The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A good baking wknd finally...

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Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

A good baking wknd finally...

First time I have posted a photo.  I am very excited about my bake this wknd.  Unfortunately despite the fact that I have now produced three fairly nice loaves I can't wait to try again to correct the things I missed out on.  (I think Petra has it right. It's a sickness.)

The two round loaves are Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough.  They baked very differently because I almost missed out on everything timing wise.  The oval is JMonkey's San Francisco style sourdough.  I retarded them all for 12 hours. The SFSD was a very different texture - probably because it didn't get the same initial mix as the Vermont SD.  I let them come to room temperature and kept an eye on them but I suspect I over-proofed them all somewhat.  I haven't looked at the crumb yet but the weight of each loaf in hand is very comfortable - not dense at all. 

I was trying Sylvia's steam method for the first time - well worth the extra bit of work.  I scored the back loaf and then had to tend to the steaming portion of my bread-baking session.  That meant the back loaf sat for a very few minutes - less than five - already scored.  It was a very obvious lesson on what can happen if you let your scored loaf sit on the counter.  The front round got scored and in to the oven very quickly.  The back round did not experience the same oven spring and had actually fallen a bit before it ever went in the oven.  And although I was concerned about the difference in texture of the SFSD  from the other two, it came out of the bake in nice form. 

The biggest lesson for me has been backing off on handling. After lurking at an open market bakery and observing heir dough handling, I decided I an guilty if over-handling the dough.  That conclusion resulted in me dropping off to sleep  at night imagining how dough should feel before being pre-shaped. Some people count sheep...

Another difference for me is that I changed the food my starter was getting.  Last wknd I read DMSnyder's post on SJSD, in which he mentioned his starter maintenance.  I feed my starter to keep 100% hydration but upon switching to DMSnyder's 70/20/10% mix I noticed a marked difference in the performance of the starter. 

My thanks to all those people that bother to post their experiences!  All I can say is it's a huge help.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I love the look of those beautiful loafs!!!

Fantastic colour on the  crust and great scoring.

YES , it is a sickness, I baked too, all eaten up now, one dough is in the fridge until tomorrow.

I ordered myself a SF Sourdough Starter, it is dried, I need to get it going next week.

I must say, I do prefer my 100% Rye Starter much more than my Wheat Starter, so much easier to handle and my bread does bloom better.

Hubby bought me another Dutch Oven, an kind of Oval shaped one, very nice. Love that hubby.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thank you for your kind words. As you know it's a lot of fun and incredibly addictive....

I too have a SF Sourdough Starter to try out.  I'm saving it for winter.  Of course we only just came in to spring -summer.  I'm hoping I have a bit of wait before I make good on building that starter.  But I have to say I was really surprised at how much livelier my own starter was when I changed the feeding composition. Amazing!

Happy baking in that new Dutch Oven!

PetraR's picture
PetraR

We both have to try out our SF Sourdough Starter to try out:)

You said you changed your feeding to 70/20/10, how much of what is that, I am bit dumb with those things.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

 

Sometimes I skip some details PetraR.  I was not clear at all.  

 I recently read dmsnyder's Post about starter.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/253410#comment-253410

if I understood correctly his mix is 70% all purpose, 20% whole wheat, and 10% rye for feeding the starter.  worked very well for me. 

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I fed my Starter 3 times * after he came out of the fridge and before baking * with 50/50 Wheat and Rye Flour, bread is now bulkfermenting, so I wonder how it will look tomorrow after baking.

I habe used 250g Wheat Flour, 200g Wholemeat Flour and  50g Rye Flour.

It is always so exiting.

I also used 350ml Water instead of the 300ml I normaly use.

So with the Water in the Starter that would be quite a high hydration dough. hmmm

 

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

How did it look?  I bet the taste will be good. I like the sour taste complemented by the rye.  It's kind of like a doubleheader.  You really develop flavour. 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those look great, Jane.  Well done!

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thank you, Floydm.  If it wasn't for all your efforts on keeping this site up and running my pace likely would have been even slower than it has been.

tchism's picture
tchism

Very nice loaves indeed! Nice scoring.

 

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thank you very much. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

So, when do you cut it open for the crumb shot?

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

I wish I could produce loaves that good looking, and I too am curious what the crumb looks like.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thank you to both of you for your encouragement.  Sadly the load I kept was gone before I took a photo.  I can say that it's not perfect yet. It didn't have enough holes to meet my idea of how it should look :).   The crumb was nice though - not compacted at all.  So now I'm researching a different avenue - how do you get that holey bread!  And I guess all breads are not filled with those large holes. 

On a much broader observation -  with all it's flaws the internet is a wonderful thing.  Just imagine how much knowledge and experience is shared on a daily basis!  

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Less handling, best no knead bread with some S&F and long bulk fermantation aswell as more water will give you the bigger holes.

I am fine with medium size holes, I do not strive for the holes.

I only got the bigger holes now as I can not kneading by hand anymore and I do not like to mix and knead in my Stand Mixer.

After all, a hole has no taste, the crumb around it and the crust has;)

As long as  your Crumb is not dry and has spring you have a winner:)

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

then less handling and higher hydration are usually the answer which is why no knead recioes are so popular as well as easy.   But even though the holes get bigger, they still don't taste like much and can be highly over rated:-)   You bread looks great and good luck with your holey quest.  Some whole grains in the starter makes a world of difference in creating an active starter just as it does in the dough flour for unproving the depth of  taste.

Happy baking

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thanks for the input.  Definitely appreciated.  I'm going to stop thinking about all that holiness and concentrate on getting it right.  I'm one of those learners that has to do it wrong to get it right :)   Good thing I can get a big bag of flour at Costco for a reasonable price. 

Holes - there is one situation that I imagine a great deal of holes are the goal.  We ate at Disneyland last year at Pacific Wharf Café.  There is a Boudin Bakery setup that you can wander through and see all the stages of baking.  Pretty neat but of course money is no object there.  Anyway the soup/chili is served in  Boudin  bread bowls.  And I thought what a waste - what do they do with the insides.  After hanging around this site I realize there is probably very little waste at all.  It's all about the crust then.

 

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

I defrosted one of my loaves from last week for dinner last night and took a crumb shot.  Here it is. 

Now I have to try again and see if I can repeat the success.  No baking on the wknd - Father's Day  - only cooking.

Vermont Sourdough