The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Getting my SD chops down . . .

Skibum's picture

Getting my SD chops down . . .

Since my mutant loaf a couple of days ago I have spent great care in both pre-shaping an shaping and the results are much better.  New to sour dough baking on a regular basis I let the first 2 batches proof for an hour and scoring was most difficult.  I suspected over proofing.  On today's bake I proofed the loaf on the right for 50 minutes and it was reasonably easy to score, though I had trouble with the lame and had to use a serrated knife.  The loaf on the left, which proofed longer was nearly impossible to score by any means, so definitely over proofed.

This is a lean hearth loaf at 80% hydration with total flour at 300 grams.  I suspect that even at 50 minutes the dough was over proofed.  Next bake I will proof one mini loaf for 40 minutes and the second for 45.

I am most impressed with the chew and crumb on this bread and LOVE the flavour the SD baking process brings to breads.

I got on the lean bread flavour kick a couple of weeks ago.  I bought some Western Bratwurst from my local Swiss deli then realized I had no long buns and bought one of their baguettes, which looked not bad.  This was my first store bought loaf since finding TheFreshLoaf and BOY was I disappointed. 

Reading some of the complex bakes here used to make me tired, just reading the recipe descriptions!  I have realized now, that very little time is spent building the levain's and dough's and one must let the magic of time do it's work.  I am loving the whole process and REALLY loving the finished results.  GREAT FLAVOUR!!!  I now get it . . .

Best regards, Brian


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice to achieve improvement isn't it?  I know the feeling all too well!

I would be happy with the crumb on these.  Now all you need is some cheese and nice bottle of Okanagan wine :)


Skibum's picture

. . . has wine??? ;-)

golgi70's picture

I don't know the formula but I'll assume its IDY free and a pure sourdough.  With such a slack dough at 80 % you may benefit from the Tartine shaping technique which is available to see on youtube.  The folds and the stitching makes the high hydration sticky dough very tight when helping with bloom and ear formation.  Also a final proof in the retarder would make for a firmer dough and drier skin to score.  

I find scoring retarded loaves much easier than room temp.  Maybe decrease hydration and do  a cold bulk ferment to attain the open crumb. At 70% you'll find it much easier to shape and score. 

Just some ideas.  Bread looks great and the crumb is beauty.  


Skibum's picture

Thanks for the suggestions Josh!  I will also back the hydration down some.  I am in a very dry environment and when mixing a 67% hydration dough I have a lot of flour I can't incorporate and found through experimentation, that to get dough that looked like the 67% hydration in the King Arthur videos, I had to bump my hydration to 72-73%.

Regards, Brian

dabrownman's picture

about SD bread making is, if you aren't milling you own flour, the process is not at all difficult, complex or time consuming,  I call it the do a little bit of something that is hardly worth doing and then waiting a long time so that you can do a  different little bit of near worthless  something so you can wait even longer - repeat as many times as necessary :-)  At least during the long waits you can do something more worth doing!

Once you get hooked on SD it is hard to go back to bad store bought baguettes.  Your loaves look delicious.

Happy baking

Skibum's picture

Your excellent description of the sourdough process and methods of work have got me hooked on SD.  The flavour is truly much better than yeasted breads I have made.  So now I have the process of baking all of my favourite breads from Peter Reinhart's books using the sourdough process. I have a 10% whole wheat, 15% organic rye loaf at 80% just going into bulk.  We have had poor weather for a few days now so I have been busy baking and watching some youtube videos. I just watched a superb video by Richard Bertinet where he demonstrates the French slap and fold method, so now I know what you have been talking about.

I used to get tired just reading about your bread builds, but now that I understand the process it really is just a little bit of work and a lot of patience, which fits my retired lifestyle very well!

Regards, Brian