100% starter loaves
A Tale of Two Boules
I wanted to find out if I could bake a decent loaf without adding any flour to a starter. I keep my starters on the counter and feed them twice a day at 1:5:6. My routine has had me taking 5 grams out and mixing that with 25 grams of water and 30 grams of flour. The leftover I then mix with flour down to ~50% and stash in the 'fridge. I'm currently running two starters, my own that I started around the time that I started here at the Fresh Loaf last August that has been with me through thick and thin, which is fed 85% white, 10% rye and 5% ww, and Carl's Oregon Trail starter that I rehydrated a week or two ago and have been feeding 100% white.
The starter balls on the left are Carl's, accumulated for a few days, those on the right are my regular starter. I'll get to the bread cubes in a minute. For the Carl's loaf I had 375g of starter at 50% hydration and I kneaded in 45g water mixed with 6g salt. The dough handled nicely, I proofed it for 2.5 hours at room temp and baked under a bowl.
The loaf looks nice, but the crumb is very close.
I haven't played with the Carl's starter yet at all. This was my first usage. I imagine that treated differently I'll get a more open crumb. It's certainly edible bread.
For the other starter I was inspired by reading David and Mini's recent comments about including old bread in your loaf. As long as I was experimenting anyway... Something I learned is that I probably want to cut the crust off tough old SD (leftover from the proofing experiment) before using it. Luckily I picked up from David the idea of soaking the bread before adding it. I did not do that with the BBA Pumpernickle loaf that is now proofing and I think what I'll have is "Chunky Pumpernickle". Since the soaked bread crumbs were a complete hydration unknown I just winged it adding water and I added a little too much, the dough was pretty tacky, but I could handle it, barely. I was determined to not add any flour and to just use 100% starter. It was doing fine until it stuck to the couche when trying to get it onto the parchment paper to bake. I panicked and just abandoned it to the Oven Gods. What I think I should have done was treat the inadvertant degassing as simply a degassing and reformed the loaf and let it rise again. Lesson learned. So the poor flat thing went in the oven and came out as above. But, look at the crumb!
Not spectacular but much more open than the first one. How 'bout that.
So, I answered my own question about whether I could bake a serviceable 100% starter loaf. Yes.