Baking your sourdough

Baking is the last and one of the most important steps in the bread baking process. It’s often undervalued. It’s why I invented the Challenger Bread Pan. It’s a unique pan that’s designed to take the guesswork out of baking. Breads (well non enriched breads) need steam. Steam is an important factor in giving you…

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Scoring your sourdough

After proofing in the fridge for 13 hours, it’s time for scoring and baking. Like shaping, scoring takes practice. And more practice. Before scoring, I pull my Challenger Bread Pan out of the oven, and take off the cover. I then take my banneton and start turning it over into the shallow base of the…

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Shaping your sourdough

I’ve been shaping batards for a while now. Personally, I like the batard shape because I get more consistent slices when I cut it. I’ve played around with several different methods of shaping. It can really only be learned through practice and repetition. Truly. I ended up liking the one I learned from @fullproofbaking. It’s…

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Preshaping

Preshaping is the next step. If you’ve only made enough dough for one loaf, this step can sometimes be skipped. I only skip it if I feel like I have a nice uniform piece of dough that hasn’t been mishandled. If you’re wondering whether your dough needs a preshape, then I’d just preshape it because…

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Dividing your dough

Bulk fermentation ends when you divide the dough. Dividing means cutting your dough into pieces of the same weight. There’s no dividing if you’ve made only one loaf, so it ends when you begin pre-shaping or shaping. After dumping out your dough, the smooth side of the dough is on the bottom. It’s important to…

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Removing your dough

We all have to remove our dough from the container that we bulked our dough in. If you’re new to baking or even three years in like me, you won’t be able to do one of those beautiful dough dumps like @campbell2664 is famous for. It takes practice, patience, and perseverance to get to that…

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Bulk Fermentation Part 3

On each of my last two posts about bulk fermentation, I talked about pulling at your dough to see how it feels and pulling a window to see how your gluten is developing. There’s one more thing that you should do before each fold and before you do either of the two things above. Look…

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Bulk Fermentation Part 2

I ended my last post about bulk fermentation after doing my last strong fold and letting it rest for 30-45 minutes. It’s really not an exact science. When I first started out, I read everyone’s posts to see how many folds they were doing and how often. I figured if I did what they did,…

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Final Mix 2

Now it’s time to add the salt. Salt does two things. It adds flavor, and it helps tighten the gluten and starts giving strength to your dough. If you mix by hand, you can start feeling the differences in your dough as it gains strength. This is important and part of the Baker’s Mind that…

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