in a little bit more, even if I’ve already taken it out of the oven?
The cooking time depends on the size of the pieces. A baguette takes half an hour to cook, while a loaf can take almost an hour. If the times and temperatures are respected, adapting them to each oven, the bread will be cooked properly.
I don’t have any grates to let the bread rest. What should I do?
It is important that the bread cools by preventing steam from condenseing at the bottom. If we don’t have a grid, we can keep it up by resting the ends on, for example, two glasses.
What do I do if the dough stays so soft that I can’t form a bread?
If the dough is very sticky and uncontrolled, it is better to make small pieces, because they will better maintain the shape during the second fermentation and baking.