The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Candango

Thank you, Sourdo Lady.  About ten days ago I finally decided to put off the procrastination and begin my own sourdough starter.  Having read many various instructions (Beranbaum, Hamelman, Williams Sonoma, et al), calling for the use of flour, water and time, and if the desired results are not produced, throw it out and start over, I decided to take Sourdo Lady's explanation and logic to heart and put them to the test.  Armed with a fresh bag of rye flour and a small can of pineapple juice, I started and five days later, I had a bubbling seed starter.  Now to put it to the test


I followed Beranbaum's instructions to convert the liquid starter to a stiff starter and then expanded it enough to make sufficient for two recipes: her Basic Sourdough Bread and her Sourdough Rye, both from The Bread Bible.   I had enough starter to double the recipe for the Basic Sourdough Bread, so I did.  I put the remaining starter (for the rye bread) in the fridge to retard another day and set out to make the Basic Bread.  According to the recipe, this is a rather wet dough (at 68%).  I followed all the instructions except for the mold for the shaping.  Instead of using a banneton or colander, I shaped it as two batards and set them on parchment, using rolled kitchen towels under the parchment to provide a support ala cloche.  So far, so good.  After three hours, the dough had risen , but perhaps not enough.  I sprayed them with water, slashed them and slid them into the oven with steam.  The result - ciabattas, or what looked like them.  The slashes I had made appeared not to have been deep enough or had closed up very quickly.  The dough spread out on the parchment.  It rose, but not very much.  The result - crunchy crust but a relatively heavy and dense crumb.  It had plenty of gas holes throughout but remained heavy, nonetheless.  After cooling, I cut one of the "loaves" into thirds and then sliced one of the thirds horizontally.  It was edible, but I wouldn't give it any prizes.  I am not sure what went wrong, so I will not send any photos or ask for advice until I can repeat the recipe in the future, this time without doubling it (in case that was part of the problem).  We will see.


The success story was today when I made the Sourdough Rye.  This is a 63% hydration recipe, 17% rye.  I worked the expanded starter into the final dough yesterday and gave it two hours at room temp, with the requisite Stretch and Folds (Business Letter Turns).  Then into the fridge to retard until this morning. I took it out this morning and gave it two hours to warm up and then worked it into a batard shape (again, no banneton available).  After a two hour proof, it had risen nicely so I sprayed it, slashed it and slid it into the oven.  Fifty-five minutes later it came out of the oven to cool.


Nice color, nice crust.  When it had cooled, I sliced it and took photos.  I am happy with the results, happy that I have seed starter working away in the fridge for the next atempt, and I am anxious to start playing again.


 


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Candango

I have just finished making a loaf of Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Levy's real Jewish Rye Bread", from "The Bread Bible."  I had made variations of her formula noted in other blogs and only recently obtained a copy of the book which has her original recipe.  With all the waiting (autolyses) and rising times, this bread was almost a 24 hour project.  I started the sponge at about 3 pm yesterday and took the finished loaf out of the oven at 3 pm today.  It has now cooled and I sliced it in order to give half to friends.  As I don't have a cloche, I shaped the dough into a batard and gave it "spiral" slashes.  It worked.  I know I should have weighed the ingredients but last night and this morning I used measuring cups for the flour and liquid.  I will have to try this again using the scale, as Rose says that the finished dough should weigh about 965 grams and mine weighed in at 860, about 3 oz. lighter.  Because of this, I shortened the baking time just a bit.  The crust came out a nice golden brown, and the crumb is "rye bread dense" without being pasty.  (I cut off the heel on one side and tried it with butter.  Yum.)  I will do this one again.


 


I just tried to insert two photos of the crust and the crumb and seemed to run into a problem.  The site replied that the max size is 600 x 800 and that my files were too large.  Can anyone help?  Thanks in advance.  Candango

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