This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:
I have been making this bread for about 6 years now. It is our weekly bread. I am always pleased with the result. However, the dough is always much wetter than in the video and I also almost never get big holes in my finished product.
The starter is really strong. The starter is based on locally ground all purpose flour. The whole wheat (which is a bread flour), rye and spelt is all local as well (from Farmer Ground in NY). For bread flour, I use King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot as I have not found decent white bread flour that is local (the whole wheat bread flour makes the bread way too dense).
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I can take a stab at the always wetter dough part. The flours you’re using may just not be absorbing as much water as the ones I used in the video. Try cutting back on the water and/or use more flour until the dough is stiffer and easier to handle.
As for the big holes issue, this recipe has a fair bit of bran in the flour due to the whole grain. Unless you sift out most of the bran, you’re not likely to get big holes at all. Just the way it is for the most part.
The recipe calls For leaving The The dough In the fridge for 24hrs. Can I leave it out for 12hrs and then form the boule and let it rise 1/2 time which is 2.5hrs?
Sure. You can certainly succeed with some combination of long and short proofing periods. I’m only guessing here since I wouldn’t know for sure without trying, but I think that if you forgo the fridge step and proof at room temp for 12 hours, that the second rise after shaping the boule wouldn’t need to be as long as 2.5 hours. It could be considerably less. You’d want to keep your eye on it and be ready to bake sooner if it looks like the dough is ready.
I just tried this whole grain sourdough recipe for the first time. I am generally happy with the result though mine turned out a tad gummy in the center. So my question goes back to the ingredients. I had a choice at the store of whole spelt flour or light spelt. It doesn’t specifiy here. I went with whole.
Next was a choice between dark rye flour (Bob’s Redmill) or Light Rye flour (also Bob’s). I chose the dark rye. Now I got very little rise in the 24 hour refridgerator period. I thought it would be a disaster so I’m very happy with merely a little gummy but very hearty and tasty. Was it the use of the dark rye and whole spelt that inhibited the fermentation? Or was my starter just not that vigorous?
I don’t think the whole flour would inhibit the fermentation exactly, but it will contribute to a denser loaf. A weak starter wouldn’t help, but it is possible the bread just needed to bake longer? Are you checking the internal temp of the loaf before taking it out of the oven?
I did check the temperature and had 200 degrees. I’m going to try this recipe again this weekend. It was still delicious. But maybe I just didn’t get enough starter in it. Because as I said, it barely rose while in the refridgerator.
As long as the use of dark rye and whole spelt is still fine, then I will stick with these ingredients.
Ok, try number two worked out much better. I still did not get as much rise during the second proofing (the 24 hrs in fridge) and I suspect maybe my fridge is maybe a little too cold. But then again the first rise worked well and the final room temperature ferment also rose pretty nicely.
The end result was much better though I might have to play a little with my oven temperature or cooking times. This loaf came out just a touch too dark on the outside.
But this is a delicious hearty bread. I don’t know what the Pollane’ (sp.?) is like, but this’ll do fine.
Glad to hear the progress. Just plain ol’ experience goes a long way too.
I made this yesterday but it came out tasting very bitter/sour. For the refrigeration part, I accidentally left it out at room temperature for 24 hours (i’ll try reading recipes properly from now on!)…The dough was very wet so I added more white flour. Is it supposed to taste very bitter?
The longer it’s left out, the more sour it will become. So 24 hours could do that.
I don’t have a round couche can I bake this bread in a round casserole dish? If so does it get preheated as well?
being new at this a with a deadline of day after tomorrow in the morning I’m thinking I want to do the 12 hours out as well. Could you tell me more about that?
I just have to tell you how much I adore this recipe! We had a baker in our area that made a recipe very similar to this one and due to family illness he had to close his shop. I have been able to recreate his bread with this recipe. I add toasted pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax and chia seeds for our daily bread. I have added lemon zest and grated ginger for a bread to make french toast. My next attempt will be date and ginger. I make two smaller loaves from each recipe and bake for 30 min at 475 and it turns out perfect. We slice it fairly thin on the meat slicer and it is easy for the family to grab for sandwiches, etc. My sourdough is a few years old and I get a beautiful rise and nice, dense crumb. Thank you so much!
I would preheat it. Preheating helps prevent the dough from sticking to the dish.
Thanks for the site and the recipe.
I have made this bread several times now and feel that I am getting it right!
I have used a wholemeal starter as per your recipe and also with white flour, spelt and semolina. The semolina I use as a replacement for rye flour when I make the white version. It give some extra crunch.
I don’t have proofing baskets or a cloche - I use a colander with a floured teat towel for proofing and a cast iron casserole for baking. I spray the top of the bread and the inside of the lid with water just as it goes into the oven. I sprinkle inside the casserole with semolina before I put the dough in and it never sticks.
Cheers from Tina in Australia
That’s a gorgeous loaf. Your results sure speak for your success.
Thanks Eric, could not have done it without you!
If this is a no-knead sourdough bread, why is it kneaded for 10 minutes?