The Fresh Loaf

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Country Sourdough

Benito's picture
Benito

Country Sourdough

I plan to make a barley risotto with lemon ricotta, sun dried tomatoes and spinach for dinner and wanted a bread to go along with it.  It has been a long time since I made a plain old country sourdough so decided that would go well with dinner. I made small changes to my usual country sourdough recipe for this bake.  I went back to using a liquid levain instead of a stiff levain just because I hadn’t done a liquid levain in a long long time.

Build overnight levain and ferment at 78°F for about 8-9 hours.

Overnight saltolyse of water, salt and flours.

In the morning add the levain to the saltolysed dough and knead until well developed.

Do a bench letterfold and then place in a proofing box at 82°F.

Do a coil fold every 30 mins until the dough is strong and holds its shape between folds.   I did five coil folds.

Shape the dough when it has risen about 40% or the pH has fallen about 1.1 since the beginning of bulk.  Place in a rice flour dusted banneton.

Monitor the pH and rise once the dough is in the banneton and start cold retard once the dough has risen to a total of 70% or the pH fallen a total of 1.4.

 

The next morning pre-heat the oven 500°F and set up for steam baking.  30 mins before ready to bake pour 1 L of boiling water into your metal loaf pan with the Sylvia towel rolled tightly inside to pre-steam the oven.  When the oven reaches 500°F flip the dough onto a parchment paper sheet, brush off excess rice flour, score and then brush water onto the dough but not the main score.  Transfer to the oven and onto the heated baking steel or stone.  Pour 250 mL of boiling water into your cast iron skillet.  Drop the temperature of the oven to 450°F baking with steam for 25 mins.  After 25 mins vent the steam and remove the steaming gear.  Drop the temperature to 420°F and bake for a further 20-25 mins, turning half way through and moving the bread to a rack instead of the baking steel.

My index of bakes.

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

Here’s a video of me shaping this loaf.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Another great loaf Benny.  Tremendous blistering!

You always get such deep color without burning your crust. I might have to try going a little hotter and see how it works for me.  I’ve never been able to achieve that.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Troy, I’ve always stuck with hot at the start and then dropping the temperature after the steam portion is over.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Gets my vote. Nice shaping and stitching video and the music let’s just say it was elevating. I make this country loaf every week not only because it goes well with everything but I am also enthralled by the subtle differences that come with each loaf no matter how many times I have made it. 
Your dough looks nice and jiggly for only 75% hydration. I usually go 80%+ by feel to get that loose of a dough in order to achieve that open crumb thing that I am also obsessed with. 
Look forward to seeing it sliced. Welcome back to the old country. 
D

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Don.  I don’t think I could have gone much more than 75% given the high humidity that we’ve had here over the summer.  In the winter I can get the hydration up to 80% for this type of dough.  I’d say my flour isn’t nearly as absorbent in the summer as it is already somewhat hydrated from the humidity.  I’ll slice it with dinner this evening and report back.

Benny

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

 The blisters are so beautiful. I never get those . Is it because you brush with water ? 

Also if I may ask what recipe are you using to make the risotto and ricotta ? I would love to copy it for a dinner party next weekend. Thank you !! As always your loaves are so lovely and the attention to detail . c

Benito's picture
Benito

I find you get more blisters with the less whole grain in the dough and with a longer final proof ie cold retard.  I think the water is helpful but not necessary.  I’ll message you the recipe for the barley risotto.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

The bread was great with our dinner.  Here’s the crumb.

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

A nice crumb without the larger holes that some people seem to tut tut about leaky sandwiches. We are living back in the Midwest now so I am getting used to some humidity but really haven’t had to adjust the hydration of my bread all that much from the arid west. I was actually thinking about doing a blog post about all the country breads I have been baking this summer even though I have done something similar in the past but the blog output has gone kind of stale lately. Not saying you stole my thunder but more like great minds think alike.
Happy baking

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes Don, I seldom try to get a super open crumb except for maybe ciabatta and baguettes.  You should post some of your wonderful breads to your blog, I always enjoy seeing what you bake, you are such an great baker.

Benny

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Benny, that video is superb.  The minimal but very effective use of the bench knife to scoop up just a bit of flour to use in starting the edge of the dough (which I find often wants to stick to the countertop) is great, and I will definitely incorporate that from now on.  Similarly, the gentle stitching of the seam after the dough has gone into the banneton is much better than trying to pinch the seam.  Two excellent tips on technique.

Two questions: (a) Do you flour the countertop before flipping the pre-shaped dough over for final shaping? (b) Do you flour the top of the dough before flipping it over for shaping?

Also, as others have noted, that loaf of bread is truly fine.  Another of your great bakes.

Ted

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Ted for you comments.  I flour the top of the dough in the bowl and not the countertop before flipping it out onto the countertop.

Benny

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I like your idea of flouring the top of the dough rather than the bench - I give give that a go next time I bake.  very nice crumb too!

Leslie

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Leslie, I was happy to see the blisters too.  Yes give it a go, I find that flouring the dough works well for me.

Benny