Today I had a friend over for a bread baking lesson. As is too often the case when teaching how to bake, I botched the bread. I let it over-rise, and it crashed in the oven. I’m sure she went home and thought I’m a terrible baker – sorry, Marci!
However, earlier this week, when no one particularly cared, I had a terrific loaf come out of my oven. Ain’t it pretty?
I did several things here.
First, I started with my basic whole wheat bread recipe – see the full thing here.
Here’s what I did to tweak it this time:
- I made 1/3 of a recipe, which makes one good-sized loaf.
- I added ½ cup of sourdough starter.
- I didn’t add the dough enhancer.
- I let it rise on the counter top instead of in a proofing chamber.
- I slashed the top of the loaf to give it the ability to rise higher.
- I put a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven when I preheated it, and added a cup of boiling water to it when I put the bread in to bake.
I think it turned out great! I’ll admit that there wasn’t much sourdough flavor to it; I think the regular yeast pretty much drowned out any taste from the starter. I’ll have to play around with that. But the addition of steam to the oven and the slashes in the dough seemed to work out just fine, and the crumb was exactly right for basic sandwich bread.