The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

WW SD 2 Loaf2

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Soundman's picture
October 27, 2008 - 12:30pm -- Soundman

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mbass7mile's picture
Submitted by mbass7mile on

Could you please tell me how you get such a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread. Did you use a conventional oven?  How about misting?

Thank you. The bread looks fabulous.

Soundman's picture
Submitted by Soundman on

Thanks for the kind words, mbass7mile!

I am very pleased with how this Whole Wheat Sourdough has been turning out. It tastes wonderful on top of looking nice. Here is a link to the original post, with pictures and recipe, from both the first bake and the second. The pictures from the second bake are at the bottom.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9115/new-recipe-whole-wheat-sourdough

I do use a conventional oven. The temperature story is described in full in the post above, and certainly helps get the crust to a nice color. And yes I misted all these loaves with the usual plant mister and with a steam pan on the bottom rack to create a humid atmosphere.

The rise I have been getting has been really encouraging, and seems to owe most to the way I have been letting the starter develop for a little longer than usual, stirring it halfway through to get the most out of the refreshment. It's possible also that the King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat Flour has contributed to a nice strong gluten structure. I proof the loaves overnight in the fridge, and they are rising during this time nicely. After slashing, the loaves hold their shape and get a good oven spring to boot.

If you want to discuss this more, reply over on the thread linked above.

Thanks again,

Soundman (David)

mbass7mile's picture
Submitted by mbass7mile on

Thank you  for your response .  What kind of a steam pan do you use?  I use a cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks and then I pour boiling water over them.

What kind of starter do you use?

Thank you.

Mbass7mile (Diana)

Soundman's picture
Submitted by Soundman on

Hi Diana,

I have played around with a few different systems to promote steam.

For all these methods I use a skillet on the bottom rack, as you do, and add about half a cup of boiling water to it just before loading the loaves. This provides a nice humid environment. I always remove the skillet somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes into the bake.

In addition, I may 1) spray the sides of the oven with a plant mister at 2-minute intervals until it's time to remove the skillet and stop the misting. I also may use 2) a steam-cleaner, which provides a pressurized stream of steam. The jury is still out on method 2. The other method I just started using with the skillet on the bottom rack is 3) to put a large turkey roaster pan top over the loaves. I did that this morning and I must say the color and look of the crust is outstanding. After 12 or 15 minutes (maybe more, next time) I remove the roaster top. The benefit of 3) is you don't have to keep opening the oven to spritz, which lowers the oven temperature.

Hope this helps!

Soundman (David)