I haven’t been feeling great about my baking lately, I’d been over proofing my bread and really disappointed in how they turned out. I decided that I needed to go back to a recipe that I’d made many times when I first started to bake sourdough, so I went back to Maurizio’s Beginner Sourdough from The Perfect Loaf. For some reason the flavour of this bread always speaks to me. However, I decided I still wanted some sort of add in, but one that wouldn’t negatively affect the crumb too much, so since I love sesame seeds I went with black and white sesame seeds. Now the past few bakes were overproofed so I was expecting to deal with the same this time, but strangely enough my starter suddenly was less active than normal and my levain took much longer to rise than usual. Then bulk fermentation of course took much longer because I was starting with a less active levain. I had to bulk ferment at a higher temperature than usual and for longer to try to get this dough fully fermented, I pushed the temperature to 82ºF and bulk lasted 6 hours which is unusual because it usually only takes 4-5 hours for this recipe at 80ºF. I tried the trick of pulling some of the dough early on about the size of a ping pong ball and placed it into a small narrow glass. I used this to judge the rise of the dough and was thus able to judge a 40% rise more accurately. I think I will start using this trick more often especially during seasons when the temperatures and conditions are rapidly changing.
374 g white bread flour
55 g whole wheat flour
25 g dark rye flour
Total Flour = 500 g
344 g water (none reserved – add levain and salt without reserved water) 78% hydration
9 g salt
92 g Levain 1:2:2 20 g starter, 20 g bread flour, 20 g whole wheat flour, 40 g water
1/2 cup mixed black and white sesame seeds toasted
Autolyse for 4 hours with salt.
Mixed Levain without any extra water and performed 150 slap and folds
30 mins did letter fold on the counter
30 mins later lamination and sesame seeds added (did not soak the seeds)
Three more coil folds done at 30 mins intervals
after total 6 hours bulk at 82ºF, final shaping done
left on counter in banneton in a bag for 20 mins then into the fridge at 4ºC for 14 hours cold retard.
Preheat oven 1 hour 500ºF
I used a silicone pastry brush to generously brush water on the dough after scoring and then once the dough was placed in the dutch oven spritzed a bit more water into the dutch oven. I was hoping to get more oven spring and also more blisters with this and I think it worked. I believe a long cold fermentation also contributes to good blisters and I think if I did a longer cold retard the blisters may have been even better.
Baked at 450ºF for 20 mins in preheated dutch oven
Lid removed and continue to bake 425ºF for 12 mins
then 400ºF for 12 mins
for 4 mins.