The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Family of Healey Sourdoughs

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sphealey's picture
sphealey

A Family of Healey Sourdoughs

Well, not really - I can only claim one of them as being anything close to my own recipe.

My younger son and I went out for dinner Saturday and stopped by a used book store on the way home. Whenever we are in a used book store, antique store, garage sale, etc I annoy my wife by saying "why is there never an _Artisan Baking Across America_ or something at a reasonable price?". Saturday there was; I found Glezer's ABAA hardcover in like-new condition for $25. List price new was $40 and ones in average condition go for $40 today on Bibliofind so I snapped it up.

Since I had to feed my King Arthur Vermont sourdough anyway I thought I would try Glezer's Thom Leonard Country French Sourdough. Since I had two other breads to make today (Sunday) I decided to try the Hobart KitchenAid K5-A I picked up on eBay for a fairly reasonable price. This was the first time I had used a stand mixer for bread dough.

I didn't have either high-extraction wheat or a fine-screen sifter, so I just used whole wheat. The overall process went well. The K5-A got very hot on top and the dough kept climbing the hook; I have a lot to learn about using a mixer. But the dough did come out very smooth and silky. After I took it out of the mixer is was a bit sticky so I kneaded it by hand for another minute or so, and for the first time I am fairly sure I made a dough that would "pass the windowpane test".

I folded every 3x 30 minutes per instructions, 90 minutes more. My banneton is not large enough for this much dough so I used our large metal colander which I sprayed with bakers joy and floured (based on previous experience with trying to rise crumbbums' miche in it which did not go well). Proofing was about 4 hours because I had pizza in the oven at the 3-hour mark.

I got the dough out of the colander and onto the peel. It puddled quite a bit but kept it large boule shape at about 14 inches in diameter and looked pretty cool. I even managed to slash it in a diagonal pattern.

Then - what looked like disaster hit: the dough stuck to the peel. Once it was out of shape I figured I had nothing to lose and kept shoveling it forward with my super-sized spatula (gift from younger son). The dough kept folding under itself until what was on the stone was more like a 16" super-batard with a spiral pattern of cuts around it. A cup of boiling water in the cast iron pan. 15 minutes at 500 deg.F, remove the pan, not looking too bad. Then 30 minutes at 450 and 30 at 400. The result:

20080427-GlezerCountryFrench20080427-GlezerCountryFrench

OK, that is the coolest looking loaf I have ever made. Purely by accident, but I will count it. The slashes that rolled under the loaf ended up making a neat pattern around the full circumfrance of the baked loaf. Oven spring was excellent. Not pictured is the crumb which was reasonably open with a mild sourdough flavor. In the background is my weekly sourdough rye, this one with added sunflower, flax, and poppy seeds.

Two more from previous weeks while I am at it. First a Hamelman Vermont Country Sourdough:

20080413-HamelmanVermontSourdough20080413-HamelmanVermontSourdough

I think Hamelman calibrates his recipes for dramatic oven spring. And a Hamelman Sunflower Seed Bread with Sourdough Rye which I made as two french loaves in my Chicago Metallic french pans for a dinner party:

20080330-HamelmanSunflourSeedSourdoughRye20080330-HamelmanSunflourSeedSourdoughRye

Even though it was a wet dough lengthwise baguette-style slashing worked nicely.

sPh

 

Comments

bshuval's picture
bshuval

And a very good find at the used book store! 

 

My bread blog: http://foldingpain.blogspot.com

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Accidents are always instructive and great ways to "invent" new ways of doing things. I often take my dough and twist it to give it an interesting shape ON PURPOSE! :-)

Your breads looks wonderful and I just received the Glezer book as a gift. I'll have to dive in to her Thom Leonard recipe. It is HUGE!

holds99's picture
holds99

SPH

Your loaves look great from where I'm sitting; crusts and scoring.  I wouldn't have known you had a problem if you hadn't mentioned it.  I also tried the Glezer recipe for Thom Leonard's Country French Bread yesterday and had really good results.  Made 2 two pound boules instead of 1 four pounder.  I had just finished a 12 day exercise, making her sourdough starter and was a little worried that the new starter might not have enough kick for a good rise and oven spring the first time I used it.  It turned out to be a wonderful starter.  For the bread I followed Glezer's recipe precisely (scaling all ingredients) and it worked great and the loaves turned out much better looking and tasting than anything I have done previously.   I used linen lined bannetons and baked them on parchment lined pans on top of a stone with steam. 

After losing my last starter I have done a great deal of reading on this site and in my baking books and I think I finally understand the process for building and refreshing the starter.  Anyway, your loaves look terrific.  How did the crumb turn out and how did they taste?

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== How did the crumb turn out and how did they taste? ===

The crumb turned out well - some medium-sized holes, nothing dramatic but open with a good texture. The taste was great - a bit of whole wheat flavor but not bitter and not too sour either. My wife, who isn't big on sourdough, really likes it. The crust was very crunchy out of the oven; after being wrapped in a dishcloth overnight it is more leathery but still a good texture.

Overall a big success.

sPh

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I DEFINITELY should have halved the recipe! I had a terrible misshap getting that HUGE bread in my small french oven. My baking tray was too small and so the dough spread out over the side! I was so disappointed I almost wanted to cry. It has risen so nicely and I could tell it was going to be a beauty... and then disaster. But I baked it anyway and it rose quite nicely though is quite spread out. But the crust and crumb are still very nice and the taste is good, too. I made it with mostly T110 and about 1/3 T65. I'll definitely give it another try very soon. We have four pounds of bread to eat now.

holds99's picture
holds99

Jane,

Re: dividing the dough in half for Glezer's Country French, as I said previously I divided the dough in half and made 2 two pound loaves instead of 1 four pound loaf.  It worked out pretty well.  My starter was new (Glezer's recipe) and my dough was rather wet which caused it to sink a bit when I moved them out of the bannetons onto the parchment lined pans.  I can't wait to try this recipe again, since I know where I would do a couple of things differently.  For one thing, I'll bake them in preheated Dutch ovens next time to see how that does with regard to better oven spring and less spreading.  Anyhow here's a couple of pics.

 Thom Leonard's Country French Bread No. 1Thom Leonard Country French Bread crust: Thom Leonard's Country French Bread No. 1

 

 Thom Leonard's Country French Bread No. 2Thom Leonard Country French Bread crumb: Thom Leonard's Country French Bread No. 2

Howard - St. Augustine, FL