Getting sourdough consistent resutls
I now get week by week repeated success with Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough which is our regular bread I bake each weekend. My take-home message to all sourdough newbies is to persist and pay attention to detail. It's tempting to skip and make do with estimates and a "she'll be right" attitude, but if I want consisency week after week with sourdough, I have to do all the below:
- Always have a fully active starter to build a fully active levain.
- Use baker's percentage and scale all ingredients-
- Take the time to measure the temperatures of the room, flour and levain and work out the desired water temperature so you can achieve a final dough temperature after mixing of 24 to 25C. (Believe me this doesn't take long and is not difficult).
- Fold during bulk fermentation. (I do two at 50 minute intervals and shape after a further 50 minutes).
- Final ferment for 2 hours; (or retard in the fridge until the next day works great for additional flavour, but not essential).
- Bake in a hot oven 235C for 40 to 45 minutes (I find lower temperatures will not get the oven spring). Use steam.
This never misses.