The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

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Capturing the wild yeasts.

leslieruf's picture

Some questions

November 27, 2014 - 11:56am -- leslieruf

I'm very new to making sourdough bread but my last 2 bake days have been really great.  I have a couple of questions.  

If I refrigerate my firm starter and leave it a week or 2 or more without using it or refresing it, will it become more  sour the longer it is left? 

Is it better to make a bigger starter, remove a bit for each bake day and refeed /refresh once you have only a small amount left or should I just keep a small starter and feed/refresh each time I bake?

AbeNW11's picture

Working out length of bulk proofing

November 27, 2014 - 4:40am -- AbeNW11

When creating ones own recipe how does one judge the length of bulk proofing?

Some recipes don't even call for bulk proofing and another final proofing. Rather, it is possible, to skip the bulk proofing and go straight onto final proofing and baking when doubled (or near enough doubled).

If one does this it generally takes much quicker to reach this stage. I've tried it and even with small amounts of starter percentage doubling takes quicker than what is normally called for then bulk proofing.

joebobjim's picture

How to get a smooth surface where the bread is scored during baking?

November 26, 2014 - 12:06pm -- joebobjim

My rough scoring lines

Smooth scoring lines

Hi all,

I've been doing SD bread for a few months now with some good results. I've finally started honing in on a recipe/schedule that suits me but I'm having a consistent issue that I can't seem to resolve. It's not big problem in terms of flavour/texture, more of an issue of aesthetics really.

Bruce28's picture


November 24, 2014 - 12:18pm -- Bruce28

Looking for advise regarding my CRUMB. My crumb is dense, kinda heavy. What could be causing that please? My formula process includes the mixing, autolyse, mixing, fermentation (5 hrs.) with stretch and fold each hour, dividing and panning, proofing till 1 1/2 X increase (usually about 90 minutes). This formula is from NW Sourdough, it's the FIRST LOAF, I've doubled it to make 2 loaves at a time. Any suggestions please?

rgreenberg2000's picture

Am I the only idiot?

November 23, 2014 - 8:17pm -- rgreenberg2000

So, I was enjoying my last loaf of sourdough over dinner with my family, and in a Zinfandel induced moment of clarity, I realized........all of my starter went into the dough for the loaf!!!  Ack!  Poor guy, he deserved so much better! :(

I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who has done this, and, honestly, I'm a bit surprised that I haven't done it before! :)

shaner12350's picture

Starter- 25% Rise

November 20, 2014 - 7:13pm -- shaner12350

Hello All,

I'm working on my first sourdough starter, using the formula in Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I'm 5 days in and I'm getting a 25% rise, a bubbly top, and a very delicious sourdough smell, but the formula calls for the starter to at least double.  

Is doubling the starter completely necessary or am I OK to continue into making the mother starter?

Thanks for the help!

108 breads's picture

And the winner - of the starter wake-up experiment - is ...

November 20, 2014 - 12:54pm -- 108 breads

I tried four methods for resuscitating a starter after a three-week dormancy period. No feeding and no peaking. This was definitely worthy of a serious third-grade science fair project.

Here are the results. Who came out ahead? Who lost?

Yes, I think of my starter in anthropomorphic terms.


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