Okay, so I’m feeling pretty good about this whole sourdough exercise. I’ve made a third loaf of sourdough using the 1-2-3 method, and it is now working almost predictably. This time I wanted to make a sandwich loaf instead of a boule or bâtard. I wasn’t sure how much dough to mix up, so I consulted “el oracle” (google) and found a page at The Fresh Loaf that suggested for my sandwich pan, I should make about an 1100g loaf. I felt like 1100g would be too big of a loaf for just us two people, so I cut it to 900.
To determine how much starter I needed, I divided 900 by 6, which gave me 150. So 150 starter plus 300 water plus 450 flour (150 each unbleached, bread & whole wheat) plus 1.8% salt(of what should have been 450g [flour weight], but I used the weight of the entire recipe, so I ended up with 16g salt, when it should have been 8g. I only realized this mistake at this very moment, but thankfully it did not taste salty.)
Because I wasn’t sure if my starter was ready or not, I withheld the salt until last autolyse. I mixed it up the dough, and set it in the (cold: 75F) oven to autolyse. For the next few hours, on the hour, I gave the dough a stretch-and-fold. Somewhere in there, I kneaded in the salt. Before bed, I shaped the loaf into a log and placed it in an oiled loaf pan.
I don’t use many disposable plastics like cling wrap, so I have been using a round glass casserole lid on whatever vessel I’m using to proof. In this case, I had to use another glass bread loaf pan – inverted – and secured with a large rubber band lipped onto the handles. I didn’t take a photo of it, so here’s a rough drawing:
I meant to take this out of the cold oven before I fell asleep, but I forgot. So by morning it looked as if it had lost its tension. I was worried that it would bake flat in the oven, so I reshaped it for tension.
A couple hours later, I preheated the oven to 500F for about 25 minutes, then removed the rubber band and put the whole proofing setup in the oven just like that! The inverted loaf pan on top allowed steam chamber for the kind of crust I enjoy. After about 20 minutes, I removed the upper pan, and reduced the heat to 375F. I checked it by thermometer at 30 minutes total and it was still doughy, so I put the upper pan BACK on and let it continue to cook for another, maybe, 15 minutes.
And it seemed to work!
Going forward, I think I’ll go with the 1100g loaf for the size of pan that I have and be sure to let that final rise happen in either a cooler environment (the counter) or in the fridge to bake right away for breakfast.