The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crying in my hooch.

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sdionnemoore's picture
sdionnemoore

Crying in my hooch.

I could just cry. Maybe I will. After going through almost the entire sourdough starter process, I was on day 5 and, because I read it was a great way to warm up an oven, I tried putting my starter in the oven with the light to add warmth. A great idea since our house is usually around 65 degrees. Well, I got the surprise of my life when I opened my oven door and the oven was HOT. My ovens are new GE Monogram, so this is my first time (and last time!) using this method, because I'm pretty sure the heat killed those yeasties dead.


After some debate, I forged ahead and did my sourdough bread. Made the dough too stiff (measured, not weighed the flour). Added water. Let it set to rise. Nothing. So, after all my excitement, I had nothing to show for all that waiting and feeding and . . . *sigh* I'm back to square one. Well, actually I saved some of the sponge before making the sourdough bread. It has a few bubbles. Do you think I can use it?


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and flour and see what happens.  Why not?


 

sdionnemoore's picture
sdionnemoore

I added too much flour, then had to add water to thin the dough. But when I went to put it to double, it didn't do a thing. So I pitched it out. 


 


I saved some sponge though, so my question now is, can I revive it or should I start fresh?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is not a bad idea.  Thinning gives the beasts plenty of space to move around.  Stirring is also good, like every 4 hours or so.  If it tastes like just flour and water, it will need some more time.  I might let it stand in a warm place for 24 hours and then make a decision.  You should also start another at the same time.  But I do think adding pineapple juice would help lower the pH to help the little beasts.  And dividing a small can or package between the two.


Mini

00lewis00's picture
00lewis00

I have been experimenting with using my oven lights as the source of heat for rising and proofing.  I have a Kenmore convection dual fuel, with an electric oven.  It has two lights.  In about an hour the temperature is around 80.  Left alone it will work its way up to 90.  I have been aiming for 78-80 so I have to watch it a bit to make sure I don't let it get too hot.  Sometimes I leave the door oepn to bring it down. 


It is a more consistent heat than my house, which is heated by wood, so this time of year it seems like a good option.  I do have to watch it, though, to make sure it does not get too hot.


-Greg

janij's picture
janij

I think you can revive what you have.  But I am not sure I know what you mean by sponge.  Try just feeding it.  Take like 1 T of what you have left, add 2 T flour and 1 T water.  Cover and let it sit for about 12 hrs and see what happens.

sdionnemoore's picture
sdionnemoore

Janij, I went ahead and used my starter (even though I suspected it was DOA) to make a sponge (preferment?) for the sourdough bread I was going to make. I dunno all the terms, but that's what the recipe called it. 

janij's picture
janij

So you took part of the starter and added what?  Just flour and water?  or did you add salt?  And you did this after it got too warm?  I think even if you added salt it is worth a try taking a small amount like 1 T and builing it back up.  I mean you went to all the work, I would give it a shot before you throw in the towel and start over.  If it doesn't start to bubble or do anything in 12 hrs, sorry I would scrape it.  But see what others think.  There are a lot of people here with more expertise than myself in this area.

FLGal's picture
FLGal

I would try adding a little rye flour and water to your starter.  Just keep the hydration level about the same as it is.  I found my starter really got a boost from a little rye.  Just an idea - it might be worth a try.

darellmatt's picture
darellmatt

OK, this may be just me, but I am a control freak when it comes to temp. So I went to the hardware store and bought a ceramic bulb base, a dimmer, an extension cord, and rigged up a bulb that I can put in the oven and control from the counter. It's a variation on the old styrofoam proofing box, only using the oven as the box. As long as the room temp doesn't vary too much, I can get the proofing temp to stay within a degree of where I want it.


The punch line is that after all that, my 14 year old daughter said "Dad, why don't you just set the oven for 78 degrees instead of all that stuff?" I said "Honey, oven's don't go that low." She said "did you try it?" "No. Here, let me show you why it won't work". So I set our Wolf digital oven for 78 degrees and bingo, the display lights up "Proofing ... 78 degrees".


Who knew?

sdionnemoore's picture
sdionnemoore

Darellmatt, that is hilarious! I'm glad you figured out your oven had such conveniences. Score one for your DD!

beeman1's picture
beeman1

That is funny.

nijap's picture
nijap

I use 100% hydration for starter and 66% for dough.  Love to preferment at low temp over night.  65F is good temp for this. Since you have the sponge left over, use it to build up starter in stages at proofing temp, until you get required amount of starter.  You may even be able to use the dough you tried before.