Things had gone fine till now, so probably I should not be surprised to see that luck (or chance if you wish) has asked for her due back. My first attempt at sourdough bread from scratch was not a complete success. Ok it was not a failure either but a few things could have definitely been better. The main reason for the "problems" was mainly my lack of attention in a crucial point of the recipe. From this follows: if you've been out eating and drinking (quite a bit) with friends and want to shape your bread (or similar) always check everything one extra time... and then once again.
Back to the bread making. Friday I refreshed my starter in the morning for the third time, using a mixture of whole wheat and white flour instead of the 100% whole wheat added up to this point. I let the starter rise for about 8 hours till it doubled in size and then mixed the final dough together.
I dissolved the starter (more or less the size of an orange), keeping a small piece for next breads, in 1 cup of water and mixed it with 3 cups of flour. When almost all the flour was mixed in the dough I added salt (2 teaspoons) and kneaded for about 10 minutes. The dough turned smooth and springy, maybe a bit wet. Here I made the first mistake: I completely forgot that wild yeast needs a higher temperature to ferment than commercial one. Therefore my turning off the heating in the kitchen and tilting the window open was not the most friendly of gestures to my dough. Therefore I waited till midnight shaped my dough and put it in a bannetton to rise overnight.
Here I made the 2 or maybe even 3 mistakes, because of my slightly inebriate state, that I should really avoid next time. First I just did not check if the dough had risen and how much. If I had I would have found out that the temperature was too low. Second, I put the dough in a banneton too big for it, meaning that instead of rising as a nice round loaf it remained quite flat and wide. and last I maybe shaped the dough not tight enough, not stretching the gluten enough, but I'm not sure.
As I woke up the next morning I went to check my dough, ready to bake it and... fuck! Just imagine my disappointment as I noticed the dough had barely risen. I checked the temperature and the mystery was solved. So I let the bread rise for another 8 hours in a warm place and then baked it in a 230C warm oven.
How did the bread turn out? First the good stuff. The crust was great, crunchy, tasty, mmhhh. The bread tasted good, slightly sour, and full of nutty flavours too. The crumb also had the irregular structure one expects from sourdough breads. The no-no points were those mentioned: loaf too flat, slightly under-proofed (chewy crumb). After all an encouraging start. I'll try again...