I'm new to this joint. I've dabbled for a while in baking but recently have made a commitment to stop buying bread from shops (best thing I ever did) and I'm improving loads but things defo aren't quite as I would like. Please help
This is what I'm doing:
Preferment : 300ml filtered water, 250 gstrong white bread flour, a generous cup of starter. Depends how much I have in the pot. I measured the other day it's about 200g. I whisk it up to get air in then leave it overnight.
Starter is white flour, probably 50:50 water and flour but to be honest I do it by eye. Its fed everyday and plenty of bubbles etc. Its about 3-4 weeks old.
In morning :
Mix in 300 g more white flour, mix in kitchenaid for 5-10 mins on setting 6 until window test ok. Let rest in mixer for 30 mins (half assed autolyse) then mix in 13g salt. Its kind of a sticky dough but just handle able. Feels soft and nice. Then proof in mixing bowl in oven that's semi preheated to a warm ish temp for roughly 2-4 hours until almost doubled. Then shape and final rise in Banneton for 1-2 hours. Cooking I'm turning my oven on to full whack 240 degrees, have a cast iron griddle turned upside down with baking tray on top. Once preheated I'm putting loaf on a silicone sheet (it kept sticking) on top of baking tray. Then slashing, spraying surface and chucking a splash of water in bottom of oven. It feels steamy and hot. I'm baking at 240 for ten mins and resisting urge to open door (hard as my light is broken :(). Then turning down to 200 for 20 mins.
I'm getting a pretty good oven spring and slashes opening up nicely. The taste is really variable, always nice but can be really sour or can be hardly sour. The inside of the bread is soft with a few holes but a pretty dense crumb. I want bigger holes.
Things I'm after: a sourer taste, bigger holes, bigger overall volume (not much to ask eh!)
Some questions :
- is it the more starter the quicker the rise and the more sour taste? Is more starter best?
- I'm putting my heat up really high could that be a bad thing?
- how the hell do you fit this into your lives? I'm loving it and in for the long haul but I am a doctor with crazy shifts, and have two kids under 2! I think the overnight fridge rise might help me. Tonight I'm trying this. Same recipe but preferment all day, mix in evening and then in fridge overnight hope to bake from fridge first thing tomorrow. Anyone posting a recipe including timings or fridge rises would be very helpful
- I'm up for trying a new recipe. I got this one from Hugh frearnley's bread book. But no bakers percentage s etc in it. Looked on sourdoms thing but sourdough recipe seemed to have dried yeast in too. Maybe I'm not finding it right?
- I'm trying really hard to upload a photo from my iPhone but not letting me...
Thanks anyone who can help me :) I'd really appreciate some tips