Friday, February 7, 2014

The Mystery Of Sourdough

Just when I think that I have a solid understanding of sourdough, something happens, and I have to start all over again. 
I normally use about 1/4 cup of starter in each bread, but yesterday, for no apparent reason I thought I'd push the limit. I used 1 cup of starter in a single loaf of bread. I thought something bad might happen, but no, something good happened. I baked one of my best sourdough loaves ever. The loaf had a thin, crisp crust, was tender inside, had lots of mouse holes and a mild taste. Just the way I like it.
If you're wondering why I didn't bake in my wood-fired oven, I can only say that it's been too damn cold outside, and I wasn't ready to stray from the kitchen.
To make an outstanding loaf of bread, lots of elements have to come together such as:
quality of the flour
quality of the starter
correct amount of water
room temperature
correct duration of the proof
and there's more
In a domestic oven, ALWAYS bake undercover in a Dutch oven.

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