The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

8/30/10 - 2 Stage Liquid Levain Sourdough Boules

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

8/30/10 - 2 Stage Liquid Levain Sourdough Boules

8/30/10 - 2 Stage Liquid Levain Sourdough Boules

So this is an interesting bread for me.  It's the first full sourdough bread of my official baking season.  It's still quite hot here in NYC, around 90F, so my kitchen is in the 80's...  I wasn't sure what to bake, but my sourdough starter needed feeding, so I figured what the heck.  So the starter was fed at 7:00pm, and it doubled in 2 hours.  I took out 200g of the refreshed starter, and fed it again as below, and it doubled in a little over 2 hours to my surprise...  So I made my dough as below, and fridged it, not expecting much...  In the morning when I woke up, it had doubled in the plastic containger (4L).  I gave it a turn, put it back into the fridge and went to work...  When I came home at 6:30pm it had hit the top of the container, and by 7pm, it had popped the top...  Now time to prepare to bake before a dough explosion happens...  Usually when I do these levain only breads, I'm sitting around waiting for it to do it's thing...  This time, I had to bake when it was ready...  Now!  Enjoy the pics...


Liquid Levain Stage 1

200g Storage starter @ 100% hydration

20g Organic wheat berries (freshly ground)

20g Organic spelt berries (freshly ground)

20g Stone ground rye flour (organic/fresh ground if possible)

40g Bread flour (Gold Medal)

100g Water

400g Total


7:00pm - Mix all, cover and let rest for 2-3 hours, or until doubled.


Liquid Levain Stage 2

200g Bread Flour

200g Water

200g Liquid levain stage 1

600g Total


9:00pm - Mix all, cover and let rest for 2-3 hours, or until doubled.



Final Dough

800g Bread flour (Gold Medal)

100g WW flour

100g Rye Flour

675g Water

24g Kosher Salt

600g Liquid levain stage 2

2299g Total dough yield


12:15am - Mix all into shaggy dough, cover let autolyse for 30 minutes.  Prepare oiled plastic tub.

12:45am - Turn dough using French fold method with wet hands and dough scraper in bowl  until dough smoothes out and tightens up.  Stop when gluten starts to tear (turn not more than 8-10 times).  Transfer to oiled tub, place in refrigerator at 40-45F.

1:25am - Turn dough, return to fridge.  Go to bed.

8:35am - Turn dough, return to fridge.  Go to work.

7:20pm - Take dough out of fridge, divide into 4 equal pieces, preshape... (576g approx)

7:30pm - Final shape into boule, place in banneton for proofing, cover with plastic.

8:30pm - Place baking stones in oven on 2 levels along with steam pan, preheat 550F with convection...

9:30pm - Turn convection off.  Turn boules out onto peel, slash as desired, place in oven directly on stone.  When all boules are in, pour 1 cup of water into the steam pan, close door, turn oven down to 450F.  Bake 45 minutes, rotating loaves between stones and positions halfway through bake.  Boules are done when internal temp reaches 205F or more.  Let cool completely before cutting (overnight).

Out of the oven, the boules weighed about 470g, which is about an 18% water loss, which is good.

I'll post a crumbshot tomorrow...

9/1/10 - Crackly crust

Crumb shot!



wassisname's picture
wassisname does it all end?!?  Oh, the suspense!

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

I've finished my bake and post...  Now all that's left is the crumb shot...  The suspense continues...

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

I'm not done with this post yet...  I just needed to type it up so I could finish it later when it's all baked an done... 

I'm at work right now, and the dough is in a retarded bulk ferment in my fridge...  Hope to be outta here shortly so I can check on it and bake...  Then I'll finish this post...  I hope it all ends well...

Fingers and shoelaces crossed...

Mebake's picture

That is some hectic schedule you have there, breadbakingbassplayer! But you manage to Bake successfully! Nice boules, can't wait for your crumb shot.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks!  Yeah, I know it's a wonky schedule, but its the one that works for me...


Mebake's picture

Love it, love it!! Tim. Beautiful Crumb, and cracks!! you manage to achieve all that with a busy life..daring all odds, even turning your dough at midnight in the fridge! your persistance amazes me.

Very nice!


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks Floyd!!!

Mebake's picture

Congrats Tim! a deserved feature! i always admired your efforts to creat multiple gorgeous loaves with so tight a schedule..


Moto-psycho's picture

Excellent play by play!'

I'm a new member and this is the 2nd post I've read!


Your bread looks gorgeous and your descriptions are wonderful: I can almost sell the aroma!

hungryhippo's picture

Absolutely beautiful. 

hanseata's picture

but what an arduous schedule - worse than caring for a newborn baby!

No such stressful baking for me,


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks!  Actually, this is one of my better schedules...  I'm working on trying to figure out some better schedules right now as going to bed at 2:00am on a work night is not such a good idea..


northwestsourdough's picture

What beautiful tasty looking loaves!

Daisy_A's picture

Apologies - post referred to another formula - reposted on correct thread Daisy_A