The blog has idled. But my breadmaking has picked up…slightly.
I finally found a place that sells organic plain white flour!! It’s been a bitch sourcing decent flour here. The only plain flour sold in supermarkets are ultra whitened flour. The only organic flour I’ve found at my nearest supermarket is self raising wholemeal…But I’ll leave my bitching for an angry post. This post is about my clumsy attempts at recreating beautiful sourdough loaves like when I was at bread school in Italy.
I’ve stuck to a basic white sourdough recipe with a stiff 56.3% leaven. 3 kneads with 10 minutes in between. Rest the dough for an hour and follow with 3 folds with 40 minutes in between before final shaping. I leave the dough overnight in the fridge and bake the next morning. The long process means it’s really only over the weekend that I have time to practice.
My first loaf had a really tight crumb. I had a lot of trouble shaping the dough. It has been super hot and humid as summer approaches and I’ve found my dough tends to be sticky and tacky. I’m not great at handling sloppy dough so my first #fail loaf was a dump and bake.
My second attempt yielded better results. I kept the dough in the fridge in between folds and it tightened up better. I still suck at shaping but practice makes perfect.
I’ve been taught not to waste food. So rather than discarding leaven when I refresh it, I invited the in-laws over for pizza made from leftover leaven. I reckoned that pizza doesn’t need to have great oven spring so a more sluggish leaven should be alright (?). Anyway all the pizza was devoured. The FIL proclaimed it fantastic. So it must have been a win.
Unfortunately the pizza used up all my white flour so my third attempt at bread making was with a mixture of white, wholemeal and spelt flours. The end result was a very tender crumb. I lowered the hydration slightly so that I would be able to control the dough better. The result: