The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from a frustrated sourdough newbie!

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Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

Hi from a frustrated sourdough newbie!

Hello All,

Until now (over a year) I have been able to find answers without logging in.  I so appreciate the time you folks give to helping others!

I went from kneading to bread machine and, now that I'm retired, enjoying the process of trying to master the process of artisan bread.

A few months ago I purchased starter from KAF and have been experimenting with your guidance.  I've armed myself with natural quarry tile, clear flour, a food scale, and a roaster to cover the loaves to spray for spring. In my quest to find the corn-rye i remember from the Bronx in the 60's none of the recipes i've tried (Hammelman's, etc.) have quite hit the mark for what I remember.  So i kind of give up on that quest.

Now every morning  I try to understand other interesting sourdough recipes but, alas, they are too scientific for my brain!  I'm in search of a multi-grain rye with a white starter, if that's possible.  I tasted a 12-grain bread that I think would have been made with that combination, possibly with some wheat four also.

All of the above is background to ask if there are [possibly less "pure"] mixed sourdough bread recipes for the scientifically-challenged?

Thank you again for all your help!

Margaret 

 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

You're starting to learn about bread baking from the middle.  Start from the beginning using a text book written for one such as you.  Give yourself a long time (a year, maybe) to read and practice, practice and read, and practice some more.  Do not rely on this or any other blog posts.  Even if, as I've told my students of baking, no baking is rocket science, it really is a field of study which a text book will walk you through in an understandable order.  Focussing on any orderly progression through the material will make all your questions easily answerable.

You might also hunt around for a local experienced baker who can teach you a thing or two.  TFL can sometimes help with that.  Post your locale and ask.  If you've the spare change, maybe take a course.

My favorite text is DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  It's not expensive and even may be available on-line at used book sites such as Alibris or Powell's Books.

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

Thanks for the suggestion.  Until now I didn't think I really wanted to understand bread baking to that depth...just wanted easy to understand and follow recipes.  

The timing of your suggestion was just right!  I'm going to give it a shot!

Margaret

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4879/greenstein039s-corn-rye-bread

You will have to convert some of your wheat starter into a rye sour, takes all of two days or 4 feeds. Start out feeding with half wheat/half rye and slowly reduce the wheat while upping the rye with each feed.  No sweat!   :)

 

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Stargaret,

This is the recipe I was talking about in my PM to you.  I am glad to see a version of it posted here.  If you try dmsnyder's version, you can get help with it if you ask because he is a nice man.  He's also very knowledgable.

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

Hi Mini and Mango,

i was looking for a recipe that wasn't so scary but I think it's time to plunge right in!  

I know David is a nice man;  I've read so many of his posts!...will let you know how I do...have to read about stretch and fold, build another batch of rye sour and get more clear flour.

Thanks for the responses.  Such a great forum!

Margaret

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but it sure will be goopy!  :)    It's not that hard.    

What scares you?

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

Hi Mini,

I feel more confidant with more reading and practice.  Submerging in water and the stickiness gave me pause...but when I get to the local bakery that will sell me clear flour I'm going to try it.  I'll share the glory with you-all!

I'm reading my new text book and have actually enjoyed the history and importance of bread.  Getting into Bakers Math and I can see how this is going to help me in understanding the balance necessary to make good bread.  I'm not a detail- oriented person so I'm proud of myself for trying (was a photographer in my former life).  Even then I was the least technical of the group of photographers I worked with.

Margaret

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

I think I've made my first mistake.  I wet too much during the s&f...am now trying to continue with s&f to build the gluten back up without using more water to prevent sticking.  It's very gloppy and sticky--more so than when I started.  I don't know how many times to s&f or if I need to wait in between.  So I'm letting it rest for 45 mins after several s&f's.  Any advise to salvage this experience wd be much appreciated!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

then let it rest and do it again until it resists or is short of tearing.   Rest.   You might find S&F in a bowl easier.  Khalid has an excellent tutorial 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22990/illustration-stretch-and-fold-bowl

You might want to work in a little more rye with a sprinkle of salt.  Will make it a little sticky.  You can handle it.  :)

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

Thanks so much for your quick response!  I was hoping someone wd see my post while in the midst of this, er, mess!  I s&f'd a few times again and it is resting again.  I'll try your suggestions.  Just used  my new stand mixer for the first time.  If I get anything that even resembles bread it will be a miracle!

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

I have been trying to find the Jewish Corn Rye I remember from the Bronx in the 60's for over a year (I know others have had the same quest), reading your posts everywhere on this site.  Mini, Mango and others have responded to questions from my first newbie post.  I had made Greenstein's Jewish Rye, Norm's sour rye, and pumpernickel with mixed results (steaming is also new to me).  None quite had the taste I remember.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30377/hi-frustrated-sourdough-newbie#comment-231596

I've armed myself with DiMuzio's Bread Baking (haven't gotten too far yet),  clear flour from a local bakery, my first stand mixer, quarry stones and a scale over the past few months.  I used to knead, then went to a bread machine and now that I'm retired and have acquired KA sour starter I'm rejuvenated and rarin' to go!

As I write this my first attempt at Greenstein's Corn Bread  (with minor editorializing by you) is almost ready to come out of the oven.  After the dough was immersed in water I had difficulty removing all of the water, so the dough was as sloppy/sticky as it could be.  Proper shaping was next to impossible.  I preheated my oven to 375, but after the bread was in and the oven steamed the temp dropped to 320.  I brought it up (instead of down) to 350.

If this attempt isn't a complete flop I will be doing flips down the street in my over-55 community in my apron-covered pajamas (which I never got out of).  Photos of the crumb to follow when the bread is cool enough to slice.

 

Stargaret's picture
Stargaret

The bread tastes wonderful!  The crumb is moist and the crust crispy.  Suggestions for improvement?  It never smoothed out and hard ly changed shape, but I've finally found the bread from my youth:

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm happy the korn rye worked for you.

If you are a new baker, you sure picked a challenging way to start! 

David