The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Starting again for the new year

tzigane's picture

Starting again for the new year

Hi all, 

I have a lovely starter that I was able to keep alive at (mostly) RT for the past three years. 

I think I am still grieving for my last starter in some ways, but this one is lovely. Six months ago, I moved it to the fridge and refreshed 2x a week at most and haven’t baked a single loaf. This past month, we are working on having her back at RT and strong enough for every other day use.

I decided to make things even harder for myself by focusing on whole grain blends. For my first recipe, I chose Perfect Loaf’s Fifty-fifty Whole Wheat Sourdough which I haven’t made before. 

Slapping your forehead yet? 

First loaves there was a weighing mishap with the water. I tried my best to recover but the dough was awfully tight. It did turn out alright on a Dutch Oven bake with decent oven spring and a fairly nice crumb. BUT I felt like the it was a cheating win and want to get it repeatable. 

Second loaves proofing was a bit wobbly due to our increasing changing temperatures. Just a small bit of lift, and a  moist crumb. Nice brown crust, but still not ideal. 

Things I am thinking I should try next:

 - Change the levain sitting time

 - Pay a bit more attention to temperature

 - Trust myself a bit more about proofing time

 - Try to remember to take pictures

Thanks for the space to share!


phaz's picture

Change 1 thing at a time and get consistent results before moving on. Enjoy!

tzigane's picture

Thank you for the great advice :)

First change - making sure my measurements are correct (DONE)

Second change - DDT verification

Results here next week

tzigane's picture

This week was a bit better.

I did not pick DDT verification as my change. I picked levain growth. 

I changed the vessel and confirmed it was bubbly before using. I may be reading and thinking on this too much, but when I’m faced with this amount of whole wheat (another link to recipe here) I should still be able to get to the rise I want before facing the vagaries of ovenspring. 

Granted, it is cold, and the house is cold, so that is slowing everything down. This loaf may under good conditions take 21 hours start to finish, but it can take me up to 40 depending on how the loaves rise. 

Next is either more levain bubble, DDT or 70F proofing. Not sure which.