Aliquot Jar Experiment

I’ve seen some posts recently about the use of Aliquot jars in sourdough baking. They are useful to judge your starter or when your bulk ferment is at the optimal time.

“Well, why not experiment with that method?” I thought…

Aliquot jar next to my sourdough starter

Aliquot jars are narrow jars which allow you to see volume expansion readily since expansion is forced upward. I made mine from a jar that previously held cinnamon sticks after removing the label.

I practiced seeing it rise with my starter that after feeding it. Seemed to work fine.

After mixing my sourdough together I placed 25g of the dough in the jar as I let my dough bulk on my counter.

Starting my bulk ferment

I coil folded my dough 3x during the first 90 minutes of the bulk prove.

After one of my coil folds

I continued letting my dough prove until my Aliquot jar showed a 2x rise in volume.

Bulk prove to 2X volume

I split the dough into two loaves, preshaped, bench rested for about 20 minutes, shaped and then placed into fridge to cold retard overnight.

Out of the fridge the dough hadn’t appreciably risen in the bannetons. I scored (probably could have done a better job) and baked in my preheated Dutch Ovens.

Sourdough Batards cooling

Overall I was OK with the results. Too early to really tell if I like this approach. The oven bloom was moderate. The ears less pronounced than I prefer. Some blistering on the skin.

Crumb Shot

I think I’ll continue experimenting with this approach. From posts I read it seems like others feel this is a good method to be more consistent in judging their bulk prove.

Jury is still out for me…

Published by Jim Hayden

Enterprise Transformation Consultant by day; Baker by night! Learning all the time! Iterative and incremental improvement always!

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