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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.


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