The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New with Sour Dough- Please help!

greattobegrammy's picture

New with Sour Dough- Please help!

Hi, I am a new mom to a 2 week old sour dough starter!  I used a wheat flour/pineapple juice starter recipe from this site.  The starter is very active and "yeasty" smelling now.  I've not refrigerated it yet, but the last couple days didn't throw any out, just added flour and water to begin making more starter so I can make bread. 

I'd really like to be able to bake fresh bread for lunch.  Since sour dough bread takes longer to rise, could I let it raise overnight, form loaves in the morning and bake around 11:30 or so?  Would I need to put the dough in the fridge overnight?

We like a tall loaf with a light colored, soft crust and texture that is good for sandwiches.  I have lots of metal loaf pans that I purchased from a bread bakery when it closed. They are about 9 x 5, non-stick finish, and have  a few small holes in the bottom of the pan for steam escape. I would prefer using these pans for our loaves instead of the round or free form type loaf.  I'd also like to make 2 (maybe three) loaves at a time or maybe 2 loaves of bread and 1 pan of cinnimon rolls :)

Could you please give me information and recipes, or links to them, that would produce this type bread? J also have a Kitchen Aid Mixer if that is required for mixing (not sure whether it is good to use or not).   Just so you know I'm not a total bread baking newbie, I made sourdough bread years ago from a "Herman" recipe that I fed sugar, water, potato flakes (and maybe flour, can't remember).  I didn't buy any kind of bread for over a year, used this recipe for sandwich bread and rolls.  We loved it!  But...I have no idea what happened to the recipe so I'm starting over with this new type of starter.  However, I've forgotten most of what I knew about bread making since it's been about 20 years!

My starter and I are ready to begin...waiting for your input!


LindyD's picture

Welcome to TFL, Terry.  It's a great place with tons of great information on just about every topic relating to bread, especially for those willing to explore the site.

You might try typing "sourdough sandwich bread" in the search bar at the left hand top of the screen - I think you'll find quite a few recipes to choose from.

Happy baking....

sphealey's picture

Here is one link:  Whole Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread

There are several others if you search as LindyD recommended.  I don't care for spelt myself, but you could replace that with whole wheat, white, or a mixture of the two.  Don't miss bwraith's videos - click on the video link, and when you get to Google Video click on "More By This User".  Quite useful.

You can certainly mix and knead the dough on Saturday night, put it in the refrigerator overnight, then shape, rise, and bake it on Sunday.  I have been doing this recently due to non-baking timing requirements but the result has been excellent taste.  That long cold ferment in the refrigerator builds a lot of flavor.


greattobegrammy's picture

Thanks so much for the welcome and information!

I tried making a sourdough sandwich bread using a recipe from this website (I can't remember the name) and using the instructions from the video mentioned above, with a few adjustments.

I used 1 cup starter, 2 cups water, salt and 2 cups white whole wheat flour and mixed it in the mixer before bed.  I left it covered on the counter before going to bed and let sponge overnight as read in one of the recipes.

Next day, I punched down, and mixed the remainder of the ingredients up, using 4 cups of unbleached white flour.  I let this rise about 6 hours then punched down and used the stretch and fold information in the video, formed 2 loaves and placed in 5x9 loaf pans to rise.  I had to travel out of town for an emergency, so couldn't bake the loaves for about 3 hours, they just rose in the pans, covered.  Before baking, the bread was at the top of the pan.  I baked for about 35 minutes at 375 degrees.  Bread rose up about an inch above top of pan during the baking, I spread tops with butter and turned out onto wire racks to cool.

The crust was a nice, light brown and the crumb looked good, even though I would have preferred a taller loaf.  However, when I tasted the bread, it was so bad I couldn't even swallow it!  It didn't taste sour, it tasted spoiled!  We were so glad we hadn't waited for the fresh bread to get done before making our grilled ham and cheese sandwiches earlier (we were all starving)!  I ended up throwing the loaves away! 

Now, I want to try again!  This entire time, I've fed the starter daily using the following method:

At night, stir starter and pour 1/4 cup into clean jar, throwing out the remaining starter.  Add in 1/4 cup flour and 1/8 cup water.  Stir and let set in covered jar on counter. Next morning, check for rise and it hasn't doubled.  Stir a couple times during the day and check again before going to bed.  Still hasn't doubled (went from about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup), so repeat this process.

I made this starter using the recipe for ww flour and pineapple juice for the first 4 days (had bubbles) and used the water/flour additions beginning on day 5 till now.  I've done this every day for about 3 weeks now!  The starter is a nice consistency and bubbly. It smells yeasty! I've only made bread with this starter once and it was awful!  I've gone through almost 5 lbs. of flour now with nothing to show for it, but I want that to change!

Please tell me what to do now, step by step!!!  Can I continue using this starter as a base, but do something different where the taste isn't as strong/offensive?  All my ingredients were fresh.  I used to make wonderful sour dough with the water/potato flake/sugar recipe years ago.  Can you help me make some yummy bread for my family?  I want a white sourdough sandwich bread.  I'm not using the King Arthurs WW flour anymore since that may have contributed to the strong flavor (however, I've used part ww before and never had THIS flavor :).