The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Last week's sourdough projects

wildyeast.wildwoman's picture

Last week's sourdough projects

This is a 40/60 white/wheat sourdough from the book "Classic Sourdoughs". This was our everyday/breakfast bread all week. I doubled the recipe and took out a quarter cup of the white flour and replaced it with milled flax. Also, did water instead of milk because we were running low. I've been experimenting with keeping my doughs wetter and using a wet hand to knead instead of dusting flour. It took much longer to knead than last time I used this recipe but I'm really happy with the end result. The bread is very fluffy with a chewy crust. It was so wet that I struggled to get it into the loaf pan in any kind of shape but the top didn't explode like I was fearing. 

I made a double batch of the basic recipe from the same book which is just white flour, water and salt. I kept it much wetter than I usually do, split it in half and used half for pizza crusts and half for a loaf in my banneton. I've been making homemade pizza crusts very regularly for several years but just started making sourdough crusts this spring. These last pies were the best yet. The crust was extremely flavorful, chewy and not too crisp which is how I like it. The dough handled like a dream while stretching onto my pizza pan. I almost wish I'd toned down the toppings even more to let the sour crust shine. If anyone is interested I can post my recipe/method for the crust. 

The baby approves. 

The loaf...I wasn't as happy with. I need to get a kitchen scale because I didn't divide evenly and the dough didn't fill out the banneton. There was no oven spring at all. However the flavor was fantastic and texture very good. Still need more practice and experience with high hydration. This is the most open crumb I've ever gotten on a loaf.

Does anyone know of a good video showing the texture of different levels of hydration and what they should look/feel like? The whole time I'm kneading I'm just thinking "This can't be right. This is just a big mess." 

Does anyone know what could have caused the lower part of this loaf to be less airy than the top? 

DanAyo's picture

Your pan bread and pizza looks smashing. I can see beautiful holes in thta pizza crust. AND baby likes it!

Great job, looking forward to seeing what is in store for you next.


You’ll never regret the digital scale. No one I know has...

franbaker's picture

As for the last bread, my thinking is that, if the dough would be good for making pizza, then it's a flat-bread style dough, maybe not so good for an artisan-style loaf; try baking it as a ciabatta, or another kind of flat bread instead (like a naan bread or Philadelphia-style tomato pie, maybe?). Other than being dense on the bottom, it looks pretty good to me, I think maybe the dough isn't meant to support the weight of that much more dough. But I'm new at this, someone else may have a better thought.

It looks like you're having lots of fun with your baking, and having your kids like it is the best -- even when your child is grown, and is now the designated pizza-maker in your family :-)