The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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techieelectric's picture

replacing buttermilk with sourdough

Hello all, this is my first post in the forum. It's a question I've been wondering about and it seems here might be a good place to ask. 

This may or may not technically be a sourdough bread I'm talking about but it includes sourdough starter so I thought I'd put it in this forum. 

Has anyone got any experience with replacing buttermilk in quick rising/soda bread with sourdough starter? I thought that with the added healthiness of putting flour through the process of being used in a sourdough starter, I could then use it in a quick bread, especially older starter that might not be much use for my normal wheat sourdough. I thought that given the starters acidity I could use it to replace the buttermilk/ cream of tartar in quick rising bread and therefore have the bread rise using just the reaction between baking soda and the acids created by my precious lactobacilli. The problem is to do with proportion, I don't know if I would have to measure the acidity of my starter compared to the acidity of buttermilk, or even if it is possible to have a starter that acidic. 

I've looked through many posts but there doesn't seem to be any mention of such a thing. I have found plenty of breads that use sourdough starter and baking soda, seemingly neutralising each other, and then baking powder for more rising power. In these recipes the proportions seem to be roughly half a tsp of baking soda to a cup of sourdough starter. I would ideally leave out the baking powder and rise the bread as for Irish soda bread (being Irish I feel a sense of reluctance to tamper too much with the recipe). 

Anyway I'd love to hear your ideas on the topic. Hopefully I've explained it reasonably well. 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

The Easiest Focaccia in the World-In the RV oven

I found this recipe called "The Easiest Focaccia in the World" posted online and I have to say they may be right. I was looking for something really easy to accompany a thin sliced sirloin and freshly picked garden salad. (sorry Northerners!!) Anyway, it doesn't get any easier than this.

Here is my slightly modified version. (added the whole wheat)  I apoligize, I had to add some flour and I'm not quite sure what the end flour weight is so you'll have to add to the original amount until you get it to come off the sides of the mixer.

100 grams WW flour

350 grams AP flour

2 tsp instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

13.5 fluid oz warm water

Mix in the KA blender on speed 4 for 10 minutes. During this time I watched and had to add about 1/2 cup off flour in small increments until the sides of the dough didn't stick but the bottom was still sticking to the bowl.

Let rise in oiled bowl until almost tripled. This took about 45 minutes.

Put on silpat with cornmeal (or oiled parchment, oiled baking pan). I put the silpat into a "half cookie sheet" as that is what will fit into my camper oven. Spread the dough out gently. This fit my half sheet perfectly. It will be about 1" thick.

Spread with about 1/4 cup olive oil. I used a mixture of 2 cloves fresh garlic, some fresh parsley/thyme (from the garden) and a little sprinkle of red sea salt. I spread the thyme/parsley/garlic mixture onto the bread and dimpled it with my fingers. Then a light sprinkle of asiago cheese. Let dough double in pan, about 30 minutes.

Into the oven (probably about 450 but who knows with the camper oven?) for about 20 minutes. Results, tasty light focaccia bread to eat with our tender, fresh garden salad, homemade Meyer lemon vinagrette and thin sliced sirloin steak on the grill.

Until next time. It's 65 degrees and sunny here at RV World, Mesa, AZ!

Gunnersbury's picture

Sandwich Roll Recipe that does well refrigerated

There are so many sandwich roll recipes, but I have not been able to find one that can be made the night before and produce nice quality sandwich rolls the next day. I would like to make the dough in the evening, ideally shape the rolls, refrigerate and bake them the next day in time for lunch. I would appreciate your help.


Tinapoy's picture

How to use my Starter?

Thanks to TFL and Debra, I think I finally made a good starter using the Pineapple juice method I found here. After a few tries with water I found out about the Pineapple Juice will make it start properly skipping the OMG Yuck smell caused by bad bacterias. Now I'm on day 6 and I don't really see my starter double in size that much or fast but it does smell yeasty. So this afternoon when I got home I tried to feed it again with pineapple juice and flour and it has risen within 3 hours its double now I think and I hope its a good thing. I'll continue with water tomorrow and see if I can get it double again with just water. Then I'll keep doing this for a week more before I try to bake with it.


So here is my question if I have an ordinary recipe that doesnt require a sourdough starter and wants to convert it into one. how do I substitute the yeast that the recipe calls for into a sourdough starter. Any particular conversion for mass. I'll practice on what I can find easy with sourdough but sooner I'll want to know how to use it on different recipes. I hope somebody could help me here and I'll try to find answers also on this forum. Thanks.

CeraMom's picture

Look what I found this morning!!!


Now... talk to me like I'm an idiot. Do I stir it down before I take my little bit out to feed ( and discard the rest )? Do I take my little bit out FIRST ( still inflated )? Do I take half and bake today?


carthurjohn's picture

Baking in a cast iron pot

I have recently been baking all my round sourdough loaves in a cast iron pot and had really good results: an excellent crumb and really good crust. Short of a wood fired oven it gives the best results I've ever had.

But one thing I still haven't mastered is how to get dough into the pot without them becoming misshapen loaves. Inevitably, I hit the side of the pot as I tip them in from the banneton, trying not to burn my fingers on the top edges. I shake the pot to give it a semblance of a round load, but it always looks a bit of a mess. It wouldn't be so bad, but I use cane bannetons, so the poor shape is really evident in the finished loaf!

I've thought about trying to use some form of peel, but think I would still have the same problem.

Has anyone found a good technique for getting the dough into the pot without ruining the finished item?




breadbakingbassplayer's picture

2/5/10 - Baguette Redemption... Modified Pain a' l'ancienne Baguettes

Hey All,

I'm sure you've seen my post here venting about my breads not turning out very well:

Anyway, I was inspired to try a Pain a' l'ancienne Baguette from here:

Of course, I can't seem to stick to recipes, so here is what I did instead:

Total Ingredients:

350g AP (Whole Foods 365)

100g BF (KA Bread Flour)

100g Graham Flour (Bob's Red Mill)

350g Water

10g Kosher Salt

100g Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydr. straight from fridge)

2g Active Dry Yeast (1/2 tsp)

Total Dough Weight 937g


Day 1

Make soaker with the following:

175g AP

100g BF

50g Graham Flour

325 g Cool Water

-Mix all ingredients, place in a bowl or plastic container, cover and refrigerate for 24hrs.

Day 2

650g Soaker from Day 1

175g AP

100g Firm Sourdough Starter

25g Cool Water

10g Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

-Mix all ingredients in large bowl, cover and let rest (autolyse) for 20-30 minutes.

-Knead 50 strokes in bowl, cover and rest for 1 hr.

-Turn dough on lightly floured surface, return to bowl, cover and let ferment for 2 hrs.

-Divide into 3 equal pieces, preshape into loose ovals, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

-Place baking stone on 2nd rack from top, arrange steam pan with lava rocks under stone, off to side, and preheat oven to 500F with convection.

-Shape baguettes by rolling and stretching them gently until they are betwen 15-16" long.

-Proof for 45 minutes on linen couche.

-To bake, place them on peel, slash using lame or sharp razor/knife, place in oven directly on stone.  Add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close oven door, bake for 10 minutes at 460F with convection.  Rotate and bake for another 18 minutes without convection, or until internal temp registers 210F.  Cool for at least 30 minutes before eating...

Notes: I should have baked them at 480F and then at 460F after rotating.




norco1's picture


I appreciate the need for scoring and have always scored my bread. My problem with scoring is that at the point of baking my scoring tool (serrated knife and especially a razor) is usually hung up by the proofed dough and unable to make that neat quick cut. Any suggestions?

ericb's picture

What is a Peasant Loaf?

I always hear the term "Peasant Bread," but I've never been able to nail down a definition. I assumed it was a whole wheat loaf made with poolish, but recipes online are all across the board. 

Is this just another name for "rustic" or "artisan" bread, or does it have a more specific meaning?

Any thoughts?

RiverWalker's picture

Anyone know "Valentinos"?

theres a pizza place where I grew up, (southeast nebraska) called Valentinos. its the name for good pizza there, and its great.

by my memory, their main pizza crust is a relatively thick, fluffy, moist, buttery and light.  but at the same time having enough stiffness to not be completely flimsy. it had a nice gold browning on the bottom.  it could stand up to a relatively heavy load of toppings, and have a presence, but not be overwhelming.

very different from the artisan-y, lightly topped, paper thin crusted pizza that some seem to see as the ideal.   I mean that has its good points too, but I miss that breadier, richer pizza experience.

I want to try to simulate that sort of crust more.  what would be the best way to go about trying to mimic that sort of crust?