The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally working well

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sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

Finally working well

A few months ago I took a class with Jeffery Hamelmann in Vermont on Naturally Leavened Breads.  There were 11 of us in the class and suffice to say, it was amazing.  I learned so much.  But translating what you do in class to the home environment is not always as easy.  It has teken me 2 months and many tries to finally start getting breads that resemble what we did in the classroom.  I have done 2 recipes of pain au levain and they have truned out wonderful.  I would like them a little more sour and think that I will try to retard my next loaf to see if it will be more acidic.  I have a few pictures but they are blurry but I will try to get a better shot soon.  The one problem is that my crust seems to be getting over done, darker than what I want.  I have cut down the time a bit but next time will drop the temperature.  I have checked my temperature of the bread and it is over 205 degrees when I take it out of the oven. 

A question concerning the bake.  I have been using the convection setting while doing my breads.  Could that account for the darker crust and is it better to use the basic bake setting.  I also have a special bake sertting that is supposed to decrease the over browning of bread.  Are there any thoughts on the use of regular bake versus convection bake.  I do steam well with my breads (cast iron pan and hot water) so that is not the problem.

Sourdough loaves

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sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

Well I have 2 loaves of pain au levain preshaped and resting right now.  I was away all day and did the build right before I left.  By the time I got home 13 hours later it was just about perfect.  I did my autolyse and then added the salt and build to it.  Tonight I scaled the water first and then added the rye and AP flour and the dough seems much better hydrated.  Plus the house is much warmer because it was 70 degrees outside today. 

I plan to make batards and will shape them according to the video Floyd made for us all.  I am going to try his trick of putting the dough in a garbage bag to make it airtight and warm.  It will be interesting to see how well it does.  

This is the second time this week I have used my stiff starter and it worked wonderfully.  I think I just need to bake more often and that way the starter will be a lot healthier.  I need to refresh the liquid starter tomorrow and might just take it out and plan for sourdough pancakes in the morning.  My DH is doing a double shift at work so he might appreciate a nice breakfast.

Off to take pictures and document how things are working.  I shall return... 

Rena in Delaware

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

 Sourdough Rye

 This is a picture of the sourdough rye I did today with the slashing.  It is the best I have done so far.  I am happy with these results.  My husband said it looks like a bakery made loaf.

Pain au Levain 011107

Her is the Pain au Levain.  Again, this is the best I have had with the slashing.  It is the first time I have seen the natural turn of that center strip with the baking.  I know I still have a ways to go but this is the best start I have had. 

Rena in Delaware

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Your breads look great, you really get a nice oven spring, they look huge. The improved  slashes helped with that too, I'm sure. Good grigne formation.

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

Not to sound too ignorant, what is grigne? 

Rena in Delaware

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Grigne - that's the French word for the area inside your baked slashes where the crust sort of bursts away from the interior to form an "ear".