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james 11-03-2008 09:49 PM

Big sourdough spring
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This came as a big surprise. After quite a few attempts where I was struggling to get my sourdough to fully ferment, I had a really big oven spring tonight. I tried to make a nice, consistent slash pattern on my round loaf, and boom -- the loaf exploded. Now, I guess I have to come up with some better slashing to control that oven spring. It's a nice problem to have. :-)

I "built" the sourdough for 16 hours, and made my dough this morning. It was cool, so the loaf took all day to bulk ferment. I folded it twice, then shaped it, and proofed in banneton.

We had this, along with a day old baguette (no photo), and the girls ask for "the good bread" (the sourdough), which feels good.

Check out the big split.

nissanneill 11-04-2008 01:09 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring
Great work James.
It looks like you were a little heavy handed with your knife or blade to cause this eruption with this 'slash'. I need to rationalise with this term as it also slang down under meaning to go and have a leak!
I'm starting to get into a little more serious bread making side using the Pompeii after I get the kitchen finished. I collect the cupboards tomorrow!
I ordered 'The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves And Masonry Ovens" and will study it for better results.
Can you give some details of this particular loaf for us peasants who aspire to achieve such results (over some time and troubles no doubt), eg recepie, time and temps when cooking.



Frances 11-04-2008 04:40 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring
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My bread often looks like that on top... er, shouldn't it?

You say it has something to do with slashing technique, so what are you going to do differently next time?

n2iko 11-04-2008 07:30 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring
I will eat any one of those loaves!

egalecki 11-04-2008 07:31 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring
Oh wow. Both Frances' and James' loaves are beautiful, even with "exploded tops". I'm definitely going to have to work on a starter for sourdough. Can you cold-ferment it at all, or does it have to be room temp?

chuckster 11-04-2008 07:56 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring

Nice job! I wouldn't do anything different. Wish I could get my to "explode" with all those tasty crispy bits on the crust!


james 11-04-2008 12:55 PM

Re: Big sourdough spring
Way to go Frances,

Your loaves were shaped to spring in the middle -- and they look perfect! I was shooting for one of those patterns where the cross slashes were supposed to each puff out. I saw a photo on the Internet that I was trying to replicate. I'll see if I can find it again and show you.

This making good bread thing is challenging. :-)

I am definitely an amateur at this, but I will take a shot at making a sourdough video that we can all critique. I haven't been doing it for very long (after a multi-year break), and I feel as though I keep getting better at it.


DrakeRemoray 11-04-2008 01:51 PM

Re: Big sourdough spring
I get that explosion on many of my loaves as well. I think it is a combination of shaping and docking technique...

Did that dough come straight from the fridge? I wonder if that may be part of the issue with mine...

james 11-04-2008 02:52 PM

Re: Big sourdough spring
You are having way too much fun. That is some very, very nice looking bread. Are you giving it away to neighbors?

I didn't not retard my bread in the fridge, and just timed it from a room temp final proof. I am going to use the refrigerator next time though.


CanuckJim 11-05-2008 05:33 AM

Re: Big sourdough spring

The way the loaf is docked definitely has an impact on the amount of oven spring/volume. Last weekend, I had three students here. Among other breads, we made four kilo sourdough-seed boule. The three docked by the students did not have nearly the spring as the one I slashed in a grigne. This turned out to be a good, instructional talking point. Not one of them cut deep enough for the flap to open completely, thereby reducing volume. I usually recommend a cut at least half an inch deep to get proper action. Wish I had taken a comparative photo before the bread left the building.


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