Today, I tried to see how much bread I could possibly bake in one day in my tiny oven. I estimated that I could do about six loaves in a day, and that turned out to be spot on. I tried two loaves each of three types of bread. This was a neat experiment because I have never baked this much before, and i hadn’t done any of these breads before either.
I made an enormous batch of sourdough sponge last night. This was nine cups of flour, three cups of sourdough starter, and 4.5 cups of water. This was allowed to ferment overnight so that I could use it in my breads today.
The first bread I baked was a French “boule au levain”, or sourdough round. This is a traditional bread, which contains only flour, water, salt, and either yeast or sourdough starter. I proofed this dough in a lined bowl, to create a symmetrical round. The bread was covered in flour before baking.
The second bread was a whole wheat sourdough seed bread. I used a cup of wheat berries and half a cup of flax seeds in this bread. I had never used wheat berries before, so it was a new experience for me. Wheat berries are essentially whole wheat grains, that have to be soaked overnight to soften them before using them. The bread was formed into loaves, and given an egg wash before baking to create a dark, shiny crust.
Lastly, I attempted Sourdough Ciabatta. I made a very wet dough, and formed it into long, flat loaves. This dough was nearly impossible to work, but I managed to form it into the shape I wanted. I sprinkled it with semolina flour before baking.
Above is a picture of the Ciabatta dough. You can see how wet and fluid it is…
I think all of the bread turned out beautiful. Since they’re still cooling, I haven’t cut into any yet, but they look beautiful!
~The Homesteading Hippy