White Sourdough Bread
May 9, 2011
Used a heaping tablespoon of my sourdough starter mixed with 100g Dove's Bread Flour and 100g of London's finest tap water, left for about 8 hours, as a leaven for this bread. This leaven passed the float test with flying colors - I poured 211g into the water I was using and the entire mass floated. It smelled quite sweet and pungent, like overripe fruit perhaps.
[500W - 211L - 300WA] Autolyse 30 Minutes
[50WA - 10SA] - Mix, Bulk Ferment.
Folded the dough in-bowl every 30 minutes for 2 hours total. Shaped into a round and bench rested for 25 minutes - the dough had quite good tension at this stage an exhibited almost no droop or melting qualities when shaped into a round. After attempting an intricate series of folds to create the shape for this loaf, I left the dough in a bread tin for a final rise. Dough was left for 3h50m during which time it expanded more than twofold and smelled slightly of eggs for some reason. The tin did not manage to hold shape well, so I attempted to fold the loaf into a manageable shape again, bursting some gas bubbles in the process. The dough was silky smooth, refusing to break. It stretched very thinly and refused to break. I put this on a pre-heated baking sheet, sprayed directly with water, and stuck it in the oven right after pouring boiling water into another pre-heated pan on the floor of the oven to generate steam.
I always get a bit excited when bread crackles as you let it cool.
This loaf is a huge improvement in taste and texture than my last sourdough and all my white breads generally. The air pocket structure was varied with mostly medium sized bubbles, and the crust was crunchy and flavorsome (though it didn't quite get the deep caramelized flavor or the thickness that my crusts sometimes do - I might try baking for longer next time). The crumb was denser than appearances suggest, with a bit of bounce to it; and the flavor was suitably mellow. Was great to eat by itself and with butter. I toasted the remaining bits this morning and enjoyed it with some slow cooked black beans, onions, and pork belly.
Submitted this post to yeastspotting on the wild yeast blog. Great source of info and inspiration.