The Fresh Loaf

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Susan's Loaf- variations on a theme

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Marni's picture
Marni

Susan's Loaf- variations on a theme

I have had my best sourdough success using a recipe posted here By AnnieT.  The recipe is from Susan in San Diego.  You can find it here

 A couple days ago, I wanted to bake sourdough and needed the loaf to be finished by 6:30.  I started it in the morning and didn't have time for retarding n the fridge and the I wasn't sure the dough would rise.  I decided to play with the recipe.  I always double it because it disappears so quickly.  I then added a scant 3/4t of instant yeast and I used extra virgin olive oil. The dough got 2 stretch and folds in 20 minute intervals and rose to double during its 4 or so hours in the fridge.  I also decided that the rosemary/thyme combo that ehanner used sounded good so when I shaped the loaves, I added them to one loaf when it was stretched out before shaping.  The herbs ended up somewhat swirled throughout the loaf.  I left them in the fridge again for about an hour in linen lined baskets, then removed them for a while before slashing and baking. They were baked under cover for 15-20 minutes and then an additional 15 or so. I made one unplanned change- I forgot to turn down the oven whenI put the first loaf in.  I got lucky- it turned out fine, just a little too done on the bottom.

These loaves had some of the best oven spring  I've had yet.  The crust was thin and crispy and the herbed loaf had a light scent and delicate flavor.  The first picture is the one that cooked at 500 for almost the whole time.  The second got treated right with the reduced temp. I have so much trouble with pictures, I apologize for not including a crumb picture.  It was not open and holey, but not dense either.  It had a uniform texture and was just what I was looking for. 

Thank you everyone for all the great advice and stories you share here.  I see why you find it so much fun to challange yourselves with different recipes.  This was a blast. 

Marni

sourdough loaf with rosemary and thymesourdough loaf with rosemary and thyme

Second loafSecond loaf

josordoni's picture
josordoni

Great shaping technique there!  I am sure that is what really helps with oven spring.

 One day I will be able to do it... 

Lynne

 

Marni's picture
Marni

Thank you, I'm really inexpert at shaping.  I just try what I think it's supposed to look like using tips from here and hope for the best!

Marni

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Wow Marni, those are both perfect. I'm always worried I will forget to turn the oven down on those two stage temp bakes. About half the time I don't end up turning down on time. Distractions in a busy house.

Susan's method of covering the dough is interesting isn't it? Perfectly risen boules every time that brown nicely and always seem to have a thin crispy crust.

Good job here!

Eric 

Marni's picture
Marni

The distractions are exactly what got me.  Trying to do too many things at once!  I was surprised that one was okay, just the bottom too dark- overdone.

Covering the dough is my favorite technique.  No steam burns, no splashing and--it works!

Thanks for your kind comments.

Marni

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The darker spots can be rubbed on a box grater if you like, easier than trying to cut crust.  I sure can't see it from here.  :)  They are almost round!   How did they taste?

Mini O

Marni's picture
Marni

Mini,  thank you for the great idea!  Very creative- just like scraping the burnt toast!

One was quite round, the rosemary loaf rose in a round basket.  The other was sort of football shaped since that's the basket I have.  I just use two baskets I've had around the house, line them with a linen dishtowel and rice flour.

My husband loved them.  I'm happy with that response.  I was very pleased with the crust.

Marni

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Wow. Beautiful loaves, Marni! I admire your ability to juggle the recipe on the fly. With all of those changes, you still had the poise to add the herbs from eric's recipe!

From your description it sounds as if much of the time the dough was in the refrigerator. Can you be more specific about times in and out of the fridge?

Did the sour tang come through as usual, or did the shorter time in the fridge affect the taste?

Soundman (David)

Marni's picture
Marni

Thanks David, it really wasn't much juggling for the bread making, just making a big dinner at the same time complicates things.

I was trying to slow down the rise as much as time allowed to increase the sourdough flavor.  Usually this dough spends 8-12 hour straight in the fridge.  I'd like to try this again when I'm in a rush without the added yeast and omit the fridge time.  ( I guess I can experiment even if I'm not rushing.)  Just needed to be sure of finished loaves this time.  I'm sorry my fridge times are not more specific, I really was just back timing to get them done.  If there's a next time, I'll try to make notes.

These loaves were not as tangy as usual.  I expected that's because of the shorter rise time.  They were very flavorful though, with a decided "Sourdough" flavor.  Just not the bite that the longer rise gives.  I like both results.  This was a kinder, gentler sourdough :)

 Marni

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Marni,

I envy you! I have a hard enough time not forgetting a step when I'm doing a recipe I know well, and you're improvising your bread and cooking a big dinner at the same time! Cool under fire, no pun. ;-)

(Your loaves looked so good, I just wanted to know as much as possible about how you made 'em.)

I know what you mean about liking both results. You can still get a distinct sourdough flavor without a lot of sour. Kindler-gentler: you think it's maybe, uh, compassionate sourdough? ;-)

Soundman (David)

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Great looking bread! And I'm sure your kitchen smelled lovely. I finally got around to planting two rosemary bushes this afternoon (after all this herb talk) because I love it so much.

You didn't show the crumb! But I'll bet it was perfect.

Jane 

Marni's picture
Marni

Thank you Jane.  I'm sorry I didn't see your comments earlier.  I also love rosemary.  I make chicken with rosemary and green olives amongest other ingredients.  I wonder how rosemary green olive sourdough would taste?

Marni

apprentice's picture
apprentice

....and cranberry plus rosemary is to die for!

Carol

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Oh, the possibilities are endless! I also like making pizza dough with fresh herbs in it already. It gives great taste, instead of just being on top.

Jane 

Marni's picture
Marni

I hadn't realized just how much I could play with the sourdough until this try.  I've only been making it (although I've been baking bread and experimenting for many years) for about six months now.

I've got two loaves about to go in the oven now that have whole rye substituting for some of the white. Carol, I think I might make the cranberry/rosemary for Thanksgiving.

Jane, I made sourdough pizza last night-- next time I'll add herbs.  I used to do that with regular dough.  I did get creative with the toppings (for the adults--kids got black olives)  parmesan, a little mozzerella, ascadera cheese, olive oil, capers and arugula.

Thanks again for your comments and ideas.

Marni

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Wow. Those really look great. For some reason the crust color on the top one looks really good to me. To bad the bottom burned. But the oven spring and the shape are really good.

I just stuck my nose outside my window to see if I can smell the herbed one. But it's not making it over to my section of West LA. :)

Rudy

Marni's picture
Marni

Thanks Rudy.  I was so happy with the oven spring.  Those loaves are long gone and two more are awaiting the oven.

Marni