All Things Bread No.7

COVID is bigger than anything I write about here, stay home, stay safe (and bake sourdough!)

Hello Friends of Sourdough!

This newsletter has 3 sections :
All Things Bread is a discussion of things I’ve been reading and watching in the world of bread that I think you might enjoy.
Zoom Debrief is where I discuss and expand on everything we covered in our Zoom discussion. If, during the zoom, I said I’ll link more information on a subject then this section is where you’ll find it.
Starting Your Sourdough Starter is where you can find my “Quick Guide” to starting a starter culture and answers to your starter questions.

Welcome to our new members! This edition has a rough baking timeline, and a discussion on scoring techniques.

All Things Bread 


Up is Down and Down is up

There is a baking technique where no scoring is required. Modernist Bread refers to it in their farmer’s bread recipe. This involves proofing the loaf seam side down instead of up so that when you turn the bread over into your cast iron pot / oven tray / oven deck, the seam side is up. In this way the loaf bakes and cracks and opens along the seams and when done correctly it can give your bread a wonderful look. Here is a batch I did a few weeks ago: 


There probably is some term for this style somewhere (usually in french) but I call it the Beautiful Bread technique. (June 1st Edit: the term I was looking for is wabi sabi 🙂
As usual with all things breads there are lively debates on the subject! See here and here 🙂 
I found a video of the technique here (skip to the 5:00 minute mark if you like) Pay attention to which side is up and which is down at each stage…

Zoom Debrief
Time Budgeting:
Here’s a rough Baking Timeline for you to plan around:

24 hours before you begin : Starter comes out of fridge, remove half into another bowl and now Feed both halves. Put one back in the fridge and keep the other outside. The one you keep outside we’ll call the “Leaven”.

Then, in another container, take the amount of flour you have decided to use (for eg 500gm, 300gm etc) and mix it with the amount of water you intend to use (for eg I would advise 70% to begin with) Once the flour and water have come together, place this container in the fridge. (This is the autolyse)

12 hours before you begin: Feed the leaven once again. (Remember, a feeding is: Removing half, then replacing that with fresh 50/50 flour water mix)

When it’s (FINALLY!) time to begin, take the autolysed dough out of the fridge, and add in the salt (2% of the flour weight) and Leaven (20% of flour weight) and use your hands or a strong spatula to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated. 

Once this is done budget 12 hours for what’s called the bulk rise. and then budget about one hour of work where you prepare the proofing baskets and finally anywhere from 6 to 12 hours for the final proof.

 Keep about 2 to 3 hours for the baking process including clean up, cool down and of course..Eating!!

So you can see depending on how long the final proof is, the whole process can be between 24 and 48 hours or so. Well you know what they say, Good things come to those who bake!

We also discussed scoring on the Zoom and I wanted to share (ok, ok… show off) these loaves I baked as prototypes for when we open the bakery. The bakery is going to be called Saher so it’s only fitting that the scoring look like this : 

See you all today at 4pm Dubai!