Today I am working on a soft sourdough bread recipe. I have condensed milk in the dough plus more oil. I wanted a soft, part wheat bread for making sandwiches. I am also going to give a demonstration on slashing. The amount of dough made up three loaves at about 2lbs 5 oz each (they were the same weight within tenths of an oz) and I shaped them into batards. I proofed them in the marine canvas couche I have which I love, it is so terrific! The dough feels soft to work with, and has taken longer to bulk ferment and to proof. Here is the dough after warming up, after being taken from the refrigerator this morning:
Here are the loaves going into their couche bed:
Now I want to share with you what I have learned about basic slashing. Here is a picture showing the different common kinds of slashing and thedirection the dough will spread.
I thought I would go ahead and show you how the slashing affects the baked loaves with today’s bake.
This is the first loaf, I slashed it diagonally:
The loaf got a great oven spring but was smaller than the other loaves because I was pushing to get it into the oven before the other loaves were overproofed. It was underproofed. However you can see how the slashes affect the bread.
When you use a cloche, you have to realize that unless you have an oven big enough to bake three or four loaves at once, you will have to put in the first loaf slightly underproofed in the hopes that the last loaf in won’t be too overproofed.
Here is the second loaf, it was slashed somewhat vertically:
This loaf was proofed just right and the slashes are mostly vertical which make it look more professional. Think vertical, not only do the slashes spread just right, it looks great too.
Here is the third loaf, this loaf had one long vertical cut:
The long vertical slash very often gives a very nice looking loaf and open crumb. Be careful not to slash to deeply though or it will fall apart.
This bread smelled so good while baking in the oven! I had to turn the oven down 25 degrees because of the milk in the bread.
This recipe is called Western Wheat Sourdough. It will eventually find it’s way into the Special Recipes folder. The Special Recipes folder is a collection of my recipes which are available for sale on my website at ~( http://www.northwestsourdough.com/specialrecipes.html ). Many of them have been the subjects of this blog. The recipes are ready for printout and the folder is added to when I develop new recipes. Thankyou to all of you who subscribe to this folder. I hope you are enjoying baking as much as I do!