The Fresh Loaf

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Feb 3, 2021 - Abe's VSSD, take 2

justkeepswimming's picture

Feb 3, 2021 - Abe's VSSD, take 2

Feb 3, 2021 - Abe's VSSD, take 2

I decided to start this during the day this time, so I could watch it and better understand the bulk proof. That allowed taking photos of the whole process.  It was a little warmer here than usual yesterday, about 4-5 degrees F warmer than the overnight room temperature than the last time.

Dough info:

Freshly milled hard red winter wheat 150 gm

Freshly milled hard white spring wheat 150 gm

KAF bread flour 200 gm

Water 340 gm (freshly milled flour tends to be thirsty, I went by feel)

Salt 9 gm

Stiff starter 15 gm

After Abe's great advice, I fed the stiff starter and got it going well a couple of days before using it. This is definitely more vigorous than the last time. 

Dough after kneading. Dough temp 79F, room temp 69F:

After ~ 4 hours:

After ~ 8 hours:

At the 11 hour mark, there was no discernable change. We are early risers and bed time was approaching faster than bulk was moving, so I put it into my makeshift proofing box (microwave with the lights on keeps it between 82-86F). 

After ~ 13 hours total:

Shaped and into the banetton, then into the fridge as we headed to bed.

Banetton came out of the fridge early this morning, and went back into my "proofing box" for about 4 hours. I checked it often, and when the poke test showed it was nearly ready, I preheated the oven and DO.

Scored and ready to go.

I had floured the banetton well last night, then sprinkled in some bran (had been playing with a new sieve) for a little decoration. Most of it stayed in the banetton, will see if what made it onto the loaf even shows after baking.

Spritzed with a little water, then baked at 470F with the lid on 25 min, lid off at 450 another 15 min. Internal temp 209 F. 

Cooling. All my DO bakes at these higher temps ,(internal oven temp verified, not going by what the oven settings say) have overcooked the bottom. I have been trying various cookie sheets etc. on the shelf below, which helps some. Parchment paper and cornmeal too. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 


First impression - a little flatter than last time, will see what the crumb shows. It may be a tad overproofed. Crumb shot tomorrow. I'm predicting it may show some over proofing, guess time will tell..... 


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Your starter looks great! Can't see any issue there. However the bulk ferment looks under. There's only a modest rise and yet you went onto shaping and then into the fridge. I'm thinking you're playing it too safe. My bulk ferment practically tripled! Without seeing the final crumb I'm already thinking you should have left it and not stuck to my timing which is a guide only where you should be going according to how the dough looks and feels. This is a good recipe to mix the night before and leave it out all night. Come morning you can begin to keep an eye on it. 

justkeepswimming's picture

I don't know enough to play it safe, lol, it was time to go to bed. 😄 I figured it would run out of food and not make it til morning, so into the fridge it went. Will definitely mix it in the evening next time. 👍 

Benito's picture

If you’re not happy with the extra colour on the bottom crust you can carefully remove your bread from the dutch oven at some point after you have taken the lid off the dutch oven and complete baking on the rack on the oven.

justkeepswimming's picture

It's not the color per se, but the darkened crust on the bottom has been staying pretty hard, even after a day or two. It's much harder to slice than the rest of the loaf. Our oven is a cheaper model that came with the house. It's electric with the heating element on the bottom. It struggles to stay at 450F, and the heating element is on more than it's off. Bread baked at lower temps comes out fine (i.e. in a loaf pan). I'll figure out something. I guess if I keep baking and kill off this oven, it would need to be replaced...... Hmmmmm. 😁

justkeepswimming's picture

I have been offline a couple of days, finally getting to upload the crumb shot. A bit more dense than last time, and more tang. The loaf is half gone, lol.

Overall I enjoy this approach and the final bread. Bonus, I learned some new things. Will definitely bake it again.