I promised when I started this blog I would write about the disasters as well as the successes. So here goes.

I have always been a risk taker. Well at least in some parts of my life So the risk, very small in this case  was to try out a new strong organic flour. However I think my attention slipped when I was putting in the water. I don’t think its because the flour is less water absorbent because I made a ‘control’ loaf using my usual flour.

So my dough was super hydrated. I thought – well that’s not a bad thing. Some people use a very hydrated dough, in fact the Red Beard Bakery in Trentham, Victoria where I first learnt to make sourdough some seven years ago, had a dough so liquid that they kept it in a tub. Sadly I have lost my notes from that course or I could have checked.

Anyway I made the bread in my usual way. I poured it into the bannetons thinking – this doesn’t look good. It didn’t seem to rise much overnight – although there were a few bubbles, BIG bubbles, on top of the dough.

The bread was so liquid I had to scrape it out of the banneton, and pour it onto the bread peel in preparation for baking.

What a mess. I had soggy bread dough on my arms, on my peel, on my hands, all over the kitchen. The dough was so wet I couldn’t slash the top with my brand new baking blade. However I managed to slash my thumb when I took the safety cover off the blade – something I have NEVER done with my ordinary razor blade. So add blood to the vision of a kitchen with sticky dough all over the bench tops. I will spare you the pictures but let it be said I went through a year’ s supply of cottonwool and band aids in about ten minutes.

So with one arm above my head to stop the blood flow, I tried to scrape the dough off the peel onto the pizza stone in the very hot oven. The bread sagged over the edge. A few swear words were said. I will spare you those as well. I sprayed the oven with water to create steam, and waited for the bread to cook.

Half way through I couldn’t resist peeking. Tom my astonishment the bread had lifted from a flat pancake to a domed rather blobby loaf.

When it was cooked I took it out of the oven and put in on a rack to cool.

I cut it and was amazed at the crumb – the holes in the loaf were large, bigger than any previous loaf I had baked, the crust was crunchy.

The loaf looked awful. It tasted delicious. So here it is in all its holey glory with the pancake dough below. Oh and did I mention the ones that got stuck in the tin? Or the one that exploded out of the tin and got burnt?

overhydrated bread

disasteroverhydrated dough

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