I think today represents a big shift in my learning path of how to bake bread. I am still doing a lot of things wrong, which is basically the way I work: I need to experiment a lot until I find the way to do things right.
It stuck me that I was doing these things wrong:
- I was leaving my bread for too long during both bulk fermentation and proofing
- I was using too much sourdough starter
The taste of my bread was great, don’t get me wrong, but I was searching for good appearance as well. I am a member of a sourdough group on Facebook (in Norwegian), and also got some hints of some colleagues that I might have been using too much time on my risings.
So I halved my starter and cut lots of rising times to test if that would give me a better oven spring. And it did! It is still far from ideal, but I feel I am finally on my right path.
My goals are mainly to make good bread without waiting two/three days. I am ok if the bread doesn’t have a huge sour taste. I just want breadmaking that fits my lifestyle, and not having to quit working just to bake… 😀
Let’s see what I did:
- Pre-ferment: 50g Pivetti tipo 1 Bio flour, 50g water, 50g starter (100% hydration)
- 100g Pivetti Bio Farina Integrale (whole wheat flour)
- 200g Halländsk lantvete (some sort of local and old type of wheat from Sweden that has 14g of protein!)
- 50g Regal rye
- 6g salt (could have used a bit more)
- 243g water (75% hydration)
I made the pre-ferment the day before, around 4 o’clock, and let it rest on my kitchen bench for around 2.5h. Then I put it on the fridge.
On the next day, I mixed the flour and water for a quick 30m autolyse that started around 6:30, then I mixed it all together and used a kitchen machine for kneading. At 7:30 I did my first stretch-and-fold, and did around 4-5 for the next 2 hours.
At 9:30 I let the dough rest, and at 11:00 I did my pre-shaping after seing a few bubbles on the surface and a bit of rise on the dough. Thinking in retrospect I could have waited a bit more. I guess the sweet spot is around 1:30-2:00h.
After 20m I shaped it and put it on a proofing basket. My biggest mistake was using a too long basket, which resulted in a speading dough, reducing what could have been a great oven spring.
Finally I got a great rise, higher than what I was achieving lately. The only disappointing thing was the crumb, which probably could have been a bit more uniform. Next time I will wait a bit more with the proofing: