Donderdag 15 Junie 2017

Sourdough - You and your oven

When baking bread, especially sourdough, the most important goal is to get a good crust.
Lovely crust
I have tried a lot of the methods, DO, Stone, Stone with Dome, Roasting pan with ice, Roasting pan with water, Roasting pan with Lava Rocks, Loaf pans, perforated pans ... you name it.

Some may know yet many wont ... I run an Afrikaans Language FB Page and Blog ... Colyn Kook Man Kos ... loosely translated as Colyn cooks Man Food or Dude Food if you like.
My mission is to encourage men to cook and as such I try and find the easy routes because as a rule men don't want complicated, especially if you are not a natural cooking guy.
After many failures and violent bouts of swearing I have settled on a simple way of getting a decent loaf.

The DO thing is not easy because many do not own a proper DO and then the ever confusing question, DO Hot or DO Cold ... I have done both and the difference is negligible for a home baker.
The roasting pan for the steam is a problem in domestic ovens because it shields the underside of the bread from the bottom element ... if you bake full thermofan then this is not an issue. I prefer to bake FAN ASSISTED.

Small loaf pans for water

The stones requires a long warming up cycle and not everyone has a stone.

On simple sheet pans

So I have settled for two small loaf pans, one on each side of the oven on the shelf set in the lowest setting. Then another wire rack in the middle. Filled the loaf pans with lava rocks.
I shape and form my loaves and bake on a metal sheet pan, the thinner the better. This metal heats up almost immediately on placing it in the oven because it is so thin.

I put 500ml of water divided between the two loaf pans and then spray the inside of the oven till the loaf is wet.

This gives me enough steam to last for around 15 minutes and by that time the loaf is steaming itself if it is a high Hydraditon dough.

I get acceptable results every time and I bake like this almost every day.

My oven is a Defy and there are two steam vents next to the handle, top and bottom ... in the image you can see the steam escaping through the bottom vent after 20 minutes with a 70% hydration loaf.
Hope this helps somebody ... it is cheap and uses what most have in their kitchens. This is how I teach men to bake their own Daily Bread.

Good crust, good oven spring and nice blisters
I bake on 220C Fan assisted and after 20 minutes I tune the oven down to 200C for another 10 minutes. Then I measure the internal temperature of the loaf to decide if it needs more baking. You want to see 195F and plus. Most bakers that hit a snag is caught by "under baking" ... for me the only sure way is to measure the internal temperature.

Here are my other Sourdough Stories ... LINK

Enjoy your baking till I write another story.

Hier is my Facebook Page... Man Kos ... like it if you want.

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