Having completed in principle one tour through all the sourdough recipes in Jane Mason's book: Perfecting Sourdough, we are now baking different recipes suggested up by members of the Facebook group.
I last baked and posted about the Sourdough Sunflower breads last July when it was particularly hot. Today its been snowing, and since we were not venturing from home, this weekend has been one of baking, reading, research etc.
I set the sunflower seeds to soak, and the mother sourdough to prove overnight with a feed as per the recipe. We have been discussing how to get a much tighter loaf, and various ways of getting a better shape on our loaves. I also discussed bread making with my friend Marie-Claire whom I initially taught how to make bread. Now with her many self taught bread making skills, we like to chat over the phone about bread matters. We discussed the very helpful shaping techniques on u tube and I found Bake with Jack which she recommended as being fun to watch and follow.
I was not quite on the ball on Friday...weighed twice the amount of sunflower seeds, was busy moving plants around to more protected zones in anticipation of the snow...and forgot to reduce the temperature after the initial hot blast at 230 C. I only moved the loaves round, but I managed to whip the loaves out after 25 minutes. The crust is lovely dark and very tasty and because there is such a high hydration, the bread is not at all dry.
The same recipe was followed today...but I tried the loaf baked in my stainless steel roasting dish. This technique works really well for me....It gives a really good and even rise and colour...I heat the roasting tin in the oven, and follow all the same temperatures, but remove the lid or rather the base, since I use the tin upside down, for the final 15 minutes baking. I have even seen an old pyrex dish used to bake bread in. Next time I am going to try using my stainless steel mixing bowl as the covering dome. My shelves can only accommodate one covered dish on one level with another shelf with just the oven tray. I think the oval loaf is my best sourdough so far.