Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bread Baker's Apprentice: Basic Sourdough

I make sourdough nearly weekly at home, and ten to fifteen loaves of it at the bakery, so you'd think I could do a good job with it. And usually I do, but this time around my starter seems to have been a bit sluggish, or I didn't wait for it long enough. This little pot-loaf looks lovely and crusty on the outside, but it was dense and wet, with a few large tunnels but a largely sticky crumb. 
In fact, it looks a lot like some of the early loaves I made at the bakery, which didn't rise or spring properly for whatever reason. In this case, I'd put the blame on sluggish sourdough, and possibly too short a proof. It's edible, but could have been much better.

This one was baked for about 20 minutes at 450 in the pot, and then another 10 minutes with lid off. Probably would have benefited from a slightly longer bake, but it wouldn't have done much for the crumb. Amazing how the baker can make even lame bread look so good, though, isn't it? This one had flaxseeds and sesame seeds in it as well. Hopefully now that I've woken up the home starter a little bit things will get back on track. I have a 25-lb bag of wholesale flour to get on with.


Madam Chow said...

Well, I end up with real clunkers myself. At least yours look good!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but it looks so pretty!!

misterrios said...

I'm really digging the shape of the bread and the way it tore apart at the top. So pretty. I had a similar experience with my bread, which is funny because my darker sourdough breads usually come out much better.