I've often been disappointed in the height of my sourdough loaves, but I'm very happy with the walnut sourdough loaf I just baked in a Dutch oven. However, the Dutch oven wasn't the only difference between this and my usual sourdough:
- I never kneaded the dough, at all. Not even a stretch.
- After mixing the dough (sans walnuts), I put it in the refrigerator for 3.5 days. (I don't remember if I refrigerated it right away or waited a bit. I might have punched down the dough after a day or two.)
- I preheated the oven with a stone on a low shelf and the Dutch oven (but not its lid) on the middle shelf. (I put the lid on when the bread went in.)
- I preheated the oven at 500 degrees, meaning to turn it down to 475 right after adding the dough, but forgetting for a couple of minutes.
- I put the dough in the Dutch oven seam-side up (using a dishcloth to maneuver the loaf without getting close to the burning hot pot). I also tried to slash the loaf a bit, but that didn't take.
|No walnuts in this piece... but it's still good|
Also worth noting: the dough was exactly the same as the sesame-poppy seed dough. I'd made a double batch, immediately mixing soaked seeds into the other half. I baked the seeded loaf the day after mixing, using a baking stone and (as soon as I remembered) a big pot as a cover.
I've realized that I don't like poppy-sesame seed sourdough. I'm not sure whether that's because the recipe has way more seeds than the sesame seed bread I've loved in the past, or because I just don't like poppy seeds in sourdough. The bread was fine when toasted, but I won't be making it again.
|Lots and lots of seeds in and on this loaf|
I'd made this skillet cornbread successfully before, but this time it was gummy and pale, with weird bubbles. Yuck! I think I did two things wrong:
- Preheated the skillet. It was supposed to go in the oven for a couple of minutes, but I left it in much longer. Although preheating is good for flour-water-salt kinds of bread, apparently it isn't for something that's more like a quick bread.
- Maybe mixed it too much.
Better luck next time.
Notes on no-knead breadOne of these days I might try this recipe for no-knead dough (parens indicate my calculations for a couple of sizes I might try):
To 100 parts flour (375/150 g), add 1.5 parts salt (~5/2 g) and 1 part (~4/1.5 g) instant yeast. Whisk those together. Add 70 parts (~262/105 g) water, and stir to combine. Cover, then let rise overnight. Transfer to the fridge, let ferment for three days, then turn dough out on to a well-floured surface. Shape dough, sprinkle with flour, and cover with a floured cloth. Let it rise for at least two hours and up to 4 at room temperature. Slash, then bake in a preheated 450°F Dutch Oven for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid, and continue baking until it hits around 209°F, 30 minutes or so. Let it cool.