The Fresh Loaf

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The inevitable next beginner question

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Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

The inevitable next beginner question

Now that my wild yeast starter is perking along (How do you get a starter going?  Post a whine on this website that it's not going and--whammo!  It takes off!), I'm dreaming of actually USING the starter soon. . .


One of the reasons I wanted sourdough was to add to the multigrain loaf I've been baking (recipe here:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/multi-grain-loaf-recipe) .  The bread is delicious, but stales quickly.  My thought is that the addition of some sourdough will improve the longevity fo the dough.  I do not intend to use the sourdough as the leavening or sour flavor.


So how much starter should I put in and how much of the AP flour and water should I remove from the original recipe?  Am I correct that 100% hydration starter has an equal weight of flour and water, therefore if I add 60 grams of starter I am replacing 30 grams of flour and 30 grams of water in the original recipe? 


How do I determine how much starter to use when I am not seeking to leaven with the starter or affect the flavor?   Should I start out with a small amount and gradually increase that until I hit on the right combination?  Or is there a general rule of thumb proportionally?


That recipe calls for KA "dough improver" to lighten the structure a bit.  I don't have the KA product, but I have been substituting 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten and 1 tsp of vinegar with good results.  If I'm adding sourdough starter, will it take the place of either or both of these ingredients, or should I still add one or both? 


I'm not going to try to add starter to my multigrain loaf this weekend, as th starter is still very young.  But I am going to try sourdough english muffins.  My husband has to go out of town to help his mother move to assisted living, so I am cooking my own mother's day breakfast for my kids--after all, they MADE me a mother.  And I'll get to try out my mother (dough) for the first time!  I am looking forward to homemade english muffins slathered with butter and jam!

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I did mean 30 ml of water, not grams.  DUH!

noyeast's picture
noyeast

I love that recipe for Whole Grain and will try it tomorrow.  What a good idea to add some SD starter to try and keep fresher, longer.


I'm going to do the same thing, only to use up some starter instead of tossing it away.   But will use regular yeast to rise the dough.


To address your original question about how much to adjust and how to calculate it:


I'm mostly a hands on learner and tend not to work things out on paper too often, I would simply suggest when mixing your starter in with the dough ingredients, to aim for the dough consistency you've become accustomed to rather than trying to work it all out via hydration %age and total flour to water ratio.


You have made this bread several times obviously, and will know the "feel" of your dough, I would just aim for that, personally.  But others may chime in with a formula to help you work it out more exactly.  Good luck.


Thanks for the recipe link.


Paul.

averydryfino's picture
averydryfino

Can anyone help me? My starter appears to have died. I am using ladysourdough's recipe with orange juice and am on the second repeat of day 4 (add water and flour after discard).


I now have a liquid layer on top of the flour/water mix. What has gone wrong?


noyeast's picture
noyeast

Try feeding it more often, and use slightly less liquid.  Reduce the hydration level very slightly on each successive feeding as you approach baking day.  You should start to notice bubbles once the starter thickens slightly.   


My own wild yeast starter took 3 weeks to get going, but was better after 5.


Paul.