The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sweet sourdough

d_a_kelly's picture

This one isn't very seasonal at the moment, but I love eating it for breakfast. It's so buttery and soft that I really don't think it needs an accompaniment. The recipe is taken from "non solo zucchero vol.II" where it is called pandoro evolution, but it is very similar to the pandoro a sfoglia from Cresci. 

Main impasto - in grams

sweet starter (50% humidity) 45

dry active yeast 3

very strong flour 179

sugar 36

unsalted butter (soft but not melted) 27

egg 107

salt 3.5

half a vanilla pod 

melted butter flavour 0.3 (I've made this before without the flavouring and it tasted exactly the same - but it's in the recipe so I've included it here).


mix all the ingredients together and work it until it forms a smooth, elastic dough. It should be strong and windowpane, but still very slightly sticky. Wrap it in plastic and put it in the freezer. I left it in there for an about an hour, but the book actually recommends overnight at -10C. While this is firming up, I worked on the butter for lamination:

softened unsalted butter 147

icing sugar 39 


mix the two ingredients together thoroughly, then pat into a square, wrap, and put in the fridge to firm up. When both parts are at the right consistency, take 362 of the dough and laminate it as if you were making croissants - 3 simple turns in total, with at least half an hour between each turn. It ought to look something like this when you've finished:


the total weight is 550g.

The difficult bit is then forming this into a ball without breaking the laminations. The book gives absolutely no guidance here whatsoever! I usually fold the ends underneath and then roll it around until it looks more or less spherical. I doubt very much that this is the best method! The dough by this point is really quite resistant to being shaped. 

It looks so tiny in the tin - it's hard to believe that it can possibly fill it!

Leave it to prove at about 27C and at least 60% humidity for about 10 - 12 hours. I left mine for 10 hours. 

I think it could easily have grown even more than this, so next time I might put less dough in the pandoro tin. As it was, it was just about to start spilling over the edge. If my shaping of the ball had been better then I also think this might have helped.

Leave it in the open air for about 30 minutes in order to form a skin on the dough and then it goes in the oven for 30 minutes at 170C. Leave it in the tin for a few hours after cooking before turning out. Mine stuck a little bit - I should have used more flour and butter to grease the form. 

When it's ready to eat (after a few days), dust it in icing sugar and enjoy! 

I was very happy with the crumb on this one - really light and shreddy, with a wonderfully complex buttery taste. It just fell to pieces as I was cutting and eating it. 



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Now with a fool proof non-sour sourdough starter...  

I got 240g of starter with just one heaping teaspoon of starter inoculation in 6 hrs!  Ten grams starter with 120g of water w/ 60g rye + 60g AP (10% protein wheat flour.)

It is a lot of fun having a sourdough that isn't sour for a change although I wonder if it still has the same health benefits as a sour one.  (?)  It is certainly better for cinnamon rolls and sweeter doughs and some plain breads.  (I have seen a very tall shiny spring-form pan in the market.)   I haven't had the courage to test this starter in an all rye recipe.  Maybe a double loaf experiment would be interesting.  I am keeping the young starter at about 75% hydration and refrigerated between feeds (after a 1/3 rise after feeding.)  I'm using it as mother, removing a heaping teaspoon to make more starter for baking.

The last 1-2-3 loaf was a mixed wheat/rye (40%)  (100g blend of toasted oats and chia) with a teaspoon of active malt,  60g dried old rye altus, bread made from the sour starter.  Today is it's second day but I'm yes, getting a trace of sour.  Very light but it is there.  How interesting...  The oats & malt make for a rather fluffy moist bread, bendably soft.  The dough was rather firm, I figure the oats and chia are responsible and they give lots of moisture up when baking so there wasn't much folding.  I worked altus crumbs along with sesame seed into the dough after an initial 30 minute rest.  The dough was retarded in the fridge overnight.  (But so was the last loaf and it didn't develop any sour tastes.) (Can't seem to download photos!)

I am curious if this starter gets more sour over time with just refrigeration storage or of it needs counter time to develop "sour."  Will chilling thwart San Fan lactobacteria?

Subscribe to RSS - sweet sourdough