Sunday, 16 March 2014

Baking weekend - Rustic and wholemeal sourdough

It was a very early start required for our first production bake in the wood fired oven.  The quantities we were planning this weekend are not big as it all needed to be mixed and kneaded by hand, but we wanted as many people as possible to taste our bread.  We had pre-orders for 17 loaves of our rustic sourdough and I was experimenting by making a small batch of 7 wholemeal and sunflower loaves. In the end we sold out of everything, but did leave ourselves a couple to eat during the week.  Unfortunately we don't have lots of pictures of all our lovely customer standing round the oven as the weather was appalling and with no proper walls yet on the bakery, it was too cold for people to stay outside.

In addition to this being the largest bake I have done, we were also trying out a new brand of flour.  The flour is an improvement from the bread flower we have been using, but as it is stronger, the hydration will need to be adjusted to achieve the same open crumb that we were getting.  

The real success of the weekend was the wholemeal, it was by far the tastiest bread I have baked and we will be looking to improve it further over the next few weeks.  This new recipe can also be baked at a higher temperature, enabling us to start baking earlier on the thermal curve of the oven, increasing its baking capacity.

We won't be baking for a couple of weeks.  Now we have done a larger scale experiment, there are a few things that need to be finished on the oven and bakery, we need to find a baking assistant for me and we are also considering buying a mechanical mixer.

First batch of rustic sour-dough loaves