I’m forever on the hunt for more good bread recipes. It’s a sickness, I tell you. So I gave this recipe a try. The author of the original recipe calls it a 6% hydration bread, but really, if I’m going to get nitpicky, and when doesn’t that happen, I’d point out that, with standard rounding rules, it’s actually a 64% hydration bread. Or I’d tack on decimal points and call it a 63.6% hydration sourdough bread.
If I were sane, I’d stop before any of that even got started.
In the original recipe, this bread was made into a boule. That’s not really practical for my purposes, so I made it into a French bread loaf instead, although I’m now thinking that maybe I should do a boule at least once just to say I did.
It’s a lean bread (no sugar, fats, milk, etc.) with a chewy crumb and nice flavour. Frankly, I’d even go so far as to say this is a nice French bread, but I’d have to check the *cough* rules to see what the hydration levels are on a French bread.
Right. I’m back. According to The Internet, The Source of All Information Anywhere , the hydration levels for French bread seem to be fairly consistently in the neighborhood of 60-70%, so, in my mind, this qualifies.
63% Hydration Sourdough Bread
- 60 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 180 grams water
- 300 grams flour
- 6 grams salt
- Mix sourdough starter with water. Add flour and salt and mix until rough. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover and let rest 20-30 minutes (to allow for autolyse).
- Stretch and fold. Cover and let rest until doubled in volume (about 2-4 hours at 30-35C).
- Stretch and fold, then let it relax. Then shape it and place on baking tray. Let rise again until your finger leaves an indentation in the dough (around 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 30-35C).
- Place in 230C (450F or gas mark 8) oven and bake until done, about 20-25 minutes. Bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when you thump it.
- Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing into it – it’s still cooking on the inside.
The original recipe called for high gluten flour. I can’t get that here – I have white flour and white flour. No specialties and no idea of the gluten levels. The original recipe also called for higher oven temperatures – my oven is broken and doesn’t get that hot, which also means I don’t get oven spring – that extra rise you get in the oven in the initial stages of baking. That’s not the recipe’s fault – it’s my oven.
I’m not great at shaping. If I were to be more blunt, I’d say I suck. I also don’t do too great at slashing – tried sharp knives, tried razor blades – I’m just not very skilled. And yet I keep trying… So I end up with at least slightly misshapen mutant bread. Good thing neither the hubby nor I care enough to let it stop us, or, more accurately, me, since he isn’t a bread person, from eating it.
And yes, I still have Teh Mad Skillz as a person who writes mad run-on sentences. Hah!
Still, even though the bread was flatter rather than higher, I still loved the results. Great taste, great texture. Definitely worth making again.
As a side note, I’m planning to post something made with sourdough every Saturday, whether it be bread, cake, pancakes, or something else. It’ll be Sourdough Saturday. More than that, I’d love it if you joined in. Do you cook/bake with suordough? Do you blog about it? Please share your creations, including a permalink to a post about sourdough, in the comments. Let’s share the sourdough love!
Additionally, I’m submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of breads.