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Sourdough recipe for beginners

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cranbo's picture
cranbo

Sourdough recipe for beginners

In response to a thread, I thought I'd start a thread with simple sourdough recipes for beginning sourdough bakers.

The idea is that the recipes are:

  • use steps that build upon well-established baking techniques
  • forgiving enough if starter hydration is not exactly 100%
  • use common ingredients (that you can find at any supermarket)
  • use a minimum of ingredients (no more than 7)

The recipe does assume that you have a healthy starter which:

  • is well-established (at least 14 days old and has lived at moderate room temp (between 65F and 75F) for that period of time); 
  • has been fed regularly (i.e., 2x or 3x per day) for the last 3 days, and is being stored at moderate room temp (between 65F and 75F) for that period of time; 
  • is active (can double within within a 4-6 hour interval) and (again!) is being stored at moderate room temp (between 65F and 75F) for the last 3 days; and
  • is at 100% hydration (that is, it's fed using 100g flour and 100g water for every 50g of reserved starter)

If your starter can't do all of these, the recipe might still work, but won't work nearly as well.  Requirements: You'll need a small digital scale to weigh out the ingredients in grams (if you're a beginner who's serious about baking, you'll find this a cheap and worthwhile investment).  

cranbo's Beginner's Sourdough - makes one good-sized loaf

(OP updated 2013-06-06)

Originally posted Sept 2011

Flour (100%): 550g* 

Water (56%): 308g**  

Starter @ 100% hydration (20%): 110g

Salt (2.2%): 12 g

Wheat germ (1%): 5.5g (or 1 tbsp) (optional)

Total (179%): 986g

*This recipe was originally designed for all-purpose flour or bread flour, which most people have; you can use whole-wheat flour but the result will be more dense; 100% rye flour not recommended for this recipe. 

**if you use only whole wheat/wholemeal flour, use 378g water, whole wheat absorbs more moisture, and if you don't add more water, your loaf will be dry. 

  1. Dissolve starter in a portion of the water.
  2. In mixing bowl, add starter, remaining water, flour & wheat germ.
  3. Stir/mix to combine, until all raw flour is incorporated, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. NOW ADD THE SALT. 
  6. Knead for 5 minutes in mixer on lowest speed, or 10 minutes by hand. It might be a little sticky still, that's OK.
  7. Stretch and fold the dough 4 times, with 30 minutes rest in between. (search TFL for "stretch and fold"; this means:
    1. flatten your dough into a rough rectangle
    2. tri-fold your dough like you would a letter: first top-to-bottom, then left-to-right. You will end up with a nice package. Flip it seam side DOWN back into the container where it will rest. 
    3. NOTE: it helps to dip your hands in water, or spray them with cooking spray, to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers when doing stretch and fold. 
  8. Shape into desired shape (boule, loaf pan, etc.; read up on shaping techniques here on TFL). 
  9. Now cover the shaped dough, and refrigerate overnight. This will help develop a lot of flavor. 
  10. The next day, let it rise, covered, in a warm place until a bit less than doubled. This can take a long time, plan for 3-6 hours. Pay attention to the bread (learn how to do the poke test to know when it's ready). As I said, it should be just a bit less than doubled. 
  11. About 1 hour before you think you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450F.
  12. Right before baking, SLASH YOUR LOAF with a knife or a razor. 
  13. Next, create some steam in your oven (1c of hot water on a hot sheet pan is one way to do it).
  14. Bake at 450F for about 40-45 minutes; check at about 30 minutes, reduce heat to 400F.
  15. Remove and let cool on rack at least 1 hour before eating.

Baking Variation: instead of Step #12, carefully place the uncooked dough in a cold Dutch oven. Then follow the remaining instructions, baking the bread in the cold dutch oven for 20 minutes, uncovering, and baking for 20-25 minutes uncovered (for the same total baking time, around 40-45min). The Dutch oven technique gives you great oven spring and nice browning. 

My results:

   

The funny shape is due to the shape of the enameled cast-iron pot I baked it in. 

If you try it out, let me know what you think.  

Comments

tibre's picture
tibre

I used to make Herman Bread from a starter some years ago.

I cannot figure out how to accumulate enough starter to use for baking and

still have enough left to feed and keep going. Am I missing something?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

tibre, how much starter does your recipe call for? 

It's hard to say exactly how much starter you want to have left over, because it depends on how much starter you want to have left over, which will depend on how many loaves you plan to bake, and how often, etc. 

In my case, I usually bake a loaf once a week. So I make enough starter, plus a bit extra, for the loaves I bake. 

How much extra? Well, because I only bake about 1x per week, I don't need more than 100g of leftover starter to replentish. 

tibre's picture
tibre

Thanks for your replies. This type starter is a new experience for me and

I am learning day by day. The one recipe I got online here call for 100g of

starter or maybe it was a cup and a quarter. I will start feeding the whole

mixture today and not throw any of it out until I get that amount plus a

little more and see if I have done things right with the starter. Thanks again

for all of your help.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hello Cranbo and Tibre ,

I recently began my sourdough baking quest over again. I started with a new starter or yeast colony. Here is how I began my starter and then built it up to have enough for baking and then to feed the remainder for the next bake. Use a large clear wide mouth jar for feeding and being able to watch for bubbles and activity of your starter coming alive and active.

Note. I work on the basis of easy maths being 30grms  is equal to 1 ounce. Note my recipe is only for a starter only not the actual loaf and will  always be at 100% hydration providing equal amounts of flour and fluid are added when feeding the starter. 

Mix to a slurry the following and leave in a warm place with loose seal lid or lid with breathing holes. On a winters day I leave it under the glass on a window ledge.

Day 1 (any whole meal flour can be used here or stick to white only)

50grms of white bakers flour............................................50grms

50grms of spelt wholemeal flour.......................................50grms

100grms of unsweetened pineapple juice..........................100grms  

Total of starter's weight.....................................................200grm..............................200grms                                                                         

Day 2 Combine the following to day 1 mixture

50grms of white bakers flour................................................50grms

50grms of spelt wholemeal flour...........................................50grms

100grms of unsweetened pineapple juice............................100grms

Total.....................................................................................200grms

Running total of  starter.................................................................................................400grms

Day 3

Repeat Day 2 again.................................................................200grms

Running Total of starter..................................................................................................600grms.

Day 4

Dispose of half your starter .......................................  minus 300grms

Running total of starter....................................................................................................300grms.

Repeat Day 2 again and add to starter........................... 200 grms

Running total of starter.....................................................................................................500grms.

Day 5

By now you should be seeing some bubbling activity underway through the jar and bubbles on the top of your colony. 

From here on just dispose of 200grms of starter and feed with equal amounts of flour and fluid daily. When your starter has really come alive by day 7 you can change from pineapple juice to water. After day 10 it can then be stored in the fridge and fed weekly or each time you bake. Just bring it back to room temperature before baking and mixing. You should be able to bake by now.

By always adding equal amounts of fluid and flour you will have a 100% hydration starter and by keeping the starter at about 500grms in weight and useing 200 grms for each bake then refeed with another 200grms you will always have enough starter on hand when needed.

I use 200grms of starter for a 1.1 kilogram loaf of bread (600grms is equal to 1 pound approximate).

Hope this helps.............Pete.

 

 

 

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo
dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

justkneadit posted for that bake no lnger show up - just little x's in the corner? 

I will add another thing to have is a cheap instant read thermometer to check that the bread is baked to 205 F in the middle.

Great Idea Cranbo.  Sadly, I don't think any of my recipes can get under 7 ingredients but, there might be one that has less than 7 different flours :-)

Happy baking

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Edited to make it a littlke easier.

Buy some flax seed, sesame seed, wheat germ, bread flour and whole dark rye flour at Whole Foods. Tha';s 5 ingredients.  Water and salt are the other 2.

Grind 20 g of  flax, sesame and wheat germ into a  medium texture  with a coffee mill.

Sift out the bran and middlings from 150 g of the whole rye with a sieve.

Combine the sifted out middlings and bran from the rye with the ground sesame seeds, flax and wheat germ and toast it till golden in a dry skillet - don't burn it!  If it starts to smoke then stop immediately.  You just made your first Toadies.

Take the entire toady mix- about 80 grams add it to

the remaining roughly 130 g of sifted rye.

Add in 350 g of bread flour and 335 g of water and autolyse (let it sit at room temp) for 2 hours.

add in  the 150 g of starter at 100% hydration and 12 g of salt.  Mix it all up till well combined.

Then follow cranbo's directions for S& F's, gluten development and the rest the process.  You just made your first fine tasting Toady Light Rye.  Well done!

No coffee grinder no problem.  No seive no problem.  Just toast the wheat germ with the flax and sesame seeds with out grinding them and use the 150 g of rye whithout sifting.