030 - Sourdough #5

Country Sourdough Bread
May 15, 2011

This was supposed to be a parting gift for my friend J but I woke up a bit too late and I ended up sharing it with some other friends instead. As you might be able to tell from the photos above, I baked the loaf in a dutch oven. Apparently I failed to flour the dutch oven properly because the bottom of the loaf ended up completely stuck. This loaf was another experiment in long rises - not entirely successful, but it the taste and texture were quite satisfactory. I dare say the crumb was reminiscent of the bread I had at the Boulangerie Du Pain et Idées. Still, consistency is my biggest weak point. After 5 months and about 30 loaves down the line, I have yet to produce two similar breads. I intend to rectify that by making an un-stuck version of this one. In any case, onto the notes. 

[300W - 200WM - 350WA - 215L] Autolyse 25min
[50WA - 10SA] Mix, Bulk ferment 2 hours

This loaf was made using 300g of Dove's White Bread Flour, 200g of Shipton Mill's Wholemeal Flour, 215g of homemade leaven, 10g Maldon Sea Salt, and a total of 400g warm tap water. That makes this an 80% hydration dough. 

During bulk fermentation I folded the dough at thirty minute intervals. Nothing noticeable here except to note that the dough expanded slightly less than my previous white sourdough and slightly more than my wholemeal sourdough - a somewhat obvious note. All in all, I'd say about 50% expansion over original size between each fold. I gave the dough a 20 minute bench rest on the counter (bench, I know it's redundant) after shaping into a basic round. It exhibited some droop but managed not to pancake much; maybe about a one inch gain in radius. I placed it back in the bowl at 3PM and didn't touch it again until about 9:15PM. By then, the dough had expanded to more than double its original size and was bursting out of its bowl. I was surprised that the dough had not already started to contract, given the 6+ hour rise time and moderately warm temperature. I folded it into a round and then placed it into a pre-heated dutch oven which was (too) lightly floured. I removed the lid after 25 minutes, then continued to bake for another 55, making 1 hour and 20 minutes total baking time. 

After letting it cool for 10 minutes, a slice into the crust of the bread still produced a puff of steam. The crust was very crunchy and flavorful, exhibiting a somewhat nutty and caramelized taste. There were a few larger bubbles in the crumb that nearly resulted in a flying crust in some places. Otherwise, the crumb was very dense and soft - gummy and spongy at once. By the time the bread cooled it was nearly gone, but by then it was clear that the crust and crumb on this loaf were polar opposites. The crust was hard and intense in flavor and the crumb was soft and mild. I need to figure out a system for writing taste notes, as I don't think my current way tells much (looking back at some of my older posts) - the notes are too relative without reference points. Other than the grounded crust, I think this was a good result. I'll be trying the same loaf in free-form next time around. 

Since I couldn't finish this loaf before I had to send off J, I invited a few other friends in Kentish Town and they managed to polish this off pretty quickly. It was a proper party with hijinks and all. One memorable conversation was about the pronunciation of Derry. and Leprechauns (leh-pree-shawns). Can't wait to visit Ireland. 


Post a Comment