The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekend of sourdough

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Weekend of sourdough

Sorry that I've not been around much lately. My wife and I have been travelling quite a bit on the West Coast. We're contemplating a move to either Corvallis, Oregon or Providence, RI and have to decide within the next 10 days where we're going to spend what's likely to be the rest of our lives. So it's a been a bit stressful. We loved Corvallis, but haven't yet checked out Providence -- that's next weekend.

So, what better way to relieve some stress than the knead the bejeezus out of some dough?

I didn't take a lot of photos, as I couldn't find where we'd unpacked the camera until this afternoon, but I started on Friday with a big 2.5 lb. boule of desem bread. It turned out beautifully, though, once again, the crust was not so crispy.

I'm wondering, could it be the use of rice flour to dust my banneton that's the culprit? I love how effortlessly even the stickiest dough pops out of the banneton or couche with just a thin layer of rice flour, but since I started using it, I've gotten chewy, not crispy crusts, which should be happening at 500 degrees F in a cloche. Anyone else have this experience? I don't mean to malign the rice flour, but it's the only thing I can think of that I'm doing differently.

We took the desem to a dinner party, where it was mostly consumed. Then, Saturday night, we had pizza, which was lovely. I used the "whole wheat overnight crust" recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. Next time, I want to try to stretch it out a bit thinner to the full 12 inches (it was about a 10 inch crust) because the pizza was a bit "bready", but I was terrified of tearing the dough, especially since I've misplaced the fabric for my Super Peel. I had to do it the old fashioned way, with a lot of semolina flour. Thankfully, it worked.

Then, this morning, I kneaded up a loaf of whole wheat caraway sourdough rye sandwich bread. It's derived from one of the test recipes that Peter Reinhart's been working on for his upcoming book (I can't wait) so I'd feel like a cad and a heel if I posted the recipe, but my version's got 40% rye, the rest whole wheat, salt, water, milk, butter, honey, a bit of sorghum molasses and caraway. I added the caraway and removed the yeast, since I figured, with rye sourdough, why not let it do its own thing?

It does it well. After 1 hour, it was nearly doubled, and I had to head to church. So I deflated the dough with a fold, and then put it in our unheated front room -- about 59 degrees. Three hours later, when I returned, it was tripled in size, but, luckily, not over-risen. So I divided and shaped it and then put it in my makeshift proof-box at about 80-90 degrees. Within 90 minutes, it was ready to go into the oven. Rye sourdough is amazing stuff.


For sourdough rye with no white flour, this is a high loaf. I was ecstatic. I was pleased with the color as well.




The crumb was uniform, but light. Perfect for a hearty sandwich. This is a loaf I'll be making again and again. Rye tastes great without caraway, but I've now discovered why they're partnered so often together. Delicious.

Comments

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

If you need a cloth replacement, I will send you one.  Just contact me at: sales@superpeel.com I will send it right out.

Pizzameister

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

... somewhere. For all I know, my three-year-old may have purloined it as a blanket for her dolls. In the meantime, it's good to learn how to use a traditional peel. I'm getting better! Tonight's pizza was superb.

Susan's picture
Susan

JMonkey, I've wondered the same thing about rice flour, as my crusts are not as crispy and singing either. I'll switch back to cornmeal for my next baking and let you know.

Have you made your retirement place decision yet? Interesting choices. I think I would choose the one closest to a Trader Joe's.

Sourdough onion-caraway boules are baking right now. I would send a pic, but Camino is crashing every time I try lately.

Susan

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Reading over my post, I can see how it would read that way. But I'm a ways from retiring at 35 with a three-year-old. :-)

We've actually decided on Corvallis -- smaller town, crunchy town, closer to my wife's father and his wife, which means a lot to us. And though there's not a TJ's in Corvallis, there is one in Eugene, about 30-45 minutes away.

We'll miss having a TJ's 5 miles up the road ...

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Cool.

BTW, Dorota wanted me to mention to you that the vegan hippy cookies we were telling you about are on the site. Neither one of us are carob fans, but they are very good.

Susan's picture
Susan

Ooooh, sorry for the slip-up. Didn't mean to age you! Thanks for not taking offense. You are around my son's age. Wish he lived closer, but he married a German girl and they now live in Plauen, not too far from the Czech border. Makes for great vacations, though. My rye boules turned out beautifully today; one loaf went to a neighbor and we devoured the other over dinner with a friend who is visiting from Austin. Shoot, now I have to bake more...

Susan

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I found a tip on the SFBI site that speaks to the stickiness of banettons when using flour. They recommend using a 4:1 ratio of bread flour and rice flour. The result is a non stick surface that's nice and crispy as you would expect from flour alone. I have tried it a couple of times and it works for me!

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

That's a great idea -- I'll try that next weekend! Thanks!