The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

back to basics

simontc's picture

back to basics

following last post I tried less leaving to no avail... So I rolled back and updated my frankensteined recipe a bit.


my recipe is a combo of hobbs house bakery sourdough (not a good recipe) and the technique/higher hydration/flour mixing of Trevor Wilson's entire breadwerx blog.... The thing I love about his blog is his general philosophy of bread evolution/transience. It's liberating!

I also broke down my starter technique based a little on the perfect loaf blog's method- less feed, more often, wholegrain and white mix and attempting to build gluten to see a rise in the starter. This latter bit hasn't done anything - im still not seeing expansion beyond a little bit. The co2 just seems to escape and flood the jar- which produces a satisfying bang when I clip open the kilner lid.


anyway- recipe im hitting.


around 7am I put 100g starter/50g strong white (UK flour) 50g whole wheat and 100g water into my mixing bowl, give it a good stir and leave while I go to work.


now this loaf I was late home for- so at 9pm I added 80g

simontc's picture


sorry- phone being weird.


80g spelt, 20g rye and 400g strong white. I also added 10g salt... I stretched and Golders for 15 minutes then every half an hour i did four stretch and folds in the bowl- until about midnight. I then shaped and put in basket at 1am and went to bed...


oven was on to preheat at about 6.30 and loaf went in at 7am. In cast iron pot with lid- lid removed after first 20mins. Temp for first 20 was 230c (highest my oven goes) and was turned to about 215c for remainder of time- which was another 35 mins. So overall 55mins in oven.


I then went to work and sliced open the next day in prep for my sandwich for the day :)


my kitchen is fairly cold compared to a lot of folks on here I think- around 17c in general - which is why I think I need to use a higher degree of leaving than most folks.


the bread tastes great, has a lovely crumb (those thin wispy bits that stick over the shiny divots/holes are divine) and has a nice central rise.


I do want more overall height - that big ol ball look a load of you get would be ideal as there's a big decline in sandwich size after the first :p ... I'm hoping for a dough scraper to come my way soon and will try preshaping. I'm also thinking a smaller basket will reduce footprint and promote upwards spring- my current basket always has a fair amount of head room after proofing.

simontc's picture

oh and water added with main dough was 290g- I upped from my 270g. Overall hydration including starter in dough was around 66%- I think my next loaf I will bite bullet and go for 70%

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And I agree with you. Their demonstrations never produce a great sourdough. I see far better bakes on this website from many non professionals.

Lovely loaf and admire your midweek schedule for baking. I always plan on trying a midweek bake but never seem to get round to it. You're very busy and still find time to work in a loaf.

How about Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough or the Norwich Sourdough (Hamleman's reworked for 100% hydration starter and levain). I've worked out the schedule in my head but never yet got around to trying it midweek.

Morning - Mix the Levain

Evening - Make the dough and bulk ferment (you'll need 3.5 hours to spend on it)


Next morning - Bake