The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough bread triology: 1, 2, 3

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Olof's picture
Olof

Sourdough bread triology: 1, 2, 3

These are my first few attempts at baking with wild yeast only.

The first was a San Francisco style sourdough, recipe from Weekend Bakery. Not much rise/oven spring. The crust was crunchy but the crumb was way too chewy. The starter was 100% rye at 100% hydration

Then I tried Syd's San Francisco Style Sourdough from here. This turned out to be a Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde loaf, one side rather nice looking and the other burst open. The crust was crisp but pale in color. The texture of crumb was somewhat closer to my liking though, not as rubbery as the first time around but with mine tunnels instead of well distributed holes. The starter was 100% rye at 100% hydration. Suggestions from those who have tried Syd's recipe, or from Syd self, would be most welcome.

Then there was the third time around, almost a charmer, called Vermont Bread from Home Cooking Adventure. The crust was thin and crisp, the color was more golden then in the previous breads, the texture of the crumb was pleasant yet still slightly chewy and the holes more evenly distributed. I think these bread has a more acceptable oven spring than the previous attempts. The dough after final proof has a much tighter feel. One of the two breads looks pregnant, one side protruding from a burst underneath. This bread turned against me as I was shaping it, I couldn't get the seam straight and it twirled in my hands when I placed it upside down in the proofing basket. Still, I am very happy with this recipe and think this could be the beginning of a long relationship. For this recipe I converted some of my 100% rye starter to 25% rye and 75% white flour over the course of 5 days at 100% hydration. I also changed the overnight starter of the recipe. Since my starter is used rye at mealtimes I used 40gr rye from the final formula for the overnight starter and added 40gr white flour to the final formula instead. Beginner's luck perhaps, but more of a gut feeling that this might agree better with my starter than to be feed white flour alone.

 

Comments

rayel's picture
rayel

Olof, I am hardly qualified to rate your bread, as I have yet to bake a sourdough loaf, however the last try seems pretty authentic to me, and vastly improved over your first two loaves. Can it be your starter is getting stronger as you go, thereby removing some of the earlier problems ?

Best wishes, also for your future bakes, Ray

Syd's picture
Syd

Olof, your Vermont sourdough looks great. Nice shaping, crust colour and great crumb, too. I say if that is the recipe that works for you, stick with it and make it often.  I think you learn more from sticking with one loaf for a while than you do from jumping around and trying a whole lot of different recipes.  But that is my personal opininion.

As for the other two loaves... I can't say with any certainty what went wrong, but I could take a few educated guesses.  The lack of colour on the second loaf could be a baking problem.  Where did you place it in the oven? How long did you preheat you oven for? What tempereature did you bake at, and for how long? All of these factors could have influenced crust colour.  An overproofed loaf can also result in a pale crust:  all the available sugars are used up by yeast and nothing is left for the maillard reaction during baking. 

The bursting might be due to shaping. David Snyder has an excellent tutorial on shaping a boule. If you search for shaping a boule in the search function, it should be one of the first results.  I always go back and check on my boules while they are proofing and pinch any seams that have come undone.  

The fact that you used a 100% rye starter may have also influenced your result.  My starter is 85% all purpose 15% rye and 100% water. The addition of rye speeds the whole fermentation process up and you would need to shorten the fermentation times in the recipe.

These are just some ideas for you to consider.  But I think you did a great job on the Vermont sourdough and one out of three  , especially for your first attempt, is really good!

All the best,

Syd

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I love your choice of words.. hilarious! Pregnant / Jeckel and Hyde.. :)

Very nice breads, nontheless.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I was especially taken by ' I think I should try and be a bit more assertive when degassing'  so true and spot on a reflection  that is probably correct and spoken so well.

Please bake on!!  Your 4th loaf is just grand.

Olof's picture
Olof

Thank you, good folks for your encouragement and advice. I made the Vermont bread again yesterday and followed the recipe to the letter this time. These breads look awesome. Still some irregularity in crumb texture. I think I should try and be a bit more assertive when degassing before preshaping and final shaping and see if I can get more manageble holes. These are like escape routes for the butter. I'd be embarressed to tell my dinner guests to feel free to lick their plates for the butter. My dough management was much better, no dough attacks this time. The final proof was two hours instead of the two and a half last time. This probably resulted in a greater oven spring.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

either Olaf.  I have never baked such a nice looking loaf as your 4th.  Maybe better on the inside but not on outside.  It is just grand.

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I have my starter going great guns today bubbly and smelling sour and I'm ready to make the dough and retard it in the frig. when my wife reminds me that I have three appointments tomorrow and no time to shape and rise and watch bread for the just right time to slash and bake it.  Let alone the hour to preheat the stone and cast iron pan for steam........anyone in Mpls. Mn. want a really nice sourdough starter and levain?

rayel's picture
rayel

Really prettty bread. Nice scoring, and the way it opened up. With steam mechanism?

Ray

Olof's picture
Olof

Thank you. Yes, steam included. Half a cup of boiling water poured into a shallow baking pan on a rack below the baking sheet with the bread. I remove it after 15 minutes and then bake the bread for another 15 minutes. I don't have a baking stone. I place the empty baking sheet in the oven when I turn it on. It's a heavy, glazed baking sheet.