Sourdough Baking Journal: The 6.25 hour mid-cold proof power outage

Recipe: 20% Levain inoculation (Randolph), 70% bread flour, 15% whole wheat flour, and 15% dark rye flour…80% hydration 2.2% sea salt. Autolyse: 1 hour / Bulk Fermentation: 5.25 hours w/ 4 sets of coil folds. Overnight proof/retard ∼ 15 hours. Baked 25 minutes covered and 20-25 minutes uncovered @450F.

Techniques used: Luckily I pulled off the techniques that were new to me before the unforeseen 6.25 hour power outage that occured during my overnight proof/retard. Following a suggestion from Kristen of Full Proof Baking, I divided my dough into 3 separate bowls following the addition of my levain and salt. I then proceeded to do coil folds, rather than the stretch an folds which I’ve become accustom to using. I will note that doing coil folds on 1 loaf worth of dough was at times a bit frustrating. Kristen also related that she sometimes skips preshaping her loaves because of how much structure coil folds give the dough. In turn, I too skipped preshaping and final shaped at the end of bulk fermentation. In terms of baking I tried baking one of the loaves covered for the 50 minutes. It ended up lighter in color than I’d like. Then for the next 2 loaves of inverted the lid of my Challenger bread pan and put the bottom section on top of it, this prevented the bottom of the loaves from getting too dark and tough.

Results: Overall all 3 loaves maintained their shape despite overproofing due to the power outage. I’m convinced that their crumb would have been more open (along with more oven-spring) if all had gone to plan. However, it was even and the texture of all three was moist (almost custardy soft). Taste-wise my go-to combination of bread, whole wheat, and dark rye made the crust really yummy and the balanced sourness sealed the deal. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take crumb shots of these loaves. I’ll definitely be baking this recipe again in order to experience its full potential.

About Barry W

NJ (formerly NYC) based home brewer and fermented food enthusiast sharing his brewing, cooking, and baking adventures on thebrewedpalate.com.
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