Sunday, 13 September 2015

A 50% wholewheat sourdough experiment


I normally post recipes of bread that turn out well, but this one's got itself a place on the worldwide web in the hope that other bakers will tell me which steps I should retain, and where I went wrong.  

This loaf started off as an ambitious experiment with a 100% hydration loaf, but I chickened out halfway through and reduced it to 90%. 
What finally went into this loaf was:
10% wholewheat sourdough starter  
50% wholewheat and 50% regular flour 
90% water. 

After around 30 minutes of rest, I added 1.5% salt and kneaded the dough with hand. The dough was slack, very slack, but it did start to get stringy after a few minutes. 

A long period of bulk fermentation followed, 12 hours in the fridge and about 4 hours at room temperature. 
At this time, I shaped the loaf and placed it in an oblong basket lined with floured cloth. 

Now this is where it gets interesting. 

After 3 hours in the proofing basket, I tipped it into a baking tray and placed it into a cold oven. 
I set the oven at 150ºC for about 10 minutes, and then to 220ºC and baked the loaf for 55 minutes.

The dough went flat initially, and then proceeded to rise until it started looking like an overgrown, unruly ciabatta. 
I was happy with the aeration, but the air pockets are more oblong than round - which makes me wonder if I should have strengthened the dough. 

The taste was great, but then that's the magic of sourdough, that too a home grown one!