Experiments with Sourdough Pot Baking
After my Christmas loaves, I made up a batch of Basic White Sourdough and added a 1/4 cup of cracked wheat which had been soaked in hot water instead of the cornmeal. Without the cornmeal, the dough bulk fermented much quicker and I shaped the loaves and put them into small banneton baskets again. This time I made three loaves and they were a bit over 1.5 lbs each.
Here are the loaves in their baskets:
Here is one of the loaves when it was ready to pop into the oven:
This dough didn’t take as long to proof as the dough with the added cornmeal. It wasn’t as sour as a result, but a very good loaf in it’s own right. I used a flexible plastic cutting board as a peel to get the dough into the preheated cast iron pot. I then put on the lid without spraying any water as a result of the prior experiment showing that the initial drying of the skin of the loaf created a better outcome with the slashes. It was also true with the pot baked loaves. They came out better without the early spray of water which I was giving the dough just before putting on the lid. Here is one of the loaves still in the pot:
All of the loaves came out great with very nice crusts:
All three together:
Here is the crumb:
It seems that if you spray the dough immediately with pot baking or with stone baking, you don’t have as nice of a blooming of the slashes. It was very interesting finding this out and another one of those instances that make sourdough baking so much fun!