Most people believe that a restaurant cook, a baker and a pastry cook are about the same. I'd tell them that we have one really thing in common, we work with food, after that everything changes. Our schedules are different, our rhythm is different, our habits are different and in many cases we don’t even get along. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit, but the truth is that all of us normally have a love for cooking may it be based more on proteins, sugars or starches.
I’ve always liked baking breads, but I always had a baker to do that, and keeping control of the other areas of the kitchen were hard enough so I never really did it. But the baking bug has grown too strong for me to deny my need to make some good old fashion bread. So here I am starting my quest for the perfect, at least for my taste, sourdough bread. The good thing about these types of quests is that the true joy and fulfillment will come with the journey and not the destination sin perfection can never be achieved, but that doesn’t make the search less enjoyable.
After reading through blogs and books I decided to try out a simple recipe following different advices and see what came out.
I must say the bread came out better than I expected and though it was good enough for a nice sandwich, but, there’s always a but, it obviously needs a lot of work. Write know I'm focusing on the flavor and texture and I hope with practice my shaping and slashing abilities will improve. I think my biggest mistake were that the crust came out a little too dark in some spots and the bread was a kind of chewy. The flavor and smell were nice and the bread was moist which created the chewy feeling.
I baked at 232C for 45 minutes with 5 initial minutes of steam.
I read some ware that I should try to achieve an internal temperature of 99C, just below boiling point. Since I live above 2000 meters and water boils around 96C I thought I'd shoot for 95C. After the 45 minute bake the internal temperature came up to 91.5C which I think could account for the moister I felt in the bread. I liked the crumb which came out with a nice shine.
I know it looks like a brioche, but believe me the crumb is white. Next time all use better lighting.
I hope to hear some comments and suggestions while I keep trying to bake better bread. At the moment I'm fermenting a second batch with the difference that I gave this one a 24 hour first fermentation at 5C. I'm also planning on modifying my bake temperature. Instead of 45 minutes at 232C I'll try 30 minutes at 232C and then 30 minutes at 170C. I'll upload the result hopefully reporting some good results.
The flavos was about the same, but the crust came out better. On the downside it didin't rise as much.