first loaf in the states I felt good about. after the last few, I've been feeling the need to reset. so, I tried to simplify the process without experimenting too much. turned out more or less good, though the crust didn't quite have the texture I expected and the loaf could have been shaped better.
MIX // 100SP 400W 350WA 80ST // AUTOLYSE // (1430)
Used Bob's Red Mill Spelt flour and Central Milling Company's "baker's flour" which i'll call a white flour.2.5 hrs of autolysis showed decent expansion and a much more pliable dough.
MIX // 7SA 25WA // (1700)
I usually use 50 grams of hot water here, but I didn't feel like I needed to add water because I was comfortable with how the dough looked and felt. no excess water pooling at the edges of the dough, not overly sticky, pretty workable with wet hands. the water I added was room temp.
BULK FERMENTATION // STRETCH & FOLD // (1730, 1800, 1830, 1900, 1930)
From the get go, this dough was less sticky and easier to work with. The dough was stretchier than my last few, and showed pretty good (~20%) expansion between each stretch and fold, which put to rest any doubts about my starter being a bit inactive (took it out of the fridge and used it after only one or two feedings - hadn't been fed in 3 weeks)
SHAPING, BENCH REST // (2000)
The dough was easy to pretty easy to shape into a boule, but drooped a bit over 15 minutes. here it is after 15 minutes
SHAPING, PROOF // (2015 - 1000) // 11:30
Shaped into a boule again put into a bowl with the seam side up, and left it in the fridge to retard for its proof. There wasn't as much expansion as I expected (~10%), so I was a bit worried.
BAKING // (1000 - 1115)
Heated up the oven for about an hour at 550°F with a cast iron combo cooker. Placed dough into the covered cooker after doing a poor slashing job with a dull knife. Dough seemed a bit droopy so I didn't expect a ton of oven spring. removed the lid after 30 minutes and lowered the temperature to 450'F. dough expanded okay. the slash didn't open all the way around the loaf, which resulted in a bit of cracking at the top.
TASTE, TEXTURE NOTES
fresh crackling loaves always get me excited. crust looked great with lots of small surface bubbles, deep color, and small cracks across the entire surface of the loaf after some cooling. was surprised the crust wasn't very crunchy or hard, although it was light and shattered easily on the surface. the crumb was nice and airy, though I would have liked larger pockets of air and better expansion on the whole. the taste was about what I expected, with a slight taste of the spelt leading, finishing with a mild sweetness. the dark crust tasted quite good.
submitted to Wild Yeast Blog's yeastspotting.