The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild Yeast Bread

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ejm's picture
ejm

Wild Yeast Bread

wild bread
Lately, I have been having a devil of a time judging whether the dough has risen enough. And I have been allowing it to over-rise. The over-risen dough produces flat as pancake loaves that taste good but don't look all that great. But finally, after weeks of trying, there was oven spring and the loaves are round rather than flat. Yay! I like to balance cookie cutter(s) on top of the just shaped bread to etch a design in top of the loaf. For this loaf, I used 3 star shaped cutters. (Remove the cookie cutters just before baking the bread.) I really like the way it looks! It's not quite as spectacular as the ridges that people get by proofing their bread upside down in baskets but it doesn't require nearly the nerve. One doesn't have to flip risen bread out onto a peel with this designing technique.

Comments

okieinalaska's picture
okieinalaska

Awesome!  Your bread looks great. : )

So how did you use the cookie cutters? Do you let the bread rise with them on there after the final shaping?

Amy in Alaska

ejm's picture
ejm

I put the cookie cutters onto the top of the loaf right after shaping it, covered it and let it rise. Then just before baking, I gently lifted the cookie cutters off.

Here is a picture of an earlier set of loaves (that I foolishly allowed to over-rise) 

 cookie cutters on shaped dough

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Lovely bread!  Any idea what the secret is to not over-proofing your dough?

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you, KipperCat. I must say I'm pretty pleased.

It's not really much of a secret. It was simply letting it rise for less time. I had thought that it was necessary for the dough to reach the top of the bowl (I completely neglected to apply my own lessons of pressing the dough or poking a hole in the center to see if the hole immediately disappeared or stayed. If it stays, it's pretty much ready; if the dough collapses when poked, it's over-risen)

And the same thing for the shaped dough. I think the biggest difficulty I had was getting myself to understand that the wild bread boules are smaller than the commercial yeast boules I make - less flour, less water. Duh... (It turns out that I am as dumb as I look. ;-))

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

When it comes to bread, I think we're all as dumb as we look sometimes!

okieinalaska's picture
okieinalaska

Thank you so much for the xtra pic! : )

And I have had sooo many of those "moments" lately I am beginning to get worried, LOL.

Amy in Alaska

browndog's picture
browndog

Love the cookie cutter idea. Very subtle and pretty.