The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

This wonderful bread, pain au levain with mixed sourdough starters, from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread, brought me a first prize at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.  This was the first time I ever entered anything in the fair.  I love this bread, and it has become a regular around our house.  It can't be beat for flavor.  My only tweak is to add a mix of seeds on the dough exterior before baking and to borrow 1 oz from the bread flour and give it to the whole wheat flour.  Here are some pictures, the first being the levain, then the first place exhibit tag (blurry, sorry), then yours truly, pretty excited.  Thank you, Jeffrey Hamelman, for this wonderful bread! 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yaunae1432's picture
yaunae1432

Ok, so I just made my first ever sourdough bread.  My pet (starter) took over a week to ferment since it's cool up here.  Surprisingly, my starter was perfect (thanks to some advice from my grandpa).  I let it sit in the fridge for about a week and, once we ran out of our other breads (I have a sister who bakes bread also), I decided it was time to bust out the starter and test my skills.  I followed some recipe on the Internet...probably not that smart but it seemed pretty legit and it was made in a really old-fashioned way.  I know alot about the chemistry of baking, the gluten and yeast, the ethanol and carbon dioxide..so I was really careful making this.  I let it rise about 12 hours, turned it out, and let it rise another 5.  The baking was a different story. I wasn't sure about the temperature because the recipe I followed called for an iron-cast dutch pan and I don't have one of those and I can't buy one (college) so I kind of browsed around. I baked it at 325 for about 30 minutes and when it was still really doughy I upped it to 425 (the original temp it called for) and it took about an hour to cook. It's still kind of doughy in the middle but it's nice and crunchy! I wish I cuold use steam in my oven but it breaks a seal on the outside and just lets the steam out. Better luck next time? 

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