I swear ever since we have to quarantine ourselves back in March , I’ve baked more sourdough bread in two months than i would have in a year ! I looked at my pictures collection and last year i only baked either 2 or 3 times in a year for sourdough bread , and the same with previous year . Don’t ask how many times i did during the first year after i created the starter . But these past 8 weeks , I’ve baked 4 sourdough boules !
And all those 4 bakes , same methods , same recipes , probably differed in variety of the flour , like today was bleached flour with bread and whole wheat flour . While the other 2 was unbleached flour with whole white wheat flour , and then i don’t remember the first one this year . But basically the recipe and method was the same , it was from Ken Fork’s method , stretch and fold 4 times , overnight room temperature bulk fermentation , and then proofing at room temp as well .
But each time, as you see from the picture , it resulted different look . It’s either , I have a beautiful oven spring , but the crumb was just little holes . Or , i barely got any oven spring , but the crumbs was beautiful large holes . It’s crazy .. sourdough is like that , it is very unpredictable and one bread is always different than the next even tho we use pretty much the same recipe , same method .
So , today’s sourdough bake was infused with turmeric , hence , the bright yellow color . I love the smell of fresh turmeric , but , when you peel them , the orange color will bleed on your fingers . It’ll wash right away , no worries . I didn’t use fresh turmeric in this bread , i just used turmeric powder i have on hand . And i added just a little bit for the whole batch . The result was great , i didn’t taste any turmeric , which was i aim for , i didn’t want turmeric flavor bread , i did it because i love the color and just wanted to play around with it .
I fed my starter the day before i made the levain , and that morning i re-fed it again . They’re tripling within few hours before i started mixing the levain . My timing was a little off than normal . I ended up mixing the levain in the evening , actually right before i went to bed . Normally i would make the levain in the afternoon so it’d be ready to be used to mix dough in the evening and it would sit doing its bulk fermentation overnight on the counter to be shaped in the morning .
Not this time .. it was 11 pm when my levain was made , by 7 am , it was super ready to be mixed with the dough . I let my dough mixed and then let it autolyse for half an hour . By 8 am , i was ready to add the salt and levain into the dough , and mixing the final dough . I used little different flour than before this batch , i used mix of bread flour , bleached all purpose flour and whole wheat flour . My hydration came up to 78% . I did the stretch and fold for 4 times , 3 times within the first hour and couple hours later , one last time .
I let it sit in the oven actually with lights on , i was trying to keep the temp to 79-80 F . Think it was about 8 hours later when i decided it’s time to take it out and shape this thing . Because it has tripled in size , it was bubbly and although it was super jiggly .
I thought i better work really quick with this , i could tell the dough was wetter than i used to . Tried working really fast still careful not to degas the dough , i had a hard time doing it . I knew i didn’t shape it tight enough when i decided i gave up because the more i handled this , the more it would stick to my hands . I placed it on the banneton , i lined it with parchment paper this time . Thank goodness .. otherwise i can guarantee you it would not come out with how wet this dough was !
I let it proof in the fridge overnight , 15 hours later , i checked and it has actually doubled in size . It was pretty good actually . And i am glad that i let it proofed in the fridge .
Me and my husband went for a walk that morning while my oven and dutch oven warmed up for a good hour before i placed this bread dough into the dutch oven . I tried scoring it , i thought i did well , but i think it wasn’t deep enough .
Half an hour into the dutch oven , i opened the lid , and i was disappointed because i didn’t get the oven spring i wanted to . I guess it was kinda expected with how wet and i didn’t roll it tight enough i guess . It was still okay looking i suppose ..
I let it cool for few hours before cutting it open . I didn’t expect much either when i cut it . But i was glad , the crumbs was actually more than what i thought it would be . Good crumbs , the flavor was really good , chewy , and crunchy thin crust , and slight tang from sitting overnight in the fridge . It looks pretty with the color from turmeric .
So my sourdough adventure still continues . Chasing that beautiful dome up bread with large crumbs . It seems like so far I can never have both , it’s one or the other . I’ll just keep trying then , and practice , because practice makes perfect ! 🌞