The oven timer pinged before I finished writing my second phase post yesterday afternoon. I had hovered over the publish button many times, but kept finding things to fix and change. Once I heard the timer beep, I had to save a draft and retrieve the first loaf from the oven.
I’m happy but not completely satisfied with the first loaf results. I think I should have let it rise before shaping it. And I think I need a new lame. My slashes were not deep enough so the loaf did not expand as well as it could have with properly deep slashes. The loaf passed the taste test.
The dough in my large mixing bowl had doubled so I gently kneaded it and shaped it into an oval, placing it in my largest covered baking dish for yet another rise before baking. I placed the lid on the dish and covered it with my tea towel. Then I checked my starter to see if I could return it to the fridge. The starter was bubbly so I stored it in the fridge until Friday when I’ll feed it and decide if I want to perfect my sourdough bread technique again next weekend.
Since I had at least an hour, probably two, before I could put the second loaf in the oven, I checked my crockpot of chili I had started very early Sunday morning, before I started my sourdough endeavor. I removed a quart of the chili to a glass container and put the four slices of sourdough I had just cut from the first loaf into a plastic bag for transport to my dad’s house. He lives a few miles north of me on the other side of town. We had a nice, if brief, visit since I kept an eye on my wrist timer (smartwatch) to know when to head back home.
Once back home, I preheated the over to 425 degrees pursuant to the instructions in the Rustic Sourdough bread recipe. Even though I don’t have a ceramic cloche (I’ve added one to my wishlist but will wait for a free or reduced shipping email from KAF before ordering), I opted for the brick oven effect as described in this tip:
Want a brick oven effect? Rather than dividing the dough into two separate loaves, shape it into one large ball, and place it in the base of a round covered stoneware baker, such as a cloche. Put the lid on, and let the loaf rise for 1 hour. Make two slashes on top of the bread, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, removing the lid of the baker for the final 5 minutes of baking.Rustic Sourdough Bread, King Arthur Flour
And so ended my Sourdough Sunday. Terry and I enjoyed warm bowls of chili and tangy sourdough for dinner. We have plenty of both to last most of the week.
Next weekend, I think I’ll try the Extra Tangy Sourdough bread recipe, which requires refrigeration overnight (second step of the instructions). Timing will be my first challenge. If I want to attempt this on Saturday, I’ll have to feed my starter early Friday morning. However, I can’t just pull the starter out of the fridge and feed it because it needs to warm up gradually to room temperature. Saturday is also the day I run errands and grocery shop so not the best day to babysit a sourdough baby.