My question in short: would just one rising period work for sourdough bread?
I have been baking spelt/kamut/rye sourdough bread for about 10 months now and following the advice from this forum , as well as from sourdough baking books. Everyone seems to agree on the need of bulk fermentation, followed by final prooving, although methods and times vary. I have gotten into the habit of bulk fermenting in a big bowl; when its doubled I shape the dough. This is followed by the final prooving in a glass pan where the loaf then remains until it has almost doubled again; I then transfer the pan into the oven for the baking period.The resulting bread is quite good.
My fiance who has been baking wonderful yeasted whole wheat bread ( not sourdough) for many years( taught by his mother) is now asking me why the fuss with basically two fermentation periods for my sourdough? He would knead his whole wheat dough, shape it, then place it in the glass pan right away to rise. When doubled, he would stick the whole thing in the oven while the oven was heating up, and get some nice oven spring to boot. The results were always wonderful, no denying this!
So here I am, struggling with getting the right timing for the bulk fermentation and the prooving periods for my spelt/kamut/ rye sourdough bread, depending on the varying temperatures throughout the year.
He suggests that I am exhausing my dough by allowing it to double twice, first during bulk fermentation, then for the final prooving. And this may be the reason for my not getting oven spring.
Has anyone tried to let the sourdough rise just once? What was the outcome? Off course I could try this myself, but I hate to wast my dough, in case this method does not work.
There is probably a scientific answert to all this, I am curious to find out...