The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hoping for feedback on SD loaves please

Lady_C's picture

Hoping for feedback on SD loaves please

So I started making sourdough a while ago now and have been reading a lot on the topic, including the Open Crumb Mastery book by Trevor J Wilson. I have learnt a lot about handling my dough and what works well for my environment. (I live in Jakarta where it's hot and humid but house is generally at about 21C. 

Today I've baked a loaf that I started on Monday and would like some feedback about the crumb. One thing I'm still not too good at is telling when the proof is just right (I understand that for SD it's a difficult one anyway) but I know some of you on here are able to look at crumb shots and suggest whether it's proofed and fermented correctly. 

My loaves always seem to have a slightly tacky crumb but are not under cooked - I'm not sure if this is due to my starter or the bulk ferment or second proof. The loaf below was a 'no knead, all in one' dough with a schedule to fit around work. I normally would autolyse the dough without the levain or salt but didn't for this one. 

So the recipe was: 

300g white bread flour

200g semolina

76g w/what flour

430g water

140g levain (made with 90% whole wheat flour and 10% rye flour) 

14g salt

8g olive oil

My process: 

Day 1:

3.30pm Build levain at 1:3:3 and keep warm in metal thermos (yogurt maker) with the help of some warm water (temp around 25C) It had at least doubled when I made my dough. 

7.10pm combine flours (kept in freezer due to weevils here) w/ warm water (temp around 30C) and mix well (I mixed in my KA for about 2 mins - although wouldn't normally do this) 

7.15pm add levain and mix again in KA for about 2 mins 

7.30pm add salt and olive oil and mix to combine 

8.30pm s&f x 2 and put in fridge 

Day 2 

3.30pm - 8.00pm bulk ferment with 2 s&fs in first 2 hours 

8.00 - 8.15 pre shape 

8.15 - final shape 

10.00pm put in fridge 

Day 3 

3.30pm take dough out of fridge. Heat oven to 220C. Pre-heat ceramic soufflé dish in oven.

4.00pm Score loaf and transfer to dish with lid on for 20mins. Take lid off and bake for a further 25 minutes. 

The crust is thin and crackly - probably the best crust I've gotten and the bread is very light and airy although not the most flavoursome in comparison to previous loaves. 

Moulin's picture

Well not sure I am the expert you are waiting for..

Maybe the addition of oil with the sourdough tends to give the aspect to the crumb?

I don't think it is due to your starter since you have a nice crumb and a good rise for your loaf.

It is a nice bread so enjoy and don't worry too much!!!

Lady_C's picture

For some reason I didn’t get an email notification so missed your reply Moulin. 

Perhaps it’s the oil - I’ll have to make one without to see how that changes it. 

I feel confident enough now to starting experimenting a little more with these things. It’s so much fun isn’t it?! 

Thanks for the feedback - it’s good to know I’m on the right track and good to get some confirmation of what I thought was a good crumb too. 😁 it’d be lovely to have other SD bakers nearby to compare results with and bounce off! 

DanAyo's picture

Lady C, considering 88% hydration and 47% whole grain, your crumb looks super nice to me. Semolina has it’s own unique challenges. Flavor profile can be dramatically altered with different grains.

As far as moist crumb, are you waiting to slice the bread? I like a moist crumb, but definitely not a gummy crumb.

You might consider a slightly shorter bulk ferment and final proof. It may provide more oven spring. Experimentation is the best way to hone your skills.

Don’t expect extreme open crumb (like Trevor) with high percentages of whole wheat.
Your bread as is, looks pretty good to me.


Lady_C's picture

Oh goodness 47% whole grain! Would that be the semolina too then?! I’ve actually really enjoyed working with semolina in my dough - it makes it so extensible! 

Yes I was very pleased with this crumb - it’s very light. The bread is cool when I slice it - I always wait despite my impatience! It’s by no means unpleasant though. It’s a little tacky to touch but the mouthfeel is that of normal bread. To look at it is a little shiny and it doesn’t feel fluffy like a sandwich loaf but nor does it feel raw or underbaked. I bake to an internal temp of 96-97C. Perhaps moist is the right word...I don’t have anything local to compare it with so it’s tough to know if that’s normal. 

Ah ok - will try a shorter bulk and proof next time. That’s definitely the bit I’m not sure of and am constantly playing around with those timings. 

HAha ok - good to know not to expect more openness with this recipe. I am pleased with the results but having nobody else I know that bakes SD it’s nice to get some feedback! 😁

DanAyo's picture

You’re right about the semolina. I was thinking milled durum. The hydration seems high considering the fact that your semolina was not whole grain. Others may have more experience with that.

Try copy and pasting the line below into your web browser for more information concerning semolina. semolina



Lady_C's picture

Thank you! I’ll take a little look. All the more technical SD stuff is making so much more sense now I’ve been doing it for a while. 😀