The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

basic sourdough bread and Poilane -style miche from BBA

bakerwendy's picture

basic sourdough bread and Poilane -style miche from BBA

Here are my first two attempts at sourdough bread with my new starter. The results were not as good as I had hoped, especially the shape. Maybe my basic sourdough dough was too wet. It couldn't hold the shape. (maybe the gluten was destroyed by too much acid? maybe just a young starter?) It also seemed to almost burn on the bottom without really browning on the top. Despite the flat loaves the crumb of the bread was fairly open but it seemed sort of wet. As far as the miche, those loaves held their shape somewhat better but i had a hard time shaping without degasing. Both of the breads have a nice sour flavor which made it all worthwhile. Here are several pictures. I would really appreciate any advise on better sourdough loaves. 

flat loaves (basic sourdough)flat loaves (basic sourdough)i didn't want to degas but if I didn't i couldn't get any surface tensioni didn't want to degas but if I didn't i couldn't get any surface tension

flat and burnt on bottomflat and burnt on bottominside basic sourdoughinside basic sourdough

poilane michepoilane miche 

BaknTexan's picture

I just did exactly the same thing with a new starter BBA right by the book.  My results were exactly the same as yours... including too wet dough.  I'll be curious to know if someone thinks it is related to a new starter.

 Under any circumstance, I'll have to work my dough drier.

I also have a problem getting a good level of window paning.  Added a dash of vital gluten flour... helped, but I don't think I should have to do that.


I bake, therefore I am.

Kuret's picture

I strongly feel that many of the recipies in BBA gains much by proofing in bannetons. Also flour choice is of importance, you need to have a flour capable of working in these kind of wet doughs. I use about 11,5% protein bread flour wich enables me to do the basic sourdough with great success, remember to do a lot of mixing. It makes wonders!

KosherBaker's picture

Hi Wendy.

Some queastions for you, to start the trouble shooting process. :)

1. How did you knead the dough?

2. How long was the bulk fermentation?

3. Did you fold the dough over during bulk fermentation?

4. How long was the final fermentation?

5. What rack was this baked on in your oven?

6. What temperature was this baked at?

7. How long were they baked for? (If you can specify an approximate weight/size of the loaf, that would help a lot)

When I baked my very first loaves with my 5 day old starter they too were quite blond. So to a large degree that part is probably OK. As for the rest, your answers to the above questions should give the gurus here plenty of material to give you and BaknTexan some great feedback.