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My sourdough diary.

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teketeke's picture
teketeke

My sourdough diary.

I really appreciate RobynNZ and Daizy_A and SylviaH who encouraged me a lot to make a sourdough bread. I almost gave up on this. I would not know how good they are if I quit. Thank you so much!( bow)


 I never made a starter from scratch.I had a lot of trouble. RobynNZ helped me from A to Z. Thank you for all you work, Robyn. She transfered to Japanese for me when I didn't understand eventhough she was busy and tired she had had such a hard time. Many thanks to you, Robyn.(bow)


 I have made sourdough bread that is posted by Susan. Thank you, Susan. http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/ This is a great recipe! 


 


First sourdough:



I could eat it at this time but it was very sour. My husband didn't like it. He said that he didn't like sourdough bread. ( I used 1:1:1 = starter:water:flour) Starter was 15th day.  The sourdough was burst too.


Second sourdough:


 


 


I used BLEACHED FLOUR and It turned out rubbery crumb. ( I didn't know why at this time.)


Third sourdough:


Again, I kept using BLEACHED FLOUR and  the crumb was rubbery like eating slippers or  a foating duck toy. ( I still didn't know why )


Forth sourdough: I started to feed my starter BLEACHED FLOUR and continued to use bleached flour for making a sourdough bread. There were black spots the crust ramdomly and very white spots on the blooms. Of course the crumb was harder and rubbery.


Next day( Fifth day) I realized that I was killing my stater feeding BLEACHED FLOUR. and I got an information that putting the bleached flour in a microwave for 1 minutes and cool it off and use it. And I did... then I saw my starter got flatten totally. I was so shocked.. At this time, RobynNZ sent me messages to feed whole wheat , rye flour except bleached flour.  Unbleached flour had run out so that I was using bleached flour but I had whole wheat flour I forgotten. so I fed it to my poor starter as soon as I got the message from Robyn.  A few days later, my starter was okay. and I waited more a few more days, my starter was geting better and better. and I tried to make a sourdough again, The ratio was 1:5:5. It was another failure.  My starter was not ready for the ratio yet.


Yesterday: The ratio (1:1:1)  I used flax seeds flour ( Bob's red mill) instead of rye flour. My husband and I are not a big fan of rye flour.


That was edible and my husband loved it. I though that needed more soft texture. I wanted to make it less sour. but I was very happy with it.


Today: The ratio was 1:3:3 I used flax seeds flour ( Bob's red mill) instead of rye flour again.


I swept some flour on the crust by a brush because I sprikled too much flour.


 This sourdough was less sour and good, but I think I needed more moisture. A lot of Japanese proof sourdough or bread using a starter at this high temparture. I think that Japanse likes soft and light  bread more than heavier and chewy for this kind of bread. I am not sure...   I like that in the middle. My husband really loves this bread so much. I love this too.  


Note: I keep my starter at the basement ( the temparture is around 69F or so)


 


Thank you for reading this poor thread,  I wanted to thank you to the TFLERS who encouraged me a lot and I saw many tflers are making Susan's sourdough bread so that I read a lot of their comments that were very helpful. Thank you everybody.


Best wishes,


Akiko

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Akiko,


Good to share in your sourdough journey. I can see that your breads are coming on in leaps and bounds! The crusts are looking beautifully golden and crumb is opening up well.


I'm glad that you and your husband both loved the taste of the last bread. You talk about softer, lighter breads featuring more in the Japanese palate and I have read this on other threads about Asian breads and sourdough, even when bakers have come to like the sourer tastes. This made me think about the history of cooking with wild yeasts.


Some sourdough purists will only use flour, water, salt and yeast in both breads and starters. The work of pioneering Australian sourdough baker John Downes exemplifies this. Other bakers and food historians point out, however, that until the stabilization of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in the C19, all breads were leavened with a variety of natural yeasts and that these must have been used in a range of bread making traditions, including those that favoured enriched doughs. dillbert points out in another post, for example, that brioche in some form has been made since the middle ages! I can't access my old computer at the moment but there is a great document on there which talks about bread making and starters in Roman times. Bread made of yeast, salt, flour and water alone was already the mainstay but a variety of breads was already being made from natural leavens. I've got to say that neither party in this debate would favour a slew of chemicals in bread. The debate is largely about the inclusion or not of other natural ingredients - oils, milk, honey, seeds etc.


What does this mean to us contemporary bakers? Well controversy still rages in some quarters about the most 'authentic' way to use natural leavens. Yet it also means that there are a range of recipes available to us that approach the use of natural leavens in different ways. As you are currently trying a range of sourdough recipes, Teresa from Northwest Sourdough's formula for basic white sourdough might be of interest. It uses sourdough starter but also incorporates oil [butter] and milk, in line with some Asian bread making traditions. You can see on Sylvia H's blog (link below),  that it produces a soft, open crumb. Moreover I can see from your baguette blog that you really like to study whatever it is you are baking and appreciate the reflections of other bakers. The Northwest basic white has been baked successfully by a number of bakers on TFL such as SylviaH and Trish and they have started some interesting threads on it   here, here   and   here. The original basic white recipe is on  this link.  


Interestingly, and from the other side of the debate, John Downes just blogged about baking with heritage strains of wheat cultivated outside Oxford, UK by John Letts of the Real Bread Campaign and Oxford Bread Group. Downes comments on how light the breads were! This grain was also used with a short process using a very active leaven,  comparable to the Japanese sourdough you speak about above. Downes reports it still came out with great flavour. Seems as though baking with heritage wheats could also be an option in the future for home bakers? Blog is  here


Anyway, just an idea based on what you wrote here. I look forward to see more of your sourdough baking, whatever you choose to bake next!


With best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture
teketeke

 


Hi, Daisy


Thank you for taking a lot of time to tell me the information that is very helpful and very interesting to me. I reread more than 5 times because I usually misread.:) 


   Now, Making Susan's Norwich sourdough bread is my goal. I want to make the sour dough bread like Susan's.  It is used simple ingredients flour, water, salt, and starter too and it has full flavor and I am impressed and the taste is amazing. As you know, most of Japanese bread is used milk, sugar, honey, butter and so on. I was surprised to see one of Japanese home baker posted sandwich recipe using ICE CREAM!   I never tried it though.  2days ago, I tried Susan's Norwich bread again, then it was another failure. The ratio was 1:2:2 ( Stater:water :flour:) My keep starter is 1:3:4 ( 20g stater: 60g water: unbleached AP flour 40g + whole wheat flour 40g)  This is my starter now: see the picture below


12 hours after feeding.


Is it ready to make a sourdough bread? 


 


I made Susan's Norwich sourdough bread yesterday but it was a failure. The ratio was 1; 2: 2 . 




This sourdough was little bit rubbery and the bottom was dense. The last sourdough I made didn't have enough bloom so that I though I better increase the percentage of starter, but it was wrong. 


------Today-------


I made a pain rustique that is posted by pipo1000 today. It came out successfully.


http://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/our-version-of-a-pain-rustique/



but I should preshape and shape next time because the crumb was fallen apart. I used active dry yeast for it, and I put the yeast when I added water and flour that is early stage. Active dry yeast must be used with liquid first. I had the exprerience of it that Active dry yeast doesn't work at all when you mix it with flour or flour mixture first.


I also prooved the dough at 32℃ or 89.6F before baking for 45 minutes. I made a dent on the dough with my finger very gently if the dough was ready at the time ( in 35 minutes) It was not ready to bake.   It came out beautifully and I am very happy with it. but I think that I should proof the dough at lower tempareture next time because the bread needed little bit of moisture. 


 I love this bread!  


---------------------------------------------


I want to try Susan's Norwich sour dough bread again next time until I am successful. Do you have any suggetion, Daisy?  I have a question about flax seed flour... Does  flax seed flour bother the starter to grow? 


Thank you for all your help,Daisy


Akiko


Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Akiko,


Great that you made a decision what to focus on - flour, water, yeast and salt as you say! Sourdoughs sound great.


I'm glad the starter ratio worked. The starter looks very healthy - good rise, good aeration. I'm sure it is worth baking with now although it should continue to mature. It will change it if you put flax seed flour in it as flax seeds are very absorbent. I have not tried it but it may make the starter 'gloopy'. Looks very healthy as it is. I think I would keep to the current regime for now :-). You can always experiment with adding flax seed or flax seed flour soaker to dough at some point. There are recipes on TFL that include this.


Again, the breads are coming on in leaps and bounds. Your crusts in particular are looking gorgeous! You point out the dense area in the crumb. I had this in my first sourdoughs and got some good advice from Andy and others. They did not concentrate on changing the starter but suggested the following:



  • Proving for slightly longer to allow aeration throughout the dough

  • Increasing the dough hydration slightly

  • Using a stronger or better quality flour (your flour is probably fine but my early flours were a bit weak)


Dense crumb at the bottom of the loaf is a problem that a lot of bakers, even those who are very skilled now, have reported at the beginning. It should pass!


It's hard to say which factors to tweak first but as with the the baguettes it is good to just change one parameter at a time and see what difference it makes. For me changing flours and finding the right hydration for my flours were the critical steps. I actually brought the hydration down rather than increasing it for some recipes but others find higher hydrations good. 


The pain rustique looks delicious and the shape is lovely! You must be very pleased. I can't comment so much here as I have not used dry active yeast.


You talk about the crumb, though. When I have had a slight crack in the crumb it has been either because I have had too much flour on the bench and folded it into the dough or because the ingredients, in my case preferments, were not incorporated in the best way at the beginning. You can try also, as you say, proofing for longer at a lower temperature. Hopefully someone else can comment who has used active yesat.


Good that you love the bread! I bet it tastes great :-)


I understand what you are saying about Susan's sourdough. A lot of the really experienced bakers on TFL also say that it is worth repeating a chosen few loaves until the formula begins to come together.


I had to try a few formulae before I found ones that fitted my starters but then I found a couple - Jan Hedh's lemon bread (link here), and Carl Shavitz sourdough (link here). At first the loaves didn't seem to be as I wanted them to be but then suddenly things started clicking into place! Breads always tasted great, though, even the oddly shaped ones.


Whenever I have had major problems I have had to go back and strengthen my starters. Your starter looks great, though! 


Wishing you continued happy baking.   Daisy_A

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you, Daisy!! I feel good to know that my starter looks good.:)


Now I may find out why I got the dense on the bottom.



  • Using a stronger or better quality flour (your flour is probably fine but my early flours were a bit weak)


I used Gold Medal AP flour that was weak too.  Luckily, I changed Gold Medal flour to Arthur King flour today. So I will continue to use AK flour for tomorrow's Susan's sourdough bread.   Thank you for these tips!  That is what I wanted to know.


 About changing flour and finding right hydration: That give me a headache actually. I will try your way next time.


 I better go to a natural food store to get the ingredients to make the sourdough wholemeal lemon bread that you posted. I wanted to make, and I have forgotten about it until now. I have focused on my baguette's recipe and my starter too much. :)


For my personality, I can't go next step until I am satisfied with anything I start.. That is why I keep making Susan's sourdough bread, and my husband really loves it too. But he likes the flax seeds in it.... Hmmmm... He doesn't like rye flour and I am not a big fan of it either.  I may like it though... Last time I had sourdough bread at a restaurant, I tasted very strong rye flour and I didn't like it.    I don't have rye flour at home now, so I may use flax seeds again tomorrow. Anyway I will try whatever I think :)


Of course, I keep baking,:)  Thank you for cheering me up! Many thanks to you!!


Akiko

pipo1000's picture
pipo1000

Good effort!


Very nice oven spring, however the crumb does look a little funny. I shape my breads very losely (you can see it on my bread movie;


http://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/baking-bread-the-movie/


so not to lose any lightness in the dough. This way I can get away with a very short proofing time. Also I keep my dough at about 24 degrees Celcius. The bread supposed to have  natural kind of springy crumb which a little bit translucent.


I use a sourdough culture which is 100% made with whole wheat rye flour. A sourdough culture based on rye flour is easier to maintain, it does not go into a slurry when you forget about it, it is easier to stir because it has almost not gluten and it smells very very nice, a bit like fruit. It is also very forgiving in the amount your feed it, everything seems to be alright. Normally I only feed it once a week, after I did my weekend baking, I just a few table spoons of water and rye flour, stir, ready.


Kind regards,


Edwin

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hello, Edwin


Thank you for your reply that is very mean to me. I got Hamelman's book now so that I found "Developing a Sourdough Rye Culture" in his book. That is whay you do for your starter, isn't?  I was surprise to see you feeding your starter only once a week and It sounds very easy to take care of.   I think I am in this Sourdough rye culture.  Thank you so much, Edwin.


I will post the result tomorrow even it is bad :)


Thank you for the video too!! That is great!!


Akiko

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hello, Edwin


I made your a pain rustique again. I put some flax seeds and a little bit of rye flour too.  It came out great!  I like the texture and it has a lot of moist. I like it. Now, I am making rye soughdough culture now. :)



I don't have a banneton so I used this cheap strainer.



I should score at 90degree angle to make a good pattern. I mixed it up ... Ah ohh.. I will try again, I will use your shape method. Now I want 2 banneton that is oval and round shapes...... Thank you for the great recipe, Edwin!


Best wishes,


Akiko

pipo1000's picture
pipo1000

It looks very good, much nicer than your first try. You are improving very fast! Nice oven spring so the top gets nice and crusty. Also the color of the bread of is nicer; a nice golden brown color. The crumb could use a little more holes, but I have found out that when I shape in a boule I get about the same crumb as you have know. When I shape in a batard I get a more even bake and bigger holes, I find it easier to loosely shape in a batard shape. I think this bread taste great because it has uses 50% poolish it has a nice springy moist and little bit translucent crumb. Mostly I use whole wheat flour, but I also use rye and spelt sometimes.

teketeke's picture
teketeke

 


<The crumb could use a little more holes, but I have found out that when I shape in a boule I get about the same crumb as you have know


Thank you for the tip!!  I am going to make a batard shape next time!  I truly love this bread!!  I agree with you describe this bread taste.  I will copy you to use whole wheat flour or rye and spelt that I never used ... I will try!


Many thanks to you, Edwin


Akiko

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Akiko,


Thank you for the lovely message!


Yes do try King Arthur flour! I don't have it in the UK but it seems to work really well for a number of posters :-)


As for the lemon bread - it would be lovely if you could do it but no rush. I know what you mean about wanting to perfect each step :-) Working on your starter will help, anyway as it is a sourdough recipe.


As far as flax seeds go I think maybe I misunderstood. I thought you might be thinking of feeding your starter flax flour? Using them in breads is good. I haven't done it yet but intend to.


Apparently they do take up water, though, so if they are not pre-soaked you would juat have to check after autolyse that the dough is not too dry. However if you like the taste - great to do it. I should try to bake with them as I have a big bag in the cupboarrd. Used them to top some cheese scones from a Dan Lepard recipe - and they made a lovely topping. Will post a picture when I can access the file again:-)


Do let us know about the next sourdoughs,


Best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture
teketeke

 


Hello, Daisy!   I use flax seeds flour for the next day of making a sourdough, not to feed it to my keep starter.


Oops, I had another failure today.  It was a very rare thing happened to me today. I also used King Arthur AP for making baguettes, and they tasted bad too. Then I tasted the flour itself, It was different as I usual taste. ( I taste every kinds of flour before using)   They rose very well but the sourdough for proofing didn't rise much, then I put it into the oven, it rose very very well.  I really don't know why...



My husband saw my face looking sad because of these failures today, and we ate out at the FIVE GUYS, then we went to the bookstore.  I found " BREAD A bakers Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman that was only one book left at the BORDERS. I was reading about the starter for a while. When my husband came to me, I told him that this book is the best. He immediately grabbed the book to bring to the register. What a surprise!! I own this book now!  I made 1:1:1 ratio for Susan's sourdough bread for tomorrow because when I went back to the dairy, 1:1:1 ratio was good result.  I also set up to make Edwin's( pipo1000) a Pain Rustique too.   Flour??  I am little afraid to use the KA ap for tomorrow.  I will test to use the KA for a baguette though. I might make a mistake today at some processes. 


I will post the result tomorrow. Thank you for reading!!!


Akiko

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Akiko,


Great that you got the Hamelman - what a lovely gift!


Andy/ananda recommended this to me right at the beginning of my sourdough baking when I asked about a book with good technical information as well as good formulae. It really does teach a lot about technique, although I have to read, practise, reread, in order to even begin to understand it!


You loaf looks so beautiful - shaping is so good. I can imagine you must have been sad if the taste or crumb weren't as you expected. I have no experience of King Arthur I'm afraid. All I can think is to check the date on the flour to see if it is still fresh....


As for the crumb in the loaf. It's evident that the aeration isn't occurring evenly in the interior. There can be a number of reasons for this - so hard to put a finger on what it is exactly.



  • Some bakers link large holes under the crust to weak shaping, which makes the dough membrane weak. However the overall form of your loaf looks good.

  • It could be that the dough isn't degassed effectively during preshaping, leaving large and uneven air pockets in it. In this case try a gentle but firmer degassing during preshaping. My apologies if you have tried this already - from your baguettes your dough handling looks great!

  • It could be that the proofing is not doing the work of raising and aerating the loaf evenly.

  • Confusingly, I have read that large air pockets in the loaf can be caused by both underproofing and overproofing!

  • You say, however, that the loaf didn't rise much then really sprung up in the oven. This, plus the general compaction of the crumb suggests that this loaf was underproofed and perhaps not worked sufficiently during the mix and or first proof to develop a strong gluten framework for the CO2.

  • If changing flours it is probably worth rechecking the hydration of dough after initial autolyze.


Like I say it's hard to pinpoint the causes. However I have looked at Susan's recipe and can offer the following suggestions. Don't know if they will resolve things but probably worth trying! Hopefully some more experienced sourdough bakers can also comment and say whether my novice reflections are on the mark or not...
  • Susan's basic recipe notes first proof time of 2.5 hours at 72-76F with folds at 50 and 100 mins. and a second proof of 2 hours or 1.5 with 2-16 hours retardation in the fridge. Your own notes mention even shorter proofing times with higher temperatures.
  • Starters differ and some starters, including some new starters, need a longer first proof/bulk fermentation than this. You say the dough hadn't risen a great deal so it probably needed more time. Some starters need 3,4 or even 6 hours to bulk ferment, depending on temperature and the nature and strength of the starter. Shiao Ping has some very good reflections on sourdough proofing times on her blog  
     here
  • If proofing for longer you could experiment with doing say 3 sets of S&F on the first proof to increase dough strength and hopefully even out temperature and aeration to promote a more even final crumb.
  • You could also experiment with retarding the shaped loaves, as Susan suggests, to give your sourdough time to rise more slowly over a longer period prior to baking. Have to check not to overferment if using this technique, though...
Baking sourdough an be frustrating I know but an interesting journey. Hamelman will certainly be a master companion!


Kind regards, Daisy_A

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

What a wonderful tips!!! Thank you so much,Daisy. You know a lot of things of baking that make me think what I have done wrong.


First of all, I didn't degas the dough at the preshape and the final shape.


On second, I was not mixing enough the dough at the very first stage.


------------------


Today's result:   The ratio was 1:2:2 I used Arrowhead mill all purpose flour (organic)  I retarded for 6 hours. It tasted sourer than the others I proofed at the room tempareture for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.


 The bottom is dense again, but I sliced it when it was still warm slightly. I had to slice it otherwise it will dry next morning. It was almost 6pm when I finished baking. I have to send my kids to bed by 8pm. I couldn't wait and I can't stand in the kitchen again because my husband sleeps early too. I have to be quiet:)


The crumb was little dense but not rubbery anymore. I think that I better not use so much of flax seeds flour anymore. I put some flax seeds in Edwin's a pain rustique today too. It has more moisture than the one I made last time. that was good though.   As you know, I use rye flour next time!! That is an answer, Thank you Daisy!!   http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13726/hamelman039s-flax-seed-rye-bread-thanks-hansjoakim As you mentioned about flax seeds, it should be soaked with water before using it. I learned it.  using instant yeast is very easy to handle, I didn't know about Grain. That is very interesting.


I bought Organic rye flour yesterday, and I tasted it, that is delicious! I like rye flour!!    Now I am making " 100% rye sourdough culture" by Hamelman. I will take a break to make Susan's sourdough until the rye sourdough culture is ready.  


====About  Arthur King flour========


I bought the Arthur king flour at the walmart that was first time. My husband always buys Arthur King flour at the regular supermarket.( Hannaford) The expired date is sep 2011. I think that  the Walmart doesn't storage these flour propery or so.  I used the flour 2 days after I bought. 


And, I found the another solution of these bread I have made for a couple days didn't taste right.  Because of the weather. It has been cold lately here New York. Autumn has come already. In summer, the room temperature in my kitchen was around 76F.  but it has been around 68-70F..  I should have used warmer water for my baguettes and  not to worry about the dough getting slimy without using a freezer and so on.


By the way, I keep all bread I make in very air tight plastic bags. I use a straw to suck up all the air inside of the bag with bread and put them in a freezer.



How do you keep your bread? 


Yes, you know how I feel.... I was frustrated...  I have read this Hamelman's book a lot now. It is really useful!  Thank you for all your help ,Daisy!!!


Akiko


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi teketeke,


Wow - that sourdough boule looks beautiful! You can see that the proof worked much better as the bloom is so well controlled and what a gorgeous crust!


The crumb also looks fine too. You might have compressed the bottom a bit when slicing while still warm - I have done this when wanting to eat the bread still warm :-) More experienced bakers than me do say that sourdough can be left to the next day without drying?


I do like your way of storing the bread. A family member I know does this with clothes when travelling long haul. Much better than having a lot of air round the loaves!


Yes do try some rye in the boules. It adds such lovely flavour. It is also possible to keep both a wheat and a rye starter. I made 100% rye the other day from my rye starter - was a good adventure.


Sorry about the slight delay in replying. Have been away in London this week.


Do keep us updated with your sourdough baking.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Don't be sorry, Daisy. Thank you for replying.   TFL is really busy website, and you have been to London!! I hope that you had fun there.


I will leave the sourdough until next day if I have the same situation next time. Thank you for the information. I was worried about the sourdough might be dried out.


<Yes do try some rye in the boules. It adds such lovely flavour. It is also possible to keep both a wheat and a rye starter. I made 100% rye the other day from my rye starter


 :) I will try and learn :)  Thank you, Daisy always!!


Best wishes,


Akiko

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I finally made a edible nice Norwich sourdough!


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19742/next-level#comment-135860


Thank you for all of your help.


Akiko

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi teketeke,


Your boule looks lovely - thanks for the link. Baguettes look great, as ever. Good to hear more about your bread making.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you Daisy!


I just want to thank you and all of TFLERS are helping each other to solve their problem.  I didn't know why I was doing some processes .. and I don't know anything yet.  I love to learn !


Thank you, Daisy!!!  I am looking forward to hearing your bread baking too!


Akiko