032 - Sourdough #7

Country Sourdough Bread
May 25, 2011

This venture went even worse than loaf 031. I was a bit overzealous and too impatient. Another reminder that good things take time. Can't say it tasted very nice either. 

[350W - 150WM - 220LE - 350WA] Autolyse 20 min
[50WA - 10SA] Mix, Bulk Fermentation 3 hours, folding every 30 min

Tried to cheat a bit with this one and see if I can get away with a single fermentation. After fermenting 3 hours I bench rested the dough for about 20 minutes (shaped into a round before resting), the tension was quite good, and the dough held up pretty well. 

Here's where I got overzealous. I wasn't super happy about the shape of the dough and wanted more tension, so I figured I would re-shape and prove the dough. And since flouring my hands wasn't helping me handle this under-fermented and very sticky dough, I dipped my hands in water several times to shape it. 10 minutes into this process, the dough had absorbed so much of the water from my hands that it no longer held any shape whatsoever, and there was neither tension nor bubbles anywhere to be found. Desperate to finish (not sure why?) I decided I would let it sit for another 20 minutes, then quickly shape it and jam it into the oven that the crust would form before the dough had a chance to pillow out. As the pictures evidence, that didn't quite work. The dough did not even manage to rise a bit and cooked as is. After about 1 hour, I had to leave my flat and the dough was not yet ready, so I left it in the switched off (but still hot) oven and came back a few hours later. This might actually be the story for 031, but at this point it's pretty fuzzy. 

I do remember, however, how this one tasted. The crust was very dense and not very crunchy, making it hard to cut and hard to chew through. The crumb has very small bubbles and was very dense and chewy (think: rubber). There was no way to make this loaf look or sound decent. Kindly, a friend chimed that it was at least as good as supermarket bread. 031 and 032 had me a bit down - I regret not writing about them immediately to make sure I don't repeat my mistakes, but here I am writing 'notes' a week after the fact. In any case, look forward to 033. 

I have to learn that these things can't be rushed. It's not about producing bread, it's about really understanding how to make a good loaf. 


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