Friday, February 25, 2011

Brown Sourdough Mountain

I wanted to bake a brown bread with sourdough. I thought of Brown Country Semi Sourdough I was pretty pleased with. I also baked a Brown Multigrain Norwich Sourdough .
But, today I went for another variation of sourdough bread; with only all purpose flour, whole wheat bran with multigrain and roasted malt. While measuring the flours I discovered that I didn’t had enough sourdough. I needed 190 gram and had 160 gram. Ok, ‘another variation’. And what a surprise it was when the bread came out of the oven. It had risen like a mountain with less sourdough. The taste and smell are great. That day I had also baked baguette traditional to go with the French cheeses our friend had brought over from France. But, when we saw this bread we needed to taste this brown mountain too. And it was great.

All these breads started with great recipes from Susan. This bread is for Susan of Wild Yeast. Without her recipes and great tips I wouldn’t have baked all these delicious breads. Thank you Susan.

Brown Sourdough Mountain

I made one loaf

This is what I used:
450 g all purpose flour
20 g whole wheat bran
20 g multi grains
20 g roasted malt
300 g water at about 25 C
160 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter
12 g salt

This is what I did:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flours, water, and starter on low speed until just combined, about one minute.
Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
Add the salt and continue mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. This should only take about 3 or 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled container (preferably a low, wide one so the dough can be folded without removing it from the container).
Ferment at room temperature (22-25 C) for 2.5 hours, with folds at 50 and 100 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Pre-shape the dough piece into a light ball. Sprinkle the ball lightly with flour, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Shape into a round ball and place seam-side-up in a floured couche or linen-lined bannetons.

Slip the couche or bannetons into a large plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature for 2 – 2,5 hours.

Or proof for 1.5 hours at room temperature. Then refrigerate for 2 – 16 hours and baked directly out of the refrigerator; this will yield a tangier bread with a lovely, blistered crust. I had it for 2 hours in the refrigerator and baked it the same day.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 250 C. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.
Turn the proofed loaf onto a semolina-sprinkled peel or parchment. Slash with two overlapping cuts that are almost parallel to the long middle of the ball.

Once the loaf is in the oven, turn the heat down to 230 C. Bake for 12 minutes with steam, and another 15 – 18 minutes without steam. Leave the oven door cracked open a bit for the last 5 minutes of this time. The crust should be a deep brown. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for 5 minutes longer, with the door ajar, to help them dry. Larger loaves will need to be baked longer. The last 10 minutes I used my electric oven, this one heads form above and bottom. This gives more color to the breads.

Cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut until the loaves are completely cool, if you can manage it! This was difficult with the French cheeses waiting, but we managed. It was worth the waiting.


  1. This a a very beautiful loaf, thank you so much for the dedication!

  2. What a gorgeous bread! You must be very proud...

  3. Thank you for these kind words. I'm very happy with the result, it tasted delicious.

  4. this is beautiful....I also enjoyed looking at your blog...thank you for the inspiration! I'm going to try your brown mountain!

  5. Thank you justthecook, hope to see your mountain when it's done