The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Factors and their influence - a question

breadysuit's picture
breadysuit

Factors and their influence - a question

Hello baking friends, I've now made a handful of sourdough loaves and feel like I understand the process more fully, but now I want to get down to the nitty gritty. I've read lots of things and I still feel like I don't have a firm grasp on which factors affect what. 

For instance, I (think) I understand that the longer I let my starter sit between feeding, or if I use my starter/levain after it has begun to fall, I'm more likely to be building the acid content on the starter and will get a stronger "sour" flavor in my bread. I have not played with this a ton, but I prefer the sour flavor. I know many want to limit it.

I'm curious how other factors have an effect the bread outcome. Will using my starter after it has begun to fall affect rise? Or just flavor? Will doing a cold over-night proof prior to baking affect rise or just flavor?

How will cutting more deeply in my scoring affect the look of the bread - or is angle more important than depth?

Which factors (or is it just the strength of starter and bulk fermentation?) contribute to rising and which to flavor?

I'm also have some trouble? with shaping. I always seem to have one part of my boule that "puffs out" more than the rest. 

I know this is a lot! TIA :)

Randi

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for the buldges.  A cross cut into the crumb to look at the complete slice will tell you more.

"I'm also have some trouble? with shaping. I always seem to have one part of my boule that "puffs out" more than the rest."

Are they gas pockets? Or dough pushing out from a tear in the crust?  Take a good long look at the crumb, which direction the dough is moving, shape of bubbles and density of crumb. Crust colour comes into play.   Might be something other than shaping too.