Half White Wheat Sourdough Loaves
Fall has finally reached Tallahassee and I have been having a good time experimenting with longer sourdough rising times. Last winter was my first cold season as a sourdough bread baker and I had a lot of ups and downs (literal "ups and downs" when it came to dough rising!). This year I feel a little more in control of my starter now that I know how to manage the feeding schedule so that it suits both my lifestyle and that of the creatures in my starter. Of course, a consistently healthy starter is only part of the equation when it comes to making a great loaf of bread!
In a recent thread I got some inadvertent reassurance from Eric (ehanner) that I could let the bulk fermentation go on overnight at a cooler room temperature. The main goal being that the dough should double in volume. I breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded with my baking.
I followed the BBA Basic Sourdough formula (as usual these days) but used about half white whole wheat flour, resulting in a nice flavor but a dense crumb. I didn't realize until shaping the loaves that I should have increased the hydration to account for the "thirsty" whole wheat flour, and my "feel" is not developed enough yet so that I can easily tell if the hydration is correct when I'm mixing my dough. Overall though, I was happy with my loaves and when I think back to the soupy pancakes that I was producing last year I know that I have come far.
Mixed dough ready for it's overnight rise.
Doubled by the next morning. You can see where I poked it in the upper left hand corner.
Shaped loaves ready to rise. I'm still working on sealing the bottom seams better.
Boules scored and ready to bake. Batards still under the blanket.
Batard crumb (slightly out of focus).
Thanks to everyone who read this post. Any feedback or suggestions are always appreciated.