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Tman1 12-09-2010 04:33 PM

not quite right...
Lately I've been trying to make sourdough (6 times from two rounds of recipe). I just figured out the last 2 times the oven wasn't hot enough which explains the major time difference I was getting to bake. This whole bread thing came about since I made the brick oven and want to use the leftover heat... but wanted to get some experience under my belt with the regular oven first.

I'm wondering about the dough prior to putting it in the oven. It seems awfully wet. I mean, I know it's supposed to be wet, but it just seems as if it's too much, however I have no other point of reference...except pizza dough... and i know that isn't the same thing. I've been using the recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes. It seems that doing a dough by percentage would be better, but first I wanted to get this down before going deeper. It seems to require a ridiculous amount of flour on the peel to come off... to the point I have yet to use enough. Does that seem right? Even using a BBQ spatula, it's still very difficult to get it off of the peel. (I did try parchment paper on the first basically fused itself to the bottom of the bread each time.)
I've left it sit 40 minutes after taking it out of the fridge prior to placing in the oven. Reading it today, I wondered if I should be letting it rest 40 minutes, then another 20 as the oven warms up? The first boule from the second batch seemed to rise and grow just like i would expect... none of the other 5 have done this.

I need to search these forums and maybe look into some breadmaking ones, but wanted some opinions here first.

Faith In Virginia 12-09-2010 06:59 PM

Re: not quite right...
Tman some doughs are quite wet but I have not tried to put something so sticky in the oven. The sourdough bread that I put in the oven does have the feel of pizza dough. A great place to learn more about sourdough bread is at "The Fresh Loaf" just google it.

But for starters be sure your starter is very active. and I would suggest working with weights and not volumes when you mix your dough. I also mix my dough by hand and use the stretch and fold method. Don't under or over proof your dough and oven temp is important. For starters I would look for recipes that have lower hydration rates in the 65% range.
Hope that is of some help.

Tman1 12-09-2010 07:35 PM

Re: not quite right...
Yes, The Fresh Loaf... just became a member.. I've also realized that it's not actually sourdough bread.... at least I don't think it is... :confused:

As for the rest of what your saying.. I see the words, I can read the words... but I don't really understand the words.... seems like I have a lot more reading to do. :o

Faith In Virginia 12-10-2010 05:40 AM

Re: not quite right...
I figured some of the words would not have meaning for you. It's kinda a bread head thing. Just keep asking questions. A good book is "The bread builders" by Wing and Scott for a simple approach and Hamelman's "Bread" when your ready to jump in with both feet.

Tman1 12-10-2010 06:51 AM

Re: not quite right...
I kind of have basic understanding, but not complete knowledge as to what each thing means. Anything I make on my own will be better than most of what I usually buy (for instance, I really don't get complaints from the loaves I've done, just my preferences as to what I want to see). I've been wondering how deep I will actually go into breadmaking. Heck, a couple of months ago I didn't know I'd have a brick oven... :D
I did request the Hamelman book from the library. I's starting to wonder if I really need to get that good at bread. Either way I do appreciate the info.

I'm still wondering how the heck I would slide off a boule from the peel into the wood oven... I have enough difficulty just dealing with the regular one at this point.

texassourdough 12-10-2010 07:13 AM

Re: not quite right...
Something is wrong...Reinhart's doughs aren't so wet they should be eating your lunch.

Newcomers routinely seem to strive to make bread that is wetter than they are ready to handle. Like newbie pizza dough, stay down in hydration - around 60 to 62 percent with AP or no more than 65 with bread flour until you have a few successes and get some of the kinks out. A lot of it is technique and learning. I am mainly doing 74 percent hydration AP and it isn't sticking. And I am not putting a lot of flour on the outside.

If you think dough is too wet or too sticky, add some flour - but also make sure you are getting adequate dough development! The dough should not be soup! It should be able to hold itself up long enough to form a loaf that rises and not just be a puddle.

If you put the time and effort into it you will get there.

Hang in there!

Tman1 12-10-2010 07:18 AM

Re: not quite right...
Well, maybe I'm getting it right then, since it is holding up, and complete soup. I'll have to figure out the hydration. (Note: I'm not using Reinhart's recipe, but AB in 5)

Tman1 12-12-2010 06:12 AM

Re: not quite right...
Another thing I'm wondering about... I used parchment paper on the first 3 loaves. On each one, the paper actually fused (melted, assimilated) with the bottom of the loaf. I could not peel it off, as it came off in such small pieces I would've spent more time trying to remove it than it did actually baking. I ended up cutting off the bottom. Any ideas on why this might have happened?

texassourdough 12-12-2010 02:07 PM

Re: not quite right...
My mistake...I knew Reinhart didn't write that. But something is WRONG! It shouldn't be that wet.

Tman1 12-12-2010 02:51 PM

Re: not quite right...
That's the problem... I have nothing to benchmark it against.

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