Wednesday, June 04, 2008

sourdough IV

One thing I realized after reading sourdough instructions is that you have to:
  1. discard half before feeding
  2. add 1:1 flour/water (usually between 1/2 and 1 cup each) every 8 hours or so
  3. repeat for 5 days or so
Then "Seymour" starter will be at full strength, and really be beer-smelling and active! As sourdough goes thru its lifecycle, the starter will almost double in volume on its own. Last feeding should be about 8 hours before you make the bread below. So here we go again!

TRICK: let bread rise in warm oven. Preheat the oven for 1 minute at 350 degrees, then shut off. It will get to a nice 85-90 degree temp that is perfect for dough to rise.

16oz (1lb) bread flour
10.5oz starter (nice, bubbly and stringy, like wet dough)
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup WARM water (no more than 100 degrees, though; microwave 1 cup for 15-20 sec on HIGH)
  1. Combine all in mixer bowl with dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes on low. Dough should come together and be pretty soft, if a little sticky.
  2. Turn in oiled bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in warm place to rise for 2-4 hours, until doubled.
  3. Fold into 3rds, like a letter, then again into 3rds the other way. Put fold sides down back in bowl, and let rise 1 more hour.
  4. Shape into boule, and let rest on pizza peel dusted with cornmeal for 2 hours
  5. At 1hr40min into last rise, preheat oven to 450F
  6. Dust with flour, slash loaf with serrated knife (scallops worked nicely!)
  7. When putting in oven, pour 1/2 cup hot water broiler pan on top rack
  8. Bake at 450 for 25 minutes on pizza stone (it was on bottom rack).
  9. Remove from oven, check temp at bottom of bread with instant read thermometer. Should read 200 degrees to be done.
  10. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.
  • Absolutely beautiful! Rose and doubled perfectly, scallops looked gorgeous
  • Airy "crackle" of bread when removed
  • Excellent top crust: 1st time the crust blistered! Thin, brown, and crisp
  • Good spongy texture; even more open/fluffy than last time, soft and chewy
  • Slightly more pronounced sourdough tang, almost like a french bread
  • Texture still too fine for my tastes; would like to get more big bubble, uneven texture

For next time:

  • Reduce amount of water for steam slightly...I may have used 1 cup during this recipe. Keep it at 1/2 cup maximum.
  • Try one of these two:
    • increasing water to 3/4 cup; it will be a wetter dough, which is useful for more uneven, big hole crumb
    • folding during 1st rise; every hour, do a tri-fold, letter style.

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