The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A sane fermentation/proof procedure

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girzel's picture
girzel

A sane fermentation/proof procedure

I've been baking with a home-grown starter off and on for a couple of years now, with occasional success, and I'm finally trying to get a little more serious and organized about it. I don't think I've ever used the same recipe twice, and I'm realizing that I'll never get better at this unless I stick with one method long enough to really understand what's going on. So my question is: can someone recommend to me a fairly basic procedure that I can just stick to for the next six months, until I get a better handle on this? I've seen a whole lot of names and techniques thrown around here, but don't really understand how it all fits together. Some considerations:


I bake at most twice a week, so the starter usually lives in the fridge, and I'll probably have to take it out and wake it up the day before.


I'm home often, but not all day long, so ideally I would start in the early evening, proof overnight, and then get up early and bake it.


I live in a place (Beijing) with enormously variable seasonal temperatures and humidity.


I am baking in The Little Toaster Oven That Could – that means bread pans, no stone, and more than 500g of dough tends to scorch on the top.


Sorry to jump in with "tell me how to do it please", but if someone could just say "use Horkelmeister's Bavarian Triple-Swizzle Method" that's all I would need, I can even google Horkelmeister myself. I just need to be told what to do until I get a handle on it…


Thanks!


Eric

Eli's picture
Eli

I would suggest this formula.http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6927/well-i-finally-did-it If you don't have a scale it may be best to invest in one to get a feel for the dough. Many people here have been very successful with this and everyone will share experience. You can also try the Northwestsourdough.com site. Teresa has a good basic recipe.


Good luck and keep us updated!


Eli

girzel's picture
girzel

Excellent, thank you! I do have a scale, and am ready to go. I'll adjust this for conditions and get baking, will come back here with any questions.


Thanks again,


Eric