The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ninarosner

I am beyond happy with this! It turned out better than all previous loaves, though I'm unsure why... My 'intuitive' approach is definitely working - sticking to one recipe and just tweaking things step by step rather than going for a completely different method that's worked for someone else.

Loaf 6
250g white flour, 250g wholegrain wheat flour.
80% hydration
15% starter
2% salt

Starter: I used it straight from the fridge, but I'd fed it a couple of days before with white flour instead of wholemeal. Maybe that made a difference?

In the morning, did 1 hour autolyse, then mixed in starter & salt.

4 stretch & folds over 2 hours, then a bulk ferment at room temp for about 5-6 hours with another stretch and fold in between.

No pre-shape.

Proofed in a glass bowl, covered with a plastic bag, overnight in fridge for about 16 hours.

Slashed the top which was difficult due to crap knife and very sticky dough.

Baked in dutch oven at ~230c for 20 mins covered, 30 mins uncovered. Let cool for 1 hour.

Result: Really nice, EVEN crumb without the heaviness/density of previous attempts. This must be because of a longer proof in the fridge, and possibly the activity of sourdough starter.

The sides look kind of ugly because of the baking paper I use. My makeshift dutch oven is a little too small so it causes creases in the sides.

 

ninarosner's picture
ninarosner

The first in a series of experiments on my 'Loaf 3' recipe.

Loaf 5 
250g white flour, 250g wholegrain wheat flour.
80% hydration
15% starter
2% salt

Experiment: Refreshed starter overnight. 

In the morning, did 1 hour autolyse, then mixed in starter & salt.

4 stretch & folds over 2 hours, then a bulk ferment at (cool-ish) room temp for about 5-6 hours.

Pre-shaped and let rest for 30 mins

Proofed in a glass bowl, at room temp for about 2-2.5 hours.

Baked in dutch oven at ~230c for 20 mins covered, 30 mins uncovered. Let cool overnight.

Result: it seems like refreshing the starter has resulted in bigger air holes, a more open crumb. The crumb itself feels a little dry, though that could be because of the cooling overnight. Overall I'm happy with this, and it seems like refreshing is a good idea.

Also, I was more 'intuitive' with this bake, in the sense that I tracked bulk rise to make sure it had risen and had a few air holes before moving on.

 

What to try next: Slashing the top before baking!

ninarosner's picture
ninarosner

Loaf 4 - 250gwhite flour, 250g wholegrain wheat flour.
70% hydration
15% starter
2% salt

Made sponge overnight by mixing starter (straight from fridge) with 200g flour and 70% water.
The next morning, did 1 hour autolyse with remaining 300g flour and 70% water.

Used scoop & stretch method twice to combine, then roughly 4 hour bulk rise with 5 stretch and folds.

2 hour proof on baking paper in bowl, covered with plastic.

Baked at ~230c for 20 mins covered & 30 mins uncovered
Left to cool for a few hours.

Good result, though not better than the last loaf, so doesn't warrant the additional steps. Considering it was 10% less hydration, the result was good. 

 

 

ninarosner's picture
ninarosner

Loaf 1 - 100% wholewheat, 450g
90% hydration
30% starter
2% salt

Long overnight autolyse in fridge.
Also proofed overnight in fridge and baked in the morning.
Baked at ~230c for 20 mins covered & 20 mins uncovered

This worked out well - a beautiful colour and tasted great. Alas, needed more time in the oven, and the crumb wasn't as open as I would have liked. Also, I used the wrong baking paper and it stuck to the bottom!

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Loaf 2 - white/wholewheat mix, 500g.
40% white flour
10% white stone-ground flour
25% wholegrain wheat flour
25% wholegrain spelt flour

80% hydration
15% starter
2% salt

1 hour autolyse.
Proofed overnight in fridge and baked in the morning.
Baked at ~230c for 20 mins covered & 20 mins uncovered

Turned out really nice. Again, could have done with a bit more time in the oven for darker crust and less gummy interior.

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Loaf 3 - white/wholewheat mix, 500g.
50% white flour
25% wholegrain wheat flour
25% wholegrain spelt flour
80% hydration
15% starter
2% salt

 

1 hour autolyse.
Bulk ferment + proof on same day. Proof over 2-3 hrs at room temp. Dough stuck to tea towel.
Baked at ~230c for 25 mins covered & 25 mins uncovered
Left to cool overnight

Rose significantly in oven despite it sticking to tea towel. Result was definitely as good as the overnight proof from Loaf 2. It benefited from a longer cooking time, though still feels a little gummy.

 

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Moving forward: Loaf 3 is my benchmark. I'm curious to try this with 70-75% hydration to see what happens. I also want to try Jose's alternative 18hr bulk ferment for a very open crumb. If that works, I want to try the same thing with 70-100% wholewheat flour. 

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