Wow! It has been quite a weekend of baking. I must have felt like I needed some carbs after my 3km swim this morning! Anyways I baked two sourdough loaves, 2 Country loaves, one free form and one in a bread tin.We are also having friends over and I have made pizza dough - which is going bonkers! The two sourdough loaves were a bit of an experiment. So they both started from a 16hr levain build, I then mixed the final dough and let ferment for 2.5 hrs, folding twice. After this I shaped out two round loaves and these went two ways. Loaf A had a final fermentation for another 2hrs and then was baked. Loaf B was retarded overnight in the fridge, so that fermented for another 12hrs or so.
The results of this in terms of visibility are obvious. The one that spent some time in the fridge didn't rise as much, the one that was baked straight away is by far the best sourdough loaf I've done in terms of crust texture and rise, however the sourdough flavour is more subtle. I am yet to taste loaf B, but will review more when I do.
The second bread I made was the country loaf. This loaf comprises of a poolish, built 16hrs before the final build, and utilises 50% of the final flour so you have a high percentage of pre-fermented dough - giving a stronger flavour in the final bread. This loaf was amazing. The crumb is really light and spongy, a total delight to eat, it almost feels like you aren't eating anything, but you get this delicious yeasty flavour, and could quite easily demolish a whole loaf in one sitting. The crust was super light and crispy, and just crunched when cut, sounding similar to deep fried tempura batter. This was one of the nicest loaves I've made and it will definitely become a staple loaf in my repertoire.