this post was submitted on 24 Mar 2024
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Lemmy Bread

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submitted 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) by [email protected] to c/lemmybread

I know, I know, I'm late to the sourdough game, but I've been thoroughly enjoying easy bread with commercial yeast, so I wanted to give sourdough a shot.

Followed the recipe from Joshua Wiessman's "Unapologetic Cookbook" (side note: great cookbook), twice, but I couldn't get the dough to turn out right. It always seemed overly hydrated and liquid.

I've been reading through this community, watching videos, and cooking easy bread long enough though that I finally threw up my hands and decided to have a go at it myself.

I started with about 10g of starter, added about 450g of bread flour, 1/4 cup of sugar (to increase rise), and a spoonful of salt. Then let that mix in the stand mixer till pretty homogeneous. Next I added 1.5 cups of 100°F water, and mixed in.

At this point it was still very liquidy, so I mixed in quite a bit more bread flour until it "looked right" with an appropriate amount of shaggyness.

I then let that rest for a while, and came back with the dough hook about every 30 minutes. At one point it still looked a bit too wet, so I added even more bread flour. I just worked this in with the hook.

After all my working I was worried about overdoing it, so I switched to stretch and folds, of which I did about 3 over the next several hours.

Finally I left it alone for about an hour, and when I returned, it was nice and risen.

I turned it out into my working space, added flour, cut and shaped, and placed into the floured bannetons. I let them rest in the bannetons for about an hour before I refrigerated them overnight.

I let them rest while the oven was heating this morning, and followed my normal baking routine, but I adjusted the temp up by about 50°, based on the Weissman recipe, which I feel was a mistake, so next time I'll just stick to 450°F.

The result was good. Though I can still taste sugar, so I'm going to cut it way down in the next batch. I'm also thinking I may not split into two loafs, and to bake at a lower temp next time.

All in all, I'd say this is my first successful attempt, and I'm excited for the next iteration. Any tips or sage wisdom from fellow bread people would be greatly appreciated!

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[–] [email protected] 1 points 3 months ago (1 children)

I’d eat that. I’d recommend Wiessman’s no knead sourdough recipe from his YouTube channel. I’ve been using that recipe for a few years now and it’s great. Very easy and turns out good bread consistently

[–] [email protected] 1 points 3 months ago (1 children)
[–] evasive_chimpanzee 2 points 2 months ago (1 children)

That recipe seems suspect to me. 10g of starter is basically nothing, and I've never heard of anyone adding sugar to sourdough.

In my opinion, you really gotta resist the urge to keep adding extra flour. Your original recipe looks like 79% hydration, which isn't outlandish. Many people who come from making other kinds of bread want the dough to be the same, but it shouldn't be. That's why your bread looks a little dense compared to something you might get from a bakery.

I would also recommend not using a mixer. The idea is to build up good gluten structure, and doing it with a mixer, you can't feel when you are building it up, and when you are basically tearing the gluten structure.

High oven temp is good when your dough is nice and airy because the air really expands giving you that nice oven spring. With dough that's more dense, though, you can overcook the outside before the inside is done. If you get your loaves more airy, 450 should be good. Also, are you using a Dutch oven or baking stone or something?

[–] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago (1 children)

These are good notes. Just what I was hoping for. I'm using a dutch oven with a splash of water added just before the dough to get it steamy.

Next time I'll

  • nix the sugar completely
  • use at least 50g of starter
  • use my hand to mix
  • try to resist the urge to add flour

The last point will be the hardest. Every time I've attempted sourdough before this it's been extremely wet, no matter what I do. Like, so wet that the scoring cuts just immediately heal.

[–] evasive_chimpanzee 1 points 2 months ago (1 children)

If you want to get better with high hydration dough, would highly recommend making pan de cristal. It's not sourdough, but it's pretty easy to make, despite being 100% hydration. As you build up gluten, the dough should go from shaggy to smooth, and that bread really lets you feel it.

I think if your cuts were healing themselves, the gluten build up was probably not right. As you get better at shaping, that will improve, too. The good thing with sourdough is that even your loaves that don't turn out perfect still look and taste good unless you really mess up.

Also, just for reference, I use like 150 g of starter with 425 g of flour and 325 g of water and 10 g salt. So all together, 80% hydration, and 2% salt. I typically use mostly bread flour, but 100/425 is usually rye or whole wheat or durum or something else for flavor

[–] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

Thanks for this! I think this is exactly what I need. I'm very early in my breadmaking journey and making pan de cristal will, I hope, teach me a few things with regard to gluten development and folding. I'm going to make an attempt this weekend, thanks again!