The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough

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scormeny's picture

hello from a portlander

October 31, 2005 - 11:30am -- scormeny

Hello! I am a Portland, OR dweller and felt very lucky to stumble across this site. My boyfriend is the real baker between us -- he makes about a loaf of bread a week, usually sourdough-based, and we often also make sourdough pancakes.

Floydm, I was hoping you might have a suggestion about whether any local bakeries will share or sell some of their sourdough starter. My boyfriend and I had a great starter that we'd originally gotten from King Arthur Flour in Vermont, that had thrived through two years of at best indifferent attention, but our recent move to Portland, and the extended inattention and non-refrigerated temps of the cross-country drive, killed it.

timtune's picture
timtune

I just set a starter out last night. Made of raisin water and unbleached all purpose. Hopefully i'll manage to get some loaves outta it this time.. hehe..

This is the 2nd time i'm doing this. Earlier this year, when i knew very little about making bread, my starter looked fermented, but they didn't produce anything or make dough rise... Guess it's just some other bacteria, not wild yeast. I live in a tropical country. Hope it's ideal for wild yeast and not some other nasty microbiological impostors...

Didn't use wholewheat flour. The last time i used wholewheat flour for an overnight poolish, it was fermented till the loaves smelled nasty and tasted bitter. lol

Hmm, how do u know if ur starter is ready to be used and how long b4 u can use it, usually....

scarlett75's picture

Old Sourdough Recipe

August 3, 2005 - 8:12am -- scarlett75

Recently, my grandfather stumbled across an old, OLD cookbook that belonged to HIS grandmother. He knows that I've been dabbling with breads/baking, so he offered me the cookbook (he also knows I'm an archivist, so he knew I'd preserve it!). :) Anyway... I've been browsing through the recipes (trying to translate MANY of them, as this particular gr. gr. grandmother was Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish and spoke a hybrid German). I took four years of German in high school and this is taxing. LOL!

BUT- I'm learning some wonderful recipes and techniques for breads and sweets. Essentially, because of the technology available to her, my gr. gr. grandmother's cookbook is a lesson in patience.

scarlett75's picture

Starter question.

July 1, 2005 - 8:10pm -- scarlett75

I started my starter on Tuesday and have been following the instructions found on the link in one of the lessons. This morning, I went out to find my jar of starter had an inch thick layer of "hooch". I poured some of it off before I fed my starter (whom I've named Earl).

I used whole wheat flour and warm water as the basis of my starter. It's very bubbly and is starting to smell rather sour. When I observe Earl, he will bubble and foam before my very eyes.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I bake a lot of sourdough bread. Over the past several months I have been trying a lot of new techniques and trying to perfect the quality of my loaves. The recipe below is how I am currently making my white bread. Next year I may have a whole different approach, as I am constantly learning and trying new things.

Deluxe Sourdough Bread

1 1/4 cups proofed starter
1 cup water
3 T. dry powdered milk
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 T. sugar
3 T. butter or margarine
2 tsp. salt

Combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix in the flour just until the mixture is a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Add sugar, butter, and salt and mix until all is incorporated. Knead dough until it is smooth and satiny.

Cover and let dough rest for 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Pat each dough portion out into a large, flat circle. Gently stretch and fold the left side over the middle, then the right side over the middle (like folding a letter). Pat down with the palms of hands and repeat the folding with the remaining two unfolded ends. Shape loaves, always keeping the folded side as the bottom. I do free-form oval loaves and place them on parchment paper.

Spray the loaves with Pam and cover with plastic. Place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, take loaves out and let them finish rising at room temperature. They should be very light. Do not rush it or your bread will be dense.

While bread is rising, preheat oven and stone to 400� F. I also place a shallow pan of hot water on the bottom rack for steam.

When bread is fully risen, slash top and slide onto hot stone. If you don't have a stone, just bake on a baking sheet. After 10 minutes, turn the oven heat down to 375� F. When loaves start to show color, water pan can be removed. Bake until loaves are a nice golden brown. Time will vary according to the shape and size of loaf.

Cool on a wire rack. You can brush crust with butter while still hot if you like a soft crust.

The small addtion of white whole wheat flour that I use in this bread gives it an interesting depth of flavor that I like. It does not change the color of the bread. I don't know if white whole wheat flour is easily available just anywhere. I am fortunate to live in an area where wheat is grown and milled so I have easy access to various flours.

buddye's picture

Sourdough Banana Bread

March 22, 2005 - 11:46pm -- buddye

This is an outstanding sourdough banana bread that I would like to pass on. This came from Don and Myrtle Holm's Sourdough Cookbook in 1972. I have used it many times with excellent results.

1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup sourdough starter
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp grated orange rind

Floydm's picture

More about Sourdough

February 9, 2005 - 9:09pm -- Floydm
Keyword: 

My first sourdough article generated a fair number of questions from readers and acquaintances of mine. I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of these questions in a place where everyone can read them.

I've baked with my starter a couple of times now. I've learned a few things worth passing on, some of which may be of interest to bakers of yeasted breads too.

You know the routine: click "Read More" to read the full story.

Floydm's picture

When Yeasts Attack: A First Experience with Naturally Leavened Bread

February 2, 2005 - 9:47pm -- Floydm
Keyword: 


The ambitious home baker inevitably gets the urge to try baking Sourdough. It's like... like... well, I'm not sure what it is like, but it brings a whole new level of of experimentation to the baking process. It's fun. And it tastes amazing.

I've tried it once before, a few years ago, but ended up abandoning my starter when my son was born. There were only so many organisms I had the time to nurture, and, alas, my starter did not make the cut.

I tried creating another starter a few weeks ago. This time I had more luck.

I'm sharing my experience, some pictures, and a bit of background on sourdough below.

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