The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

74% hydration soughdough

Benito's picture
Benito

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.

Benny

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m very pleased with this bake.  The crumb turned out great.  I think that the diastatic malt powder made the bread taste just a bit less sour and a bit sweeter but not actually sweet.  The crumb wasn’t gummy so I guess 0.5% diastatic malt is a safe amount to use.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

One important lesson I've learnt so far is that, more often than not,  it isn't worth pushing the hydration too far. The dough is easier to develop and handle, and the final crumb isn't that much denser than its higher hydration counterpart. I think the trick of removing the dough from the DO after steaming works well. The crust is no doubt evenly coloured. My bread used to have the same burnt bottom problem since I bake mine in a cast iron pan. It's solved after I started lowering the oven temperature half-way through the bake.

Beautiful bread, Benny!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Elsie. I agree about the hydration. It is much easier to handle moderate hydration and really I cannot tell a difference in the crumb. I suppose if I could handle high hydration well I might be able to see a difference in the crumb, but I’m happy having some success with my bakes now.

Benny

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Benny.. you're a good baker. And I'll use your idea of putting the bread on parchment paper next time I bake.... very well done..

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you, that is very generous of you to say as you are a very accomplished baker.  I’m still new and working on improving, but it is nice to see some success now.

Benny

isand66's picture
isand66

its always nice to experiment as that Is how you learn and get better.  I don't use a Baking vessel and prefer to bake directly on my baking stone with added steam.  

Your crumb and crust look excellent.  

Happy Baking.

Ian

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Ian, I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Benny

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Beautiful! Your hard work is really paying off.