The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

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Capturing the wild yeasts.

DaveK's picture

Bread Books

July 6, 2015 - 6:32pm -- DaveK

So what's the ones you like? I just read Hamelman's book. It was good but a bit much into microbiology (I did like that since I'm an engineer) but not enough simplistic hands on thoughts . I got more from members here on this forum about steam then that book provided. I'm sure his recipes are good but maybe I should pester you guys more instead of buying books! :) But I just wondered what others are out there worth a read?

Colin_Sutton's picture

Sourdough pain de campagne - first post here of something I've baked

July 5, 2015 - 5:31am -- Colin_Sutton

I've been making yeasted breads for years, but recently started exploring sourdough.  Handling high (c.75%) hydration doughs has been a bit frustrating and at times it has felt like learning from scratch.  

My 100% hydration levain is working fine.  It's 50% wholemeal and 50% white bread flour, is stored in the fridge, and when using in a pre-ferment doubles nicely.  I love the fact that I developed my levain from scratch… and it works.

Doc.Dough's picture

The sources of sour

July 4, 2015 - 2:29pm -- Doc.Dough

I have recently been running a series of experiments to tease out the relative significance of various factors that contribute to the sourness of sourdough bread.

In the "everybody knows" category is the notion that whole grain breads can be more sour than a 100% white flour formulas, but the relative importance of specific mechanisms by which the sourness is developed is not well documented.

AbeNW11's picture

Thoughts and ideas most welcome

July 3, 2015 - 1:51am -- AbeNW11

A pencilled recipe for this weekends sourdough bake. All thoughts, ideas and corrections welcomed. Thank you.


Khorasan/Spelt Sourdough




Flour 100% [Khorasan 57%, Spelt  43%]

Hydration 65%

Salt 1.8%

Oil 2.6%


Khorasan Flour : 285g

Light Spelt Flour : 215g

Water : 298g

Salt : 9g

Coconut Oil : 13g

Mature Whole Rye Starter : 150g @ 100% hydration





jangozo's picture

Fuzzy mould on side of jar after using pineapple juice with starter

July 1, 2015 - 8:23am -- jangozo


It is now day 3 of my pineapple juice and rye sourdough starter adventure and just as I was about to feed it, I saw that mould with little hairs has formed on all 4 sides of the jar (see pic of one side). I think it has developed because I didn't clean the sides of the jar and the residue has given it a pleasant environment to form. The smell is yeasty with a little hint of pineapple.

aroma's picture

Today's bake

June 30, 2015 - 3:43am -- aroma

Well I suppose there is nothing remarkable here except another batch of lovely sourdough for the coming week's consumption.  I have baked my own bread for 40 years or so but I'm a relatively recent convert to sourdough - I had always thought it was overly complicated and wouldn't fit into a busy life.  However, the 'conversion' was painless and indeed very rewarding - I am now a total convert.


jangozo's picture

Starters with fruit fermentation vs just flour starters

June 29, 2015 - 12:30am -- jangozo


I want to make a sourdough starter and I'm currently looking around for the recipe I want to follow. There are some which use fermenting fruits such as grapes, apples, etc. others use just flour.

What are the differences between the two? Will the fruit starters give a different taste to the dough?


Mr Meowski's picture

no oven spring with 15%whole wheat

June 28, 2015 - 11:22am -- Mr Meowski

I can bake a delish loaf of sourdough using 100% bread flour and get a great rise and an even better oven spring.  But if I try and add 12-18% whole wheat flour for flavor I never ever get a good oven spring and the loaf always turns out dense.

Is this a common thing?

My recipe is

100%KA flour  (85% bread flour 15%whole wheat)

65% water

2% salt

and about 75-100 grams of starter.


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