Susan's Simple Sourdough Challenge - Take One
SUSAN'S SIMPLE SOURDOUGH CHALLENGE - TAKE ONE
On October 4th, ehanner's blog presented Susan's Simple Small Sourdough Challenge. Ehanner's challenge was simple - make the bread!
Susan, justly famous for her "magic bowl" baking method and photos of perfectly round, scrumptious looking boules, has posted her recipe and approach several times. Here is Susan's recipe for one small boule: 12g firm starter, 175g water, 225g high gluten flour, 25g white whole wheat flour, 5g salt. Here's the Baker's Percentage...
|white bread flour||90.0%|
|whole grain flour||10.0%|
I scaled the recipe up to make two loaves and baked them as batards, since we prefer this shape. Susan likes chewy bread but we do not, so I used unbleached bread flour rather than the high gluten bread flour Susan prefers. Whole grain flour was (home milled) hard red wheat. My sourdough starter is 100% hydration, so minor tweaks were made to the recipe.
The dough was definitely wetter than I am used to (my weekly sourdough bread is about 68% hydration with 20% whole grain). I followed her method for minimal kneading and periodic stretch-and-folds. The dough has a long bulk fermentation (at least 8 hours) and, after shaping, an overnight proof in the refrigerator. The risen dough gets a brief warm-up period, then into a pre-heated oven it goes.
Here's the risen dough, ready to be slashed and baked...
My batard was baked on a stone in a preheated oven, covered with the bottom of a turkey roaster for the first 13 minutes, uncovered for the rest of the bake. Here's what it looked like after the bake (hmmm, what's that weird shape?!)...
...Holy Major Oven Spring !!! - it's the end product of a frustrated oven spring. The loaf rose so much during the start of the bake it hit the top of my turkey roaster cover.
HOLY MAJOR OVEN SPRING !!!
My turkey roaster bottom is 4-inches high and has low ridges on the inside...
...so my 22 ounces of baking dough hit the top and did it's best to keep on rising. Thus the flattened top and indentations, which you can see a little better in this photo (the right hand photo has blue lines added to emphasize the indentations)...
So what if the loaf resembled Quasimodo? When sliced, who can tell? The taste was great - not too sour (we don't like really sour sourdough) with a nice open crumb. Here's the obligatory crumb shot...