The Perfect Loaf strategy...?
I’ve been making sourdough bread as a hobby for about 5 years. I started out making doorstops and hockey pucks for awhile.
the first couple of years I made the same exact formula that was 66% hydration just so I could concentrate on the proper techniques for fairly low hydration dough. I became pretty good at being able to feel and see all of the possible mistakes during the process so I could anticipate potential problems and figured out how to fix them early so they didn’t stick out on my final report card you get on every loaf... when it comes out of the oven.
Then I moved on to higher hydration doughs... 70/80/90/100%. Learning how to finesse higher hydration dough initially was overwhelming but eventually I learned that making high hydration dough is actually easier than lower hydration dough is. It just kind of seemed impossible to turn what appeared to be pancake batter into a boule or batard of artisan sourdough bread. Ken Forkish made all of that fairly easy.👍 I went from making about 5 loaves a week when I first started, for a couple of years... to making only 1 or 2 really, really great loaves of bread a week now.
I took A little over a year off from bread making because I went on the keto diet and lost over 100 pounds, plus I quit smoking cigarettes and quit drinking alcohol... just to see if I could.🤔 I started all that crazy stuff on my 65th birthday. So now that all of that is behind me... I’ve started baking bread again.
My new mission right now is to figure out how to make the Perfect Loaf of Artisan Sourdough bread... with time required and effort being unlimited. If it takes me 3 days to make the Perfect Loaf that’s just fine with me.
We all know autolysing our flour and water before adding starter and salt is beneficial. We all know that a preferment will add flavor and make the bulk fermentation easier. I’m wondering if doing the autolyse before a preferment is just a duplication of processes.🤔 I’m thinking you kill both birds with just doing a 12/16 hour Biga, but if doing both is beneficial I’m all in.👍 Any opinions on this issue? I have the proofer from Brød & Taylor so time and temperature is controllable too.
Mixing the final dough, gluten development and bulk fermentation. Dividing the dough, preshaping and final shaping. Delayed Final fermentation In the fridge. When to bake, Dutch oven. 2 days or 3 days?
HaVe any of you guys/girls ever thought this idea through? Suggestions?