Still working on it, getting better
I've been quiet, but am still working on this sourdough thing over here! I really only have time to bake once a week, or once every other week, so I haven't been able to get in as much practice as I'd like. However, I think that things continue to improve. My last loaf was actually a bit comical due to a math error (this is what happens when you give history majors math-based bread formulas!!!) :) Ok, I'm not really that math-challenged, and am pretty handy with Excel (have been playing with some of the dough calculators), so I'm chalking this one up to a senior moment (no offense!) I'm happily going through my bread steps, and as I do my stretch/fold, rest, repeat, I realize that, "....man! This dough is really WET!" I soldiered on assuming that it was just because I hadn't baked in a couple of weeks. Finished up bulk fermentation, shaped the dough into a boule (hmmm, really slack), then inverted into a bowl to proof (no bannetons here.) When time came to turn the dough out into my DO (tartine like bake), it became obvious that something was wrong (ok, maybe not wrong, but not as it should be.) Floppy dough that literally splatted into the DO, couldn't slash it to save my life, and ended up just snipping a few spots with scissors, then into the oven. While it was baking, I looked back over my notes for the dough, and, sure enough, I had miscalculated the water, and my recipe was 80% hydration!! I'm sure that some of you bake breads with this level of hydration somewhat regularly, but it was WAY too wet for this guy to handle well. I got a good chuckle out of my mistake, and, as always, got to eat it anyway (.....and it's my best flavor yet, loved the crumb, and the crust was nicely crunchy.) Progress I guess.....
....building up the starter for my next loaf, and have triple checked my math! :)