Teaching the sourdough method in a 6 hour workshop
I'm currently half way through a 12 hour course (2 sessions of 6 hours on consecutive Sundays) in a small village hall in deepest, darkest Somerset (England), with up to 12 very keen students (although 2 have already given their apologies for next Sunday):
As is my usual practice on any course, I plan the first session meticulously, so I know exactly what we're doing, and when. However, for subsequent sessions I want to bake what the students choose - with perhaps a few suggestions from me. But I try and accommodate all requests.
Normally, I'm pretty well on top of my brief, but not this time!
They all want to make a sourdough loaf next Sunday. I've got a reasonable idea of how I would go about it, but I just wanted to tap all that expertise I know is out there.
I've made many starters in my time - this is perhaps the easiest part of the whole process. I gave them some basic instructions, and I've heard back that one or two have begun the process.
I began making my starter on Monday, by Tuesday evening it was active, and I've been dividing and feeding it ever since.
ATM I've got 1.3ltrs of active starter - which I could easily double by Sunday. I'm not sure, as I write, how many students will turn up with their own starter on Sunday, so mine may have to suffice for all.
My gut feeling is that I should refresh the starter on Saturday evening, then, on the Sunday we should go for a small loaf for each student, comprising 50% starter.
1.32kg of starter (2:1 water to flour), refreshed with 440g of flour and no liquid, would give me 1760g of starter, at a ratio of 1:1, wouldn't you agree?
This amount divided by 10 students = 170g of starter. To make a loaf with a 62.5% hydration (normal 1lb flour to 10fl oz water), we'd need to add 115g flour and 40g water.
It's only a small loaf, I know, but I've only got 1 domestic oven and 5 small (size of a microwave) ovens to work with.
I figure if we make up the sourdough first thing on Sunday morn, then leave it through the day, it may well be ready to bake sometime in the afternoon. If it's not, then the students would have to take it home to bake it.
One further question - between now and Saturday, would you recommend me refreshing the starter (and discarding half?)
What do you guys think?