Hi, I am new to the forum. Baking with my own sourdough starter for two months. My Tartine Country loaf is delicious and beautiful. The only problem is I can’t get it to sing, no cracking sounds as it cools, any suggestion?
Looks beautiful and delicious – nice crumb, good ovenspring, and tasty I’m sure. “Singing” is pretty low priority – it looks like you achieved the higher priority goals.
Thanks Susan, I agree and am very happy with my bread, but just curious. I started out baking the Jim Lahey no knead bread in the combo cooker before I started my sourdough starter and it made lots of noise when it cooled.
Happy to have found this site!
Welcome to our forum, @Tallahassee! Your bread looks absolutely wonderful. BTW, I’ve only heard one of my loaves “sing.” I swear it was a fluke I heard it. I had leaned down to inhale the aroma and I literally heard it. I was SO excited. It was absolutely a magical experience. That’s the only time I’d been blessed to hear it. However, it’s my understanding you basically have to put a microphone up to the loaf to really hear it sing and I’m not sure too many of us have done that, LOL. I’ve been baking my own sourdough breads since April 2018. I still consider myself to be a novice. So don’t dismay. Your bread is beautiful!
Thanks so much Leah! You guys have made me feel better, so I won’t worry about such a little thing.
I did a little reading because i sometimes have the singing and sometimes don’t, and your question made me curious. It has to do with wetness of the dough (also high temp bake, which is probably a given for your recipe). So you might try using a little more water in your formula and see if that makes a difference. I have a feeling that cold/winter kitchens are more conducive to singing bread too, but maybe that 10-15 degree ambient difference isn’t enough.
Thank you for your comments, I thought about the hydration level because the Jim Lahey bread is extremely wet, but did not think about the ambien temperature, good points. I also wonder if the Lodge combo cooker may also absorb moisture. I just remembered that I started baking my JL bread in an eight quart LeCreuset dutch oven. I quit using it in fear of damaging this very expensive pot as well as it being so large.
Cast iron hasn’t stopped my loaves from singing so I don’t think that’s it, but you can try adding an ice cube to your pan just before closing it up and popping it into the oven.
Today I baked a wet loaf (74 or 78% h20 depending on how you calculate it) straight from fridge in cast iron and with an ice cube. It sang. My kitchen was infernally hot hehehe so that’s not it
Thank you so much for the suggestion! Do you add the ice cube when the pan is empty?
First the dough – on parchment is maybe better so you can put the ice sorta under a flap of it.
Then ice and lid
I learned the hard way that ice steam is still steam and it burns.
Here’s the loaf from this morning.
Beautiful loaf!!! Are you baking in a cast iron combo cooker or a dutch oven? I will be baking later today, so will definitely try your ice cube trick! Thanks again!!!
I have a kinda crazy number of baking vessels, clay and cast iron
This was baked in an early test version of the Challenger Breadware pan, which is cast iron and oval in shape.
I bake 90% in lodge DO, and I always get this “singing.” lol I never heard it described like this. However, only once was it audible enough to hear it across the room. I turn off fans, radios, AC to hear the crackling after removing it from the oven. The sound makes me calm, so I always spend a minute just to listen to my sourdough.
I agree that the sound is just lovely! I always heard it when I was baking the non sourdough bread in the dutch oven, hopefully I will get to hear it again. Thanks so much for your comments.