Preferment word means “to ferment before.” The dough is prepared according to preferences in stages. The yeast, some flour, and water are mixed together first and then left to ferment anywhere from 30 minutes to several days at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator. This mixture is then used as a basis for building the dough. Let the dough come to room temperature before you bake, for best results. A preferment gives the bread added time for the yeast and aroma to develop, making for a more complex flavor. A preferment will help produce a more flavorful, crusty loaf of bread. The long fermentation period for the preferment helps break down complex sugars in the dough, which makes the crumb (the texture of the interior) finer and less likely to collapse during baking. The preferment adds texture and increases strength in the final loaf of bread.
Six types of preferments are following;
- Levain (which is a form of sourdough with additional moisture to generate varied outcomes).
- Pâte fermentée (also called simply pre-fermented dough).
Qualities of bread:
Bread is the main part of our diet. It has a lot of nutrients. It is a major carbohydrate source. Good bread is one that has a good, crispy crust. The crust of bread is available in a variety of colors, ranging from light golden to golden brown. When CO2 is emitted, air bubbles (pockets) form. It produces a lot of volumes. Inside, good bread will have a slight polish. When you tap your finger on it, it will return.
Why We Use Preferment?
As the fermentation continues, the yeast and the natural enzymes contained in the flour have time to act on the starches and proteins in the dough, releasing a greater amount of food to the yeast to absorb it and convert it into energy. There are the following benefits:
- Its tastes become better. The universal rule is that the longer the bread is allowed to ferment, the more complex and delicious the ending flavors. Any preference that is more than 3 days old and not replenished with fresh flour and water will likely contain weak, dying yeast which could give your bread a poor flavor and leavening capacity.
- The preferments add variability to bread dough, making it easier to shape and resulting in an oven spring. In fact, oven springs have been shown to increase by up to 10%, resulting in a light, airy crumbs.
- Delayed fermentation lowers the bread’s pH slightly, extending its shelf life without the need for preservatives or dough conditioners.