My sourdough adventures have just begun, and I could really use some tips!
So far, I used recipes from Paul Hollywood's cookbook, which has a section on sourdough.
His recipes call for bulk fermentation of about 5 hours and then about 12 hours of proving, both
at room temperature. The result was very flat, and quite sour sourdoughs. Not untasty, but definitely not
Recently, I was very, very happy to find this website, and made a sourdough using the tips in the beginner's
guides. I used the folding method, so I hardly had to knead the dough and left it to prove in the fridge for about
12 hours. This is what it looked like:
I baked the bread on a baking stone at 220 C for the first ten minutes, spraying it with water every 2 minutes. Then I turned the oven down to about 200C and baked for another 25 minutes. Before baking, I gave it two slashes. This is what it looked like:
* The weird flabby at the left end of the bread is there because I made the bread slightly longer than my baking stone,
so it was hanging over the side during baking*
The results were markedly better (disappointed in Paul!), but still not quite what I would like them to
be. My first flat loaves were probably awfully overproved, I now know, but I still have lots to learn.
This crumb looks better than the dense flatness of my earlier breads:
Unlike what I read on this website, my sourdough did increase in volume quite a bit overnight in the fridge.
It did rise a bit in the oven, which was a first for me, so that was very nice. However, the dough is still quite saggy
and doesn't hold its shape quite as nicely as I can see on other pictures on this website.
Now I did not use a proving basket for my rectangular loaf, and used a towel to wrap it in overnight, as the
beginner's guide descrives. The resulting loaf in the beginner's guide looks very perky, as if it was baked in a tin.
I would really like to know how I can get a better shape and of course any other tips and tricks would be most welcome!
Thanks in advance!