One Up, One Down
This mixed-starter sourdough has become my favorite style of light-ish sourdough. It has proven itself capable of standing up to my "creativity", and that alone counts for a lot. The rye flour takes some of the chewiness out of the crumb and prefermenting it lends the flavor of the bread a distinct tang. If sour isn't your thing then this probably isn't the bread for you. But, it really works for me. 1/3 whole grain gives it some substance and 70% hydration keeps it easy to work with. I started the dough in the mixer, just until it came together, then kneaded by hand.
Under the influence of the aforementioned "creativity", I baked one of the loaves with the seam-side up. I wasn't sure it would be a good idea, but in the end there was little difference between the two loaves. If anything, the seam-up loaf had a somewhat better crumb. The scored loaf was scored a little too cross-wise and wasn't able to expand as much.
Adjustments for next time: I think I will take 30 minutes or so off of the bulk ferment time and add it to the final ferment. Also, one fold instead of two - the dough was already pretty tight, but because it was kneaded by hand I gave it the second fold. I think I would have been better off without it. Lastly, the whole wheat starter was more ripe than I would have liked, even with the salt in it. As the nights get cooler into autumn that should become less of a problem.
Oh, and now that it is officially autumn the next batch will probably be loaded with seeds!
On a side note: The trouble I go through for a decent loaf of bread is nothing compared to what I'll put up with to grow a few good vegetables. I decided to expand the garden a bit and began prepping the ground for next season. The soil here is dismal so "prepping" generally means digging a big hole and filling it up with something better than what was there originally (except with grapes, grapes just love it). The only thing worse than the soil is the chalky, volcanic rock underlying the whole neighborhood. I've been surprisingly lucky in placing my vegetable beds... until now. There was no getting around this one.
Anyone have a stick of dynamite handy? I'll be back in the kitchen working on my next bread!