The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Pulla!

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Skibum's picture

Sourdough Pulla!

I have baked this in the past as a yeasted recipe and thought I would try a half recipe using my SD starter.  I fed the starter 1:1:1 and 4 hours later it had more than doubled, so I mixed as per the recipe only using dabrownman's sourdough process:  knead for 5 minutes, 5 rest then knead for another 5.  Bulk proof on the counter with S&F's at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, 11/2 hours on the counter then into the fridge to retard overnight.  An hour to warm up this morning, then divide and scale the dough, pre-shape and bake.  I baked about 25 minutes @ 400F on convection, using steam for the first 10 minutes, which is something I have never done with pulla.  The steam seemed to help.

This bake nearly turned into a gong show as I ran out of bread flour before the dough was mixed and ended up using about 5% each cake & pastry flour and durham semolina.  The result is some of the best tasting pulla I have ever baked!  Fantastic with strong, fresh coffee!

I also let the dough tell me when to bake and proofed for 40 minutes, rather than the suggested 20 in the original recipe.  I had 2 loaves, so I proofed the 2nd for 60 minutes and saw no difference in the loaves, so 40 minutes is right.

I paid a visit to this morning and gifted the head baker a half loaf and was able to purchase another 20 kg bag of Bakemark Deluxe Strong Bakers Flour for $20 and that should keep me out of trouble for another 4 or 5 months.

Happy baking TFLers!



breadsong's picture

Hi Brian,
Those look *fantastic*! (and bet it tastes even better)
:^) breadsong


Skibum's picture

Thanks! :-)

Janetcook's picture

Hi Brian,

Isn't it a great feeling when something does turn out even though you have to simply use what you have on hand? Methinks this is how a lot of great formulas come about and now you know you can do it too :)  This ad-lib thing is one of the things I learned here and it has made a huge difference in my baking.  

I am glad to know that the wy leaven didn't taste too strongly in your pulla.  Once I learned how to bake with wy I converted all of my iy formulas to wy so I rarely use iy at all anymore even in highly enriched breads like pullas…

Love the dark crust on these braids too.  One of the things I learned about proving challahs is that they can prove longer than a regular loaf so that there isn't as much oven spring.  Keeps the braids from pulling apart.  Yours looks really pretty!

Take Care,


Skibum's picture

For your kind and encouraging words!  No doubt the lengthy sourdough process helped improve the flavour, but I am so happy with the results that I will use both pastry and semolina flour in the same proportions next pulla bake.  Anyhow this whole sourdough baking experience has become a most gratifying experience -- producing really tasty breads that are also beginning to look pretty is pretty cool, I think . . .

Happy baking!  Brian