18 January 2010

Bread from the sourdough revival

To continue from my previous post on my sourdough revival I let the dough rise for about 5 h. At 4 h 30 m I switched on the oven to pre-heat to just over 200 degrees C.

The dough had risen beautifully and smelt very nice too.


I baked the loaf first and had a bowl of water next to it, still it didn't go too crusty and softened further as it cooled down. I baked it for 40 minutes.

Second I baked the boule, which spread a bit more than I wanted it to, but not enough to warrant emergency folding. Again I left the bowl of water in the oven, but it didn't seem to generate a substantial amount of steam. Also, since the oven has started to only bake on top, about two thirds into the baking time of 50 minutes, I turned the boule upside down, to get it baked underneath a well.


I think I'll get a couple of loaf pans, a bit bigger than the one I have at the moment and use them instead. The dough is soft and benefits from the support a loaf pan gives. So no more free-standing sourdough bread.


The crumb was perfect this time, I still can't believe how great the bread turned out from the revived sourdough. Miles apart from the original result last year. And then I did follow the instructions in the book, whereas this time, I improvised to a large extent. Making it up on the fly paid off nicely and I'm hoping I'll be able to repeat next time towards the end of this week. I've kept back what I hope is about 200 g worth of sourdough in the fridge to feed up the day before baking.

Another interesting thing is how much the different coatings changed the overall bread flavour. The loaf was covered with oat bran which gave it a nutty earthy flavour, which would be good with jam or soup, whereas the boule was covered with sesame and black onion seeds and seemed to call for spicier foods to go with it.

In the mean time, we've run out of crisp bread, so I'll be making a batch of that.

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