Friday, July 2, 2010

sourdough #7

after sourdough #6 ("the loaf that was way overproofed"), this loaf is a nice validation. tasty too; bread nerds, please note the grigne.

dropping the hydration by 5% (to 59%) resulted in a much firmer dough and a crumb with much finer, more uniform aeration (compare to the massive and irregular holes in this 64% hydration loaf). giant holes are nice and craft-y, but not so good for a sandwich heavy on the condiments. #7 made a killer sharp cheddar, mustard, and cold avocado grilled cheese sandwich (why is the avocado cold? for more sandwich theory, see here).

on the other hand, i think i want a few more big holes, so the next loaf will shoot for somewhere between 59% and 64% hydration with the same flours and salt ratio.

this one was
  • 30g starter (70% hydration)
  • 420g AP white flour
  • 30g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 265g water
  • 8g salt 
  • two builds (12h, then 4h) before bulk fermentation (7h), then an overnight retardation (14h) before shaping, proofing (4h, but could probably have gone for a while longer, judging by the cracked crust), and baking (500F covered for 15min, then 425F for 20min) in the beta version of the cloche breadpot judy gave me. 
the cloche has been nothing but great. even when i fail to proof correctly or leave out key ingredients (like salt), i get terrifying oven spring and a crisp, caramelised crust. is this correlation or causation?

so, next up, for sourdough #8, a slightly more hydrated dough, and a side-by-side baking comparison. counterfactuals, after all, are to be embraced, not feared.

[yet another guest post from vt, at the sap also rises]