The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Live and Learn (Supposedly)

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Susan's picture
Susan

Starter Live and Learn (Supposedly)

I TOLD myself to be ready for the change in weather, but it tripped me up once again.  I wasn't taking the warmer weather into account when refreshing my starter.  So lately it was way on the downhill side before I was using it.  Big mistake, as my loaves have been somewhat flatter and somewhat more dense, though certainly edible.  But I'm back on track now, as evidenced below.  Thought I'd better document this here so others can learn from my errors.




 80g firm starter, 200g water, 275g HG flour, 25g WWW, 7g salt



Your somewhat slow bread buddy,

Susan

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

This weather is something else!  Oh, lovely boule, the crumb and photos are mouth watering!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Until I finished reading your entry, I thought you were going to try to foist that gorgeous boule on us as your "big mistake." I was going to say, "Your mistakes are others' triumphs." 


But it's just another beautiful boule from Susan.


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Very nice boule, Susan. Your crumb looks wonderful.


--Pamela

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Susan, you have the magic touch :-)

Susan's picture
Susan

Thanks, y'all. Believe me, you didn't want to see the last few! 


And just for you, Debra, here's my Magic Wand.


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Susan, believe me, I have composted a lot of rejects, especially when I'm experimenting, or developing a recipe. That's okay. The beauty is, I always learn something, and it sounds like you did too. Bread has a way of keeping us humble. That's a good thing... I think

LindyD's picture
LindyD

What a terrific and mouthwatering boule, Susan.


High gluten flour, eh?  I'm going to have to skip the bagels and go for the boule.


It's (finally) warmed up here so maybe I'll get lucky.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Just once I would like to have a boule turn out like any one of yours Susan. I swear you give me motivation to pay attention.


Very lovely as usual.


 


Eric

blackbird's picture
blackbird

Beautiful, front page, book jacket, set it down on the table, thanks for the info

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Susan:


How is this compared to the 63% SD? This appears to have a fluffier crumb in the picture. What difference does it make when a firmer starter is used?  Thanks for sharing your beautiful bread with us. 


Yippee

Susan's picture
Susan

The sourdough loaves with the best flavor are, in my opinion, made with a firm starter and are retarded either at fermentation or proofing.  We like a chewy, stretchy crumb, which is why I use high-gluten flour.  Make bread until you find what hydration works for you and your flour.  Development is crucial.  And if your starter isn't rarin' to go, then you've handicapped yourself. 


Have you used Flo's 1.2.3 formula?  1 part starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour.  Nothing could be simpler, and it works beautifully.  Don't forget the salt. 


Remember to have fun.


Best,


Susan from San Diego

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Susan, for your information.  Getting my starter ready to give your bread a try. 


 


Yippee 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Susan:


I'm going to convert my 100% hydration starter to a 67% hydration starter so that I can use it in both your recipe and David's SJS recipe. If my starter was just refreshed 1:2:2 and returned to the fridge right away over the weekend, do I need to take it out to room temperature, wait until it doubles before refreshing it using the 1:2:3 ratio? Thanks.


Yippee  

Susan's picture
Susan

Stir it, and look at it to see what condition it's in for future reference.  Take out a small amount (say 10g) and refresh that to 67%, then build it again, (after it matures) to the amount you need.  Put the rest of your original starter back into the fridge as a backup.


Good luck!


Susan

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Susan:


I'll build it up from a small amount as you indicated.  I look forward to making your bread again since I learned so much last time under your instruction.  This time I have Guisto HG flour and KA WWW flour on hand and I can follow your recipe even more closely.  Thank you.


Yippee

venkitac's picture
venkitac

That looks beautiful! What is WWW? (The 25g listed above)?

Susan's picture
Susan

WWW =  White Whole Wheat flour, and thanks for the compliment!  Have fun, Venkitac.



And yes, Debra, that is a chopstick!  My blending/mixing/folding tool of choice.  It cleans up so easily!!!  If you want to try, the magic comes from using it upside-down. ;<)


Susan

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I guess my wand is this dough whisk. But, I still think the magic comes from the baker :-)


Click here: Dough Whisk

ques2008's picture
ques2008

i like the way the inside of the bread looks!  nice holes.

AlamedaSteve's picture
AlamedaSteve

Susan, I have been using Nancy Silverton's recipes for some time, but have never been able to get a crumb even approaching yours; though the flavor and appearance - blistered, mahogany - have been good.


 


I am just now converting to a firm starter, and will be using the proportions and stretch/fold, no-knead process you suggest.


 


A couple of questions:


 


Can you explain what adjustments you made to accommodate for the warmer weather?  It seems to have had a dramatic effect on your breadmaking.


 


The Glezner firm starter 1:2.5:4.5 presents close to the ratios you use 1:3:4, and suggests it will quadruple in 8 hrs. when ready for use.  Do you find that yours quadruples in 8hrs?


 


And, I think you do your risings in a 75+/- deg environment, right?


 


I think I read that you got rid of your stone - can you explain why, and what difference it has made?


 


I have been using Stone-Buhr white bread flour, but will now be trying All-Trumps.  But, can you tell me which one - bromated, unbromated, etc. - you use; and, where might I find it?  We live in the San Francisco area.


 


Being an adherent to the kneading school of thought, I will be uneasily moving into very unfamiliar territory with the stretch/folding thing, so can you please provide a few more details on how you mix, rest, and handle the ingredients?


 


Though I could go on, I will stop now - more than a "couple" of questions - lest you weary of my gross intrusion.  It's just that this sourdough pursuit/passion of mine.....well, I think you know.


 


Thank you for indulging me.


 


Steve

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are you writing a book?  There are some things you just have to find out on your own.  You can also use the search engine at the top left corner of the page.  I'm sure she has answered these Q's in the past.


Susan is currently on Safari.  I'm sure when she returns she will even bake your bread for you.


Mini


 

Susan's picture
Susan

Come on, Mini, quit pulling Steve's leg!  You know I'm using Camino nowadays.


Susan from San Diego

Susan's picture
Susan

At least some of them. 



  • Since the weather is warmer now, the starter grows faster, so one must use it earlier than in winter or find a way to slow it down.  Sourdough is all about understanding the dough, and starter is just a smaller version of dough.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you how to understand it.  You'll have to come to that yourself, given experimentation. 

  • Quadrupling time depends on the temperature.

  • Whatever room temperature happens to be, or I might put the fermenting dough in the microwave with a cup of boiling water.

  • The stone made no appreciable difference to my bread.  A heavy pizza pan works just great for me, or sometimes an aluminum roaster.

  • I haven't used Stone-Buhr flour, so cannot comment on that, but KA Bread flour works beautifully for me, as its protein content is very high.  I buy my All Trumps #50143 from a bakery distributor locally.  You'll have to suss one out.

  • Steve, may I suggest that you read my entire blog.  You'll find answers to several of your questions there.


Welcome to TFL, and remember to have fun.


Susan from San Diego

AlamedaSteve's picture
AlamedaSteve

Mini, you are right.  It was an imposition - it's just that I have had so many questions that Susan's products seemed to address; and I got carried away.


 


And, Susan, thank you for this and all of your contributions; and please accept my apologies.


 


Steve


 


p.s. - good luck on the safari.   :)

Susan's picture
Susan

Oh, Steve, all of us here at TFL understand the notion of being carried away by breadmaking.  I LOVE pulling the cover off my bread to see what happened under there!


Good luck on finding the right flour for you, and feel free ask to questions as they arise.


Please start your own blog soon.  I expect to be wowed by your contributions.  You could begin by showing us a couple of your Silverton loaves, if you'd like.  Or do you not yet take photos of practically every single loaf you make?  Hahahahaha.


Thanks for being so complimentary and, yes, I had a great time on Safari.


Susan from San Diego

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Susan:


If I'm making 2 baby boules out of your formula, about 290g each, (my kids want to have clam chowder in bread bowls), how long would you suggest I bake them for?  Thanks.


Yippee

breitbaker's picture
breitbaker

I love love LOVE this fomula...it has become my standard "daily bread" of late...shaped it more in a torpedo style for sandwiches and toast...thanks Susan!  this site doesn't seem to let me post photos but try this link for a picture..:)  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30314807&l=b4a7cab54b&id=1340372286

ovguide's picture
ovguide

Susan,


What is oven temperature and how long does it to take to bake?


Thanks!