The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most Recent Bake

melissad1997's picture
melissad1997

Most Recent Bake

Hi all,

Still a newbie sourdough baker here, I've got maybe 5 or 6 loaves under my belt with mixed results (though all of them tasted good). Yesterday I baked my go-to: Maurizio's https://www.theperfectloaf.com/beginners-sourdough-bread/, except with 17% white whole wheat from Trader Joe's and the rest Sir Galahad AP flour from KAF. I don't use rye flour because it's hard to get a hold of here in NYC, probably on account of the virus situation. 

I did a longer autolyse than Maurizio suggests (about 2.5 hours) and this was the first time I counter proofed for the 2nd proof instead of overnight refrigeration. I also finally got my levain to be consistently very active and more than doubled in volume. Here are some pics of both loaves: 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3JfDmYWMArzno17U7 (during preshaping)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/FPyK1FeVkSV3HFBn7 (both loaves unopened)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/fFQCKxZQnHmsGVSe7 (sesame seed only loaf cross-section)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VxK2GMnWYxSbpjXE9 (a slice from each loaf side by side)

I think this time I've had my best results yet, but here's what I think I could have improved:

  • shaping-dough still seemed a bit slack after final shape
  • sticking when adding seeds-the bread with pumpkin seeds stuck to the towel that I pressed it onto for the seeds because I lost my grip. Next time I should hold the dough with both hands and just dip it into the seeded towel instead of releasing my grip. This bread got noticeably less rise than the other bread with only sesame seeds.
  • sticking to banneton-both doughs stuck to the banneton even with a generous dusting of AP flour. This definitely affected the rise, although I still got some of the best rise yet. Today I finally obtained rice flour, which I hope will remedy this situation.

I bake in a cast iron dutch oven. The loaf with just sesame was just a tad too dark because I stupidly forgot to set the oven timer. Luckily both breads still taste great and I'm fairly happy with the crumb. I'd still chalk these up as a success! But I'd welcome any comments or suggestions for improvement.