The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough

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Felila's picture

I hadn't baked in years ...

March 4, 2007 - 3:12pm -- Felila

When I was in graduate school, I baked regularly. A couple of loaves of sourdough whole-wheat bread every week, a big pot of lentil soup, and I had regular but boring meals every night of the week.

Insert extended detour for marriage, child, divorce. I didn't bake bread.

I saw the New York Times no-knead bread recipe and thought, "I can do that!", and indeed, I can. I have been making it with sourdough. I recently branched out to sourdough English muffins and naan.

anawim_farm's picture
anawim_farm

 

 

This is my first attempt at sourdough rye although I have been experimenting with sourdough since Sept and have baked some rye bread using yeast.

 I started the rye chef on Monday using 3 oz. of rye, 4 oz. of water and a pinch of starter that was dried and frozen in Oct. 06.  The rye was organic that was grown in my state, Maine.  The grain was stone ground and felt quite silky and its aroma was really pungent.  It was kind of expensive even for grain that’s organic but Maine isn’t really a grain producing kind of state.

 

What activity!  The first day the chef produced a lot of bubbles and increased in volume.  I was surprised and really didn’t expect that much activity. On Tuesday and Wed I continued the feedings of the same ratio on Monday and the chef doubled in volume on both days.  The chef had a very strong beery smell that filled the room when I opened the container. Thursday I put the chef in the refrigerator to avoid having to feed it again and brought it back out early Friday morning giving it enough time to warm up for a final feeding at noon. The final length of time from the last feeding until I built the starter is 8 hours to ensure enough activity for a good starter.  At 9p Friday I mixed the starter planning on 8 to 10 hours of fermentation and final dough making at 5am. 

 

For the starter I mixed 9 oz. of chef, 5 oz. of rye and 4 oz. of water.  After mixing well I sealed the container and put it on the top shelf of the pantry to maintain the temp at around 74 degrees

Sourdough Rye with Caraway Seeds 

Rye sourdough starter                                                                       18 ounces

Water                                                                                                   24 fluid ounces

Rye flour, medium ground                                                                   9 ounces

Whole wheat flour                                                                                  9 ounces

Fine sea salt                                                                                         ¾ ounce

Caraway seeds                                                                                    ¼ ounce

20% bran wheat flour                                                                        20 -25 ounces    

Mixing the dough:

 

Add the starter to the water and stir until bubbly.  Add rye and mix completely, then fold in whole wheat flour and caraway seeds. Once mixed add enough  20% bran wheat flour until difficult to mix.  Turn out to well floured board and let rest for 10 min. then kneed.

Add salt while kneading in several small amounts. Kneed for approximately 15 to 17 minutes or when a little dough pulled from the mass springs back quickly. Shape the dough into a tightly shaped ball and return to the cleaned and oiled mixing bowl, cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap and let ferment for 2 ½ to 3 hours.

 

Divide the dough and shape:

 

Once dough has almost doubled in volume, deflate dough and transfer dough to floured board. Divide the dough and shape loaves to your own preference.  Place dough in a couche or benneton and proof for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until loaves have almost doubled in size.

  

Bake the loaves:

 

One hour before baking Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with hearth stones as close to center as possible.  Gently move loaves or rounds to floured board or peel and slash tops.  Transfer loaves to oven and mist interior repeating mist again in three minutes.  Bake loaves at 450 degrees for 20 minutes reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes.

 
pompeii's picture

sourdough starter help me please!

March 2, 2007 - 2:12pm -- pompeii

salutations everyone.

as you may have guessed i am pretty new to this forum (this being my first post ever) and to baking. i've been on a baking spree this past week, i've been succesfull with pita bread and bagels. anyway, four days ago i decided to be brave and try to grow a sourdough starter.

day one samuel (my starter's name) had some activity after a few hours. kind of looked like pancake batter as it just starts to bubble a bit.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

My staple bread for the past couple of years has been a miche. I started doing the BBA recipe with half bread flour and half KA whole wheat flour. Lately I've been experimenting with different blends of organic and sifted flours. I haven't yet settled on one recipe and change things every time I do it lately, but I thought I'd describe this basic recipe.

 Loosely based on BBA Miche and Hamelman Mixed-Flour Miche.

 Loosely based on BBA Miche and Hamelman Mixed-Flour Miche.

Mixed-Flour Miche: Loosely based on BBA Miche and Hamelman Mixed-Flour Miche.

I have some photos of my process.

Many, many thanks to JMonkey, SourdoLady, Zolablue, Mountaindog, Floydm, and numerous others. My results on this and other recipes are much better because of the great ideas I've found in the various blogs, postings, and lessons here.

Mixed-Flour Miche: Loosely based on BBA Miche and Hamelman Mixed-Flour Miche.

There is a "firm starter" that is built from white poolish-like starter as in the BBA "barm" version (50/50 by weight using breadflour and water), which is retarded overnight and included in the dough which is baked the same day.

The recipe I've been doing lately has evolved from the BBA miche recipe to be more like the "Mixed-Flour Miche" in Bread by Hamelman. My objective has basically been to have a high whole wheat content, but use sifted flours to get a less coarse crumb. I have also mixed red wheat and white wheat flours as well as tried some spelt trying to come up with a flavor that is not too "grassy" or "nutty". I find the taste of 100% white wheat bread to be a little too bland, whereas using too much red wheat seems bitter in a way I don't like.

As a result, I've ended up mixing various flours in an attempt to get something that is mostly whole wheat with some of the coarser bran sifted out and partly red wheat, partly white wheat for flavor.

The recipe showing in the photos is as follows, and is loosely based on both the BBA Miche and the Hamelman "Mixed-Flour Miche" in Bread.

For the firm starter:

  • 7oz "BBA style barm" (100% hydration bread flour starter)
  • 6oz Golden Buffalo flour (sifted red wheat flour from Heartland Mills)
  • 3 oz KA Organic Whole Wheat
  • 4oz water

Mix/knead ingredients for about 3 minutes to get a fairly firm not very sticky dough. Place in container and let rise to about 1.5x in volume - about 3 hours. Punch it down and allow to rise again to double - another 2.5 hours, roughly. Place in refrigerator overnight. I was trying to get this one to be a little more sour, and I think I went too far, as the bread was just a touch too sour for my tastes, but I don't like my bread very sour. Some might like the more sour flavor I got. My plan is to reduce the rise time of the firm starter and use less Golden Buffalo and maybe use whole spelt flour in higher proportion next time.

For the dough:

  • 6 oz KA whole spelt flour
  • 8 oz Golden Buffalo sifted red wheat flour (Heartland Mills)
  • 3 oz KA Organic Whole Wheat
  • 6 oz sifted white wheat flour (Homestead Grist Mill)
  • 6 oz Sir Lancelot High Gluten flour
  • 3 oz KA Rye Blend
  • 29 oz water
  • 3/4 tsp diastatic malted barley flour
  • 26 grams salt (about .9 oz)
  • Firm starter from day before.

Cut up firm starter and cover with towel to allow the pieces to lose their chill.

Autolyse: Mix all but salt and starter in bowl until the ingredients form a uniform shaggy mass. Allow to rest for 60 minutes.

Mix and knead dough: Push the pieces of starter into the dough and sprinkle with salt. Mix/knead for 5 minutes to form a supple, fairly soft dough. The total hydration of the entire overall dough is 82%, so it is relatively soft at the beginning. Place in a container to rise.

Fold the dough hourly: The total bulk fermentation time was 4.5 hours. I think I probably went too long, though. Anyway, I was folding it using the technique in Hamelman's Bread, i.e. (very roughly) turn the dough out on a bed of flour top down and gently spread it out/push out some of the gas. Then pull out and stretch one side of the dough and fold it toward the center. Do the same for the other three sides. Put the dough back in the container with the top up and the seams down. I may have "overfolded", as the dough seemed a little "too tough" possibly, and I didn't get as much oven spring as I was hoping for.

Shape into boule: Form a boule not too differently from the folding technique above, except it is more of a gathering in of the edges of the dough and pinching them together to stretch the "top" of the dough (which is face down on the counter as with the folds). Flour a couche with rice flour and place in 8 quart steel mixing bowl, and then place the dough in the couche seams up.

Final Proof: Allow to rise for about 2.5 hours - again I let it go until 3 hours, and I think it was probably too long to wait.

Place on parchment: Place parchment on an upside down baking sheet or a peel and flour with coarse corn meal. Invert the bowl with the dough onto the parchment and pull away the bowl. Gently pull away the couche, which works great with the rice flour on the couche. Slash as photos show. I very lightly spray water on with spray mister.

Bake: Preheat oven to 500F well before this point, like an hour before. Use various steaming techniques as described many places for home ovens. Drop temperature to 450F after about 5 minutes. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then rotate loaf and drop temperature to 400F for another 20 minutes. Then rotate and drop temperature to 375F. Continue to bake until internal temperature is about 208F.

I would enjoy hearing any comments about how to manipulate flavor, the amount of rise, crumb texture, and so on. This bread did not rise quite as much as some others I've done in similar fashion. There are a few reasons I can think of, such as too much fermentation and proofing time, starter slightly too ripe and sour, possibly folding too much, maybe kneading too much in the very beginning, and so on. I also think the sour flavor is too much for my tastes, and other versions I've done were less sour. I think this is due mainly to overly long fermentation and proof, and to allowing the starter to become too ripe. Also, I used a higher proportion of red wheat flour in this starter than previously.

mountaindog's picture

help for overproofed loaves?

February 26, 2007 - 11:08am -- mountaindog

For about the past 2-3 weeks, it seems that my Thom Leonard boules, which I have made every week since about November, are suddenly coming out overproofed even though I have not changed my technique: as soon as the loaves are slashed on the peel and hit the hot oven stone, they collapse and spread out at the slashes.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I made a half-serious resolution to bake in the outdoor oven at least once a month, and after a few weeks with subzero temperatures, and a weekend out of town, this was my last chance for February. We had a warm up all week, but it was only about 20 degrees at 8 am when I started the fire. We have a pretty good view of the oven from the house, so I was able to load it up with fuel and keep an eye on it from inside, so it's not too bad! The only problem was the warm temps created a very muddy yard, so between me and the dog coming in and out all day my house is not a pretty sight.

 

For this bake, I made three batches of bread: 2 ABAA recipes: the columbia sourdough, and Ponsford's ciabatta, with a levain-risen biga. I also made a couple of loaves of my favorite multigrain sandwich bread, my own recipe adapted from Reinhart's multigran extraordinaire. I mixed the columbia the night before, and as Mountaindog suggested in another thread let it rise about an hour before refrigerating it. I pulled it first thing in the morning, and let it warm up for 3 hours or so before shaping. The ciabatta biga calls for a minute amount of yeast, so I wasn't sure how much levain to substitute. The recipe's description is that the biga may not do much for hours, but will triple in volume in 24 hours, so I decided on a couple of tablespoonfuls of levain, and it perfomed just about right. I would probably use even less in summertime, or if my starter was exuberant.

 

All in all it was pretty uneventful, though I'm starting to realize that I need to let the fire burn down sooner, and/or allow extra time for the oven to cool off before baking. I keep finding myself with ready-to-go loaves and a 500+ oven, which is fine for some breads but a little too hot for others. Anyway my timing was such that it was consistenly 25 degrees or so hotter than I needed for each batch. I can leave the door open to speed up the cooling, but I worry about overdoing that too. I'm still learning, obviously. Here's some pics from the day:

 

Multigrain loaves in the oven with chcken curry--that turned out very well (made by my SO).

 

Some of the ciabattas got a wee bit dark. I've had a habit of taking them out a little too early, so I left them in longer--and overdid it the other way. Everything was quite dark actually, the flash makes them look just right though... :)

 

Ciabatta crumb: Not bad, but a little less holey than the non-levain version I made last time. The flavor is excellent though...

 

And finally, while finishing up with granola, it started snowing!! This wasn't expected to start until after midnight, but you know how that goes. I burned one batch of granola, and I blame blizzard conditions for my tardiness on checking on it!  We now have 8 inches of snow with more on the way--so I'm happy at home with wayyyy too much to eat.

 

 

 

CountryBoy's picture

SourdoLady's Deluxe Sourdough Recipe

February 23, 2007 - 1:34pm -- CountryBoy

For the record, I believe SourdoLady walks on water, as well as makes bread.  So thanks as always.  However, I have a question, as a Novice, that I am puzzled by.  Your Deluxe Sourdough Recipe is for 2 loaves I believe, but I only got one loaf from it.  In your posting of January 10th where you give the recipe you definitely say 2 loaves, but I only get one.  Could you tell me what I am doing wrong?  Just for the record, I have absolute faith in your recipe and know you are right if you say so but I am just curious.  Could my problem be that my flour and proofing is not warm enough and

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