Baby Steps and a Cry for Help

Baby Steps and a Cry for Help

I’ve been lurking on this website for awhile, and decided it was finally time to woman-up and try some of the techniques that I’ve seen.

I started my sourdough-ing with the Rustic Sourdough from KAF, a cheaters sourdough, if you will (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/rustic-sourdough-bread-recipe).  I have no elitist qualms about cheating with yeast, and I appreciate the training wheels. While we’re on the subject of my being a big fat cheater, I must admit I use citric acid to increase the tang, a la (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/extra-tangy-sourdough-bread-recipe). I’m a girl that loves consistency and reliability, and true sourdough can be a fickle mistress. 

What I felt I was missing was the open crumb and structure of the breads I see here, as both of these loaves turn out rather sandwich-y. So I upped my game as follows

  • bought a scale, so I could measure by weight
  • figured out bakers percent and the hydration of my starter
  • adapted my old standby recipe to increase hydration from 62% to 76% (baby steps)
  • used autolyse
  • used stretch and fold
  • got a lame so I could score my dough with confidence
  • and tried to steam the oven

After some mad scientist action, this is the recipe

  • 236 g KAF bread flour
  • 236 g KAF white whole wheat flour
  • 340 g water
  • 230 g 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2.25 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp citric acid
  1. Mix the flours and water and let sit for 30 minutes 
  2. Add other ingredients and let sit for 30  minutes, then stretch and fold
  3. Do 2 more rounds of stretch and fold then sit for 30 minutes
  4. Shape into two round loaves and cover, let rest for an hour
  5. Bake at 425 for 25min with steam

I was very happy with the crumb and the balanced flavor, so now I’m looking for more ways to improve.

I mixed this dough with a wooden spoon, but I’ll try it with my food processor next time, as I noticed plenty of lumps during the stretch and folds. Ice cubes in the oven were a rather cumbersome steam method, but I’m sure I can find a better one around here. The loaf baked on a stone in the top half of the oven became far browner than the loaf baked on a jelly roll pan in the bottom of the oven, but I’m not sure how to remedy that.  

Does anyone have additional guidance?

Source: Fresh Loaf