The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Monstrous Bloom Again...Need help

Justkneadit's picture

Monstrous Bloom Again...Need help

Well, I did it again. Crazy bloom that has me scratching my head. I will list the process I used to make this Lavender Hazelnut Sourdough Boule, but could this bloom be a product of my stater being young..(12 days)? I will say the taste turned out much better than I anticipated. The hazelnut gave a smooth nutty flavor and the lavender didn't creep in until close to swallowing (well it did reach the nose first). Neither ingredient was overpowering, which was pleasing. Would be fitting to slather with honey!

First the Recipe.. and please feel free to critique my recipe because I am only 6 weeks into baking and I will take as much advice as everyone is willing to give.

Lavendar Hazelnut Sourdough Boule

Flour 550g:

  • KA Bread Flour 450g
  • Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flour 100g

Starter: 110g 100% Hydration

Water: 308g

Salt: 12g Pink Himalayan 

Lavender: 10g

Hazelnut: Toasted, grated 15g


Mix ingredients, minus salt, autolyse 20 min. Knead approx. 10 min then rest 30 min.  4 S&F's with 30 min in between. After last S&F 10 min rest, shape 10 min rest, then into brotform, then into sealed plastic bag and refridge for 13 1/2 hours. Pull out of fridge, keeping in the bag, rise for 6 hours. Poke test was barely passing. Score, oven, steam. Bake at 450 for 30 min, turning 180 degrees. Then, after 30 min reduce to 400 and bake for 10 min. Here is the result.




LindyD's picture

I think your comment in your first post - that you felt the boule was underproofed -  is right on.  

Nor do I think the poke test is all that accurate, especially when using a brotform.    Taking a close look at the crumb, the alveoli (air cells) are more developed on the left side than on the right.   There's little development on the right side or the top section.   I think it needed more time, and perhaps a different scoring pattern.  David Snyder wrote an excellent scoring tutorial.  If you haven't already read it, the link is:

All in all, it looks quite tasty, so you should be proud!

Justkneadit's picture

I really need to quit worrying about the "time" and go on feel. I had time today so I shouldn't have rushed it. I have been reading Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Lionel Poilane's method of training for the feel, for me, will work out best. I have read David Snyder's tutorial before, but when do you "know" what pattern to score? Do you just visualize where you want the bloom to go? Thanks for the help.

dabrownman's picture

Justkneadit.  Pros would kill for bread like that.  You have found your calling.  What great spring.  Going in the oven a little under-proofed  is the right thing to do but this wasn't all that under-proofed.

Bake on!

ldavis47's picture

The bread looks beautiful and I just got some spelt that I want to try. Your timing is also great for a work schedule especially if the proof is made a little longer 7-8 hrs. Do the mixing and kneeling at night and refrig, take out in am, set oven on timer to be preheated on return. I have one question: what is the temperature of the room during proofing. In winter my kitchen stays at 65 degrees. 


SCruz's picture

I think it's terrific to see a bread with flair, one that doesn't behave. I'd buy it in a second!

jannrn's picture

I have not had the courage to try a boule yet, but I may after seeing this one!! I also just recieved the lavender I ordered yesterday, the Himalayan salt is on its way (coincidentally) and I have GOT to try this recipe!! Who cares how it looks....though I think it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I too would buy it in a second!!! WOW!! Congratulations!! I think I would be HOPING mine turns out a little funky like this!! Love it!!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'd say it was about right considering your starter, its timing and the spelt swap.  Wheat with spelt is better a little under-proofed in my opinion.  Spelt will give you a lot of volume and enzymes.  So this one with 22% spelt should be proofed less than the first sourdough loaf without it.  

A beautiful loaf.  :)

Justkneadit's picture

  So what about what lindyd said above about the crumb, do you think I could have acheived a more evenly open crumb by letting it proof longer? I mean the entire time I was super gentle witht the dough.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

become more dramatically uneven and open.    I think it is good to knock out the larger bubbles when shaping.  You did change more than one variable at a time.   Ha!  But I think the bubble distribution Lindy is talking about is more likely a shaping thing.  Hard to tell really.  Still a nice crumb.  You can make the same loaf and let it proof longer and see what happens.  Make everything the same except the length of the final proof.  Then you have your answer.  :)


Justkneadit's picture

Ok, I guess I could be coerced into baking another loaf. haha Thanks for the tips.