When my beloved saw that I wasn’t happy with how my sourdough turned out, and that I wasn’t sure if it was the flour or if I’d over-proofed, he came up with the Scientist’s Answer: run an A-B test.
So this morning we went to Bee Sustainable and got some freshly-milled whole wheat, which is what I used the first time; and we also went and bought a thin rubber sleeping mat to insulate the cardboard box I had been using (because we don’t own an esky and I’m not sure what size I would need to fit boxes or bowls).
Now, I have made two bread mixes. One, in a container originally used for plain flour, using the Laucke bread; the other, in the SR container, using the wholemeal. I already expect there to be a slight difference because I used the same recipe for both, and white flour needs less water than wholemeal – but I used the same amount anyway. I figured it was a trade-off for the experiment: different flour AND different recipe, or just different flour? It might have an impact on the rise, I’m not sure; we’ll see.
Because I am not great at visually estimating size, I’ve also got the tape measure out, as you can see. I took measurements when I first put the doughs in; I plan to measure every 30 minutes to see what happens.
The white flour mix continues to get bigger faster, but the wholemeal is still getting bigger also. The question here is when to cook… I think I’ll go for the two hours, rather than three, since they are definitely getting bigger.
Pretty sure they’ve both stopped rising. I’m going to give them a little longer, to get to two hours, and then I’ll be shaping them.
As I suspected when I made the doughs, this is going to be a failure of an experiment because I used the same recipe for the white flour. It’s incredibly gooey and while I did put it in a banneton, I was unable to even shape it because of how liquid-y it was. So we’ll see how it goes after baking. My prediction is that it will take a lot longer to cook, and will probably be hard to get out of the banneton because it will have got into the basket grooves as a stick mess. Guess we’ll find out in a couple of hours.
Sometimes, when one is particularly thick, or focussed on one way of doing things… well, one misses the obvious. There was no way that white flour mixture was going to turn out of the banneton. But of course, I also have a loaf tin. So I’ve just decanted it. Which means that any rising it has done has been ruined, I think; but I think I will still cook it at the same time as the wholemeal. Or maybe I’ll tag team them. I’ll decide at 3.30…
I’ve decided to cook them separately; that seems most sensible. Although I forgot to check the tension of the wholemeal dough before putting it on to the pizza stone, and I have a feeling it wasn’t actually quite ready. Oh well. Le sigh.
Feeling disheartened. I don’t think the cob loaf – the wholemeal dough – has turned out very well either. The crust doesn’t seem to have come away, so that’s positive, but I have a feeling it might turn out to be doughy inside.
Yeh. Not sure about these. The white loaf did at least cook, which is good, but I had to put it back in for a while so the middle wasn’t gooey (I remembered I have skewers for this very reason!). Not sure about the wholemeal cob; it may be gooey (… because I didn’t remember I had skewers when I was trying to figure out if it was ready).
Overall I am feeling grumpy. Final update to come: when I cut into the things and check them. Later.
Update 9 and you will not believe it:
Look at that! They both came out ok! Well, the wholemeal one has a gaping hole but it doesn’t separate the crust from the loaf, so that’s an improvement! And they both tasted good! … which is weird. Exciting, but weird.
I believe the result here is that more experimentation is going to be required. Darn it.