Today I made again my current favorite sourdough, Söder White Leaven. It is the third time I bake this bread and it keeps improving.
So I made a HUGE lot of it. The uncooked dough weighted 1,4 kg (about 3 pounds).
The crust was crunchy and dark (especially on one side, due to my old oven) and the crumb was… oh sooo good and savory. I used 3 tea-spoon of marine salt. Perfect for the size of the loaf.
The recipe and method is described in detail in my previous post on Söder White Leaven.
The bread is based on liquid leaven, a sourdough starter with 120% hydration I discovered reading Hamelman’s book, Bread. With that type of leaven, it works great to use just as much water as the weight of the liquid leaven and double the amount of flour. Both bread flour and all-purpose flour work fine, and probably the best is to combine them. I still have not experimented with whole-wheat on this loaf but I am positive it can support a small proportion of it (maybe up to 10-15% of the flour) without loosing its character.
This time, I prolonged considerably the fermentation of the dough. In my original description of Söder White Leaven, the first fermentation lasted 3 hours and the proofing (at room temperature) 3 more hours.
Basically, the first fermentation time remained the same (maybe I shortened just a tiny bit: 2 and 1/2 hours) while the proofing was:
-1 and 1/2 hours at room temperature
-10 hours retardation in the fridge
-2 and 1/2 hours at room temperature again.
I made only 1 fold, after the first hour of fermentation and baked with initial steam at 230 degrees (Celsius) for about 35 minutes and for another 35 minutes at 190 degrees (Celsius).
CONSIDERATIONS: Without any doubt, this is my very favorite loaf and method so far. The formula of 1:1:2 for the final dough (referring to liquid leaven, water, and flour respectively) gives just the right amount of hydration. The liquid leaven, prepared ahead with only a little of the original starter and 120% of hydration, is able to sustain very long fermentation times without risk of over-proofing. This time the dough fermented a total of 6 and 1/2 hours at room temperature plus 10 hours in the cold (retardation in the fridge). I am quite impressed that the loaf rose so well and cooked evenly even being so heavy (3 pounds!). The finished bread reminds me a lot of my native lazio-style sourdoughs: wide rustic loaves with a dark crusty crust and finely open white crumb.
CONSIDERAZIONI: Senza dubbio questo e’ il mio metodo preferito per panificare. La formula di 1:1:2 per l’impasto finale (riferendomi a lievito liquido, acqua e farina, rispettivamente) da’ il giusto livello di idradazione. Il mio lievito liquido, preparato un giorno prima usando solo un pochino del mio lievito usuale e il 120% di idratazione, e’ capace di tollerare fermentazioni molto lunghe. Questa volta, per esempio, l’impasto ha fermentato per un totale di 6 ore e 1/2 a temperatura ambiente + 10 ore al freddo (in frigo). Sono rimasta stupita che il pane abbia lievitato cosi’ bene e si sia cotto cosi’ uniformemente, considerando che l’impasto crudo pesava quasi 1 kg e 1/2! Il prodotto finito mi ricorda tantissimo le pagnotte a lievitazione naturale della mia regione, il Lazio: immense e rustiche, con una crosta scura e croccante e una mollica bianca e morbidissima.
Submitted to YeastSpotting