36+ Hours Sourdough Batard, Delayed Fermentation Method
The creation of this toad, I mean loaf, culminated in two self-inflicted injuries. Moreover, this toad taught me a thing or two about shaping wet dough—it’s pretty darn difficult.
Now, let me emphasize: the dough was chilled for more than thirty-six hours (at precisely 0°C / 32°F). Why did I subject my dough to such treatment? Well, according to what I’ve read in books and online resources, chilling dough enhances the sweetness of the loaf, that is, if done properly.
Did I chill my dough properly? Probably not.
Of course, there are other reasons why a person might chill their dough: to develop tangy flavours, to evoke crust blisters, to tend to other activities such as napping or fishing. But my primary goal was to amplify the sweetness of the dough, without the usage of sugar.
(This post was submitted to YeastSpotting.)
The primary objectives for the 36+ hours sourdough batard were the following:
- somewhat firm, golden brown crust
- medium soft, very open crumb
- batard shape, with an “ear”
- faintly sweet, mild to modest tangy taste
- faint to mild wheaty odour
Adapted from the website The Fresh Loaf, the following adjustments were made to the original recipe:
- slightly increased water amount
- implemented different techniques and procedures
Additionally, if available, I’ve listed the brand names of food products used in my baking experiment (please refer to the tables below). Disclaimer: This isn’t an endorsement. I’m simply indicating the names of branded products used in my baking experiment.
Yield: 1 sourdough batard (loaf)
Total Prep Time: N/A
Total Bake Time: 45 minutes
|Pre-ferment: Sourdough Starter|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched, Chilled||88 g||Gold Medal|
|Mineral water, Room temp.||66 g||Mineré|
|White sourdough starter, 75% hydration||22 g||N/A|
|All-purpose flour, Unbleached, Enriched, Chilled||448 g||Gold Medal|
|Mineral water, Room temp.||277 g||Mineré|
|Ice cubes, Tap water||N/A||N/A|
|White sourdough starter, 75% hydration||151 g||N/A|
|Roasted sea salt||6 g||Hakata Noshio|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched||N/A||Gold Medal|
|Extra virgin olive oil||N/A||Campagna|
|Mineral water, Room temp.||N/A||Mineré|
|Countertop convection oven, Refrigerator, Electric kettle, Digital scale, Pump spray, Plastic wrap, Plastic bag, Plastic container, Sheet pan, Bowls, Mixing bowls, Strainer, Razor and Skewer (Lame), Scissor, Spatulas, Spoon, Table cloth (Couche), Towel, Oven mitts, Unglazed clay tiles (Baking stone), Wire rack, Cutting boards|
Warning: Do not attempt my “recipe” (i.e., experiment) without considering the following; variations in room temperature, humidity, altitude, food products, kitchen utensils and equipment, techniques and methods, amongst other factors, will influence the outcome of your baked goods.
Before I began, I measured, prepared, and organized my ingredients and kitchen equipment. This includes:
- pouring and resting the ice cubes in water for ten minutes, then straining the water (refer to Soaker recipe)
- mixing the soaker ingredients and chilling the soaker for approx. twelve hours at 0°C / 32°F
- feeding and resting the sourdough starter every twelve hours at above room temperature for several days
- heavily dusting the table cloth (i.e., couche) with all-purpose flour
- cutting a sheet of parchment paper
- placing the unglazed clay tiles onto the rack of the oven
Step 1: Good morning, my dear Abital (i.e., my sourdough starter). You’ve been eating all night, I see.
Though, judging by the small pockets of air you’ve created, you weren’t gorging…
Step 2: Chilled for approx. thirteen hours, the soaker was removed from the refrigerator.
Step 3: After weighing and organizing the ingredients, I assembled the sourdough starter, soaker, and sea salt.
Note: Due to laziness and a touch of hastiness, I did not weigh the soaker.
Step 4: Subsequently, I poured the starter onto the soaker, wetted my hands with (mineral) water, then combined the two ingredients by using the “pincer method“.
Once sufficiently mixed, I then incorporated the salt into the dough, using the aforementioned method.
Step 5: “Good enough!”
Shortly afterwards, I fetched and coated a separate mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil, transferred the dough into the oiled mixing bowl, initiated the first stretch and fold, inserted the mixing bowl into a plastic bag, then rested the dough for thirty minutes at above room temperature.
Step 6: In the meantime, I rinsed and washed the used kitchen equipment.
Step 7: After stretching and folding the dough for a total of five times at thirty minute intervals, the result was the above—a cohesive, smooth, and light-weighted blob. Following that, I sealed the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, then chilled the dough at 0°C / 32°F for approx. thirty-two hours.
My original plan was to chill the dough for thirty hours or less, but I was trapped in a meeting. It felt as if I were wrongly imprisoned—you know the feeling.
Step 8: Once thirty-two hours elapsed, the dough was removed from the refrigerator and rested at above room temperature for thirty minutes.
Note: The dough had about doubled in volume during its confinement in the refrigerator.
Step 9: Upon completion of the dough’s thirty minute rest period, I wetted my hands and the cutting board with mineral water, pried the dough onto the cutting board, shaped the dough into a batard (as demonstrated in this video), enclosed the dough with a flour-dusted table cloth (i.e., couche), set household objects adjacent to the cloth to keep it stationary, tented the dough with a large plastic bag, then proofed (i.e., rested) the dough at above room temperature for approx. an hour.
Woo—that was a lot of words!
Further, the oven was preheated to 250°C / 438°F, while containing a rack lined with unglazed clay tiles (lower slot) and a towel soaked with boiling water on a baking tray (middle slot).
Step 10: Once proofed for an hour, I removed the table cloth, retrieved my makeshift lame (i.e., razor on a skewer), then slashed the dough lengthwise with a single stroke. Unfortunately, the slash wasn’t swift, which caused the dough’s skin to drag somewhat.
*Lowers and shakes head.*
I’d make a poor swordsman at this rate.
Note: Despite heavily dusting the table cloth with all-purpose flour, the dough still clung to the fabric… Me thinks rice flour will fare better.
Step 11: Hastily, I plunged my arms into long-sleeved oven mitts, re-positioned the rack lined with unglazed clay tiles to the middle slot, removed my oven mitts, transferred the dough onto the clay tiles, hollered in pain, poured boiling water into the towel-filled baking tray, slipped my arms back into the oven mitts, positioned the baking tray into the lower slot, then baked the dough at 240°C / 464°F (convection off) for fifteen minutes.
Promptly, I then removed the towel-filled baking tray from the oven, re-positioned the rack (where the clay tiles and dough laid upon) to the lower slot, then baked the dough at 230°C / 446°F (convection on) for fifteen minutes, rotating the loaf every five minutes.
Step 12: Ouchie, ouchie, ouchie…
I burnt my knuckle and the side of my thumb while loading the dough into the oven. Only the dexterity of my fingers could maneuver the dough into proper place, so the dough transfer was executed without oven mitts.
In addition to that, the risk of burning myself was heightened when I discovered that the dough was too large in both length and height. This ultimately led to the uneven cooking of the loaf.
Step 13: *Tap, tap, tap*…
*Poke, poke, poke*…
Noticing that the bottom of the loaf was under-cooked, I inserted the loaf back into the oven and baked it for an additional ten minutes at 230°C / 446°F, without rotating the loaf.
Afterwards, the loaf was removed from the oven, then cooled on a wire rack for approx. twelve hours prior to consumption.
Step 14: From the perspective of a dishwasher, this bake was totally awesome.
After twelve hours of being baked, the upper crust of the loaf was somewhat rigid, whereas the bottom crust was pale and thin. Moreover, the crumb of the loaf was modestly tender, springy, cool and slightly moist to the touch. Exhibiting a creamy mouthfeel, the crumb also tasted subtly sweet and buttery, with undertones of savoriness and bitterness imparted by the darkened crust. Lastly, a light to fair wheaty aroma was casted by both the crust and crumb.
Note: The 36+ hours sourdough batard was stored at above room temperature.
- it ain’t easy shaping wet dough (at approx. seventy-five percent hydration, in terms of baker’s percentage)
- my oven definitely has hot spots
- my oven is super hot and hazardous when preheated long enough
- the combination of delayed fermentation and steaming begets what I call “bread pox” (i.e., blistered crust)
On a further note, the bottom crust was pale and thin—again! I’m beginning to suspect that steaming may be counter-productive when preheating the oven… And where’d the tang disappear to? The dough was fermented for over thirty-six hours and not a hint of piquancy was detected. That’s weird, man.
A farewell to all. Have a good day and have a good night. And of course, have a happy baking. :)