The Fresh Loaf

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Tried my first sourdough bread today.

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bergmef's picture
bergmef

Tried my first sourdough bread today.

Tried my first sourdough bread today.


 


Boy do I have a lot to learn.  :-)  The first one looks like someone sat on it, and the second deflated so bad coming out of the basket that I didn't even put it in the oven.  On the first, when I scored it, it sank.  Definately not what I was hoping for.


 


Oh well, next weekend is the next try.  Must work on surface tension and watch some more videos.


 


Any other suggestions?


 


Frank

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Frank.


The most common cause of a loaf deflating during transfer or scoring is over-proofing.


Try proofing to less than double in volume, maybe 75-85%.


I'm assuming your starter was good and active and you fully fermented the dough before dividing and forming the loaves.


David

Pablo's picture
Pablo

They both sound like overproofing to me.  When the dough deflats from scoring or just moving it from here to there, it's probably overproofing.  Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, it's hard to judge proofing.  If you kept notes on how long you proofed, try less time the next try.  Proofing time also varies considerably based on the dough temperature and the ambient temperature.  I and everybody here has made plenty of pancakes along the way.  Keep at it.


:-Paul

bergmef's picture
bergmef

I plan to keep at it.  I do think it was over proofed, it stuck to the wrap that was over it and it sank like a brick.  Tons of air holes too.  I'm watching videos now and my dough was not that firm.


 


Can't wait to try more (still tastes good).


 


Frank

Alpine's picture
Alpine

Buy a roll of parchment baking paper. Place the formed roll on the paper, on a cookie sheet. Transfer the loaf on paper to your stone or simply leave it on the sheet. Sourdough cultures take a VERY long time to overproof (3 to 5 hours), wild yeast only cultures will overproof in as little as 2 hours, commercial yeast cultures can overproof in as little as 1 hour.


If you are using sourdough instructions with a yeast only culture, you'll crash and burn every time. If your "sourdough" culture was made with bakers yeast, it isn't a sourdough culture and must be used according to quick rise yeast instructions.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

sourdough vs "wild yeast only" cultures.


Thanks, Betty

Alpine's picture
Alpine

If you mix equal parts flour and water in a bowl (4 oz each, weighed), cover it with cheesecloth to keep insects out, put it in a shady spot in your back yard and feed it a bit of fresh water and flour every day (2 oz each, weighed); in a few days, you may see some bubbles forming. Bring the bowl inside and feed according to starter instructions, if you get a bubbly happy culture...you win; you caught a wild yeast. If not, try again. This is how bread makers have captured yeast for starter for many centuries.


THIS IS NOT SOURDOUGH STARTER, this is a captured wild yeast starter. I have bought several "sourdough" starters from EBAY and all but one was yeast only (one made from grapes was not even a bread starter at all, it died if fed white flour and water).


Sourdough starter is something entirely different from a wild yeast starter, the only thing sourdough has in common with a yeast starter is yeast; sourdough starter also contains lactobacillus; an entirely differently animal...literality.


Yeast is a fungus (like mushrooms), lactobacillus is a bacteria (the enzimes generated by the lactobacillus in your intestines does most of your food digesting). The dairy industry uses a simular bacteria to generate lactic acid to make sour cream and yogurt sour. A different type is used to make vinegar. (Dairy lactobacillus does not work for bread, there are thousands of spicies of lactobacillus, most won't survive on flour alone and can't be used for sourdough)


The probilibity of capturing both a yeast and lactobacillus in your back yard bowl is very...very...very...very small; it can happen, but don't count on it (I've never heard of anyone who has succeeded). In the old days, when a starter got contaminated with a lactobacillus, often after decades of use, and turned sour, it was considered spoiled and trashed, and a new "sweet" starter was captured.


You CANNOT make a sourdough starter from commercial baker's yeast...period...end of subject. Any book that says otherwise is amateur hour bullshit.


The only way to know a sourdough starter from a yeast starter is to work with a real sourdough starter. Buy a starter from www.sourdo.com, I HIGHLY recommend the Ischia Island starter from their Italian collection.


Once you REALLY know sourdough starter, you can try to capture your own; but expect to possibly spend a lifetime failing.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

All the bread baking book authors who instruct us on how to develop a sourdough starter are wrong, guiding us to "a lifetime failing." 


Highly esteemed bakers like Reinhart, Hamelman, Leader, DiMuzio, Glezer, et. al. just don't know what they are talking about.


You do.


I just can't fathom why that would that would piss off anyone.


David


P.S. 



lactobacillus in your intestines does most of your food digesting



Guess I better go back to medical school. That's not what they taught me in microbiology, gastroenterology or nutrition.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

'Alpine', You are of course entitled to your opinion - but opinion is what it remains - not fact.


I would be happy to (as I believe some here have) subject my starters to microsopic/ microbiological analysis if you want proof that the 'average backyard starter' contains a happy equilibrium of lactobacilli(many diff. strains) AND wild yeast. In fact the lactobacilli will probably outnumber the wild yeast by some degree.


It is telling that you seek to cloud the issue further in your 'explanation' by characterizing what you deem to be 'not sourdough starters' with the mention of commercial baker's yeast and 'starters bought on ebay'. 


I can assure you that MOST of the people making sourdough here on TFL here have used neither commercial yeast nor 'ebay starters' as the basis for their sourdough starters.


Quote:
The probilibity of capturing both a yeast and lactobacillus in your back yard bowl is very...very...very...very small

Actually quite the opposite is true. The chances of cultivating ONLY a wild yeast are VERY small indeed. 


So think and say what you like to protect your commercial interests but your opinions are not borne out by fact.


Sorry,


FP




 

Pablo's picture
Pablo

One does have to wonder where you get your information.


:-Paul

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I think if Floyd wants people to take TFL seriously, he might want to take a more active role in making sure that patent nonsense, such as that contained in the post "Every time I explain...", is not propagated on this forum.  People come to TFL for honest and accurate information related to bread baking.  If inaccurate or false information is strewn throughout the forum, TFL will begin to lose its reputation as an authoritative bread baking resource.  With continual posts like "Every time I explain...", I can't imagine people like Hamelman or DiMuzio wasting their time here.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

"You CANNOT make a sourdough starter from commercial baker's yeast...period...end of subject"


also wrong!!! pro bakers have been making sour stater with compressed cake yeast for more years than i can remember. and my info does not come from books it comes from over 25 years of exp. working in the baking industry.


i am 53 and my first job in a bakery was when i was 17. how many years have you been running your bakery and how many bakeries have you worked in?

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I am extremely reluctant to join this discussion in that it seems to have become heated. I've been doing a lot of online reading, exclusive of TFL, about sourdough. To the extent I can, I want to know as much as I can understand about sourdough. As has been my practice, I've turned to the aledged experts for information.


Here is a reference I've found online. It is a partial preview from a textbook titled "Handbook of Dough Fermentations".


http://books.google.com/books?id=eZjIfud742wC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q=&f=false


the preview is not the entire book, but it does contain an entire chapter of the book that is relevant to this discussion. Be forewarned, it is not an easy read, unliess you are a microbiologist; but I think it's worth the effort.


My gleaning from this (and other sources) is all of you are right. There are lactobacilli/yeast symbiotic relationships (starters) that with proper care, and safeguards, remain stable for years, but there are also starters that are comprised mostly of yeast, containing very little lactobacilli, and spontaneous fermentations can occur, without benefit of an inoculant of starter, due to yeast and/or bacteria carried within or on processed grain.


I'm going to try and get a copy of the book through my state's library service. I looked at the price: it's WAY out of my reach.


David G.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

I was under the impression the "catching wild yeast flying through the air" idea had largely been labelled a myth and that the yeast we were "cultivating" (vs "catching") was already established on the grain. Hence the reason for using rye - preferably organic/less processed rye - supposedly abundantly coated in starch loving yeast, when first mixing up your flour/water paste.


I imagine Mythbusters wouldn't find this proposal compelling enough to do a segment but if needs be perhaps we can, as a group, do a side-by-each test as they did on the Sourdough Newsgroup, and see what the results are and hopefully come to a relatively definitive conclusion.


The process, if I recall, is to remove as much of the "possible" yeast-on-the-grain by using boiling water to kill it or baking the flour first, then exposing this, shall we say, 'pure' flour to the air and try to capture airborne yeast.


There may be a better way for a home situation to reduce potential yeast in the flour, I think this would need to be researched first. I believe a more professional version was to actually irradiate the flour to remove all possible existing yeast, but my radiation gun is in the shop and therefore out of service.


At the same time, another batch of flour/water is kept OUT of potential air-borne yeast traffic by keeping it covered with a lid, away from windows and air currents.


I'd imagine that for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this is a good time for such a test as I imagine there would likely be an abundance of wild yeasts floating about at this time of year.


Perhaps if enough people are willing to give this a run, we could have a little fun, get some new starters started and get closer to a conclusion on this issue.


I'll leave the "sourdough starter" vs "wild yeast starter" debate to those who can actually discern a difference.


Lastly, apologies to Frank/bergmef for continuing the derailing, hope the advice given re overproofing will help you have a better result on your next  batch of SD. And as has been said, don't worry, you're not the only person to have this happen - you should see some of the pancake SD loaves I came up with early on. We [hopefully] all get better with practice. And mostly, even the failures are edible.

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

Where did the sourdough starter come from in the first place? It's not like they were coming out of labs....


 


Yeast and bacteria both are found in the flour (not in the air) and both grow once you let your starter ferment. Depending on how the starter is treated, the balance may be different, but they are both there.


 


Are you spamming for sourdo.com?

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Welcome to TFL - and I'm sorry to hear about your disappointing first sourdough attempt. Don't be too disheartened though - we've all been there (I still got there sometimes!).


David is probably right - it does sound like over-proofing. Stick with it and check out the 'handbook' section of this site to get more info and guidance on starting out in sourdough. Please continue to post and ask questions. Give as much detail as you can with any problems you have (pictures are helpful!) and there will be plenty of people here to give great advice and help.


Cheers,


FP

bergmef's picture
bergmef

I'm going to keep better notes, but here are a few details.  The starter is from King Arthur Flour.  I've had it for two weeks.  It seems to bubble when it is supposed to so I guess it's alright.  I followed the recipe that was on the back of the sheet as my first try.  This looks like it.  And if it is, then it was overproofed.  For some reason the times look shorter than the sheet I have.  Wish I was home, I could check.


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/rustic-sourdough-bread-recipe


 


Is there a way to check my starter? Or just go by the generation of bubbles?


 


Frank

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

It's hard to tell without pictures or details about how it's being maintained.


check here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11746/liquid-levain-vs-stiff-levain#comment-65711


for some detailed discussion on starter maintenance and how to gauge visually whether your starter is ready.


There is a simple test for determining whether your final (shaped) dough is ready to bake which is to poke it! If the dough springs back immediately and no indentation remains, then the bread is underproofed. If the dough doesn't spring back at all then the bread is overproofed. If the dough springs back *slowly* about half way - then it's proofed and ready to bake!


This is just a rough guide. As others have said on this site before - don't rely on the clock as an indication of when your dough is ready. Take a simple recipe  and use it regularly - make observations and adjust as necessary. After a few times you'll start to develop a good feel for when the dough is 'ready' throughout its various stages of development.


All the best, and happy baking!


FP


 

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

The Village Baker suggests rolling a small ball of the dough to be proofed, and emerging it into a mason jar of room-temperature water.  When the ball of dough rises to the top, the proofing is complete.  When I tried this, however, I found the ball of dough came to the surface long before the loaves were sufficiently proofed. At least according to my estimation.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

What a cool trick! Too bad it didn't work.


Hmmm ... Maybe I'll give this a try. I'm curious about how well or poorly the floating dough ball criterion correlates with other criteria I use for proofing.


David

bergmef's picture
bergmef

I'm going to try the finger poking first.  Then maybe floaters.


 


 

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

You know, David, it's quite possible my breads *were* actually ready for the oven when the dough ball rose to the top.  I say "by my estimation" they were not, but since reading here, I've learned quite a lot about the woes of overproofing, and I think my tendency has been to overproof.  I'll be interested to hear how your experiment works out. 

cholla's picture
cholla

Frank,


I also bought my starter from King Aurther and I tried following the recipie on the back of the starter instructions, 10-12 tries later and I still was not getting what I would call 'good' bread, if I added comercial yeast I would get a nice loaf but with no sour.


Then I discovered the 1 2 3 thread on here and tried that recipe, sucsess, Time after time, "good' bread and with the sourness that I was looking for.


I mix my dough 1 2 3 around 4 pm then let it set on the counter until around 8pm, maybe a couple of stretch and folds, then into the refridgerator until morning,when the dough is almost doubled in size then I remove the dough and form into boules while cold. Proof about 3 hours on the counter (it runs about 80F in my kitchen) until it passes what I deem is a proper poke test, then slashed and into a 425F oven, sprayed with water and covered with the top of a roasting pan for 13 min. then uncover for another 20 min. turning once.



 

Andreas's picture
Andreas

Just as an aside, getting a lacto-acidic fermentation going is child's play. Lactobacilli are all around us and are only too happy to jump onto anything that looks like an inviting environment. 


Come fall, I make sauerkraut and pickles. All you need to create a happy bacteria habitat is a 5% saline solution and your vegetable of choice. Keep it below 70º and all will be well. 


Sourdough starter is just another habitat that we create to invite these useful little organisms and if the conditions are right, they'll move right in. 

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I'll fifth the overproofing


 


When I started doing SD, I assumed that my young starter would need more time to raise the loaves. Big big mistake. I got a bunch of ugly flat loaves with nasty crust. I proof right at 3 hours now (on refrigerated dough) and get consistently good looking loaves now.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I do a similar test when I make bagels before dropping them into boiling water. I float one in cool water to see if it will float, after shaping and sitting on the counter for ferment/proofing. When the test piece floats I'm off to the boiling water and baking.


There must be some correlation we could use on bread dough. Knowing when the proof is done continues to be hit or miss with me.


 


Eric

Scottyj's picture
Scottyj

My first SD loaves came out flat and hard. I made SD bread crumbs out of them. My second Loaves came out so good they were gone with the one meal. So keep up the good work and remember if they do not come out make bread crumbs out of them. 

bergmef's picture
bergmef

I was thinking crutons actually.


 


Will be trying a lot more in the near future.


 


Frank