The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough success (almost) at last!

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Sourdough success (almost) at last!

I made Hamelman's vermont sourdough again:

 

 

The bread was somewhat misshapen, also my scoring wasn't great. I tried scoring it in a square pattern, as Dan had mentioned in one of his posts, with the lines of the square extending past the square itself. Somehow, the square was off-center and the bread profile was lopsided as you can see. That said, otherwise it turned out ok. I think one of my problems was, as Pamela said, underproofing. With the above bread, I did the poke test, and felt the bread was ready to bake, but then I held off baking it for atleast 25 mins and then baked. Turns out that that was the right time, I got really great ovenspring and the crumb is pretty good atleast by my standards. I still need to learn to tell when the loaf is proofed, it appears I was always baking when it was a bit underproofed. I can't quite get the poke test right (any tips?) BTW, the above bread was with 10% whole wheat, but with the flour I sifted yesterday. Only 6% of the flour was sifted off, presumably all bran, but the taste is markedly milder).

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Very nice, do you like the milder flavor? I think it you tighten the skin more when shaping you'll get more height.

Betty

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Thanks. It's different, both flavors are good:) I'm thinking of increasing the percentage of sifted whole wheat to see if it compromises loaf volume. If it doesn't, I'd actually like to bake with increased (sifted) whole wheat percentage. I'm going to experiment with it...

venkitac's picture
venkitac

BTW, I had asked questions on sourdoughs in the past and received a LOT of helpful advice, I'm hoping this question will be answered too: When kneading the dough, I autolysed for 30 mins, kneaded till aI got a windowpane. Hamelman advices 2 stretch-and-folds at 50 and 100 mins. At 50 mins, when I checked on the dough, it was completely loose, lost almost all its elasticity. So instead of a single S&F, I gave it like 20 stretch-slap-folds, Richard Bertinet style. Dough firmed up considerably. Again, at 100 mins, dough didn't feel strong enough, so instead of a single S&F, I did around 20, at which point dough felt ok. When shaping, the dough felt slack still, but I went ahead and shaped and proofed. Seems like that was just about fine.

Question is, is this common with sourdough? A single S&F simply wouldn't have been enough at 50 and 100 mins, do others do the same ie. many S&Fs instead of just the recommended one S&F? Or do you knead past the windowpane in the beginning to develop dough strength? There's definitely something I need to learn around this..thanks!

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I suspect that, if you had a very slack dough, your slashing (scoring) was for naught.  It's very difficult to get a slack dough to hold it's shape long enough for the slashing to have any real affect.  As good as the crumb looks, I'd say job well done.

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Thanks! Dough wasn't really *that* slack (66% hydration), I think it was just a bit underdeveloped...

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Could somebody please explain why I can't view any of the pictures? Just get a big empty space - and I really want to see what's going on! A.