This weekend I baked Jeffrey Hamelman's Five Grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough. I followed the instruction carefully. It is a very slack dough but handles very nicely. It has a very pleasing taste, but not as pronounced as I would have liked. Next time I make it I will investigate how to make the starter more tangy.
I have been curious about different baking methods so I tried a little experiment. I made each loaf 725 grams. Two I baked at the same time and one I allowed to prove at a slightly lower temperature than the 80 degrees called for in the recipe. Much as I love my convection oven I begrudge the loss of space that the convection fan takes up. Therefore two loaves at a time. The loaf in the upper left was baked in a Lodge Dutch Oven. The loaf in the upper right was baked in a Sassafras Bread Dome. The foremost loaf was baked freestanding on a stone with what little steam I was able to muster up. It was a last minute call to put that one on the stone so I didn't do justice to the steaming portion of the bake. I did spray the oven walls with water (I hope my husband never reads this!) a couple of times in the first 5 - 10 minutes. I was hoping that would augment the weak steam that was being produced in a miserly fashion from my less than adequate steam pan - without much success.
If this was a contest "So you think you can bake" I would definitely give the #1 place to the Lodge bake. The color of the loaf, the rise and the overall appearance of the loaf seems to me to be far more pleasing than either of the other two. The Bread Dome does not brown as well although the loaf itself promises to be fine. I could have left it open a few minutes longer than the Lodge bake. Next time. As for the poor neglected stone bake, there is not much to say. While it will be fine to eat it doesn't stand up at all to the others.
All in all it was a good bake.