Tips on Improving This Bake Please?
My first post here :)
I've started baking sourdough bread about 2 months ago now and am really enjoying it. I have been finding the lower hydration bakes easier but not a big fan of the texture of the crumb. I've been working with a higher hydration bake recently which is starting to come together. I think I’ve had a few bad loaves due to under proofing but I’ve fixed this (i think) by starting to take records and making adjustments.
I'm now at a point where I'm reasonably happy but I can't help but feel that there's opportunity for more oven spring. I was wondering if I could get some tips from people. My method and pictures are below.
All temperatures are in Degrees Celsius.
- 255g Bread Flour (13.1%)
- 70g Unbleached Organic Spelt
- 253g water
- 7.5g salt
- 65g levain (consisting of 90% Bread Flour and 10% Rye Flour)
The levain was used at 8 hours old (25 deg) having almost tripled in size. This is an 80% hydration loaf with about 80/20 bread flour to Spelt.
- Autolyse was 2 hours
- Inoculation | T0:00 | 2 min Rubaud & 4 min slap and fold
- Salt | T0:30 | 5 mins slap and fold | 24.1 deg
- Turn & Fold | T1:00 | 24.2 deg
- Lamination | T1:30 | 24.5 deg
- Coil Fold 1 | T2:00 | 25.8 deg
- Coil Fold 2 | T2:30 | 25.3 deg
- Coil Fold 3 | T3:00 | 24.6 deg
- Coil Fold 4 | T3:45 | 25.2 deg
- Coil Fold 5 | T4:30 | 24.7 deg
- Coil Fold 6 | T5:30 | 24.1 deg
- Coil Fold 7 | T6:30 | 23.6 deg
- Shape & Retard (in fridge) T7:00
After 18 hours retard I cooked it straight from the fridge in a Dutch Oven at 260 deg for 20 mins then at 220 deg for 25 mins.
There were many turn and folds as I was planning on the BF lasting for 9 hours and I feel that my dough structure is not as strong as it could be. I got worried that it may over-ferment and gave it a poke test (which I’m not sure I can gauge correctly yet). I was chicken and finished fermentation earlier than I had planned to at 7 hours after Inoculation.
I suspect that my shaping could be better but I guess that will come in time. I wonder that there’s not enough strength in the dough and I really want to be able to manage this by better process than by reducing the hydration as I prefer the texture of the high hydration dough.
There's a strange bigger expansion in the middle which has happened a couple of times now. What might this be indicative of?
I’ve not cut into it yet so no crumb pics I’m afraid.
Any tips / feedback would be much appreciated.