The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough in baby steps

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redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Sourdough in baby steps

We're having fun now! The bread baking mentors of this community have been so generous with their advice and encouragement. It's starting to come together in my kitchen. I baked a sourdough no knead using notes by JMonkey and Susan this week and here is the result-

Dutch Oven Sourdough

Dutch Oven Sourdough

I was elated when I saw this crackley crust. Where you accomplished baker's would scowl and say "that D@^^%loaf (say, I accidently created a new domain name) tore all to #&!!" I say "that lower quadrant is looking good!" If Susan's beautiful boule is "the football", I think this is at least a foosball. And the crumb. Anticipation and dread. Do you ever feel that way?-

Sourdough Crumb

Sourdough Crumb

I like it. It pleases my sense of aesthetic beauty. Yes, it is toothsome. I know you think the holes could be placed more uniformly but I am giddy with my small success and may be beyond help from this day forward.

This loaf baked on a higher rack and at a slightly higher temperature in my really big oven. Bwraith and Mini Oven advised me on that. As a result I could follow the baking times exactly.

The sourdough starter was about 3 days at room temperature since the last feeding. We discussed this on the Sourdough starter thread and I've now learned that the starter really needs to be used at the peak of its yeasty goodness. In this case, the proof was in the proof; only about a 60% increase after 20 hours of fermentation. I used yet another tip and incorporated 1/8 tsp of instant yeast during the stretch and fold.

Susan wrote "Oh, I used all high gluten flour". I think this really made a difference. The dough was smooth, elastic and held tension in the forming. The texture is exactly what I'm looking for in carefully crafted bread. Although I had planned to refrigerate the formed dough overnight, we had guests so went to plan B, 3 hours proof at 85 degrees.

I really wanted to be faithful to the formula, but my lab technique is imprecise (read- a joke). There are plenty of other things to improve upon. Slashing could certainly head a list; a long, long list!

Thanks to all the sourdos (the ugh is silent), guy, lady and the rest. You rock! I also must thank the dogs, brown and mountain, for their cyber-enthusiasm. Bake-on, dogs!

Comments

browndog's picture
browndog

That's beautiful bread! You've got nothing to fret about, except how fast that bread will probably disappear. I can't believe you got a crumb like that without kneading. It's just beggin' for a smear of butter. Grr-woof! (Not sure what that translates to exactly, but it's good!)

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Thanks for sharing in the fun! This site is like an intensive course with tutors and study-groups and lots of field work.

Susan's picture
Susan

It IS so exciting! Congratulations. I'm still getting used to the High Gluten flour. And am finding that, as many others here already have, flour is not just flour. The fact that HG flour has more protein and fewer carbs appeals to me, though not sure I'm getting as much flavor. So I'll just make a few more loaves to check it out....

Have fun! Hope you can sleep tonight with all the excitement.

Susan

P.S. A small flock of sparrows is busily devouring breadcrumbs outside my kitchen door right now!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I have tried one no knead sourdough and let's just say it was not a beauty like yours and Susan's. It tasted awesome, but was very flat and REALLY chewy!! Seeing yours has inspired me to give it another go.

Susan's picture
Susan

Saggy-Baggy BreadSaggy-Baggy Bread

This one REALLY belongs on the blunders page! This is just one of many.... Sorry there is another loaf behind it so that its true sagginess doesn't show as much as it should.

Bake NK bread really dark to dry it out. Then leave it in the oven (turned off) for another 10 minutes with the door partially open, after baking.

Susan

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Thanks for the chuckles! (And the detailed instructions)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Gee Susan..I think that loaf is really nice!! Maybe it's the arty side of me..it looks puffy and pillowy with crisp and crunch, how was the crumb?

Susan's picture
Susan

I checked but didn't have a pic of that crumb. Here is another loaf of the same ilk with a photo of its crumb as well.

Slumpy Bread

Slumpy Bread

Slumpy Crumb

Slumpy Crumb

Susan

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

looks very good to me! Nice crumb, blistery crust..what more can you ask for?

Susan's picture
Susan

They weren't all that bad, in retrospect. I just remember being disappointed because they were so FLAT...I wanted Round. (Good thing I don't live in Hollywood, I'd be at the plastic surgeon's office...)

Susan

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

You are too funny!!!! Hahahaha!!

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

That's one beautiful SD loaf - I can just taste it from the photo, love the color and bubbles in the crust...you should be very pleased! The crumb looks great...I forget, is your starter fairly young? It will only get better over time, and your crumb will probably get even more open the more you use your starter and the more you bake. Great job!

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

This is the long established, oft neglected potato water starter. It has a really great flavor and fragrance, sour and fruity. My young rye starter is very sour, like lemon, citric acid sour. I'm hoping it will develop a more complex flavor or maybe that will only develop in the fermentation once I start using it for baking. That's where we need the flavor anyway, right?

And thanks for the kind words!