Easy Free-form Sourdough Loaves

The dough is made as described here. It is formed and laid on "parchment" baking
paper in a heavy aluminum tray. It will be covered by a top consisting of the bottom
of a translucent clothing storage box. Two wetted cellulose sponges will also be
enclosed under the cover to help with humidity control.

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The tops were cut after about three hours.

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After another hour, the loaves were ready for baking. The loaves on the aluminum
tray will be set in the oven towards its middle. No "baking stone" is to be used.

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After baking 40 minutes at 425F., from a cold oven start, the loaves have undergone
slight expansion in the oven. No attempt was made to introduce moisture to the oven
other than what was contained in the dough and generated by the burning of gas.

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The crumb was light and lacey.

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With a four-hour rise (at room temperature ~72F.), the bread was mildly flavored. For
the sake of more flavor development, the rise could be extended by deflating before
cutting the tops, and continuing with a second rise.

-Dick Adams 11JUL03

Here is yet another improvement.

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