So off I go... I have completed my 1st attempt at one of two recipes I will fervently try to "perfect" over the course of the next year.
Today, I baked cranbo's sourdough recipe which I shaped into a boule. I did however incorporate some different techniques that I wish to "master". (I put quotations because I can already see this will be a life long endeavor to perfect my loafs and techniques). I used the 36 hour method for this boule and will continue to do so making slight changes one at a time to see how I can improve my loaf with the conditions I am given. This might get lengthy because I want to keep accurate review of each bake so that I may improve my loafs.
Furthermore, as long as my situation allows, I will start the sourdough boule on Thursdays and the baguette a l'ancienne on Sundays and finishing the loaves on Saturday and Tuesdays, respectively.
Ok, here is the process:
550g KAF Bread Flour
308g water (38.2 F)
110g 100% hydration starter (AP Flour)
12g Pink Himalayan Salt
Mix flour and cold water into a rough mass. Dough temp was 66.2 F going into the fridge, which was at 36 F +/- .5 F. Hung out in my fridge for 14 hours.
Saved the flour/water mix from the depths of my fridge and kneaded in the starter first, then the salt. It was cold! Kneaded approx. 15-18 mins with a 10 min rest at 8 mins. (Was very difficult to knead at first. I'm sure the lower hydration and the temp didn't help much. Also I believe my starter was a bit past prime usage because it had become more liquidy than a dough consistency. So that also made it more difficult to knead into the dough. In the end this, in my opinion, was the best dough I had kneaded. Very supple and slightly tacky but not sticky.)
Once I kneaded it into submission I began 4 S&F's at 30 min intervals. After the last S&F I let the dough relax for 20 min then shaped and placed into ze brotform. Slid the brotform into a plastic bag and back into the fridge for 19 1/2 hours at 40 F.
After the dough's cat nap I let it proof for 6 1/4 hours at 75 F.
Set the temp of the oven to 525 F, for heat loss when I open the door, and placed the boule onto the baking stone and poured 1 cup of boiling water in a pan below with lav rocks, shut the door and reduced the temp to 450 F for 25 mins, rotated the boule 180 degrees, then reduced temp to 400 F for 15 more mins. The boule out of the oven was at 208.5 F internally.
Overall, very pleased. Taste was delicious with a smooth and creamy texture with a subtle tang. Open to advice or critques please.
One more thing, for aesthic reasons only I'm concerned with the major center bloom. I think I need a better choice for scoring.
I only recently delved into the world of bread, and before I overwhelm myself with the plethora of recipes I am going to hone in on the basics with 2 recipes. I have been reading Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and obtaining the "feel" for the dough is my end goal. Instead of relying on timers, I want to depend on my senses.
My hope for this year long bread baking journey is to be able to bake an excellent sourdough boule and baguette. That is not to say I wont bake a few odd recipes here and there, but my main focus will be on the basic sourdough recipe posted by cranbo which I will use for my boule and the Baguettes a l'Ancienne recipe posted by DonD for my baguettes. Gaining experience using a sourdough starter and instant yeast will be invaulable. Already, I can see the subtle and sometimes obvious differences in the way each type of yeast acts on the dough. As I gain experience hopefully it will lead to better tasting bread.
I must be honest, I will be posting rookie questions for quite some time, but I have noticed already how helpful the TFL community is and hopefully you all can guide me through my trials and errors. Well here goes a year of enjoyment.