The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Walnut and Dried Apricot SD Loaf test

JOHN01473's picture
JOHN01473

The walnut and dried apricot loaf was made to test out some techniques. I will compare it to the same loaf I made last week.

This dough got the whole works - autolyse - mixed until I got a good gluten window - proofing prior to refrigerating. Retarding overnight in the fridge.

These pictures show the progress and slight growth that I was expecting.
The progression from "mixed post autolyse" to "bulk ferment prior to retarding over night" and then finally "post retarding".

This morning I removed the walnut and apricot dough from the fridge
It warmed up nicely and was bulk proofed in the airing cupboard at 70-80f for 2 hours. When it took it out of the proving bag it was breathing in and out - hope there is no alien inside. There were certainly bubbles in the dough as I knocked it back. It was then knocked back and shaped and it went into the baking tin inside a proving bag into the airing cupboard at 11.15am for its final proofing. This is a new larger tin; it is 12 inches long x 6 inches wide x 2 1/2 inches deep.

It got its final proofing. I checked it after 1 hour and it had started to move up the tin, after another hour it was almost level with the top of the tin.
I wanted to get a nice dome on the top. After the third hour the dome I wanted was there.

I pre-heated the oven to 330c- my oven is a fan type with a max temp of 240c.
I have a pan in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
I slashed the loaf and baked it for 15 minutes with steam - then 15 minutes without steam
At the end of 30 minutes I tapped the bottom of the loaf for the hollow sound
I turned off the oven but left the loaves in the oven with the oven door ajar for another 10 minutes.
I cooled it on a rack

Then i cut a slice.

The best slice, yep better than last weeks loaf.

I have to say that I was very sceptical about the value of additional techniques. The result was amazing and so different and much better than the loaf I made last week. This loaf is much lighter and has a definite bounce. The crust has a crunch to it and the crumb is very soft. The taste of the sourdough has developed more - Simply it is delicious.

As I did so many new things I can't tell which technique delivered what, so my extended test will hopefully show me which techniques deliver what.

John.

 

 

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