Turmeric-Cinnamon Sourdough (Part 1)

Thought I’d try my hand at a laminated sourdough leveraging some different techniques than I usually employ.

These techniques involve adding Spelt flour, dividing the dough into two parts adding Turmeric to the second.

I started by mixing the flour with water and letting it autolyse for 2 hours.

I added sourdough levain and salt later about 45 minutes spacing.

I then stretched out the regular and then the yellow hued turmeric dough.

This is where my experiment took an unexpected turn. I’m was meaning to sprinkle cinnamon. Unfortunately, I had left the turmeric on the counter. Yep…Oops!

I didn’t realize my mistake until after lamination.

Dough laminated

I sprinkled Cinnamon on top and tried a bit of additional folding. Before putting into my proving box for another 3 hours.

Dough going into my prover for 3 hours

I’m going to do 3 coil folds every hour before shaping and putting into a banneton overnight.

The coil folds develop strength in the dough.

After about three hours and periodic coil folds I have the dough shaped and in the banneton to sit overnight in the fridge.

In the banneton

Well… we’ll see how this experiment turns out tomorrow. To be continued…

Sourdough Croissants – Pushing the Envelope

Today I “pushed the envelope” on my final proof.

To be honest, this whole batch is going to be suspect. My head wasn’t in the game due to work commitments et al. Had a really difficult time focusing.

As a result I was impatient in my butter lock-in and shattered the butter. My folding/lamination was below par. Overall not my best effort.

So… why not experiment and push the prove?

Went for 4 hours (8am to Noon)

Boy did the “prove”… right to the wiggle and beyond! Starter to totally unravel. Totally ugly.

My over-proved croissants

Note the really ugly spiral in the middle is scrap that I decided to bake. There are five “croissants “ on the tray.

Another (inadvertent) experiment was baking at 400°F (convection).

I had intended to preheat at that temperature but bake at 375°F (convection). I was doing that to adjust for the “ice cube effect“ created by putting in a relatively cold tray.

I forgot to turn my oven down.

Here is how they came out…

My “ugly” croissants!

As well expected a bit darker. However, they weren’t burnt. The amount of butter in the tray was minimal which was nice.

Once cooled I’ll check the lamination and “honeycomb” structure.

The experiment continues…


Here is a cross-section view of the crumb. It’s so-so; but not as bad as I had imagined it might be.

As you can see the lamination or honeycomb is not wee developed. It has the spiral but looks a lot like bread or brioche. I thinks this may be due to my breaking of the butter. As a result dough touched dough without a layer of butter separating them.

Next time I’ll need to be more patient with my butter lock-in

Sourdough Boules

Just finished baking some sourdough boules.

This week I was playing with my bulk ferment, shaping and final proving to test some limits.

Bulk ferment I pushed to 36+ hours.

I divided and shaped into balls and bench rested for an hour.

I then shaped into boules and proved at room temperature (72°F) for 2 hours.

My “finger test” (pressing the dough) right before the bake seemed to indicate they were “over proved”. They were also mor slack when I removed the loaves from the bannetons.

From their shape / oven bloom they also seem to be over-proved.

Out of the oven cooling
Chia covered boule
Regular Sourdough Boule

I’ll see what the crumb looks like after they’re cool….


Loaves have cooled and bake be cut open the Chia-covered loaf.

Crumb Cross-section

The larger bubbles right below the crust seem to confirm the loaf is over-proved. The bubble structure wasn’t more uniform and dispersed.

Seems I’m able to set these hours/temps as a boundary.

Sourdough Rye Loaf

Thought I’d try a Sourdough Rye loaf.

My inspiration was watching a new bread baking #MasterClass featuring Apollonia Poilâne

I’ve never made sourdough Rye bread before. Didn’t actually know what to expect.

Rye dough is mixed

By my calculations the hydration of this dough is roughly 76%. I followed her recipe in the class cookbook I downloaded.

The rye dough is much more course and I expected it to absorb more than regular bread dough.

In my proving box

She mentors that it would only rise about 20% after the first 1.5 hours. This looked pretty close to that in my mind.

In banneton for another 2 hours

I put the loaf back into the proving drawer for another 2 hours to rise further.

Scored loaf prior to baking

I backed at 410°F (convection) in my #ChallengerBread pan for 45 minutes (lid on) and for another 5 minutes lids off.

She called in her recipe for 425°F (conventional) for an hour.

Finished loaf cooing

The crust was really strong. Obviously, not a huge oven bloom like regular sourdough. The crumb was tight. Taste is well…rye.

View of the crumb

Not sure if this is what the results should be…never made Rye bread before. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a loaf of Rye bread.

If anything I’m thinking it may be a bit dense. Don’t really know though for sure.

Will need to check out some Rye bread and compare.

Sourdough Croissant (Inadvertent) Experiment

Well … today is an (inadvertent) sourdough croissant experiment!

The variable I adjusted was proving time.

Basically I forgot I had them in bags proving and got buried in client calls. Two hours later I go “Oh no!”

Normally I take my croissants out of the fridge where I had left them covered in the morning, put them in proving bags for a couple of hours before baking.

Typically this is about 2.5 – 3 hours depending on my room ambient temperature.

Not this time!

I left them out over 5 hours!

They are certainly “proved”.

My 5-hour (over?) proved croissants

I baked at my normal 375°F (convection) 15 minutes.

Another small experiment was introduced because I forgot to remove the small pizza stone from my oven. Agggghhh!

First tray actually looks pretty good!

First tray out and cooling

I baked the second tray and got similar results.

All done baking.


Evidently I haven’t been proving long enough!!

Wow! I am thankful that I had this (inadvertent) experiment today!

Didn’t last long…

Sourdough Croutons

Well … what to do with a loaf from a previous bake when you’d rather eat the one that is more recently baked?

Cut it up and attempt making sourdough croutons!

The loaf i used was leftover from the bake where I mentioned something was whacked.

It was the second of the two loaves and I didn’t feel good about giving it away.

This evening I was looking at it on my counter and “make croutons” came to mind.

Cut it into cubes (6 Cups?). Added 6T olive oil, 6T melted butter, 3T minced garlic, 3T Parmigiana Cheese, and 1T sea salt. Mixed well and baked at 375°F.

Coating with Olive Oil and other ingredients

I am tossing / flipping on my tray every 10 minutes. 30 minutes was sufficient.

On tray and going into oven

I have invented sourdough crack!

Croutons finished and out to cool

My wife agrees.

Her first comment was “We’re never buying croutons from the store again!”

Her next comment was harder to understand but I think she said “They’re addictive!”

I agree.

Sourdough Boules

My latest experiment was looking at my bulk ferment process.

My process for feeding my starter, making my biga, mixing etc all stayed the same.

I bumped up my temp 4°F in my fridge drawer (33°F to 37°F). I also bulk fermented for 36 hours before dividing/shaping my loaves.

This time I separated my loaves into two, 842g balls and preshaped. Bench-rested for 45 mins, shaped and put into my round bannetons. I left them on the counter until the oven heated.

Scored then Baked them per my standard 35 minutes in Dutch Ovens at 420°F (convection) lid on.

I then removed them from the Dutch Ovens and baked another 4.5 minutes on a cold pizza stone to keep the bottoms from over baking.

Regular Sourdough Boule
Sourdough Boule with Chia Seeds

Overall I’m pretty pleased. Crust looks good. Oven-spring looks good. Overall shape and color looks good. We’ll see how the crump comes out once they’re cool.

Ah… the joys of tweaking your sourdough baking technique!

Sourdough Croissants

I’m working on my sourdough croissants technique. I’ve determined this is going to be a lifelong journey…

For Christmas my wife gifted me Jimmy Griffin’s The Art of Lamination

I’m experimenting with his lock-in and lamination technique.

Another change he mentioned was allowing for the heat drop and “ice cube effect” of putting your tray of croissants into the oven.

I preheated my oven to 400°F (convection) and am baking a single tray at a time at 375°F (convention). I’ll get the oven hot again before baking the second tray.

Proved. Egg washed. About to be baked.
Baked and cooling.

I’m pleased with the overall bake. They smell HEAVENLY (as always).

Both trays cooling…

Time to get on the Peloton…

Sourdough Technique Tweaks

Well… after that last bake I thought I’d try some tweaks to my technique.

Probably should have reduced the elements I changed at once…

Change #1 – Sourdough Starter. I’ve two (which I haven’t named yet). This was my second.

Change #2 – Proofing. I did my normal 24 hour bulk fermentation prior to shaping. However, I decided to prove in my proving box instead of putting the bannetons back in the fridge overnight. It’s that “back to work thing” and client calls / baking don’t mix well.

Overall, the oven bloom was better but not as good as I’ve previously experienced. Crust dimples were less (expected) since I didn’t bake directly from the fridge. Ear was OK on one loaf and less pronounced on other.

Not a bad attempt… will continue to practice!

Sourdough Bread: Something Is Wacked!

Well… I’ve not been happy with my bread bakes for the last two iterations.

Something is out of wack!

My oven bloom has been anemic… about half what I expect. Crumb is tighter and moist. Almost like it is over-proved. However, I’m not getting the larger bubbles of gas at top where I’ve weakened the gluten structure.

Wondering if my starter is a bit off…

Wondering if I need to let rest on counter while I preheat oven…

Not sure.

Going to start another batch and simply pull bannetons from fridge when I turn the oven on. That should be my only variable I change.

The experiment continues…