The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still working on it, getting better

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Still working on it, getting better

I've been quiet, but am still working on this sourdough thing over here!  I really only have time to bake once a week, or once every other week, so I haven't been able to get in as much practice as I'd like.  However, I think that things continue to improve.  My last loaf was actually a bit comical due to a math error (this is what happens when you give history majors math-based bread formulas!!!)  :)  Ok, I'm not really that math-challenged, and am pretty handy with Excel (have been playing with some of the dough calculators), so I'm chalking this one up to a senior moment (no offense!)  I'm happily going through my bread steps, and as I do my stretch/fold, rest, repeat, I realize that, "....man!  This dough is really WET!"  I soldiered on assuming that it was just because I hadn't baked in a couple of weeks.  Finished up bulk fermentation, shaped the dough into a boule (hmmm, really slack), then inverted into a bowl to proof (no bannetons here.)  When time came to turn the dough out into my DO (tartine like bake), it became obvious that something was wrong (ok, maybe not wrong, but not as it should be.)  Floppy dough that literally splatted into the DO, couldn't slash it to save my life, and ended up just snipping a few spots with scissors, then into the oven.  While it was baking, I looked back over my notes for the dough, and, sure enough, I had miscalculated the water, and my recipe was 80% hydration!!  I'm sure that some of you bake breads with this level of hydration somewhat regularly, but it was WAY too wet for this guy to handle well.  I got a good chuckle out of my mistake, and, as always, got to eat it anyway (.....and it's my best flavor yet, loved the crumb, and the crust was nicely crunchy.)  Progress I guess.....

 

....building up the starter for my next loaf, and have triple checked my math! :)

Rich

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks pretty good for a mistake!  I wouldn't mind a slice of that myself. 

I am in the same boat as you regards baking time: usually only once a week and sometimes only every other week.  Sometimes I manage to bake more than one loaf on the same day but it does require careful planning.  You can  do most of your preparation (bigas, starters, poolishes, etc) in any spare time on the day/days prior to the bake.  I once baked 3 baguettes, 2 ciabattas a focaccia and a sourdough boule all on the same day.  It was no small feat in my miniscule 3m x 1m kitchen and in my oven that can only take one baguette at a time.  (It is so small that they can only be baked diagonally).  But it was fun and I loved every minute of it.

Best,

Syd

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, Syd.  Yep, tasted just fine, not the most photogenic loaf, but eaten up just like all the rest!

I don't think I'm up for a marathon like you describe above, but I did bake some San Joaquin Sourdough and a dozen bagels today (class project.....7 year old help make the dough and shape the bagels with me yesterday.)

Cheers,

Rich