Super Sour Sandwich Loaf

Super Sour Sandwich Loaf

Inspired by this comment from Trevor Wilson, I decided to take a run at bread made from dough doubled twice before turning out for preshape. I didn’t feel confident that I’d be able to shape something that far along so I also decided to indulge my wife’s request for sandwich bread simultaneously and dusted off the 9x4x4 Pullman (sans lid). After calculating how much water it holds, I divided the number by two to determine how much dough I needed (to fill the pan before it doubles), and added 10% to provide just enough to sit proud of the top. 

For context, I bake two or three sourdough loaves a week, whole grain exclusively. I have great success with moist and open crumb, deeply flavorful low temperature inoculations. But I’ve always been chasing more tang. As far as I know, the only real way to achieve this is by fermenting it beyond the point of being able to maintain significant structure, and I didn’t want to sacrifice one for the other. My daily loaf is generally risen to a full(ish) 100% before a cold retard, typically 75% in bulk and another 25% proof (using bwraith’s models for guidance and planning). I couldn’t imagine taking my daily dough to 225% (structure wise), so that’s where the Pullman pan comes in. I have to say, this loaf did not disappoint.

With all the other changes to my routine I figured I may as well make a white loaf as well, so I used 80% BF (Central Milling ABC+) along with 20% Heirloom French Renan from Grist & Toll (my wonderful local mill). At 70% hydration I was going for a “stiff” dough at Trevor’s suggestion, but this felt very lax and overly extensible and I think it would have performed better at 65%. My NMNF starter and levain were used for a 5% inoculation of the dough that fermented nearly 20 hours total before the final shaping (69/70°F).  

I’m blown away by these results. So much so that I’ve been inspired to delurk here to record my notes. I’ve never tasted bread this sour. The aroma pops you in the nose and the tang is downright puckering. It’s not for everyone, but I love sour profiles. And the texture is just as Trevor described, it’s light and fluffy like a cloud. If you haven’t before, I highly recommend running this experiment for yourself.