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Ric[_1_] Ric[_1_] is offline
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Posts: 62
Default The virgin returns

Well - a virgin no more - but still seeking that sublime loaf of

Loaf number two came out of the oven a while ago. As promised, I kept
reasonably close track of measures and procedures. The good news -
the 'deflation' (separation of crust and bread) seems remedied (I
still suspect I left it to rise too long). The bad news - I seem to
have encountered new / more problems with consistency and size / shape.
The worst news - this one was not sour at all. Bland, bland, bland.

I am hereby seeking insomniac bread diagnosticians, who have nothing
better to do than offer their much appreciated advice.

Here's the procedure followed;
Wednesday evening took the refrigerated culture out of the
refrigerator. (This is a 'wet' culture). Split in two - one part
was 'fed', and replaced in the refrigerator this morning after
activation; of the remainder, 1 cup starter was mixed with 1 cup flour.
Thoroughly mixed, and left overnight (12 hours) at a controlled 70 o
-71 o.
The culture was vigorous and risen this morning, Punched down,
added another 1 cup flour and cup water. Mixed vigorously, and
proofed in a proofing box at 80 o for 5 hours.
Culture was now well risen and very active. Punched down, and
kneaded in 3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoons salt. 1 more cup
flour was kneaded in on the board.
In total; 1 cup "wet" culture, 6 cups flour, 2 cups water, 1
teaspoons salt.
After what I felt was a thorough kneading, an slightly oval loaf
was formed, and placed on a board. Placed in proofing box at 75 o for 3
hours. At which point, the loaf appeared a full twice original size
- although wider rather than higher (damnit).
Loaf was baked in a pre-heated oven @ 375 o, on a baking stone, for
40 minutes.

Out of the oven, the loaf looked good - with a mosaic-like crust
pattern where it had separated rising. But it was obviously wider than
desired; was circular, and had not risen upwards enough.
After a short cooling, I indulged. The crust is too thick, and the
bread, while of good consistency, is a little more dense than I would
desire (not terrible; good consistency, just not 'light' and full
of large, irregular holes as I might wish). And the bread is brown -
somewhat darker than the flour itself. Worst of all - it is not sour
at all.

As mentioned in my post the other day, I started this culture from
SDI's "San Francisco Original". My first loaf was something of an
abomination in density and crust. But it was deliciously sour. This one
is not sour AT ALL. I now sympathize with those who have aired similar
concerns with this culture. But - because that first loaf was sour, I
know it can be.

For those who care about such things; all water is clean,
unflouridated, unchlorinated well water. All water was added in at 80
o. All flour in the recipe is unbleached, 'organic' flour. Don't
know more about it (will endeavor to know more about my flour in

Any observations?