woodfired sourdough tasmania


hi there,

i have been baking woodired sourdough twice a week for the last few months. i feed my starter at 100% hydration & take it out 24 hours before i mix. i give it 1/3 of the total feed at first, then the remaining 2/3rds 12 hours later. each mix is about 19kg, and i bake 1 batch on tuesday and 6 on friday. my recipe is:

                 %              g

flour           80            7035

whole         20            1760

starter        50             4400

water         66              5805

salt            2.5             219

                                   19219 = 24 loaves @ 800g


i mix everything but the salt in an old spiral mixer for 5 min, add salt & mix for another 5 min until i see good gluten development. i bulk prove 2 hours giving it 1 fold. then i refrigerate in tubs overnight for 12-14 hours. in the morning (theres is always a bit of liquid gathered in the corners of the tub & the dough forms a bit of a skin) i divide & preshape into 800g loaves, rest 15min then shape into batards. i prove them on wooden boards on a trolley in front of an open electric oven with the fan on, which usually brings the room temp to 25 C & occassionally spray them with water to stop them drying out.

after about 2 hours ( i feel i could prove longer but they get flatter) i score 24 loaves, lightly spray them ( as it takes over a minute to get them all in the oven), load them & spray into the oven & bake for 35 - 45 min (depending on how hot the oven is, there is a temp gage located within the brickwork, i usually start pizza bases at 300 C, and loaves at about 260 C, i dont think the gage accurately reflects the internal oven temp).

im pretty happy with the loaves most of the time though sometimes they can be a bit variable & i think this usually has a something to do with either starter strength, proving time or oven temp. the starter ratio and salt level is quite high but it seems to work.. so thats quite a lot of info but any suggestions/comments will be appreciated... thanks to everyone who has posted, i have enjoyed reading your baking stories :)


214 users have voted.


Dizzy 2011 July 17

 Just a query, are you located in the Nth East? Just wondering if I could chat about flour with you. Regards

andrewd 2011 July 17

And I'm super jealous of your oven. I'd love to have something like that in my back yard.

I'm assuming you don't have baskets or couches, hence the proving on boards for only a couple of hours. But have you considered trying the overnight proof in baskets or couches?

And one more question. What do you do with all that bread? Lucky family and friends?



DanPanMan 2011 July 19

You've got some beautiful loaves there. I'm not sure whether you're asking for help or not, but one thing that stood out to me was your mixing. I usually keep my mixing times lower, something like 3 minutes before autolyse, then just enough mixing to fully incorporate the salt after the autolyse, then I would fold twice, or twice and a bit more depending on the development of the dough over about two or three hours. I feel as though the less mixing I can get away with while still being practical in a production setting, the better. Also, you'll probably make it easier on yourself if you can final proof the loaves with your rack covered with a trash bag or something similar- that way you wouldn't have to spray the loaves. I usually take the cover off somewhere around 10 minutes before baking to let a bit of a skin develop to help scoring. I don't know if you bake the whole batch at once or not, but this would also keep you from having to spray some loaves while you loaded others. They are beautiful, though, and I doubt you want to change too much of your method.

Hope this helps... 

zacwolf 2011 August 5

thanks for the replies everyone!

dizzy - im located on bruny island and have been using the flour milled at the carrington mill - oatlands, 80% light sifted and 20% wholegrain.

i did consider using couches but couldnt justify spending that much when i was getting decent rise without them. aslong as i kept the hydration down (66%) and the length of the final proove to a couple of hours they usually keep a good shape. the loaves that are not snapped up straight away are sold at the sat salamanca market hobart and sun farmgate market.

thanks for the rack cover idea danpanman. i think my mixing times are a bit longer because my mixer is really old and crappy and overheats in second speed so i just keep it in first speed. but i will try less mixing with more folds next time.


cheers guys

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