The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough

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zolablue's picture

Firm Sourdough Starter - Glezer recipe

March 24, 2007 - 8:43am -- zolablue

I’m finally getting around to posting Maggie Glezer’s firm sourdough starter recipe.  For those of you having problems with your starters you might wish to give this a try.  Most people here are using batter-style starters so it might be interesting to see if there is any discussion on firm starters.  Plus I need help in learning to convert properly for use in recipes which don’t use a firm starter and there are always questions that come up.

slothbear's picture
slothbear

flat flat ww sourdough

I was inspired by Jane and Srishti and the other folks trying whole wheat sourdough (thanks!), so I tried it. I started with the proportions I found here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2059/100-whole-wheat-bread#comment-7919

My variations -- I halved the recipe, kneaded in my Zojirushi bread maker, and used my white sourdough starter and Whole Foods whole wheat flour. My my I love weighing ingredients, especially in grams. I just keep slinging stuff into the bowl, so fun and easy.

Everything proceeded nicely until the final rise. Instead of rising like New York, it spread out like Los Angeles. The resulting bread was delicious, but in the interest of bread art (and sandwiches), I'd like it to be a little taller. I'm still new to sourdough, but am loving every trial. My starter is quite vigorous -- I'm pretty sure that part is ok.  Any suggestions?

Inkoate's picture

A Sourdough Non-Starter

March 20, 2007 - 5:00pm -- Inkoate

I know this is a rather common question around these parts, but I'm very new to sourdough, and my seed culture that I've been working on just doesn't seem to be turning into a healthy starter.  I started off from the BBA formula to grow a seed culture, but by day 3, when the culture was supposed to have doubled in bulk, it had not, and but had grown by about half instead.  As instructed, I discarded half and mixed with the prescribed flour and water and fermented for 24 hours.  It again failed to double in bulk, at which point it says to leave it out for another 12 to 24.  I

bwraith's picture

How different is one starter from another?

March 19, 2007 - 12:54pm -- bwraith

I've read a couple of recent comments by Mac, and sphealey, and others about the origin and character of sourdough starters. I'm still wondering what's the real scoop. I've read from highly authoritative, credible sources several different versions of various arguments about sourdough culture organisms and their origin and survivability in a culture.

I'll try to summarize the gist of them briefly:

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

I've been real busy the past few weeks so have not been online much, but did make time to bake each weekend.

Back in Feb., I was lamenting that my Thom Leonard boules, which I had been making successfully for weeks, were suddenly getting overproofed and collapsing when hitting the hot stone (thread here). I was wondering if it was my switch to 100% organic King Arthur Artisan flour, or if my starter is getting too strong and acidic. I took the advice people here gave me about folding the dough more and paying attention to shaping better. So I did a test to see if the flour played a role or not, but also incorporated the advice given on folding, and I was careful to ferment them at about 70-75F rather then 80-85F as done earlier. To see if my flour switch played a role, I bought some regular King Arthur AP flour and made two batches of the Leonard loaf side by side, one batch with KA organic artisan flour and the other with the KA AP. I folded each batch 4 times, 30 minutes apart during the first bulk fermentation. I also carefully shaped each loaf into a tight boule, rested for 10 min., then placed in the bannetons, and I could not believe how high the loaves rose during the final proof, after only 3 hours:

I was in for even more surprise when I baked them - the oven spring was HUGE. Here are the loaves made with the King Arthur 100% organic artisan flour on the left (oval shape), and to the right are the ones made with the King Arthur AP flour (round shape). No discernable difference in the quality of the rise, oven spring, or crumb structure, they all came out excellent, and all because I paid a lot more attention to proper folding and shaping, and note that these were wet doughs:

I also retarded 2 of the loaves in the frig for about 6 hours before baking right out of the cold frig and into the hot oven, and got equally huge oven spring as for the ones I did not retard.

Here is the crumb shot of yet another batch a week later done by the same folding/shaping method, but using King Arthur organic whole wheat flour for 30% of the flour in the recipe (I have not been able to get that yin/yang symbol again in my bread that JMonkey likes though, ha!):

Conclusion of the experiment: My earlier overproofing problems were not due to the KA organic flour. It performed equally as well as the KA AP flour. The extra folding of the wet dough, and tighter shaping of the boules seemed to make all the difference, plus probably cooling the fermenting temps down to 70-75F I think helped. Thanks especially to gt and Bill Wraith for pointing out my lack of folding as being the main culprit. I've been having consistently great outcome with this recipe ever since.

I also made some sourdough spelt blueberry flaxseed muffins. These rose nice and high, but needed a little more sweetening and perhaps a bit more salt than my usual recipe calls for, probably because of the extra liquid and flour brought in by the sourdogh levain, otherwise they were quite nice. Somehwhat dense due to 100% spelt flour, including in the levain. The regular recipe for my muffins is here, but I modified it by expanding my regular batter white SD starter with 1 c. spelt flour and 1 c water (similar to how the King Arthur baking book makes a levain for sourdough waffles), which replaces the same amount of flour and liquid (oil) in the original recipe. Then followed the orginal recipe using baking soda rather then powder to get even more rise. Next time I will add a bit more oil, brown sugar, and salt:

pumpkinpapa's picture
pumpkinpapa

I really like the Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire or Struan from the BBA and have been modifying since I first made it with the hope of using sourdough as the main leavening, since Struan is an old Scottish bread I thought it would be good to have it all sourdough.

So with my Spelt starter in hand I changed the recipe once again:

My soaker was:

  • 2 Tbsp Organic Polenta
  • 1 Tbsp Organic red and white Quinoa
  • 3 Tbsp Organic steel cut oats
  • 2 Tbsp organic wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup room temp Kefir milk

Mixed the grains together in a small bowl and poured the Kefir over, then covered bowl and left on the table overnight. I really like the flavour of Kefir soaked grains.

My dough was:

  • 9 ounces organic hard flour
  • 4.5 ounces organic whole spelt flour
  • 1.5 ounces brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 3 Tbsp cooked organic brown rice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Buckwheat honey
  • 1/2 cup Kefir milk
  • 3 ounces Spelt starter
  • 2.5 ounces room temp water
  • handful of poppy seeds (Floyd, I now know your nightmares)

I mixed the flours, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and then added the soaker, rice, honey, Kefir, starter, and enough water to make the dough tacky. After it was well mixed, I transferred it to the counter where I kneaded it for 20 minutes until it passed the windowpane test, then I misted the top with some spray oil and covered it with plastic wrap.

I folded it once every half hour for the next 90 minutes at which point it had nicely doubled in size. Whereupon I placed it in my loaf pan, misted the surface with water and coated the loaf with poppy seeds. I sprayed the loaf with spray oil and covered it with plastic wrap and left it until the loaf had risen about 2 inches above the top of the pan, this took about 5 hours. I had left it to rise so high because I had a pork loin taking up the oven, but it worked out well just the same.

I baked the loaf at 350 F for 20 minutes and after turning 180 degrees I baked for another 20 minutes. The bread turned out nice and soft and with a good spring to the crumb. It was incredible toasted with either raw honey or my wife's strawberry jam.

This is after the first folds and rising (the picture is actually of 12 pounds of dough, not the 2 pound loaf stated above)

And the final loaf, or what is left of it. I actually did this recipe times five and I now have half of a free standing loaf remaining after making it on Thursday evening. This picture doesn't show it well but the loaf is 4 inches high.

Next time I will be going with less yeast and more starter and a mix of whole grains too.

scott lynch's picture

Anyone ever heard of Sako?

March 13, 2007 - 6:49pm -- scott lynch

I have seen a reference to it in only one book—Jerome Assire's The Book of Bread.  He calls it a traditional Swiss country bread, full of flax (or linseed, as he calls it), millet, rye, sesame seeds, oats, corn, and cracked wheat.  I make it regularly (at least I think what I am making is what he is describing) but all my searches for any other reference to it have turned up nothing.  Curious to know if anybody knows anything about it.  I'll put up a picture next time I do it.  I make it as a basically white sourdough with all that stuff in it, and usually score it with one larg

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

My sourdough techniques have really come a long way. This weekend's loaf was far and away the best I've made. Delicious, sour, great crumb and texture, it had it all. I used about 25% whole wheat flour.

So what's for dinner? Turkey bacon lightly fried in a skillet then put on top of tangy Greek grilling cheese on my fresh sourdough. The whole sandwich goes back on the skillet and a hot cast iron skillet is put on top to press it down. Some green beans lightly sautee'd with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and some garlic dill pickles to round it out.

Oh, and a pint of English ale. Who's got it better than me? :)

-Joe

jgonyo's picture

Is my starter failing?

March 13, 2007 - 9:26am -- jgonyo

I am trying to create a starter using the method given by sourdolady. I am on day 4 of feeding the starter with unbleached all purpose flour and water. When I switched to flour and water on Saturday, I was still getting good bubbles and doubling in size after feeding. Maybe not as many bubbles as I had with rye flour and orange juice though. Slowly over the past few days my bubbles have been reducing and it has stopped doubling after feeding (isn't even rising anymore).

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Sourdough loaves

I baked three loaves of sourdough yesterday. The dough was lower hydration than I typically do, but they turned out real nice.

I also made pita bread for lunch. The kids loved rolling them out and eating them. I have to remember to make them more often.

The new job at Mercy Corps is keeping me very busy, which is why I am less active here. I'm extremely excited about being there though. It is a great organization full of great people. I couldn't ask for a much better place to work.

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