The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vermont Sourdough... What happened?

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

Vermont Sourdough... What happened?

Hi.  This is my first post.  I followed Hamelman's recipe.  I'm not far from KAF and my starter is originally from them, but has been happily living with us for 4 months.  I'm pretty sure my problem was either not slashing the dough deep enough or not proofing enough.  Am I right?  First time I have ever done this bread and just didn't expect that blowout up top.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance, Pen

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

how pretty your loaf is.   Whatever you did, just keep doing it!   Now if you want it a little more controlled, try proofing it longer.

Mini

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

I thought it might be proofing.  I did the final fermentation overnight in the fridge, so maybe I should have let it sit at room temp for about an hour after shaping before putting it in for the night.  I know my fridge is a cold 39F.  It had great oven spring, but just surprised me a bit.  I'll be cutting into the loaf tomorrow to see what the crumb looks like.  Thanks again.

Hans Krijnen's picture
Hans Krijnen

Great looking bread. Great oven spring. I make this bread for the last 6 months every week. Last week i added some Soaker to the dough and increased the flour for the final dough with 4 ounces try it out. It give it a little extra crunch.

Greeting from the other side of Vermont.

Hans

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

Hans for the final ferment do you leave the loaves out to proof for a bit before the fridge?  Mini would you know?  I thank you both for saying that is is a pretty loaf.  It is nice, I just wish I could have gotten it a tad bit darker, but the "ears" were really getting crispy.  Thus I suppose my reasoning that I can try to change it just a bit. TIA

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is it too brown?   If not why not try moving the oven rack down one notch?  Your starter is just fine from the looks of your loaf, not to worry.  If you proof longer, do it after retardation, on the counter.  I would mess with the oven rack first or turn down the oven to 450°F or 460°F after the first 10 minutes of baking.  :)

Mini

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

Thanks.  The loaves baked this morning had a better control.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.  I let them sit out about an hour prior to the fridge and that did the trick.  Best to all.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Judging from the looks of the boule, your starter is more than adequate to build the liquid-levain. It looks fine...I can't tell if you had a bit of a blow-out at the top, or if that's just the way you scored it.

If you look at the receipe, Hamelman calls for a temperature of 42F for the 18-hour overnight retardation.  You are retarding the bread at 39F.  Not sure where you are placing them, but sometimes the bottom shelf of the fridge registers a slightly warmer temp. 

Did you check the temperature of your dough after mixing?  It's supposed to be 76F (see pp 382-385 of "Bread.")

Because you are retarding the dough at 39F, I agree that you need to allow them to ferment longer once you remove them from the cooler.  Just keep an eye on the dough because you want to bake it when it's ready, or at about 90% fully proofed.

BTW, welcome to TFL.

 

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

all for your insight.  I appreciate the opinions.  They were great!

Just an FYI, I did read Hamelmans and I always weigh everything ( my scale measures in gms, cups, and preprogrammed for KAF flours), and my dough is stored at the higher level in the fridge where it is warmer(weird design I know).  Wish we had not donated that wine cooler...  I home baked for 20 years and maintained a starter then, but used commercial yeast for most of my breads.  After not baking for 8 years I wanted to return to baking bread mainly with starter, thus the "experimentation" because I must work with the conditions and the appliances that I have at home.  Will I ever have perfect results each and every time?  No, but will have fun doing it.

My loaves came out beautiful this morning, by just letting them proof an hour prior to the fridge and while I baked something else in the oven.  

Many thanks again to all and best wishes. 

marieJ's picture
marieJ

What a beautiful loaf!!!  I wish my loaves would behave like this!  Lately I've been looking at the loaves in very expensive boutique bakeries and ashamedly wondered if they were applying artificial methods to get such pretty responses.

Congratulations!

jacobsbrook's picture
jacobsbrook

every time I bake this bread I am getting better results.  Definitely practice makes perfect.  The loaves still have wonderful spring.  You will get there for sure, no worries. 

Best regards, Pen