Last two bakes...first step backwards.
So today was my sixth sourdogh bake.
My first bake was on May 12. In the past five weeks I've averaged a little better than one bake a week...and I'm happy to say that (up until today) I've felt that each bake was better than the last. Today I ran into a bunch of problems. So I'm looking to Jay and Faith (and anyone else with an opinion) for some advice about what went wrong.
So some photos first....
Here are the results from the first bake five weeks ago...sure it's technically bread...but it ain't purty...
Then bake two was better...but nothing to excite anyone who knows how to bake sourdough...
Bake three was a bit better (approximately ten loaves) and bake four (pictured below and approximately twenty loaves) was pretty in my opinion.
As Jay filled me in, the bake was underproofed and showed all the classic signs of that condition, but I liked it.
Bake five (twenty-two loaves and ten crappy baguettes) was last weekend and (apart from the baguettes) was my best yet. No blowouts, no excessive tears from underproofing, no excessive flour, etc...here's a pic of one loaf (I gave the rest away before I rememered to take a pic. So we only get one in the pic)
Today I ran into multiple problems on a number of levels. I'm not really sure what went wrong on some fronts...on other fronts I know where I screwed up. First a pic....
I think it was over proofed (but I don't know.). So here is the rundown. It was fourteen loaves. Seventy-one percent hydradtion (my highest yet). From the beginning the dough seemed unusually slack. I should say at this point that my preferment went way too long before making the dough. I did the preferment last night at about eleven pm. I was thinking I'd make my dough around ten this morning. I had an eight-thirty court appearance that I though would conclude by nine...but went to nearly eleven. By the time I got back home to do the dough it was noon. So I mixed up my dough and did a delayed salt addition of forty-five minutes....it was one pm when the salt went in.
A stretch and fold every fifty minutes...two and a half hours after initial mixing I formed loaves and put them in ratan baskets. The dough was so slack (and wet) that it penetrated into the weave of the baskets. (I was using no linen...just semolina and some Pam...just the basket has worked the past two bakes...but apparently not at this hydration level).
Anyway, two and a half hours later the dough looked killer in the baskets. All light and airy and jiggly. Looking good. And then I invert the baskets and nothing happens. The dough won't come out. So I shake, rattle, and roll trying to get the dough out and it finally comes...but I de-gass every loaf in doing so. They look like pancakes sitting on my peels. And because I thrashed them so bad getting them out, there are big areas of torn skin...which is very sticky...and sticks to the peels when I try to load them in the oven. You can imagine. It was a cluster...you know what.
What's amazing though is how much better a totally thrashed loaf looks after baking as compared to before. Thank God for oven spring!
Re: Last two bakes...first step backwards.
Ran out of room on the last post for pics...you know what they say about a thousand words.
So here are two pics of the crumb from today's messed up, de-gased bake...not terrible in my opinon...but the loaves are pretty flat...
Here is one of the first of two batches out of the oven...they look like someone used them as punching bags...
They all tasted good though.
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