The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour Dough Loaves

bobkay1022's picture

Sour Dough Loaves


  Happy New Year every one.  I have a question that some one might be able to answer. 2-3 weeks ago I made and posted 2 loaves of SD Bread.  Out standing crumb and crust. Best I have ever made.

  The crumb was very good and little on the moist side that really made every ones day. It was white in color and made a outstanding sandwich or just a plain piece with butter. 

The next batch was so different but from the same recipe and flour from the same bag. It was darker in color and firm sort of dry and no so light of a crumb.

  Wonder if any one has any idea what might have happened.







pmccool's picture

since all you've mentioned is the differences in the finished bread, but you did something different with the second batch.  And, no, I'm not trying to be a smart-aleck.  Let's break it down:

Recipe - same in both cases

Ingredients - same in both cases

Outcome - different

Ergo, something in the process for Bread 2 was different than the process for Bread 1.  A short list of possibilities includes differing fermentation times/temperatures, variations in quantities due to using volume measurements instead of weight measurements, differences in baking times/temperatures.  There are other possibilities; I just picked the ones that seem to offer the greatest likelihood for the kinds of results you have reported.

What else can you tell us about the two bakes?


bobkay1022's picture

  Hi Paul,

   Thanks for the ideas. Some times the ovious is over looked.  I have a faint idea it might have been fermentation . The recipe  I used for this bread was  a new one  from a old alaskan sd recipe.    I cup of started  1 1/3 cup warm water 3 cups flour.

Beat vigorously.  it gives a fernetation time of 2 to ?? 24 hrs.  First  and second batch had a nice sponge.  Weighed ingredients were then added  . The rise time about 3-4 hrs.  I do a stretch and fold. rise again 2+ hours.  another stretch and fold. 2 hrs more then shape  into 2  bread  loafs  rise 2 more hours.  bake 450  25 minutes .  Boiling hot water in pan under  my stone.

I put out side in a area at night where the temps are about 50-60 degrees for slow fermentation.

About all I can tell you.  It is a new recipe. I normally use the one from SD Home Mike Avery but wanted to try this one . I was so imnpressed with the 1 st 2 loaves I had to do it again.

Happy New Year




MangoChutney's picture

Variability in a recipe is increased by using volume measurements. I make my morning oatcake using volume measurements, and some days water seems wetter than other days. I make my bread using weight measurements, and it is much more consistent. I think your second dough didn't have as much water in it as your first dough.

bobkay1022's picture

  I agree with you 100 %  I use a scale for every thing including liquid.   Once I have established ?? after a few tries how they measure when it is not listed then I try to stick to that method.  If it is listed type of weight I use that measurement. Liquid I try to use weight volume. Not sure some times so I might add a little more or flour to get a feel.

 I really think some times the flour is the culprit  .  Oh well with out all the members looking over my shoulders it could be worse.

Happy New year