Sourdough brick wall - trying to find a way forward
Looking for some inspiration to get past a brick wall with sourdough baking.
I've been baking sourdough now for 10+ years, read lots of books and done courses. After a lot of experimentation I have been producing some relatively successful loaves, but have got stuck into a rut. I tend to like bread with some guts and body to it, preferably with seeds added. But there are times when I hanker for something lighter and it's here that I am continually hitting a wall. I can't seem to make a decent white-ish loaf that has an interesting flavour and lighter crumb
My standard loaf recipe and method is as follows:
400g white flour
180g levain (@55% hydration)
Seeds - 20g each of some or all of the following: sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, sesame, poppy
- Mix all ingredients and knead briefly by hand to ensure they are integrated.
- Bulk proof for 3-4 hrs with a couple of stretch and folds
- Proof in banneton for 2-3 hrs
- Bake in an iron casserole @ 225 degrees for 30 mins and then for 15 minutes @200 with the lid off
This produces reasonable bread, quite a dense crumb but tasty.
Using a similar recipe (minus seeds, and using white or an 80/20 white / wholemeal mix) to get a white-ish sourdough loaf produces bread with a dense crumb and with no taste or character.
Following suggestions from a UK miller, I have tried longer bulk proofing times (up to 12 hours) and shorter final proofs. No great improvement. In fact when I tried this yesterday, it had over bulk proofed and was so sticky it was impossible to shape properly for the banneton. I gave it an hour and a half in the basket. but there was (unsurprisingly) little oven spring and the taste was too sour for my liking. I prefer just a mild sour taste.
Folks, I would welcome any suggestions as to how to improve my baking and get me back on track to producing some tasty, light, white-ish sourdough.