The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Farmer's Market Week 15 (Country Sour)

golgi70's picture

Farmer's Market Week 15 (Country Sour)

White Bread?!?  Been so heavy on the grains all summer I figured it was time to do a simple Sourdough.  I used 10% whole grain split even with freshly milled rye and wheat.  All went into the levain to help give a nice sour twang to this white bread.  When it comes to white bread my favorites lean toward the baguette and ciabatta and less for a traditional sourdough.  Must be the crust to crumb ratio.  With less flavor in a white bread the higher proportion of crust gives the ample flavor one wants.  As for white sourdough I find them most suited for toasting/panini, or croutons.  In the end this came out quite nice and with all the whole grain in the levain it comes off with the flavor of a dough with more than 10% whole grain.  Very happy with this loaf.  


100     White Starter (100% hydration)

100     Malted Bread Flour (11.5% protein)

50       Fresh Ground Rye

50       Fresh ground wheat

142.5  H20


Mix to 75 deg F and let ripen 8-12 hours pending room temp will nearly triple and have a lovely scent when ready


Dough:  DDT 75 deg F (its warm in the kitchen so I aim a touch low knowing it will warm to 77-78)

750    Malted Bread Flour
608    H20 (hold back 10%)
21.5   Sea Salt

total Dough    1,789
2 @ 894.5 g

Total Flour 1000 g

Total H20     800 (80%)


1)  Autolyse 1 hour holding back 10% of final dough h20

2) Add levain and mix to incorporate.  Repeat with salt.

3)  Develop dough to pass window test.  Add held h20 and mix slowly until dough comes back together.

4)  Bulk Ferment 3.5 hours at 76-78 deg F                                                                                                                                    Do three strong stretch and folds (once from one direction and again from the other) @ 45 minute intervals.

5)  Divide dough at 894.5 g and round into a tight ball.  Let rest 30 minutes.  (This dough is wet and the tighter you get the pre-shape the easier and stronger your final shape)  Shape as batards into floured bowls and retard immediately for 8-12 hours. 

6)  Bake at 500 with steam for 11 minutes.  Lower to 460 and continue for 22-25 minutes rotating as needed.

COOL and enjoy



Yellow watermelon, toad melons, poblanos, red delicous apples, zukes, broccoli, dried herbs, kale, carrots, parsnips, mixed greens

Have a great weekend all, 



dabrownman's picture

of white bread.  I would rather eat this than any baguette any day.  I say anything less than 50% whole grains is still white bread :-)  Love that bold bake and blistered crust to go with that open, glossy crumb., Well done inside and out Josh.  Looks like the market is keeping you in veg and fruit too.

Happy baking!

trailrunner's picture

Your receivers of the bread made out great !  Very nice bake. c

isand66's picture

Great looking bread Josh and good bounty as well.



annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Very handsome looking loaves Josh!



Mebake's picture

How did these fly, as opposed to your other SD's?

You have a really good dough handling skills, Josh. Your crumb always looks perfect. What is your oven setup? Is it one stone? and what steaming method do you use?

Inspiring results!


golgi70's picture

They flew as per usual.  I had one farmer that I have never trade with turn it down once she heard me say sourdough.  They like sweet french.  Granted this was actually a sourdough but we need a better term for non-yeasted bread that does not include the word sour as for some its a major turnoff.  I say natural levain and most have no clue what that means.  Anyhoo.  The remainder of folks were happy to take and it actually is quite tasty.  

Oven Setup: 

Standard cheapo house oven (yet it is only a year old so it works well, gas powered)

I have two 20" x 15 " soapstone slabs (1 1/4" thick) set top and bottom which work wonders for heat but have been breaking all season.  We just leave them in the oven and barely use our oven for anything but bread these days.  At end of season I will have to scrap and get new stones.  

Steaming I have changed throughout this project from a brownie pan with with rolled towels soaked in boiling water then I added a small cast iron in combo with this that I added ice cubes to as I loaded.  After that I got some beach rocks and filled the cast iron with them to help.  But in the end the roasting pan filled with lava rocks then i pour about 2 cups of cold water in as I load.  This latter method has produced the best, heaviest, and most prolonged steam with the towels in a close second.  In order for the towels to work better I would have needed to add a second pan and having to keep water boiling for this just added more mess and work per load.  Lava Rocks are the winner.  Now I need to find a heat capable strip of plastic to cover the vents on my oven and it will trap the steam even better.  Any ideas of what I could use??  

Thanks for the pleasant words and from your results of past I don't think your having any major issues.  I still want to replicate your 60% rye that had such a wonderful open crumb.  

Happy Baking


pmccool's picture

Your gas oven relies on a constant supply of fresh air for good combustion.  Blocking the vents stops the flow of combusted fuel and air out of the oven, which equally stifles the in-flow of fresh air that is required to keep the flame burning.  Not a good thing if the fire goes out but the gas keeps flowing!


golgi70's picture

Even for 5 minutes you think it would cause a problem?  I intended to close just at beginning of bake and then remove to vent.  I guess its not worth the risk.  Maybe I'll toy with shutting my oven off for 5 minutes then turning back on.  



pmccool's picture

Steam the oven, load the bread, turn off the oven for 5-10 minutes with vents blocked, reopen vents, restart oven.  You'd have to preheat maybe 50F higher than your desired baking temp to make up for heat lost while loading the bread.  Janetcook and others have used this technique with some success and it may work for you.


Mebake's picture

Well you could label them: "no yeast added" or, "naturally leavened". But, how cares as long as there is an audience who still love them anyway.

Gas oven! i had one just like yours and i used to suffer alot with steaming. I'm impressed with all the wonderful breads you produce from a gas oven. Paul is right, don't block the vents. However, there is a TFL member here who had successful results from his gas oven when used Sylvia's microwaved towels, here is the post.

As to the 60% Rye, i believe i owe the success to the medium rye i was able to emulate by sifting whole rye flour through a a fine mesh strainer.


golgi70's picture

For the kind words as usual.  I was most happy with the shine of the crumb.  Dough felt perfect and shows signs of that within.  Makes a hell of sandwich taboot


Skibum's picture

Gotta LOVE the ears and dark blistered crust.  Beautiful bread man!

Regards, Brian