Feb 7-9 Bread

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1549909826873{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]I have been traveling so I had to put the starter in the fridge and not think about having delicious bread for almost 2 weeks. As soon as I got home I took the starter out and let it get up to room temperature before I refreshed it. My starter is still quite young so the more I can keep it out of the fridge the better I feel it is performing. 

While I am still working off of the Beginner recipe from my previous post, I also want to start experimenting a bit to see how the bread changes. I accidentally did a different levain recipe that ended up at only 150 g which was shy of the amount needed. So when I was ready to add the levain the my autolyse I added the balance needed from the mother starter.

To see how the starter rises overnight, I did a timelapse. I love seeing all the action that you don’t get to see because it happens so slowly in real time. The starter is on the left and the Levain which I use to make the bread is on the right.

Because I am a night person and tend to sleep in the Levain went past when it should have been used but the resulting bread still turned out excellent.

As for the bread itself, I altered the recipe and omitted the rye flour while increasing the whole wheat to 207g and the new bread flour weight of 700g. The dough was very sticky to begin with and I used a slap and fold technique for 10 minutes before starting the bulk fermentation. Then I folded every 30 minutes for 4 folds and let it rest after the last fold for 2 hours before shaping and cold proof. The dough had a good rise during bulk but again there was very little rise overnight in the fridge. 


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Final Notes

I don’t know if it was the slight addition of starter or that my levain was strong enough but these loaves were excellent. 

Another issue that I think I solved with this bake is the bottom crust. It has always been a bit tough to cut through and I read that you can use cornmeal under the bread while baking, but I didn’t have any so I used aluminum foil folded over and crinkled. This acted as a slight barrier between the cast iron and the bread. The crust was much better and easier to cut.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”4745″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

Jan 27-29 Beginner Sourdough Bake Log

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After my failure trying to make a bread with a higher percentage of hydration a couple of days ago, I came back to this beginner loaf to try and get it right before moving on again. Below are the steps I took and the images that document the process.


I made the Levain Build at 11 pm using this method
Baker’s Percentage
Mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
Bob’s Red Mill Stoneground Whole Wheat
Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
H2O @ room temperature

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At 9:45 am I made the Autolyse which is mixing just the flours and water together. I then let that sit covered for an hour.
After an hour I added the Levain, salt and 50g of the reserved water to the Autolyse and mixed with my hands until fully combined. This step is very sticky and messy. The dough sticks to everything and it is hard to scrape off but I continue to fold the dough over until is starts to get a bit silkier – anywhere from 4-6 minutes. 
This is the full recipe, again from The Perfect Loaf.
Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Stoneground Whole Wheat Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye Flour
H2O (warm/cool water temperature to meet the desired dough temperature)
Fine sea salt
Mature, 100% hydration levain (from above)

Bulk Fermentation

At 11 am I started the bulk fermentation and folded the bread at 30 minute intervals as follows.
Turned 11:30
Turned 12
Turned 12:30
Rest from 12:30-4pm

Shaping & Cold Proof overnight

After the bulk fermentation, I dumped the dough onto my work surface and pre-shaped the dough and let rest for 25 minutes. Then I shaped the bread and popped it in bowls lined with cotton cloth and sifted rice flour. Shaping is an art, one I need to practice a lot more.
At 5 pm, I popped the bowls into plastic bags and then put them in the fridge until the following morning. The cold proofing allows the flavor to really develop without over-proving.

Score & Bake

In the morning I put my cast iron combo cooker in the oven and set it to 500. I pull the first dough from the fridge and using parchment paper and a pizza peel, I flip it over, score it and then gently pull it into the shallow part of the combo cooker. I place the deep part of the cooker over top making a perfect environment to self-steam the loaf. I turn down the over to 475 and let it cook for 20 minutes. I then take the lid off the combo cooker and drop the temperature to 450 and let it bake for another 30 minutes.

Final Notes

The final result was the best I have had yet but I did not get any significant rise overnight however it was more than I had so far. I think that this is due to the starter being so young, time will tell. The crumb was open and delicious, a bit gummy but that is one of the features of this particular recipe. My starter is less than a month old and from what I understand, it will get stronger.