Sourdough bread-making methods, The Sourdough Journals
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Making a sandwich loaf with the stiff levain

We’ve been hungry for a sandwich loaf for a while now, so over the weekend I shaped the whole wheat sourdough onion seed bread into a loaf, instead of a boule.

Right off the bat, before I even got to the dough, I made a big mistake: While I had fed my levain at 6:30 in the morning the day before, that night I completely forgot the second feeding. By 6:30 the next morning, the levain had risen and fallen back into itself.

It’s such a strong, active starter, I decided to give it a go and see what happened. As expected, the dough took longer to rise than usual, a full four hours for the first rise, and almost three hours for the second.

I may have over-proofed it that last time, because when I slashed and baked, the loaf fell in on itself, rather than rising in the steamy oven.

Rather than rising more in the hot, steamy oven, the loaf collapsed

Rather than rising more in the hot, steamy oven, the loaf collapsed

Sliced, you can see that the bread’s texture is fairly even throughout, although we did get a few larger holes. I’m happy to see some of them glistening too.

This loaf makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, and wonderful toast, but is far from perfection

This loaf makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, and wonderful toast, but is far from perfection

This loaf turned out flavorful, but heavy. I’ll try again, using the new folding technique I found on the King Arthur site. I’m eager to learn whether this method will make a difference in a loaf like this.

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