The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally made my own sourdough starter, but disappointed with Reinhardt recipes...

  • Pin It
thihal123's picture
thihal123

Finally made my own sourdough starter, but disappointed with Reinhardt recipes...

After several tries of making my own sourdough starter, I FINALLY made it! Yay! My first attempt was using the River Cottage Bread book formula. That didn't work. I tried it a second time too and wasted another bag of flour. My third attempt was Reinhardt's formula in his whole grain bread book using rye and that didn't work. I tried again a fourth time with his instructions more carefully and using whole wheat this time. It worked! Yay! :)

I proceeded to choose a recipe from his whole grain book that use sourdough starter. I noticed that in all his recipes that use a sourdough starter, the final dough calls for a little bit of instant yeast. :-( Now that's disappointing.

Has any one tried making any of the Rienhardt whole grain recipes ignoring his call for 7g of instant yeast in the final dough?

Also, what whole grain bread formula using sourdough starter do you recommend? 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

be made with SD only.  Just make sure it represents 10-20% of the total flour and water weight of the final dough and be prepared to be patient.  But, you will be rewarded with a fine loaf of bread.

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Ah, okay! That's a good tip to know. So 10 - 20% of the total flour + water weight needs to be the starter. That's helpful! :)

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

how to maintain and use the starter (see search box in upper right).  Without meaning to sound not nice, the recipes are not the problem, it more likely is your technique.  Make sure you are maintaining your starter correctly, start with 100% hydration by weight, not volume (i.e. 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water).  And feed at least 3 times, discarding half each time to ensure vitality. There are hundreds of posts on this subject, thus the suggestion for the search box.  Also there is guidance in other parts of the site.  you will get there and it will be worth it!

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Hmm...I think you're referring to the wrong post, because I don't have any problems with my starter :-)

phaz's picture
phaz

what was disappointing about the recipes or bread, or both?

thihal123's picture
thihal123

The recipe for the various sourdough breads were "disappointing" in that all of Reinhardt's levain-type recipes call for using instant yeast in the final dough. This is from his whole-grain bread book. I'm not talking about making the mother starter -- that one is fine. I'm talking about his various recipes that uses sourdough starter.

All his levain-type recipes, as far as I can tell, calls for using instant yeast in the final dough process. If you haven't seen his book on whole-grain, what I've just said might sound confusing. Let me try to explain. Reinhardt's formula for making whole-grain bread is typically the following:

1. Create a soaker

2. Create a biga/starter (this is where you put a piece of your original mother starter into this mixture).

3. Then a day or two later, make a final dough (that's what he calls it), by combining #1 with #2 plus a few other ingredients. It's in step 3 where he often (always?) calls for using about 7g of instant yeast per loaf.

I'm no expert on sourdough breads, so I didn't know if I could just eliminate the 7g of instant yeast and let the sourdough from #2 help continue rising the bread.

phaz's picture
phaz

I got ya on the starter, and know what ya mean about adding commercial yeast. a lot of folks use a pinch of yeast in sourdough. I can only imagine it would be to speed up the process,  or to help rise some flour types that don't usually rise well. I still use commercial yeast when I don't want any sour in a bread, but can always manage to fit a long fermentation time in the schedule. try dropping him a line ask why, I'm sure others are also wondering, like me!

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Good idea! Maybe I should just do that :)

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

It is common practice (Hamelman, Forkish, Reinhart, etc.) to add a small amount of commercial yeast to sourdough when you are trying to achieve a lighter, more open crumb with flours/ingredients that are heavy.  In this case, making a 100% whole grain bread that is sourdough with no commercial yeast will result in a heavy, dense bread.  Adding a pinch of commercial yeast is designed to boost gas production and help do some of the heavy lifting to lighten the crumb.  

That said, there is absolutely no problem leaving out the yeast, you will have to gauge the readiness of the dough by your own parameters (rather than following timetables in the book).  Your bread will likely be more sour in taste and have a denser crumb than what is shown or described.  

If you want a lighter crumb without the commercial yeast, consider reducing the whole grain content.

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Thanks! This is helpful to know.