This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:
Recipe sounds wonderful. I’ve adjusted regular sourdough baking for altitude. I’m in Reno at 5000’. Do you see any adjustments for altitude in cooking times or temps?
I’m moving to Northern Arizona soon (alt 5300 feet). Any suggestions for high altitude bread tips? Any cookbooks that might help? I’m apprehensive that my recipes will all end up in disaster after the move. Thanks in advance.
King Arthur has some really helpful tutorials about high-altitude baking. It’s not that hard to adapt recipes for higher elevations once you understand the basics of it. I suspect people get wary of baking in the high desert out west because it may seem as though recipes may just fail, but that’s not usually true for bread baking. The problems come from fussy recipes using baking soda leavenings for quick breads that have little margin for error. Yeast-raised bread–and especially sourdough–is very forgiving. This page may help and is quite specific. I really like the King Arthur tutorials. This company is unusual and I think may be worker’ owned. Not sure, though.
My sourdough has been languishing for a while now. This is just the kind of idea to get me back baking!
Outstanding recipe. !!!
I live at 6000 ft in California and bake 3 time a week. All I have ever needed to do was check and adjust hydration. Usually a little more flour but not much. Baking times and temps seem to work just fine as does proofing times.
Just making this also at 6000 ft but in Colorado. Dough seems incredibly wet to me right on the edge of what I would call batter; it is similar, maybe even wetter than for 100% rye. I am substituting flours i.e. kamut and barley, both home ground whole grain. I that the likely reason and I just need more flour? Usually recipes seem to work fine as written but with similar substitution though if anything I need to increase hydration not decrease it.
Different flours (or even the “same” flour from a different source or even from a different milling batch) can require wildly varying amounts of water to yield a similar consistency. I’ve found it is always better to use a recipe as a starting point but to adjust the relative amounts of flour and water on the fly to get a consistency that I know will work.
@eric has an excellent series of videos called “Easy Bake” that are all about developing the sensitivity to the dough that one needs to be able to make those kinds of adjustments with confidence.
Thank you, Paul. Guess I 'm not crazy after all, well maybe a little. I did decide to to ahead with it as “over hydrated” as it seemed just to see how it came out. Strong enough to hold shape in a loaf pan for sure. Smelled wonderful; I used chopped dates instead of raising since that is what I had on hand.
Geoffrey, I am having the same experience - very wet dough, really batter. I used 300g commercial white flour but used home milled Prairie Gold for the whole wheat. My mill grinds rather coarsely and I find that the coarser the grind, the less water it will accept so I should have known to hold back some of the water from the initial mix but didn’t. I ended up adding maybe 1/2 cup more white flour for dusting as I did stretch and folds to get it to a reasonable but still very soft texture. It’s rising now so I won’t know until this evening how it turns out. I’m in Pennsylvania not far from sea level.
9:00 pm - OMG! This bread is indecently, insanely delicious! Thank you, Matthieu, for this fantastic recipe. It is one of the best breads I’ve ever eaten and certainly the best one I’ve ever made.
That is what threw me off a bit. I grind my own as well, 100% whole grain and fairly coarse (Blendtech Blender for about 30 seconds), no sifting or filtering etc.
Most recipes for me seem to need more rather than less water, even the ones for refined, white flour only. The thing I really love though is that even a mediocre to not so good loaf of fresh bread is absolutely delicious and great fun to make!
I made this yesterday. Very good!! with a lot of positive comments from people I shared it with today. I was pretty surprised at the hydration ratio, especially give the amount of maple syrup that went into it, but it turned out quite well. I will make this again - maybe change the raisins to dried cherries and add walnuts, probably for a holiday breakfast. Thanks
I Made this yesterday. I followed the directions exactly, except for cooking times. I decreased the “covered” by 4 minutes and the uncovered by the same 4 minutes. I too thought the initial dough to be excessively wet, but after 8 hour of rise, I was able to turn it out on floured surface and stretch and fold to return to proof. The second rise for one hour, then in to my 3.5QT cast iron pot. You can see the results here. IMHO, It was magnificent:)
Andrika, As mentioned above, King Arthur has good info on adjustments for flour, temps and cooking times, My regular sourdough bread uses 2TBS more bread flour, 475 (vs 450) oven temp, and 3-4 minutes less time covered and uncovered. This is all relative to the NYT “No Knead” bread process.
Comments on my experience:
Dough was a little wet, next time I will reduce water a bit.
Could be a bit more tangy , will reduce the starter a bit.
Too many raisins, will reduce .
Baking temp too high. Burned it slightly my oven runs hot so will reduce to 450 425 range.
Otherwise for first time it was not to bad.
I love raisin bread and wanted to try a sour dough version which I also love!
With tweaks it will be better, will try it again very soon.
Excellent! I doubled this recipe since I usually bake two loaves at once. For the doubled recipe, I used 500g King Arthur All Purpose Flour, 250g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, and 250g King Arthur Red Whole Wheat Flour, which is the same proportion as I usually use for regular sourdough. Dough sat for 8 hours at room temperature (probably 65-68 degrees), then shaped into loaves, placed in proofing baskets, and sat another 8 hours at about 55 degrees (basement room temperature). The dough was certainly wet and did not rise much. But it baked beautifully and tastes incredible. Thank you for the recipe! I’m already mixing another batch.
I tried making this loaf, but ended up experiencing my first true baking disaster. I used a cast iron dutch oven, and the bread stuck so badly that I destroyed the loaf just by removing it from the baking vessel. The small portion that was salvageable was delicious, though, so I fully intend to retry it. Maybe I did something wrong, but the pre-baked dough was easily the wettest dough I’ve ever produced.
Would a clay baker be a more promising way to bake this loaf—and possibly wetter doughs in general?
Made this for a potluck on Xmas morning, it came wonderful and was a big hit, thanks for the recipe!