Can any type of flour be used?
Yes, as long as at least half of it is strength flour. Strength flour is higher in gluten, which means that the dough does not lose its shape and that retains better the gases liberated in the fermentation process.
Can Masa Mater be used in a bread-making machine?
Of course, mixing a satchet of Masa Mater Secale with 1/2 kg of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 400 ml of water. You choose a programme for bread dough, you leave it resting for 15 hours in winter, (10 in summer) and finally you choose a standard programme for bread. You can check out the video-recipe here.
Is it possible to make 100% wholemeal bread?
Yes, but with a small modification. Wholemeal flours absorb more water, so the initial hydration must be greater. Increasing the amount of water from the original recipe by 50 ml is enough to achieve a proper consistency.
Is it necessary to knead during the first fermentation?
It is not necessary, but it is highly recommended. During kneading, elasticity and tenacity of the dough is achieved, This results in a tighter bread with a better crumb. In this video and in this article of our blog we show you how to knead. What are you waiting for?
My oven has no “just lower resistance” option… What can I do?
During the first part of baking it’s very important that the heat comes only from the bottom, to avoid excessive roasting of the top. In case our oven does not have this option, we can select the resistance on both sides, and place a tray on top of the oven to prevent the heat from affecting directly on our bread.
How do we know how long we have to leave the first fermentation?
The rate at which bacteria and yeasts metabolize flour sugars depends of the temperature, so the time varies depending on the season. In general, in summer it’s 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 dough almost doubles its initial size. We can mark the bowl with the starting size of our dough. This way we can see how it evolves.
The dough sticks too much to my hands. What can I do?
In the case of beginners, we recommend reducing the hydration of the dough, since the higher the hydration, the more complicated it is to manage. To do this, we mantain 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 the dough with a plastic film, or can I use a kitchen cloth?
Plastic film is required. Due to the long duration of the first fermentation, it is necessary to cover the dough with a plastic film to prevent the top from drying.
Can Masa Mater be used to create my own sourdough starter?
Yes, a small amount of Masa Mater can be recycled to generate our own sourdough starter. However, the proportion of different bacteria and yeasts have been studied and combined 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 the 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?
It can be stored at room temperature as long as it’s not excessively hot. If it’s very hot it is highly recommended to conserve the envelope in a refrigerator.
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 difficult to manage.
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 rack to let the bread rest. What should I do?
It is important that the bread cools down by preventing the steam from condensing at the bottom. If we don’t have a rack, we can keep it up by resting the sides on, for example, two cups.
What do I do if the dough is so flabby that I can’t form a bread?
If the dough is very sticky and uncontrollable, it is better to make small pieces. They will maintain better the shape during the second fermentation and the baking process.