Comings and Goings

Country sourdough

My latest bread effort – ‘Levain de Campagne’, white with some wholemeal and rye. It is based on Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s recipe in his book ‘How to make bread’.

This is the third time I have tried this. The first time I used plain white flour and the dough was quite wet. The loaf collapsed during cooking and looked a bit like a thick pancake – it tasted great, but wasn’t the loaf I wanted.

Most bread recipes say to use strong or baker’s flour, so I tried some of that the next time. It really didn’t make much difference.

For the third loaf (pictured), I used less water (290g instead of 300g) – the result was much better. The dough was still sticky, but not so much. It still didn’t have that silky look that the photographs in the book had.

I decided to try and see if anyone else was having problems and an Internet search located a list of errata here. These suggested that the amount of water should be between 250g and 300g depending on the flour. American flour has a higher protein content than European flour and requires more water – nothing about Australian flour. Another post on the same website suggested that professional bakers test each new batch of flour to determine the correct amount of water to add. I guess I have a lot to learn.

 

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4 thoughts on “Country sourdough

  1. Kelvin Gandy

    I too have used this recipe. and yesterday produced a loaf which collapsed and resembled a thick pancake! Fortunately, I have just read your post, and I will try maybe 250 ml water next time. I have used several of Emmanual’s recipes with success,the baguettes are fantastic but there are unfortunately there are some errors in his book.
    I am in the UK using French Bread flour straight from the mill. Hopefully the next loaf will be better!

    1. Abe

      There is a mistake in the book. The recipe should read as follows…

      250g bread flour

      150g whole wheat (NOT! 100g)

      50g whole rye

      6g salt

      300g water

      My book has wholewheat at 100g too but I’ve seen others doing this recipe with 150g wholewheat. No mention of altering the recipe either so I think some older edition books have this error. Makes sense as our UK flours (where Emmanuel Hadjiandreou is based) can’t handle these very high hydration doughs.

    2. Abe

      Makes sense… He mentions this dough is 900g. If we take the wholewheat at 100g it doesn’t add up…

      250g bread flour

      150g whole wheat (NOT! 100g)

      50g whole rye

      6g salt

      300g water

      150g starter (oops I missed the starter out above)

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