I have been a bit busy and have not posted lately, but that does not mean that I have not been baking sourdough! I did some experiments with bulk fermentation and heat which came out pretty interesting. I also have been working with Spelt flour and have found it to be a terrific addition to my pantry of flours. First off the bulk fermentation. I tried a batch of bulk ferment dough in a controlled 80 degree environment. I had used the Austrian sourdough starter so I had hoped I could push the ferment for at least seven hours….wrong….! I had some dough that was falling apart sticky and the gluten was broken down. It made some pretty flat bread…but it tasted great with a wonderful sour. So I made the same recipe again and kept it at 80 degrees for five hours and the dough turned out wonderful, was very nicely sour and had the rustic, wheaty, dusky flavor of Spelt. I don’t have pictures of the ruined bread because I only baked one loaf, the rest I turned into stretched bread (delightfully sour though, see earlier post below for stretched bread).
Here are some pictures of the bread with Spelt flour, this is just the Basic White Sourdough with some Spelt flour substituted:
This sourdough was mixed, fermented at 80 degrees F for five hours, shaped, refrigerated overnight and not baked until the afternoon of the following day, so it had a long cool proof also. I think it would do better below 80 degrees by a couple of degrees, like around 76 – 78 degrees. I didn’t have much of a way of lowering the temperature though as I had my stone in the oven to keep the warmth even and had the lightbulb on with the door cracked open to acheive the 80 degrees. I need a proofing box. By the way, I am finished moving my site to a new server, so if you see any broken links email me and let me know. Hopefully my site won’t have so much down time now! Tomorrow Feb 20 is the last day to submit your idea for naming my sourdough book. There are a couple of prizes offered, see what is going on at:
Northwest Sourdough Message Board