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wondering about sourdough results

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browndog's picture
browndog

wondering about sourdough results

this may seem more than a trifle silly, but here goes--I made what is my second loaf of true sourdough yesterday using a recipe of Hamelman's, with KA ap and a little strong whole wheat. Although it took forever to look 'ready', as in 2 or 3 hours longer at least than the recipe predicted, I baked up something that went in the oven a chubby pancake and came out a dark, round little hummock. Poorly shaped and burnt, but when I cut into it I found a rather lovely network of largish holes (and y'all are always goin' on about holes) throughout the slice- not so much as Ciabatta, but perhaps her little sister. It was chewy, pleasant-tasting, with a crust not at all crackly but very challenging to tooth and jaw. Either I'm finally getting a fingerhold on process or...I'm not, and I've made an interesting mistake. To the point: is sourdough expected to be holey and chewy? Kind of ridiculous but I don't buy bread, haven't for years, and can't bring myself to spend 3 or 4 dollars on somebody else's when I think how much flour that would buy, so I have no point of comparison. It's just SO different from my tender-crumbed sandwich breads.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

Yes, I think more chewy is usual with sourdough. When I've made yeast raised ciabattas, for example, the crumb is softer and lighter in some way relative to the sourdough version, if I do the same exact recipe and handling other than SD instead of poolish. I think the difference was more notable when I was first making them, because I didn't have much feel for the dough handling and rising times. Just as with the yeast raised breads, there is a lot to becoming familiar with the feel and the look of the dough as it develops and how that will affect the results. Same as with yeast raised breads, small changes in dough hydration can have a big effect. Another basic difference is that the acid levels in the dough are generally higher earlier, especially with recipes that use larger amounts of starter in the dough, so gluten will develop differently because of that. The dough should "come together" faster because of the acid from the starter, like it would with a biga. Then later, the gluten will end up breaking down if you let it run too long. I end up staying almost all sourdough all the time, just because I almost always prefer the flavors I get, and the textures are OK if not preferable in some situations. I'll admit, though, that when I recently made some yeast raised ciabattas, the crust and crumb were so light and airy, and it made me stop and think if I was missing something not doing more yeast raised breads. In a sandwich, the bread flavor wasn't quite as important anyway. One difference I notice with my SD ciabatta is this: if I leave the yeast raised ciabattas out on the counter, they just stay there or maybe go into a sandwich, but if I leave the SD version out on the table, my wife and kids sneak up and take slices all day long until they're gone. I think that flavor and chewiness somehow work for a plain slice like that. Another big advantage is that they keep longer, which for me is good, since I don't bake every day.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

I can say that the flavor of these breads is something I wasn't expecting, whatever the texture. I was sure that a 'well-developed wheat flavor' was much beyond the detection capabilities of my rustic palate, but I find myself with a slice of these long-fermented breads thinking something's seriously different. And better, I should add. My teenage son who has forever been under-whelmed by my breads REALLY liked this sorry little sourdough. I just had to let it ferment so-o-o long to get anything like doubled and I wondered if that gave it this rather chewy character. And would the slow fermentation be because my starter's weak? It wasn't manic but it more or less doubled in its jar. I tried to keep the dough pretty comfy. Hamelman doesn't call for much starter- nothing like measured by the cup you sometimes. Back to the fray, thanks Bill!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

Right, that's what has kept me going with the sourdough. I never really got quite the same reaction when I was doing yeast breads earlier on compared to the reception of sourdough breads - almost no matter what the texture results, something like, "Hey, Dad, you have to make this one more often - that's really good." - followed by repeated raiding of the bread on the counter.

What type of starter are you using and how are you maintaining it? I can at least give you my benchmark for the starter I've had for a long time. Basically, when it is well fed and healthy (it is a 100% hydration, i.e. 1:1 by weight flour:water starter and uses bread flour, though I get basically the same behavior w/AP flour), I can feed it 1:2:2 by weight (starter:flour:water), and it will rise by double in roughly 4 hours at 72F. You could see how long it takes for yours if you feed in that ratio with white flour. If it takes a lot longer, then maybe the starter is not vigorous. I doubt that's the problem, if you are getting a good rise each time you feed, and if that has been going on for a while. I think there is a general tendency to underfeed starters, though, because of the typical starter recipe instructions that are in many books. My experience is you have to feed them more often, generally, than various books seem to imply. I believe sourdough-guy has said similar things a number of times in comments and discussions.

As far as the time for the fermentation, there are so many different recipes, that it's hard to say what should happen. Which recipe was it in Hamelman? I have that book and have used a few of them. One big thing that can change the timing is temperature, of course. Hydration also seems to be a key issue, and it's very hard to tell from reading a recipe sometimes, what is intended for the hydration, which can vary quite a bit just from changing the flour, even for similar types of flour.

browndog's picture
browndog

my starter was given to me from someone else's batch, and I had no clue about starter husbandry then, in fact no interest and took it to be polite! Ignored it for weeks at a time, occasionally fed as per instruction sheet w/ quantities of--gasp-- milk, flour and sugar. Then I found this site...The thing is with the 'junk food' diet it used to bubble right up, even had to change containers cuz it sometimes spilled over. Started paying casual attention to these epic discussions you guys have, and decided to see if I couldn't give my starter a poke and actually USE it. Now I feed only water and flour, 1:1 every day or every 12 hours if it seems sluggish, which it does lately, at least it never more than doubles and it's not quick about it, well over 12 hours. Never big bubbles, just plenty of small ones, some medium. Nice nice smell though. Experimented as per advice around here, once w/ a bit of oj, sometimes rye flour, and begun to keep much less (1/2 cup or so) and firmed it up a little so it's like a very thick batter. So that's not actually 1:1 is it. A little heavier on the flour, anyway. I leave it out a day then pop it in the fridge if I don't plan to use it. And if anything's going to be warm around here I have to make an effort, which I did w/ the bread. The recipe, bytheway, is Vermont Sourdough w/ added whole wheat, followed it as carefully as I could, including weighing not measuring. By hand, no mixer. This bread DID rise, just not much (it s-p-r-e-a-d) til it hit the oven, it was not ballooning but I was pleasantly surprised just the same. Yet right now the starter, which was fed 1:1+ tablespoons water and KA ap last night, is sulking quietly in my (cool) kitchen. I SWORE this wouldn't happen to me...(starter angst, that is. At any rate I REFUSE to name her.) I have to tell you it's a struggle to buckle down and CONCENTRATE on proportions and timing- I was hoping they weren't crucial, but I guess a little character building never hurt anyone.

CosmicChuck's picture
CosmicChuck

You have said a couple of times that you had a flat loaf with big holes. Perhaps your dough was too wet for what you were trying to acomplish? I usually do a wetter dough when I want big holes, ie ciabatta, but find that it is more likely to spread out, ie ciabatta. Also add the heaviness of the whole wheat flour and you would have a few risks of wide rise.

A drier dough will give you smaller holes, ie SF french SD, but will rise taller.

Sounds like you got the taste and texture right so you're on the right track!

 

Cheers

browndog's picture
browndog

I would've added a good cup or so more flour in a heartbeat, CosmicChuck, as well as dry yeast, some olive oil and a little honey...I was TRYING to be good, see, and follow the recipe. Unfortunately the recipe said things that I chose to ignore like 'correct the hydration if neccesary'. I don't have a clue with these breads what is 'neccesary'. Learning curve, OUCH. I understand dimly that these doughs are wetter at the get-go than straight doughs generally but if one is PATIENT one gets results- you fold them a couple times and eventually, like magic you have lovely dough---or not. One did indeed get results...I should just pretend that I meant to make Ciabatta all along. Thanks!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

The overall formula says the hydration is 65%, so it really shouldn't be all that wet if you are using 90% AP or bread flour and 10% whole wheat. A wetter feeling dough would probably be more like up around 75%. When I do the miche with a lot of whole grain in it, the hydration jumps up to over 80% as it does with the ciabatta. At that point the dough is wet enough to be somewhat difficult to handle until you get the hang of various mixing, kneading, and folding techniques. It makes me think there was some kind of inadvertent measurement mistake or leaving out the salt, forgive me for suggesting such things, if your dough was that wet. Or, the sourdough culture "rotted" the gluten because the rise was too long. That could happen if the culture is a little bit sluggish from underfeeding. You could probably still recover with some folds pre-shaping, as you seem to have done. All in all, it sounds like you still figured out how to get some good bread out of it, regardless of what the reason for the wetness is. I agree that it should be deemed a total success and some revisionism can be brought into effect, when you don't get quite what you're calling for.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

if the long long rise just wore the dough out, but it never seemed properly 'done'--it kept filling in when I poked it. Couldn't POSSIBLY have been operator error--unless it was. I'm still getting the hang of the scale, to be honest, and maybe there was too much water. Well, there WAS too much water, seems pretty clear. I actually remember adding the salt. He calls it a medium-slack dough doesn't he?, and I was winging it judging what that was.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

It sounds like you have a good handle on the issues. Good luck with the next version, if you keep rolling on sourdough, and I'll be curious to know what happens with the efforts to make sure the starter is strong and fresh. I wouldn't have thought 65% hydration should be "medium slack", but it's all relative. Maybe what I think of as firm is just medium.

The burger buns turned out just great. The crumb was very soft and light, but the flavor was a little bland, since they were made in about 4 hours total. That was fine with the burgers, though. It still was way better than buying some kind of store bun. It made me think of the barbecue bread thread. I think these simple buns would be great with something like barbecued pork, just like Eric had mentioned.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

I checked the recipe, what he actually says is the dough should be a medium consistency. Do I know what that is? Guess not. Anyway, am soldiering on, and set up the new feeding style and schedule this morning, but as usual it's snowing and stormy here, and my house will not see 72 degrees before June. Will announce results as soon as they're in. I knew your burger buns would behave for you, and I agree it's worth the effort, if I even consider storebought buns, a quick scan of the ingredient list changes my mind. Oh, one more thing I've been wondering about- if you named your starter Scurvy...what do you call your pets? And when you give away bread, as I'm certain you do, do you say "Here, take this, it has Scurvy in it."?                                                                                        p.s. I just looked at redivyfarm's starters. good grief. I am SO not anywhere near there.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5, 

I wake up this morning, and before I can get my bearings my wife says "We're invited to dinner tonight, so can you make some bread to bring?" I thought after all this time, she knew it takes more than one day to make those sourdough "masterpeice" renditions. So, I'm back to impulse or more like panic baking today. I'm doing a Kalamata olive sourdough yeast hybrid. I think it'll work. I took 5 day old starter from my refrigerator, which is beyond the point where you can use it, and I did a dough similar to the Vermont Sourdough but with a little more wheat and rye in it. It has 360 grams of the 5 day old culture out of a dough of about 1300 grams total weight, and I put in 1.5 tsp of yeast. It seems to have risen nicely during the bulk fermentation, so maybe I'll get a cheat sourdough olive bread in time for dinner. Raining like crazy here too.

Scurvy came about when L_M was prodding me for a name in one episode of the epic discussion we had on starters. I suggested that name because what seemed to get my first culture to take off finally was adding some ascorbic acid after I'd been wandering on the KA baking circle asking questions and trying to understand why my culture was just dead. So, the way I see it the culture suffered from vitamin C deficiency and therefore had scurvy until I added the ascorbic acid. OK, so I've learned a lot since then, and anyone who reads this, please don't take any of it seriously. Yes, a little acid can sometimes help a culture in certain situations, but that's a whole other story at this point. And Scurvy fits well with my aversion, shared with you, to naming my cultures.

Redivyfarm's photos of the culture do have a holy ambience to them, as mountaindog mentioned. Nice photo. Browndog5, good luck getting your feeding schedule going. Hopefully, it will show some gumption, and you'll be all set for another try.

Bill

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Yes, I have culture. Someday I shall bake good bread. I hope, I hope!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5 

Good luck...down the slippery slope you go, you've caught it now. Strangely, I had the impulse to make hamburger buns today, and would not have the time to build a sourdough version, so I'm on a yeast-raised hamburger bun project and aiming to use a new grill I just got installed. We seem to have switched, due to my need to bake on impulse in the moment here today.

I don't like naming them either. I call mine scurvy if asked for one (L_M got me to coin the name during our "epic discussions"), but I never use the name otherwise.

It sounds like you've done just fine keeping the starter alive. Having it be a little thicker is not a problem at all. I do that too, especially when storing it in the refrigerator. The refrigerator is your friend. As far as I can tell, it's really hard to kill a starter in the refrigerator if you feed it at room temperature and thicken it up.

As far as getting it more active, usually that is just a matter of feeding it enough a few times in a row at room temperature. Everything I'm saying here is by weight. If you're not using a scale, I'd highly recommend it. It just makes it so much easier, especially if you have a scale that has a "tare" function, i.e. you press a button and it measure what you add from that point on. If by volume, you can convert roughly by using 4.5 ounces of flour is the same as 1 cup of flour. Anyway, I would take 1 part starter and feed it with 2 parts flour, 2 parts water, (by weight) which I will now refer to abbreviated as 1:2:2, e.g. take 1 oz starter and mix with 2 oz water and 2 oz flour. If you feed it that way with AP or bread flour, it should rise by double in 4 hours. If it doesn't, repeat the feeding at the earlier of 10 hours or when it doubles. What should happen is that after a few feedings, it should rise by double in around 4 hours at 72F. Of course it'll take longer if the temperature is lower and less time if the temperature is higher. If you want to take a break from the feeding schedule to sleep or whatever else, put it in the refrigerator, rather than leaving it out for longer than about 10 hours.

Meanwhile, I agree w/CosmicChuck that you probably just had a little too much water and got the holes and "spreading dough" that would be typical for that.  Just a couple of ounces can make a big difference to the dough consistency. By the way, it's a great choice for a recipe to start doing sourdough. It's not quite as trying as something very high in hydration or with a lot of whole grain can be to get to work, yet it is a very good tasting and textured style of lean bread. 

The levain in that recipe contributes only about 10% of the flour to the dough. I'd be expecting it to take a while longer than the recipe says for my starter, especially if not at 76F, as specified in the recipe. I do fairly similar recipes to this that are roughly based off the BBA "basic sourdough" recipe that have roughly 30% of the flour  going into the final dough contributed from starter, and the time involved in bulk fermentation is more like 3.5 hours at room temperature in my experience. This ought to take longer with only 1/3 as much starter going into the dough.

It sounds like you have it well in hand. Good luck on future versions. I'd be curious to know how vigorous the starter seems to be.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

Bear with me, please, while I clarify--When I remove an ounce to feed, does the remainder become superfluous? And when I repeat the feeding in however many hours, do I again remove an ounce, feed that and abandon the rest etc.? Or do I feed it like a goldfish after the first time, and just keep adding to the base til it's perky? I've always removed as much in volume as I'm going to add, and then fed the remainder. I do have a scale so that's no trouble. --Funny thing, I find Hamelman's book SO intimidating, yet despite the fact that I've since picked up books by Glezer, Lepard and the-other-guy-not-Reinhart, Bread is the one I most often choose to work with. The other authors patted me on the head and calmed me down, as well as the volumes of input here, so I feel more adventuresome, NOT to say confident. That olive bread of Tingull's is exactly what my bread DIDN'T look like, by the way, so there was a learning moment. Oh, and if you need advice on the hamburger buns, I'd say knead 10 minutes, let rise til double, punch down, shape into little balls...how could it NOT work?! *sigh* -Thanks AGAIN, Bill. (So Mr. Refrigerator is our friend, eh? Funny I never thought so before.)

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Right, how could they not work, yet I will not feel good until I slice one later on today.

For now, yes, you probably should just abandon the old starter each time. You can work with smaller amounts if you want. Hopefully your scale has either 1/10 ounce or better yet 1 gram resolution. Anyway, yes, you take one oz of your starter, feed it, and abandon the rest. You might want to keep some of the old starter in the refrigerator as a backup, just in case something goes wrong with the feeding schedule I've suggested here. However, it should work fine and get it all perky in a few feedings, assuming nothing really bad has happened to the starter. I doubt you could get a decent bread out of it at all if it weren't basically in pretty good shape, so I wouldn't worry to much. Also, how it looks is not terribly important if it tastes great - who cares what it looks like if you're enjoying the flavor and texture?

There are some things I like about Hamelman's book, too. As far as books go, the miche insights were really helpful. Also, I like the way he lays out the percentages, so it's possible to understand the overall and individual hydrations and contributions of flour from each stage. It makes it possible to play with modifications to the recipe without having to dissect it with a spreadsheet.

browndog's picture
browndog

I just have to say that a much- too-influential part of me doesn't give a fig what's inside so long as the loaf looks gorgeous---pretty silly and a liability since screwing up at first is requisite it seems...ah me, one giant at a time.

browndog's picture
browndog

sort of. Bill, after a couple three feedings these guys are a different animal. For a lark I set up one white and one rye rather than pitch the extra, only had 4 oz anyway. The white started very lazy so I switched from the generic organic co-op bin ap to Gold Medal unbleached ap, and it seems to like that better, typical. The rye is bubbly and bouncing in its seat- "pick me, pick ME!" Both have doubled tidily though it took them 9 hours, and I have tried to keep them cozy. There is a much better network of bubbles throughout the jars, not just superficial ones like I had before. Is it too early to feel smug? Should I keep at it til the doubling time reduces? Your olive bread looks delicious. This is a bit like Captain Kirk and Scotty, you know. It's not useful to tell someone (read spouse) that it's impossible, you need more time, if you just go ahead and make something wonderful anyway. (Ah'm tellin' ya, Martha, it cahn't be dune!)

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

I would keep feeding them every time they double until the rise times shortens up more. It should take less time at some point soon, hopefully more like 4-6 hours for a doubling - this is assuming the consistency is a paste that's a little bit thick, like it should take some effort to stir it up when you feed it. If they double and are ready to be fed but you won't be around for the next time it doubles, I think it's better to refrigerate them, and then take them out again when you are ready to feed them and catch them when they double again. That way, the culture never gets overly ripe. If you keep doing this, it should pick up steam, at least that's my consistent experience with it. Once it's nice and perky, you can thicken it up even a little more and then put it in the refrigerator. Then, if you take it out a few weeks later, it might only take two feedings at room temperature to bring it fully back to life, i.e. so it doubles in 4-6 hours at room temperature. I find it's OK to use a vigorous starter right out of the refrigerator for a couple or three days after it has been fed and refrigerated. It's also possible to use a firm starter, such as in Glezer's book, as pointed out by Zolablue. Then, you can just build 100% hydration recipe starters or firm recipe started as needed. My version is similar by I keep a small amount at a thick paste, probably about 90% hydration, and build whatever recipe starter I need when the time to bake comes around.

Bill

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

do multiple feedings dilute the tangy flavor of an established starter in your experience? If so, can you build the flavor back up with a long ferment?

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Redivyfarm,

This is a topic you're probably better off reading about in various books. I like the information in "The Bread Builders" about all this. Or, you can read all kinds of research papers about what's going on inside sourdough cultures and doughs. However, I've tried to summarize some things that I think are true after lots of reading here and there, as well as just trying out quite a few sourdough recipes and some culture maintenance ideas.

I don't think that multiple feedings will dilute the flavor. The multiple feedings should build the starter's health, potency, and stability. The fermentation after each feeding will build the organism population back up, so there is no dilution over time unless you feed extremely frequently and do not allow the culture to rise and ripen enough. I suspect more errors are made the other way, i.e. not feeding enough and starving the culture, which can result in an unbalanced, unstable, overly sour, sluggish culture. Small variations in the feeding schedule, fermentation temperature and time, and types of flour, and consistency (hydration) of the culture may change the proportions of various organisms in the starter, and consequently change the flavors in the starter and in doughs made from that starter somewhat. The types of organisms originally living in the culture can have some flavor effect too, like when you buy different cultures from SI international or wherever that may have different species of organisms in them. However, I think the biggest factor in ultimate bread flavor comes from the concentrations of the typical organic acids produced by the organisms in the starter during the fermentations, which are largely the same from culture to culture and are only slightly different for particular variations in the starter itself. The flavor of your bread will vary from mild to strong mostly based on how ripe the dough (and the preferment flavors contributed by preferments or recipe starters) becomes, which results from a combination of temperature and time, rather than from variations in the starter itself. Also, Lactobacillus activity is relatively favored over yeast activity for temperatures above and below about room temperature or so, which means that you can encourage more sour flavors and more complex flavors from the Lactobacillus activity with long fermentations at temperatures below room temperature, i.e. retarding doughs. This topic seems to get people all worked up, so I'll put my helmet on and hope for the best. It's just a summary of some things I think are true based on some reading and some experience baking sourdough breads - I'm not a professional baker or fermentation microbiologist. I hope this helps.

Bill

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

I really like this starter and don't want it to morph into something else. I read in one of zolablue's blogs that she holds back a little starter as insurance.

My established potato water starter is still on the counter after feeding it two days ago. I stirred up a batch of sourdough no knead using this starter and JMonkey's notes on converting the NYT recipe to sourdough. I'll post my result.

I find it's OK to use a vigorous starter right out of the refrigerator for a couple or three days after it has been fed and refrigerated.  I'm hoping I understand this correctly; that you have had success with a starter fed then left to develop flavor for a couple of days at room temperature. No, you don't leave it out, do you?

My practice of leaving it out until it comes back to the flavor and fragrance I like may be illogical based on your explanation of the culture working in the fermentation of the dough. In your explanation, in other postings and in my experience I'm learning that high acid can inhibit the growth of the yeast.

Perhaps this loaf will be super in spite of my goofy technique! That's what keeps us at it, right?

 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Redivyfarm,

Sorry if my wording was unclear. What I meant to say is that you can put fresh culture in the refrigerator and leave it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and then use it straight out of the refrigerator to make bread. My usual procedure is to feed my culture serially until it rises by double in 4 hours at room temperature from a 1:2:2 feeding. At that point, I refrigerate the culture for storage. With my culture, it normally only takes 2 feedings to have it double in 4 hours if the culture has been in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

I am not an advocate of leaving the culture out at room temperature unless fed fairly frequently, e.g. 1:2:2 by weight about every 6-8 hours at room temperature, if the culture is stable and vigorous. It's possible to maintain a culture by feeding it much less frequently at room temperature than I'm describing, much the same way that you can let culture sit in the refrigerator for long periods and still revive it at some point. However, I think it makes sense to "revive" and "refresh" any culture fully once in a while by periodically feeding it repeatedly and frequently enough at room temperature to verify it is rising properly and is healthy. I usually combine the repeated feedings with building up my starter for a bread baking session, so I don't have to throw away much flour just keeping the culture fresh.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

my white starter has gone and done it, Bill. Got a 4 (well, okay, 4 1/2, but still) hour rise yesterday with inconsistent warmth, so I'm chipper about that. The rye has slowed down but perhaps because it was too thick last feeding? Anyway I feel like I've learned a lot in recognizing what healthy active starter even looks like, and how to get it there. Thanks! Now the REALLY scary part---I find I'm avoiding looking into the eyes of actually making bread with the stuff...I'm so smug about success with starter that I don't want to rise to a new opportunity for failure. But that attitude never conquered any nations, so upward and onward. I'm going to do the Vt sourdough the sequel. You and redivy addressed some questions I had, as well, how nice to open the book to the correct page... I notice that the odor is now much milder--sweetish, pleasant, but not the heady tinge there was before. I figured this was because everything was new and fresh, not having withered away at the back of the fridge for weeks.

 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

That sounds very good. I would think you'll notice a difference with the Vt sourdough, if you use the starter after it has fed and risen by double in 4.5 hours. That should raise the bread, give you spring, and so on, as long as you get the folding right, don't overproof, and all that stuff you clearly already had a  good feel for. Good luck making something with it.

You should find that you can feed it 1:2:2, let it rise for 4 hours or so, and then refrigerate it, possibly thickening it up a little. It should keep in the refrigerator and be usable for a couple of days to make bread. You can just take it out of the refrigerator and use it. After more than a couple of days in the refrigerator you need ot refresh it before using it. To refresh it, take it out of the refrigerator and do the repeated feedings at 1:2:2 at room temperature until it rises by double in 4 hours or so. My experience is that one feeding brings it back to full rising speed after a week in the refrigerator, two feedings brings it back after two weeks in the refrigerator. The most I've had to feed it is three times, when I took it out of the refrigerator after 2 months.

Good luck with it.

Bill

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

do it!

Make that bread! It's worth the chance of failure for the oh,so sweet success...! 

browndog's picture
browndog

Here they are, I can live with this. Thanks again.vermont sourdough w/ whole wheatvermont sourdough w/ whole wheatvermont sourdough slicevermont sourdough slice

Susan's picture
Susan

So you should be glowing right now! And I love your little brown dog!

Susan

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Browndog, that bread looks perfect! I love the crumb. It's not too tight and it isn't too holey either. Perfect bread for sandwiches and toast. Congraulations, you did it!!

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

MMM great bread. Hope the dog doesn't need a pee. : -)  

 

Sourdough-guy

browndog's picture
browndog

I'll have you know nobody wets the bread around here. :-) "

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Go Brownie!  And Sourdough-guy, for all the tutoring you do, you deserve extra credit. Therefor your grade has been raised.

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

lol, thanks. 

Sourdough-guy

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

I finally got back from a trip and have bandwidth again. The VT sourdough looks perfect. Nice work. Did the rise times make more sense this go around? Also, is all well with storing the starter?

Best of luck with further adventures, Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

about seeing your doctor for the bandwidth- (tropical disease..?) *sigh* and you've been so pleasant all along...As to the sober business of baking sourdough, this time I was more than a little alarmed right off to find the dough only a smidgen tighter than before, but I recalled what you'd said about rising time. I gave it an extra fold and an extra hour during bulk, and it chugged along just fine for final, I think it took a little over two hours and didn't spread nearly so much, actually went skyward as well. The dough seemed perfectly capable of taking the slashes, so I felt pretty secure by oven time, which of course is only half the battle, but it got enough ovenspring to keep me happy. Pulled the starter out yesterday in prep for what I hoped would be bread today, after it sat untouched for maybe 3 days. It took all day to double with the first feed but the second feed brought it up to snuff, so whew. I've got the levain finishing up right now, it looks good. Feel like I'm starting to recognize a degree of predictability that's comforting. (Adventures? Show me where I said I like adventure.) I hope that you were travelling for pleasure not business, that you got sand between your toes, that you wore your sunscreen and that you ate some good bread.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

Yes, suffering from bandwidth deficiency sounds diseased. I won't even try to defend it. I was off getting my sailboat's kinks worked out for the spring with a little trip from Stonington to Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island and then back to Newport, RI. Maybe more diseased is that I attempted to bring a sourdough along. I brought a whole wheat dough with 2.5% starter in it. I made it the night before I left, and it rose all night in the refrigerator, then rose all day below decks at about 50F. I folded it a couple of times, then formed loaves in pans and let them rise for a couple of hours over the stove, probably at around 85F, while cooking dinner. I tried to heat the oven, and it would only get to 400F after 1/2 hour and clearly was going no higher. So, I just baked them and took them out 45 minutes later with internal temperature of 207F. The result was a slightly dense but OK crumb that was slightly more sour than I'm used to but not bad, and a soft, somewhat pale crust - probably could have left it baking more to get the crust darker - just wasn't sure what was going on with the oven. This is the first time I tried using a very small percentage of starter and a longer cool rise like this. Anyway, it was an interesting attempt to have "boat bread", but I doubt it will become a habit.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

the one that stumped everyone, now I recall. I had never much cared for what refrigeration did for dough, but it's an approach so widely used around here I have to rethink it. Maybe it works better on lean doughs? No, that doesn't account for Brioche...hm. I made Floyd's stromboli over the weekend for husband's camping foray and of neccesity let the dough rise cold. It worked, as they say, a treat, but perhaps somewhat like you with your boat bread, since this dough was leaving home w/out me to bake over a campfire who knew when, anything not fed to the foxes (or fishes) was a success. Well, Rhode Island, that makes us neighbors in the broad scheme of things. You sure had the perfect weekend for seafaring.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Browndog5,

It stumped me too. I have tried doing fermentations below room temperature other than refrigerating overnight after shaping and before final proof on a few occasions.

The weather was perfect for the trip, although a bit on the invigorating and brisk side when it was windy - Friday and Monday. I put the dough in the refrigerator overnight because I was afraid it would have already risen too much by morning at room temperature, and I knew I wouldn't be able to bake it until at least the late afternoon the next day. In retrospect, I probably could have let it rise at room temperature overnight, since the boat was so cold until the afternoon the next day.

RI is a beautiful area. I've been there every spring as I work the boat up to Maine for May/June.

Bill

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

 American Sourdough? I don't know. I've only had English Sourdough. Naturally leavened bread? That can be anything you want from it just the same as if you were using commercial yeast. Sourdough is really an American thing but the whole bread baking world made natural leaven bread for millennia. Yeasted breads are really just the son of this, there really isn't a whole big difference. Now commercial 21st C bread is another baby all together. More like the granddaughter. You make whatever bread you enjoy. Don't worry about what it is supposed to be. Try other breads that you like the look of wherever you go. That's the only way you'll become a great baker. When you're baking better and better bread each time, you know you're on the road to being a great baker. It's a long road though but full of great surprises. : -) 

 

Sourdough-guy

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough-guy,

I just used the term sourdough to mean "not commercial yeast". I agree naturally leavened is the better term to use, since I added 2.5% weight of flour contributed from my "sourdough starter" in the total flour in the dough. You're now making me wonder what is the best term to use for the starter, too. It's the usual 100% hydration white flour starter similar to the BBA "barm" recipe - yeah, I know, I know "barm" is the wrong term. Have mercy, sourdough-guy. 

Anyway, it was certainly good to have freshly baked, naturally leavened, whole wheat bread on the boat, although the bread's appearance wasn't so great after baking at barely 400F. The crumb was good, though the sour flavor seemed just a touch stronger than usual, and I prefer my usual less sour result. My usual process seems to yield much less sour bread, but I prefer the flavor of the bread I've made with natural leavan over what I've managed to create with commercial yeast, even with the use of poolish or biga preferments or retarding the dough. The problem with the boat is that the temperature is highly unpredictable, as it is only slightly different from outside temperatures (huge variation from April through about August, of course), except when we are below cooking (gets up to 80-90F sometimes). The fermentation on this "boat bread" was roughly 6 hours at 72F, 12 hours at 40F, 6 hours at 50F, 6 hours at 70F, and 2 hours final proof at 85F. It had roughly doubled after the bulk fermentation. The flour was a mix of whole red and white wheat of probably about 13% protein I would guess, and the starter was 2.5% of total dough, and the dough was at 85% hydration. I'd be curious to hear any comments you have about the effect of the cooler temperatures lower than usual bake temperature, whether I should have folded it, or anything else that strikes you about it.

Bill