The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Susan's sourdough

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan's sourdough

The loaf I baked today was the best yet, great crumb and a crisp crust that "sang" as it cooled. Plus it rose like crazy, and I'm not sure whether it was my yogurt starter or the fact that I now know that I haven't been letting the starter work its magic. I can't remember whether it was Bill or one of the other great mentors who said to let the starter do the work. I kept reading that soudough was slow but somehow it didn't sink in, so now I make sure to busy myself with something else so that I'm not rushing the dough. Slow learner? I cut the huge loaf as soon as I dared so that I could share it with neighbors who suffered through some of my earlier efforts. Then I ate some with soup for supper! A.

Comments

Susan's picture
Susan

Annie, you're just going to have to dust off a camera and take a shot of your bread to show us!

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan, I have taken lots of pictures but for some reason I can't figure out how to post them - in spite of kind help from several other members. Maybe I'll get my daughter in law to show me - fair trade for childminding wouldn't you say? A.

Susan's picture
Susan

The problem I had with photos originally was that they were far too large. They shouldn't be any larger than 640 x 480 pixels. Save them to your desktop (or a file) in that size, and then click on the little camera above, and follow the directions. Good luck.

Susan from San Diego

Susan's picture
Susan

Can I help in any way? 

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan, I just got an email from a friend in Eugene - raving about your/my/now Jean's sourdough! She went ahead and used the Pyrex bowl and plans to contact Pyrex to be sure it is safe. I refreshed my starter tonight and will be making the bread tomorrow. My d-i-l told me tonight that they need some more of Nana's bread to go with chicken soup she is planning to make. So I guess the eye rolling is a big act! If the loaf turns out really really well on Saturday I will take a picture and by hook or by crook I will post it, honest! I think it's their turn to eat here so I should be able to get some help, but thanks for offering, A.

Susan's picture
Susan

Glad you and Jean are having fun!

I used a 4L Pyrex bowl many times and had no problem at all, but now I use a 6L SS Bowl I picked up at Wal-Mart for $5. Don't get to see it rise, and that does take away some of the fun, but the bread is just as good! The SS bowl is much lighter and easier to handle, for sure.

I laughed the other day when my husband looked at the empty bread board and said "We don't have any of your bread!" It warmed the cockles of my heart!

Can't wait to ooh and aah over your photos.

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Jean did contact Pyrex and they replied that they don't recommend placing an empty Pyrex vessel in a hot oven and mentioned damage, but not exactly what. Apart from being clumsy and likely to drop a hot glass bowl, I think I am safer with the ss one. I substituted 1/2 c of white whole wheat to the dough I made today to placate my whole grain family, even though they have never turned their noses up at all white. Glad your husband is so appreciative, but you would probably bake bread anyway, right? Hope to have pictures worth posting, A.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I absently filled a hot-from-the-oven pyrex loaf pan with water for it to soak.  Well, I tried, anyway.  It broke into two neat pieces.  I imagine the pyrex people were telling Jean that the vessel could break, or at least sustain fatal injuries (cracks that later cause breakage).

Rosalie

Susan's picture
Susan

Oh, no!  Sorry you lost your loaf pan!  I suspect it was the change in temperature more than anything else.  When I was using a Pyrex "Magic Bowl" I was always careful to put the bowl down on a hotpad when it came out of the oven, not on the relatively cold granite countertop.  But anyone, anytime, can have a lapse, which is why I switched to using stainless steel.  No need to take chances, but it WAS fun to watch the oven spring!!! 

 

Susan from San Diego

Dave W's picture
Dave W

Being a newby can you tell me what was the recipe please.

Cheers

Dave W

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hello Dave, this is a recipe Susan from San Diego posted and I'm sure she won't mind if I share it. It has become my favorite - never fails and only makes one loaf so that my freezer isn't overwhelmed. Refresh your starter the night before and start the dough late the next morning or early afternoon.

Mix 3/4cup of starter and 3/4 cup of spring (bottled) water, stir really well.

Add 2 1/2cups bread flour, 2 tspns oil and 1 1/4tspns salt. Mix well, autolyse 30 minutes. Stretch and fold 3 -4 times at 30 minute intervals. Let double.

Shape boule, place in well floured (rice flour) banneton, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate ovenight. Next day let warm up for 2 hours or longer. Preheat oven to 500* with heavy baking sheet or stone. Turn risen loaf onto parchment, slash, slide onto hot sheet and cover with large stainless mixing bowl rinsed in hot water. Reduce heat to 450* and remove bowl after 20 minutes. Continue baking until brown, then 5 more minutes until dark brown. Cool on rack. Try it and let us know how you like it, A.

 

 

 

 

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I've had problems with getting my sourdough breads to rise.  I've pretty much narrowed it down to two possibilities.

In order to be sure I'm working with an active culture, I start feeding it a few days ahead, building it up to one cup (or whatever, plus refrigerator culture) over several feedings.

The other possibility is that I don't have a "room temperature" kitchen.  Summertimes will be warmer and I will have a few days of "room temperature" (possibly accounting for recent successes).  In the winter, my thermostat stays set at 60 degrees.  So should I wait around for the day or two, or should I stick it into the light-bulbed oven?  I wish I could proof in the winter at a temperature intermediate between the mid-sixties and the mid-eighties. 

Rosalie

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Rosalie, I know you work with whole grain flours where I usually add a small amount of ww, so my results will be different. I tend to be impatient and I was really rushing the dough, not giving it the required amount of time between stretches and really now I look back, not even letting it rise sufficiently. Plus my kitchen is also cool. So since the pilot light on my little propane heating stove is back on I am sitting the bowl on top with a towel underneath and that seems to be helping. I have used the oven light too, but that doesn't work when preheating. I usually refresh my starter the night before, using 1/4cup starter and 1/2cup water and 1/2cup bread flour, and the starter I created with yogurt is suddenly very active. It is all a big mystery, don't you think? Must say I like it better when things go well - I had my share of paving stones. My big tip is to do something else at the same time - I have 4 quilts to make so I work on that in between and I'm much calmer about the time the sourdough takes to work. Not sure that any of this will help you. Do you have spot on top of your refrigerator? I ripen fruit up there and it might work for dough. Happy baking, A.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Annie, I'll have to check the top of the fridge.  I do have a heating pad - maybe I can try something with that (and a styrofoam ice chest?).  Preheating the oven isn't much of an obstacle because that's only done in the last half hour - it's the rest of the rising time that I worry about.  And finding something else to do is DEFINITELY not a problem.

Rosalie