The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

Capturing the wild yeasts.

sallam's picture

separate SD and IDY preferments or combined?

May 25, 2017 - 4:02am -- sallam


I'm in the process of developing a new starter. Its been 13 days now, yet when testing it to make a dough there was no yeast power yet, though it added a nice tangy sour taste.

My question is: since I still have to use IDY in my dough (for rising power) in addition to the starter (for the sour nice taste), should I make separate preferments with each? or add both starter and IDY in the same preferment? My target is to keep the sour taste.

joypog's picture

any downsides to experimenting with recipes using less flour than the intended final recipe?

May 24, 2017 - 10:22pm -- joypog

When I first started doing my sourdough breads, I went with half of Jim Lahey's recipe with 400g of flour (including portion levain).  As such I went on a run of bricks at 200g of flour.  Once I got decent at it shaping the damn things to avoid bricks (about fifteen loaves in) I started to increase the flour so that I am now doing a couple 400g loaves per bake (fwiw my process is more like the Forkish process now, but I like 400g for my loaf size).

Doc.Dough's picture

Judging levain maturity by weight loss?

May 23, 2017 - 7:47am -- Doc.Dough

Is anybody using weight loss as a metric to judge the extent to which the sugars in a levain have been depleted through the production of CO2 by fermentation? What other methods provide a direct measure of maturity? What factors might act as potential confusers (evaporation of water is an example)?

Kefir4me's picture

Advice please! SD starter is sick

May 22, 2017 - 9:02am -- Kefir4me

I received a starter from a neighbor ar least a year ago and it had been doing great until recently. I tend towards low maintenance. I keep it in a large mouth mason quart jar, feed it white whole wheat from TJs, let it sit in the pantry until it's nice and bubbly, put it in the fridge. When I want to make bread, I keep feeding it until I have at least two cups with leftover, take out two cups, and feed the leftover. That sits in the pantry until bubbly, and then goes in the fridge. I make two loaves at least once a week, though not at all if we are out of town.

Lechem's picture

My new starter maintnenace for even less fuss

May 22, 2017 - 3:19am -- Lechem

Got a new approach to my starter maintenance for even less fuss. I'll either build a stiff levain (like a dough) but build a little extra and just return the excess to the fridge or pinch off a little ball of dough after the bulk ferment. When it comes to baking the next time i'll build it back up, making sure for a little excess, and repeat. I figure that even at the mature levain stage or after the bulk ferment it will last for a week.

Lechem's picture

Pane Cafone

May 21, 2017 - 12:26pm -- Lechem

I'll let the video speak for itself. Only one thing to add that is not clear in the video... the final proofing is done in the fridge. Lovely recipe, enjoyable to do and great oven spring. Crumb shot to follow. Make sure your starter is mature and ready for the two Levain  builds (described as first and second dough). Enjoy!

Mr Meowski's picture

Over fermenting dough

May 21, 2017 - 6:47am -- Mr Meowski

I've been having trouble with my sourdough. It has been over fermenting lately, but I was trying to understand how I can get this under control. Ideally I would like to shorten the fermentation or lower the temperature but both of these solutions are not an option, so that leaves me with the amount of starter I use. 

I do a full 24 hour ferment at 65 degrees, which is more out of scheduling necessity than anything else. 

So I used to do a 7.5% starter to flour ratio and it would over ferment so I cut it down to 3.75% and it still over fermented. 


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