The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first loaf!

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

My first loaf!


Not too shabby, for my first loaf.  I didn’t get much rise out of it, although I did seem to get a little bit of oven spring.  There are a number of things that I’ll do differently next time.  I’ll post a crumb shot later this evening. 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

That's a good looking loaf.  show us the crumb.  what was the process/oven setup?

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

Hi, Ciabatta!

 

i apparently overlooked your comment from the other day.  Sorry for that, I hope you don’t think I was ignoring you.

 

I describe my oven setup in a reply to Mini below, although I think I may have forgotten to state that I had pre-heated all of that at 450f for one hour.

 

As for my process, I really must admit that it was a mess.  Re-reading the instructions for the recipe I was using revealed a few things that I could have done better, should have done differently, or just forgot to do altogether (such as a bench rest between final shaping and retarding).  I’m going to try again tomorrow, providing I can find some whole wheat flour (another part of what was wrong with my process: substituting ingredients without realizing the effect on hydration level).  Hopefully, with the next loaf I can slow myself down a bit, be more methodical, and stick closer to what the recipe is telling me to do.

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

So the results are in!

 

I followed the Beginner Sourdough Bread recipe at The Perfect Loaf:  https://www.theperfectloaf.com/beginners-sourdough-bread/

 

The crumb was kinda dense, which I’m assuming is because it was underproofed.  The recipe didn’t call for it, but I’m wondering if I should have removed the dough from the fridge for a bit to allow it to bench proof.  I didn’t do a “poke test”, so to say.  But I did notice that when I touched it the dough sprang back right away.  I’m sure that I read something about that somewhere around here, but I should have maybe paid closer attention to that tip.

 

I think I may have also overworked the dough during the bulk ferment, but it didn’t feel like things were coming together the way they should have after just three stretch & folds.  Looking back on that, maybe I should have trusted the recipe a little more than my instincts.  


And of course, as time goes on, my starter will strengthen and develop.  I think that would help tremendously.

It was bread flavored, I’ll give it that.  The next loaf will be better 😁

 

 

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

I guess it’s also worth noting that I cut the recipe in half, as I only wanted to make one boule.  I also did not have whole wheat flour, or bread flour.  I used King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose flour and Rye, and I augmented that with about 10g of Vital Wheat Gluten, which I’ve used in the past with great success for my non-sourdough bread baking.

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

I guess it’s also worth noting that I cut the recipe in half, as I only wanted to make one boule.  I also did not have whole wheat flour, or bread flour.  I used King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose flour and Rye, and I augmented that with about 10g of Vital Wheat Gluten, which I’ve used in the past with great success for my non-sourdough bread baking.

dbazuin's picture
dbazuin

Baking right out the fridge is ok. 
You can also check If the dough Is Ferment enough by giving it a little shake, If it is wobbly it is ok. 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the crumb and bottom are telling you there should be more heat under the loaf.  Did you happen to get a picture of the loaf bottom?  Try going down a shelf or two in the oven.  Important to get heat under the dough where it can have the most influence in the beginning of the bake.  :) 

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

Hi, Mini!

 

I didn’t think to take a pic of the bottom, but it had the same golden-brown color as the top, so I thought it looked good.

My setup is a little bit strange...  I don’t own a Dutch oven (and none of my pre-Father’s Day hint-dropping worked.  I got a Lowe’s gift card instead.). However, I do have a very nice set of Pampered Chef stoneware baking dishes that a friend of my son’s gifted me several years ago.  I discovered that two of those pieces, which look like a cheesecake pan and a large stone mixing bowl, fit together almost perfectly.  I used the cheesecake pan as a base, and the mixing bowl as a lid.  These were on the next-to-bottom rack in the oven.  Underneath this, on the bottom rack, I placed a pizza stone, as I didn’t know how well the stoneware would transfer heat, and I didn’t want the bottom of my loaf to burn.  The next time I bake, I’ll try leaving the pizza stone out of the equation, and I think I might also benefit from finding a way to generate more steam.

I’m still of the opinion that my results are due to a mixture of weak-ish starter and poor technique.  I think I’m going to try to set up for another loaf tomorrow, to see if I learned anything 😁