The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough success, second time around!

Jennie Beth's picture
Jennie Beth

Sourdough success, second time around!

Hi all, 

Update:  Second rise, sourdough did NOTHING, control doubled as usual. Got a little bit of rise in the oven but not much. Control loaf ended up wider, taller than sourdough. Both tasted good, but I was disappointed in the overall loaf of sourdough.

So, made some changes...

Instead of letting my dough rise for 20 hours, I gave it only 8. Dough had at least doubled, if not a bit more, but had none of the bubbles I am used to seeing on the surface of the dough in my no knead recipe.  Let it rest, shaped it, and let it rise again under a towel for two hours. It nearly doubled in size. Baked it up, and it was amazing! Tallest loaf I have made so far, singing crust, excellent flavor...

I did add two things to this loaf, just for fun: shaved Parmesan and Italian seasonings. Filled the house with the smell of toasted cheese and herbs while it was baking! 

Think I am in danger of getting the hang of this...

Jennie Beth's picture
Jennie Beth

Of the outside...are the tears in the crust good or bad?

pongze's picture

Beautiful loaf.  The tears are not necessarily good nor bad, they just mean that the scoring didn't accommodate the expansion quite enough.  But the tears still go along the lines of the scoring, so basically they're controlled.

Out of curiousity, how do you bake?  I.e., what temperature, steam, etc?

Jennie Beth's picture
Jennie Beth

Hi Pongze,

Very low tech setup at my house. Plain ol electric oven preheated to 450, with 5qt cast iron Dutch oven going in to heat w/ the oven, for about 45 minutes.  I do my second rise on a big square of parchment paper.  Once the second rise is complete, I take the hot DO out of the oven, gently drop in the loaf using the corners of the parchment, close the lid, and put the whole thing back in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, remove lid, bake about 15-20 minutes more.  Use the parchment corners to lift the done loaf out and onto a cooling rack. 

That's it...

Regarding scoring, is there a rule of thumb for how deep to cut?  Maybe I have been too timid with the knife... 


evonlim's picture

singing crust, tall loaf those are good signs of a successful bake. u forgot, a smiling baker too! welcome to the addiction, satisfaction and happy sourdough baking family.


DavidEF's picture

As long as the crust and crumb are suitable to your palate, the tears are no problem, I guess. As already mentioned, they just mean that the scores didn't fully accomodate the expansion of the loaf from the oven spring. However, I always have a tendency to wonder whether that also means that the loaf would have risen more if it had been scored sufficiently. Hmmm. Well, from the pics, it does look delicious. I've got some dough fermenting in a bowl at home right now. Can't wait to bake it. Hope it comes close to looking as good as yours.

dabrownman's picture

bake.  Beautiful in every way.,