In my journey to make a good, tasty sourdough loaf I am experimenting and trying different things.
Firstly, I have tried quite a few different recipes that I come across online or on YouTube. I also experiment with my ‘foundation’ recipes from Neven Maguire and Bake with Jack.
Last week I carried out the following experiment during the working week.
Before I went to work on 28th November, at 5.45 am, I mixed Neven Maguire’s recipe, including 300 ml of water, and just left it in the bowl all day at room temperature.
When I came home at 5 pm I stretched and folded it once in the bowl; I stretched and folded it once more in the bowl, then preshaped it, then shaped it and put it in the banneton basket and put it in the fridge overnight.
I baked it the next morning, for the first time in the red Pyrex pot, for 30 minutes with the lid on and 20 minutes with the lid off before I went to work.
It was, by all accounts and feedback from Sally and Rebecca, the best bread I have baked yet. It had a beautiful rise in the oven, soft fluffy interior/crumb, and kept very well over the next couple of days (it didn’t last that long!).
It tasted fantastic, looked great, and was soft and squishy.
The question that arises: was this result due to the long fermentation and proving period or the use of the red Pyrex dish as a ‘Dutch oven’?
Hopefully this will become clearer over the next few bakes, and the next bake on Saturday 30th appears to be an equally successful one with a short proving time so it is likely that the use of the ‘Dutch oven’/sealed pot trapping in the moisture is the key factor.
I baked a white sourdough loaf closely following the ‘Bake with Jack’ method, including his starter and gave it the time required by that method, did all the stretches and folds, did the preshape and final shape, and put it in the fridge overnight.
The result was the best loaf I have made yet, I believe. Here are some photos: