making it simple

I'm curious if there is a simple way to do sourdough breadmaking that still gives good results. The reason i ask is because myself and my wife are flatout with our 4 soon to be 5 kids and we just don't have time to stop and knead the bread every couple of hours. We've been making sourdough bread from 100% wholemeal flour that we grind ourselves. Currently we mix up our ingredients, knead for 20minutes and then let it prove until it doubles in size and then cook it on 180C for 45-50min. We don't mind the bread, but its pretty heavy and never really springs in the oven. I think our loaves are probably what bakers would refer to as a brick. I do know that wholemeal flour doesn't rise as much as the plain flours, but I'm sure I could improve on my current results. Does anyone else follow a simple method like ours with good results?

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TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 December 16
Yep, a long rise plus baking your bread in a preheated pot gives excellent moist bread with a crust that sings. You can also check out some of our breads baked in the pot under the Home Baking forum. Just search for Pot. Here's Dom's schedule (read his post #9) which works for busy folks.

Welcome to the forum, Coups!
davo 2008 December 18

I wonder if you are not getting the spring you might with a hotter oven to start. 180 seems pretty cold to me, I start mine at 220 ish with steam and turn down to about 200 after 15 minutes...

Also, how active is your starter when you do your mix-up. I only ask this because I had been short-cutting a bit and only doing one refresh out of the fridge, and getting sometimes inconsistent results. Much more consistent with at least 2 refreshes.

Also, 20 mins sounds like a lot of kneading to me - weould be a world record at my place, by some distance. If you mix, leave for 10-15 mins, then do some short kneads with rests in between over about 20-30 mins, you can knead for only a few minutes total (or some do way less than that) and the dough still ends up pretty springy. Then you can chase kids into whatever they are meant to be doing in the breaks (that's what I do, anyway!)
Coups 2008 December 18

Thanks Davo,
I refresh the starter every day so it is usually pretty active. I made a loaf yesterday with 80% kamut flour, reduced the proving time and baked it on the stone for 25min @225 degrees. The oven was also preheated for 45min. The oven spring was really good and the loaf turned out great. I think your right, the temp was too low.

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