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calendar   Tuesday - March 17, 2020

I was thinking of calling it Joe Biden bread

I made up another batch of that bread, and baked it this morning. It still seemed overproofed, or at least lacking in body height, but the crust and browning were much better, and the taste is pretty intense.

This iteration was doubly retarded. Hence, Biden bread. It didn’t start out to be that way; I was following the instructions I found in that comment. But 5 hours into the immediate retarded bulk ferment (mix it and stick it in the fridge) I realized that her description did not mention any kind of first rise or second rise. So, pissed off, I took the dough out of the fridge, got it warmed up, and gave it 6 or 7 hours of rise time. Then it got shaped, went into the banneton for forming, and went back in the fridge overnight. And this morning it has risen fully. Too fully perhaps, because it again baked up flat.

One benefit to a retarded ferment is that the flavors develop better. With two periods of chilling out, this bread is strongly flavored. 22 hours start to finish. Sourdough is slow, but I bet that a 4 hour warm bulk, shaping, banneton for an hour, and then into the fridge may have been better.

On the downside, today’s loaf had the same height and crumb that the last one did. I did get better openings on the scores, which indicates that this one was less overblown. But not less enough! Next time I will really keep a finger on things, doing the poke test to judge ripeness, and get that sucker in the oven before it peaks. I may never get a really tall loaf since it’s such a high hydration recipe, but I should be able to get a more open crumb.

[ someday the photo will get here from my cellphone ]

Aha. I may have learned something. This recipe is 1/3 starter. That’s quite a bit. It’s also 75% hydration, which is also quite a bit. And the flour is autolysed, which breaks it down even more. And it has rye flour in it, not known for lots of gluten. So this recipes has 4 difficult aspects to it, 5 if you count sourdough itself as a challenge compared to plain yeast breads. Master level stuff maybe. So the rise time may be quite short overall if not made in a fully retarded manner. And like I said, this loaf is very full flavored ... which means pretty sour sourdough, which is a symptom of overripe dough. But there has to be a balance: I followed her method - straight into the ice box - and after 5 solid hours the dough hadn’t lifted at all. Not a millimeter.

Maybe try it yet again with NO retarded ferment, just to see how long it takes the normal way, then to figure out how much of that can be modeled by the cold ferment. 5 to 1? 4 to 1?  The nice part is, this is a tasty recipe, so it’s worth making again and again. And it’s just a little loaf, which we’ll eat up in a day.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/17/2020 at 09:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Bread •  
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