Hints and tips

Sourdough.  Lots of interest in sourdough and the taste is certainly worth the effort of feeding your culture daily.  Personally I don’t go for the grapes and apples which Paul Hollywood uses to start the culture.  Normally there is more than enough yeast in the air. One of the challenges is getting those large bubbles in the finished loaf especially as the dough is very wet.  Placing the dough in a Banneton works but, once it has risen, it needs to be gently turned out onto your baking tray and placed in the oven immediately so that it doesn’t have time to spread.

Another alternative is to place the dough in a well oiled, vertical sided casserole.  I tried this Saturday and left the lid on to keep it moist but it rose rather quickly and got stuck to the lid! So, suggest you leave the lid off while it is proving, covering it with a dry towel and only put enough dough in the casserole so that it won’t reach the lid when proving or baking since leaving the lid on helps with the cooking.  After about 2/3 of the baking time, remove the lid to brown the top.  Since the dough is constrained, it won’t matter how wet the dough is.  In fact, the wetter it is, within reason, the more likely you are to create those attractive large holes.  Check out this excellent video re; high hydration doughs: http://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/baguette-movie/

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