The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Saturday Bake - June 21, 2014

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

My Saturday Bake - June 21, 2014

This weekend I baked Jeffrey Hamelman's Five Grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough.  I followed the instruction carefully.  It is a very slack dough but handles very nicely. It has a very pleasing taste, but not as pronounced as I would have liked.  Next time I make it I will investigate how to make the starter more tangy.

I have been curious about different baking methods so I tried a little experiment.  I made each loaf 725 grams.  Two I baked at the same time and one I allowed to prove at a slightly lower temperature than the 80 degrees called for in the recipe.  Much as I love my convection oven I begrudge the loss of space that the convection fan takes up.  Therefore two loaves at a time.  The loaf in the upper left was baked in a Lodge Dutch Oven.  The loaf in the upper right was baked in a Sassafras Bread Dome.  The foremost loaf was baked freestanding on a stone with what little steam I was able to muster up.  It was a last minute call to put that one on the stone so I didn't do justice to the steaming portion of the bake.  I did spray the oven walls  with water (I hope my husband never reads this!) a couple of times in the first 5 - 10 minutes.  I was hoping that would augment the weak steam that was being produced in a miserly fashion from my less than adequate steam pan - without much success.

If this was a contest "So you think you can bake" I would definitely give the #1 place to the Lodge bake.  The color of the loaf, the rise and the overall appearance of the loaf seems to me to be far more pleasing than either of the other two.  The Bread Dome does not brown as well although the loaf itself promises to be fine.  I could have left it open a few minutes longer than the Lodge bake.  Next time.  As for the poor neglected stone bake, there is not much to say.  While it will be fine to eat it doesn't stand up at all to the others. 

All in all it was a good bake.



DThatell2394's picture


Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thanks for your comment.  I enjoyed baking them.

dabrownman's picture

#1  on the outside was best.  For a bolder bake in the oven you can use use 2 of Sylvia's steaming pans half full of water and a kitchen towel rolled up in them. makes great steam.  I put them in once the oven its pre-heat temperature (50 F over baking temperature) and in 15 minutes they are really putting out the steam.  Bake the bread to 210 F on the inside for a more bold bake. A cheapo instant read thermometer works wonders if you don't have one.  I too like more tangy bread than most and jump through all kinds of hoops to get it:-)

Still the DO will be tough to beat.,  Well done and happy baking