74% hydration soughdough
I’m feeling more confident now with this sourdough recipe. I’ve had pretty good success now that I’ve baked it a few times with the hydration lowered to 74% from about 78%. This is Maurizio’s beginner sourdough recipe which fortunately we love the flavour of. The only change this time was that I added 0.5% diastatic malt powder to the dough during the autolyse. I believe it did make the fermentation go faster than usual as the dough appeared nicely fermented after 4 hours at 80ºF and with my starter it usually takes 4.5 to 5 hours before it appears nicely fermented so I think it does what it advertises. Tonight we’ll cut it and taste it to see how it affects the crumb texture and flavour. The other change I made during the baking process was that I baked it in my DO at the highest rack that I could still fit it on and place a cookie tray on the rack below to shield it from the direct heat. Also, I’ve started to pull the bread out of the DO after taking the lid off and then placing the bread with the parchment onto the rack in the oven directly. I’ve made this change to try to get the bottom crust to be baked more similarly to the sides and top as I’ve often found that the bottom crust to be much thicker than the rest of the crust and I’m hoping that this will help make it less thick. Again we’ll see if these changes help. I’ve continued to use slap and folds and coil folds with the dough and I think I’m building pretty good structure this way.
I also tried to score a bit of a pattern on the side of the loaf. I will need to put a bit of flour on the dough prior to scoring in the future if I want the pattern to actually show, but not a bad outcome for a first try.