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Yohan Ferrant's Do Nothing Sourdough Bread

While sourdough bread baking is a time consuming process, it's not exactly a lot of work. It's mostly a little bit of work, followed by a much longer period of do nothing, wash/rinse/repeat. I've baked a dozen+ times during the lockdown and the process I've settled on yields pretty darned good results. So now is the perfect time to mess with it... 😆😆😆 I never turn down an opportunity to be even more lazy.

I've been very intrigued with Yohan Ferrant's low inoculation, do nothing process. Basically incorporate, wait, shape, bake. I will try to execute this process with basic, big box store purchased ingredients available anywhere.

Anyone try this? Any advice/tips?

 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Moderator Emeritus
Contributor
I've made a lot of bread starting from a fairly early age. Much of it, at 60 years of age, I can tell by eye and feel what needs to be done. Sourdough is a new journey. I know very little. I am amazed at one set of instructions. It kinda goes . . . you need to take two table spoons of starter from your fridge. Add some flour and water to the amount you need for a loaf and let it sit a few hours to get active. Add to your flour with some salt and start the waiting. . . 3 or so hours for each rise.

Actually that is not terrible. With two rises, buns I make maybe take 4 hours. . . with a heating pad helping.
 
That's for the upload.... I'm giving it a try. I love sourdough.
I mixed up the dough around noontime today. Now I'm at the "do nothing" portion of the recipe for ~24Hrs.
  • 240g whole wheat flour
  • 160g bread flour
  • 5g starter (tiny bit more than ~1% inoculation)
  • 360g room temperature water (90% hydration)
  • 8g salt
Here's what the dough looks like.
 
Here's my dough after 24 Hrs of "Do Nothing" and 1 stretch and fold. It expanded quite a bit but maybe not quite 2x. It's still wet but quite airy. Like a mature starter.
 
After 1Hr of "Do Nothing" rest, I dusted a proofing basket with some rice flour, shaped, and placed the dough in it. Handling as little as possible. Dutch oven heating up now. Ready to bake in another Hr.
 
Resulting boule. 20 min in a dutch oven with the lid on at 500*F, 20 min with the lid off at 450*F. Some observations. It has less ~1/2 the oven spring my normal, 20% inoculation, multiple stretch and fold boules. I did attempt to score the dough but with such a wet dough and without the surface tension of gluten development, it was sort of hard. It does sound hollow when I tap the bottom but it's definitely going to be denser. I didn't mention it previously but the dough smelled just like starter. Sour and boozy. Them yeast cultures worked hard over 24 HRs.

I'll add a shot of the crumb in a couple of hours after cool down.

 
Resulting boule. 20 min in a dutch oven with the lid on at 500*F, 20 min with the lid off at 450*F. Some observations. It has less ~1/2 the oven spring my normal, 20% inoculation, multiple stretch and fold boules. I did attempt to score the dough but with such a wet dough and without the surface tension of gluten development, it was sort of hard. It does sound hollow when I tap the bottom but it's definitely going to be denser. I didn't mention it previously but the dough smelled just like starter. Sour and boozy. Them yeast cultures worked hard over 24 HRs.

I'll add a shot of the crumb in a couple of hours after cool down.

Waiting.... :)
 
So the oven string was weak and the resulting boule is dense (compare to crumb on my "normal" boules below).
Still edible. The bread is VERY sour. Bordering on being tart. I'm going to try and work on this recipe a bit. It's been a bit cold here in the NorthEast and my kitchen temperatures are in the mid to high 60s. I might get a proofing container with clear markings so I can tell when the dough has at least doubled in size. I wouldn't call it a success but not a failure either. We need more lazy guys working on this so we can nail the process.

 
I'm lazy enough to try this some time :) Fishing and camping this weekend so maybe next week...

I have a sour starter and a not-so-sour starter. I'll try the not-so-sour one first.
 
I've tried making sour dough bread several times, but I've given up. It's a crap shoot. One time it's flat, another time it's perfect, and another time it's inedible. It all depends on the starter and the starter is always changing. Commercial bakeries go to great lengths to keep their starter sterile so they get predictable results. I don't think you can do that at home. But I'll keep following this thread. I may learn something. I'd love to make great sourdough bread.
 
I've tried making sour dough bread several times, but I've given up. It's a crap shoot. One time it's flat, another time it's perfect, and another time it's inedible. It all depends on the starter and the starter is always changing. Commercial bakeries go to great lengths to keep their starter sterile so they get predictable results. I don't think you can do that at home. But I'll keep following this thread. I may learn something. I'd love to make great sourdough bread.
I've been pretty fortunate in that my starter has never been that fussy. To me, the most consistent results have been when the dough passes the "window pane" test. Some days, the dough takes forever to come together and may require 6 or even more stretch and folds (or coil folds) to pass the test. The bread varies each time but pass the test = good bread.
 
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