Baking Ventures

A (mostly sourdough) baking adventure blog

Month: February 2016

Bread pic 8 – Lunch


Raisin Walnut Sourdough Bread

This weekend I made a Raisin Walnut Sourdough Loaf for a potluck. At the beginning of the year, I made some 2016 baking goals, one of which was to try adding things to my bread.  At the time I had King Arthur’s Sonnenblumenbrot in mind, but was inspired by a recent IG post from Joanne Chang(of Flour fame) of raisin walnut bread to go with the latter.

Raisin walnut sourdough loaves at Flour South End. #special #flourbakery

A photo posted by joannebchang (@joannebchang) on

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Bread pic 7 – Sourdough bread

Sourdough bread baked in Dutch oven. 20% whole wheat, 74% hydration.

Monday bake #sourdough #wildyeast #dutchoven #fermentation

A photo posted by @bakingventures on

Bringing the steam!

When I first decided to bake sourdough bread, I bought a round brotform and baked my first sourdough boule in our round, enameled dutch oven. Before attempting to bake sourdough bread, we used the dutch oven mainly for soups and stews. The dutch oven has been great so far, yielding consistent results with great oven spring and a nice crust. Boules are beautiful, but not the most convenient for sandwiches since the size of the sandwiches vary as you cut along the loaf. So, we got a long brotform (Thanks Dagi!) to make bread for sandwiches. However, it didn’t fit into our round dutch oven and trying to bake the oval loaf on a cookie sheet were not so successful. There was very little oven spring as we had a hard time introducing the steam at the start of the bake.

So we set out to solve it. Continue reading

How much starter should I use? The sourdough bread result

Last week, I baked two sourdough loaves, one with 67% starter the other with 30%. Overall they were pretty similar:

  1. Texture – the crumb was identical on both loaves.
  2. Taste  – this is still up in the air. We did a blind taste test and found the 30% loaf to be more sour than the 67% loaf (both were baked on the same day). We’re still undecided on what, if any, effect the starter had on the final taste of the loaf. We had sandwiches with both loaves all week and both were delicious.
  3. Time – the biggest and most objective difference was the time it took to make these two loaves. Using less starter extended the bulk fermentation time by 1 hour.

With an indiscernible (to our palates at least) effect on taste, the 1 hour time difference seems like a great tool to make this bread fit into our schedule. Need to attend to something else during bulk fermentation? Extending or reducing the sourdough starter would be an effective way to make that work.

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