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Sometimes things go right! - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Sometimes things go right!

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  • Sometimes things go right!

    While traveling a lot in April and May my sourdough starter got in a bit of a funk. It was clear it was not happy with erratic feedings. So.. not long ago I fed it a couple of times and got it in a better mood. Then last Saturday I fed it in the morning to freshen it and it responded well so I mixed up my normal preferment at 7 pm to bake on Sunday. (Note: this is my standard approach that is documented in multiple threads in the Hearth Bread forum.) The only thing I did unusual was to mix the starter (50 grams, 100% hydration) with 100 grams of organic rye and 100 grams of KA White Whole Wheat (and 200 grams of water).

    Next morning it was clear the yeast was happy and I hand mixed the final dough (1220 grams of KA AP, 780 grams of water, 30 grams of salt). I gave the dough four stretch and folds at half hour intervals (twice). After a three and a half hour bulk ferment I divided the dough and formed boules, let them rest about 15 minutes, tightened them up, and proofed them in brotforms for four hours. Baked in cloches for 18 minutes with the lid on at 455 oF and 22 minutes at 440 oF with the lid off.

    Results were pretty spectacular! It is always nice to have bread go right after you have been away too long!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Sometimes things go right!

    Well Jay, that is a gallant attempt after such long inactivity. While looking at the loaf I think I could make a few suggestions that could....nah, just goofing. That is a beautiful loaf. Ain't it great when a loaf comes together.

    Gonna be a late bake for me, oven's hot and regulating. Starter will peak in about an hour. Thank goodness I have flood lights around the oven



    • #3
      Re: Sometimes things go right!

      Hi Faith!

      I will critique it for you! It is still dark by your standards. And underproofed. One of the consequences of my hand mixing is that my dough seems to be reaching a more perfectly developed state where it holds gases better than before and so I have a tendency to decide the loaf is "right" a bit too early. i.e. the loaf filled the brotform and isn't quite there yet. As a result the loaf has a bit more expansion and rip than I consider ideal. But since I think it results from my notching my dough development up another step I accept it with no complaints. And...I definitely prefer the underproofed rip to an overproofed sag. Need to repeat this a few times and get aligned...

      I had one other interesting observation which was that the skin of the loaf was somewhat drier and less sticky than normal - I think mainly because the air was particularly dry that day but???dough development probably contributed a bit too. And the flour on the brotform dried the skin some too. The result was a relatively firm loaf due to the drier skin that was very easy to handle but that did not expand much on slashing so it shot UP in the oven which accentuates the oven spring and rip. But that is I think a secondary effect to the dough.

      The result is really close to my personal ideal of what I want my loaves to look like!

      Good luck tonight!


      • #4
        Re: Sometimes things go right!

        I did notice the rip that you tried to hide. No does not look to dark for my taste,looks quite lovely. I don't do boules that often I prefer a longer loaf then round thinking that is where our baking time differ.

        None the less that loaf looks good enough to eat. Enjoy.

        5:30 pm and just started the bulk fermentation...gonna be a late night


        • #5
          Re: Sometimes things go right!

          You are always going to be your worst critic. That bread looks great to me.
          Old World Stone & Garden

          Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

          When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
          John Ruskin


          • #6
            Re: Sometimes things go right!

            Yea, that bread does look like it has a few problems, I. Think you should send those loaves over to me, because I would not want you to eat something below perfect.

            I am quite sure I can find some sucker to eat it.


            • #7
              Re: Sometimes things go right!

              Looks great,
              I havent baked for months and my starter isnt as good as it has been ,I just keep feeding it until Im ready to use it.
              Dark skin and lost that pineapple juice/acetone smell,still looks active though.


              • #8
                Re: Sometimes things go right!

                Thanks Guys!

                I critique my bread hard because I am always refining my process and technique and by sharing critical assessments I hope to help others recognize the visual clues the loaves give us about our processes.

                As reliably as I am in making loaves similar to this one, it always feels good when to pull a near perfect loaf from the oven. There is always a bit of suspense and magic about the process that makes things coming out right feel so good!



                • #9
                  Re: Sometimes things go right!

                  Looks great Jay. I like the slightly underproofed, big rip, active loaves.

                  I'm doing my first bake in three months tomorrow. Nervous.



                  • #10
                    Re: Sometimes things go right!

                    Bill don't expect your best. I have had long spans between bakes and the first run is always off a bit, then the second run looks better. Nice to see you back.


                    • #11
                      Re: Sometimes things go right!

                      Good to be back.

                      Don't want to hijack Jay's thread, but I will say that the bake actually turned out very well. I was previously all wrong in my loaf formation. Took your and Jay's comments to heart regarding forming loaves...watched some youtube videos, and made sure my starter was on fire in the four or five days before my bake.

                      Shocked on the loaf formation issue.



                      • #12
                        Re: Sometimes things go right!

                        Glad your bake went well. While you were gone Jay said he needed a break from FB. Looking forward to his return.

                        I had a great bake a weekend or so ago still needing time to make some posts. Till then I'm just popping in for the occasional quick post. Would love to see some pictures if you took any.

                        Look for my post on a low temp recipe. I'll try to get it in soon.


                        • #13
                          Re: Sometimes things go right!

                          I'll look for your recipe. I too will look forward to jay's return. You guys have been a font of great info around here.