Country Sourdough attempt No. 1

Country Sourdough attempt No. 1

I decided I’d try to apply some of what I’ve learned making baguettes to my hearth loaves.  One thing that has been in the back of my mind for a while has been whether or not my use of high protein Canadian bread flours 13.3% protein could be preventing my heart loaves from having a more open crumb.  I know that achieving an open crumb is multi factorial and for many not worth the trouble, but it is something I wanted to see if I could eventually achieve.

I threw together a formula with:

50% strong bread flour

30% low protein (10%) white flour

15% whole red fife 

5% whole rye

9% prefermented flour 

2% salt

0.05% diastatic malt

78% hydration

I did an overnight levain build 1:4:4 and a saltolyse dissolving the salt and diastatic malt in the water and then adding the flours.  Mixed until a shaggy mass.  Both the levain and dough were left on the counter at a cool room temperature overnight.  The ripe levain was added to the dough and pinched in then a bowl scraper was used to stretch and fold until it was well combined.  Structure was built with a strong bench letter fold followed by a lamination and then four sets of coil folds.  A good windowpane was attained.  Bulk was ended when the aliquot jar reached 60% rise.

In retrospect the hydration was a bit too high for my flour, I forgot that lower protein flour doesn’t absorb water as well as high.  I should have taken my own advice and held back some of the water when mixing.  The dough just felt wetter than usual.  When I shaped the dough it didn’t keep “standing proud” very well, so I added stitching in the banneton hoping that it would help keep that surface tension.

The next day, about 20-30 mins prior to baking I put the dough into the freezer hoping that it might help keep its shape better when turned out of the banneton.  Somehow things worked out alright, I didn’t get a pancake after all. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it wasn’t a disaster.  I will try this again but with less water.


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