A (failed) Attempt at Andy's Rye Sour/Wheat Levain Loaf
I realize that there is a certain urge here on TFL to publish only the best loaves and the best photos of them. We all want to show each other the best we can do. But in this case, I am publishing what I consider to be a failed attempt at a beautiful bread in the hope that I will learn to improve it from the comments I may receive.
I followed Andy's procedure as closely as I possibly could, except that I halved the formula. To my knowledge, I was faithful to his prescription. I used KA all purpose flour and Bob's Red Mill dark rye. Given that there is low humidity here in New York City right now, the dough seemed just a touch stiff, but it did look like Andy's pictures at each stage.
The rye was allowed to sour for 30 hours, the wheat for 15. The dough came together and was bulk fermented as called for. The dough and room temperature were 78 degrees, 26 celsius. After mechanical mixing with a stand mixer, the dough showed a good window pane. Not a very strong one, but exemplary. One fold, preshape, shape and proof also as called for, one hour in the fridge, two out. The dough seemed absolutely ready to bake.
I used my usual steaming method and oven spring was as expected, quite strong, as the profile photo shows.
The loaf sang and cracked, but it did not feel light enough. Sure enough, when I cut into it, I could tell before seeing it that the crumb wasn't going to be what I was hoping for.
What went wrong with the crumb? I mean, it's perfectly nice, and the taste is delicious, but it isn't what was wanted. nor even close to what Andy showed. Troubleshooting and constructive criticism invited.