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Susan's Simple Small Sourdough Challenge

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ehanner

Susan's Simple Small Sourdough Challenge

The Simple Sourdough bread posted below is such a beautiful loaf and the perfect size for dinner. Susan has been making this loaf as her daily bread for a long time, has perfected the process and shared it with us. This is a bread any of us who bake with a natural levain (SD) should be able to bake. Or, if you are not currently feeding a sourdough pet, this is a good reason to start.


I think it might be fun to take the challenge and try to duplicate Susan's handiwork. If nothing else it will be a good exercise in the building blocks of basic sourdough. From the looks of her efforts I can stand to pay attention to the details. On occasion I get a loaf that has the qualities of hers but I would really like to be able to make this bread on any day.


In the next few days I plan to give this my best shot and work on the technique until I understand all the subtle check points to arrive at a perfect loaf. Anyone care to join me on this?


Eric

Comments

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Beautiful slashing and nice color. The crumb looks great.


weavershouse

LindyD's picture
LindyD

My first attempt wound up as doggy bisquits because starting this bread in the evening was not a wise thing to do.  What was I thinking??  Clearly, I wasn't.


By the time I finished the last S&F Friday night, I realized the bulk fermentation would not be completed until two or three Saturday morning.  I can think of better things to do at that hour (like sleep), so into the cooler it went.  Where it remained until 10 pm Saturday night because I was called away for the day.  After giving it a couple of pokes, decided it was destined for the doggy bags.


I tried again on Sunday but rather than mixing all the ingredients (using KAF bread flour and organic rye) I mixed the flour, chef, and water -  but did not add the salt until after the 30 minute autolyse.   My first attempt included the salt and I found a difference in the dough by holding back the salt until the autolyse was finished.


A bit of kneading and a few folds brought it all together nicely.  There was nice fermentation going on during the two S&Fs and at the end of the bulk fermentation (which took over four hours in my very cool house) the dough was quite bubbly.  Again, however, my timing was off as I finished shaping the boule at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night.  


As Monday was a work day, the boule wound up spending 19.5 hours in the cooler. Way too long and I'm surprised it didn't turn into a pancake during the bake.



I don't know what the crumb looks like because I've had dinner and won't slice it until tomorrow.  It did sing quite loudly as it cooled, and it gave off a wonderful sourdough aroma as it baked.  If it tastes as good as it smelled, all the better.


One discovery I'm absolutely thrilled about was Susan's direction to put the dough in a linen-lined container.  I've never tried that and in hunting for an appropriate cloth, found a set of lovely linen napkins and placemats purchased in Jamaica some years ago, which I rarely use.


I used one of the napkins to line my brotform and flipped out when I discovered this evening that the dough didn't stick at all to the linen.  Cool!


I like the size of the boule and will definitely try it again.  Snow flurries are forecast for the weekend, so by then I'll have the woodstove going.  It will be nice to have a warm kitchen again after this very cold "summer."

montanagrandma's picture
montanagrandma

It collapsed in the frig due to over rise, so I deflated, kneaded a bit and set to rise again. It did not rise as much as it would have but I baked it off anyway and ate with dinner tonight. It still had a crisp crust, the crumb was a little dense but very tasty.


I figured the birds could still eat it if it didn't turn out. Too bad for the birds this time!


Your bread looks wonderful.

Susan's picture
Susan

I hope you're planning to try it again soon, MG.  We'll be waiting.


Susan

Susan's picture
Susan

And Lucky Lindy!


I hope the crumb is as pretty as your loaf!  And thanks for reporting back on the linen liner; I'm happy it worked well for you.  Adding the salt after the resting period is always difficult for me.  I'll try again since you felt it made a difference.  Any hints? 


I've retarded the dough after folding, or at proofing, with no ill effects.  Sorry you had timing problems, but I know you can work that out. 


Soon nothing will rise as it has been and we'll be trying to find all the warm spots in our houses.  Stay warm and dry this weekend.  Glad you kept at it!  Good job.


Susan

dosidough's picture
dosidough

A litle disapointing but also rewarding. The dough was super sticky, almost like a No-Knead dough, and it spread rather than rise. The slashes filled in before I got it in the oven. It was very rainy when I started this on Sat. so maybe I should have cut back on the water. I made the firm starter out of my regular 82% hydration stock and it seemed active enough after it’s overnight rest. Perhaps the KA bread flour needs less water. I did figure out I could use the regular whole wheat instead of white. That was a relief. I liked the non-sour flavor and the crumb was nice. I’ll try it again in a couple weeks.
Love the chop stick twist!

Here’s hoping for a better bake next time.
Bake on!


Dosi



 


 

Susan's picture
Susan

Sorry you were disappointed.  Sounds like the gluten didn't develop as well as it should have.  Maybe drop 5g water and fold more than once each time you fold.  It's hard to keep trying a dough that didn't succeed for you, but that's exactly what you need to do.  It's a learning experience.  Most of the trouble I had when starting to bake sourdough was related to my starter; it just wasn't as healthy and active as it should have been.  But "I didn't know what I didn't know."  Let me know how it goes.


Susan

audra36274's picture
audra36274

I have been found guilty by a trial of my peer's (Eric) to have killed my starter while under the influnces of flu . I have been sentenced to start over. This time I did it with orange juice, and since I had it on hand pure apple. It was not in the recommended, but since it was there, I'll have two to compare maybe.


Audra

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Get well soon, Audra!  Both my grandsons had the swine flu...none of the other household caught it and all are fine.  The oldest and first to get sick was hit pretty hard with it ..but he was very run down from playing sports when he caught the bug.  Both the boys recovered fast and I hope you do too!


Sylvia

Susan's picture
Susan

It's terrible for me to laugh when you're feeling so bad, but I admit I LOL at your post.  Please feel all better soon.


Susan

audra36274's picture
audra36274

   It was funny, I had felt so bad for days and all of a sudden I just started feeling better. Hubby was in the kitchen getting dinner for the kids (should have let him go on with that thinking back) I ate, and started complaining about how the house was a wreck, and giving out orders. The whole family cheered "she's back!" LOL! They had it easy for several days. I didn't care if the world turned must less if the house got cleaned! Now the house smells of Lysol spray to high heaven and all is well.


   So I have attacked the starter with a new vengance, and have a batch of gothicgirls tortillas resting. Thankfully I am back on my game! Do ya'll think the apple starter will be OK? It was Simply Apple brand juice, and it was in the fridge. We'll see.  Debra Wink's formula stated pineapple, orange, or cider; no just plain apple. Time will tell.


Audra

koloatree's picture
koloatree

greetings all, here is my attempt. i waited for the dough to double, massaged it a little bit, and then placed the dough in the fridge. the next morning, i found that the dough doubled. took the dough out, divided and then loosely shaped dough into 2 boules. after a 20min rest, reshaped and let rest for another 40 mins. i then baked at 460 with steam for ~30mins.


 



 



 



 

Susan's picture
Susan

That's some sourdough starter you've got there!  Amazing rise.  Hope the crumb is just the way you want it. 


Susan

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

If that loaf didn't open up in the slashes I think it would have floated away. Looks great. I'd love to see the inside.


weavershouse

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I'm calculating 70% overall (includes water in sourdough starter). Did I do the math right?


I'm lazy and don't want to convert my 100% sourdough starter to Susan's firm starter (1:3:4 - seed starter:water:flour).


Thanks.

audra36274's picture
audra36274

   just get here when you can. FINALLY. With the 2nd round starter, I finally get to post pics. The roughness on top is where it stuck, to me, the collander, the world!!! I abused it and it ended up staying out 3 hours instead of the recomended 2 so it was running out of gas, but did not turn out bad, even at that. Thanks Susan for a mighty forgiving recipe!

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

As usual, I'm late to the party.


On Oct 1st, I promised to take on Eric's challenge - bake bread following Susan's recipe and methods for a simple sourdough boule.


Finally, I got around to doing it. I've posted my results (discussion and lots of photos) in TFL's Artisan Baking section at www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14366/susan039s-simple-sourdough-challenge


Bottom line? Great bread! - thanks Susan. Great idea! - thanks Eric.

blackhorse16a's picture
blackhorse16a

from BBA. It looked great for a few weeks but is not too bubbly now. Smells fine. I feed every 3-5 days 1:2:2 (S:F:W) How can I tell if it's in good shape? Also, how do I make a firm starter from this liquid one? Is it the same as PR's second step of his basic SD recipe?


 


Thanks,


BH

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Second trial of Susan's sourdough, this time with 10% rye (first trial was 10% hard red spring wheat). Posted to TFL's Artisan Baking section at www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14417/susan039s-simple-sourdough-challenge-take-two


Some more discussion, photos from the bake.


This bread is definitely a winner.

ryeaskrye's picture
ryeaskrye

To start, this is my first post in quite some time and I owe an apology to Debra Wink for failing to perform a favor for her some time back. Long story short: I had a bicep tendon rupture on me, followed by several months of rehab, then had to move and close on a house, then had a rotator-cuff tear, followed by surgery and another 4 months of rehab and I still have several months to go before being completely healed. So...bread endeavors were neglected for quite some time.


I have been intrigued reading Susan's Simple recipe (simple is good right now) and recently took pains (yes, it did hurt physically) to revive all 5 of my starters to join in Eric's challenge.


Never content to leave well enough alone, and inspired by a TFL post mentioning Rosemary Olive Oil sourdough, I tweaked the ingredients to add 3.5 grams of Dried Rosemary soaked overnight in 14 grams of EV Olive Oil per recipe loaf. I'll try fresh Rosemary sometime soon. I also substituted regular Whole Wheat for the White Whole Wheat in the first bake. The only other deviation from Susan's recipe is that I folded 3 times at intervals of 40 minutes.


Below are pictures from 2 different bakes, the first doubling the amount and the second quadrupling. 


My neighbors and clients who usually get to share in my bakes are raving that this might be the best tasting outcome I have had. I think it's just because they haven't had any good bread in awhile. Several have like it so much they want to pay me to bake loaves for Christmas gifts.


I am amazed at the oven-spring I get from Susan's recipe and how forgiving it is. I experimented with the second bake by proofing 2 of the shaped loaves for an hour before putting them in the fridge and then letting them warm up for 3 hours instead of 2. That didn't seem to effect any differences that I could see or taste. I also went almost 16 hours before baking. I like the fact I can leave them in the fridge to bake at my convenience.


The crumb on all loaves came out very light and airy and had a very nice glossy look. The crust really blistered and had immense flavor. I grilled toasted ham & cheese sandwiches the day after that benefited greatly from this bread.


I think Susan has created my "daily" bread recipe. Thanks Susan!


 


 


First bake:






 


*************************************


Second bake:








 


 

Susan's picture
Susan

You did a great job, and I'm glad you're enjoying it.  So sorry about your arm/shoulder problems, but happy that you're on the mend and can get back to baking. 


Rosemary and olive oil are great additions to this loaf, so thanks for showing us how to do it right. 


Susan from San Diego

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

audra36274's picture
audra36274

good arms!!!I couldn't have done that good with help! Just kidding! Those pictures are wonderful! Hope your getting better.


Audra

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very nice bread!


 


Eric

ryeaskrye's picture
ryeaskrye

...but where is your entry?


 

audra36274's picture
audra36274

half way down underneath a post from Sylvia.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

beautiful breads, beautiful photos.


weavershouse

dosidough's picture
dosidough

Took me awhile to get back to this loaf. It's much better this time:


I got better oven spring and nice blisters. I still need practice with the slashes. The crumb was more open but had that great stretchy feel and a wonderful mild taste.


I used KA bread flour both times. I need to try it with high gluten flour. I think this is the big difference. I did 4 sets of 4 (top/bottom, side to side, repeat, repeat, repeat) stretch and folds over 90 min. Susan had mentioned the possibility of needing to increase the s&fs and maybe the amount of water if using regular bread four. I left the water amount the same. It stayed in the frig for 15 hrs. before I got back to it then 2 hrs out and proceed with the shape and bake. I really like this mid sized, "fit-the-time-around-other-things" loaf. Just to keep my starter active when I really don't want another full sized boule but could do with a little sample.


Once again thanks for this challenge. Now I'm on to running down some high gluten flour. I'd really like to find some locally rather than having to order it. I think I'll post an inquiry.


Bake on...


Dosi

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That looks great Dosi. Just look at that crumb, it's perfect. I think you are right about the high gluten flour. If you want to try something interesting, you could order a small bag of All Trumps or Sir Galahad from NY Bakers if you can't find it locally. They only charge $3.95 for the Sir Galahad. All Trumps is a great flour and if you like the results you might be able to track down a bigger bag from a local bakery if you want a larger supply.


Really beautiful loaf!


Eric

ryeaskrye's picture
ryeaskrye

In addition to looking wonderfully open, your crumb has an interesting yellowish tint to it.


Is that just the picture or did you add durum or some other flour?

aznana's picture
aznana

This seems to be destined to work for Arizona baking. Thought I'd stop lurking and post a picture (another new skill to attempt). This recipe solved my issues with lack of nice holes. Having baked off and on for many years. (Haight Ashbury in the 60's - need I say more?) I have recently taken it up again. I was struggling to get the proper crumb. All of my efforts seemed to produce only the standard close grained cake like crumb. Good taste, but mediocre appearance. This recipe seems to have put me on the right track. This is the pretty loaf


success at lastand the crumb shot


The recipe is also very forgiving. I have been making it often and made it again just a few days ago for son's birthday. Naturally, since it was for a specific occasion. things almost immediately started to go south on me. (It is always a mistake to let either a recipe or your sewing machine know that you have a deadline). I was involved in making a "steak house" dinner so the day before was busy with Julia Child's french onion soup, getting house together etc. Kitchen was very warm (in retrospect) and I could have been a tad distracted, (naaah) but finally floured up the tea towel,shaped & plopped the loaf into a small colander & into the fridge. The next day out of the fridge (did I mention about distraction?) to warm up.


When I went to take it out of the towel to the sheet, I realized that the "cover with plastic" bit had somehow  assuring myself that the pronounced lean to one side only made it look more rustic. But, no denying that the now top crust was looking quite dry. Hmm - no harm no foul. Slash the top and spritz liberally with warmish water and let sit for a few minutes under some oiled plastic wrap. Into the preheated oven under my trusty dsposable aluminum roasting pan and on with dinner. Twenty minutes later my loaf had a (fortunately light weight) attractive aluminum hat pearched atop almost to the oven rack. When this top was removed, it became apparant that my shaping technique had also left something to be desired. The slashes had spread quite liberally exposing some convoluted folds closely resembling cauliflower inside the slashes. Those never browned really well, enhancing the cauliflower motif in the finished loaf. Unfortunately no time for a photo of that for the wall of ugly breads category. 


Not the technique that I will be repeating soon ... although perhaps a line of veggie shaped loaves.......  Naaah

Susan's picture
Susan

Your bread looks great, and I'm glad you finally got the crumb you've been wanting.  So much fun!  Perhaps I wasn't clear on the "cover with plastic" comment.  I usually put a square of plastic wrap snugly over the dough after I put it in the banneton, then shove the whole shebang into a big plastic bag, THEN into the fridge.  Sorry about being clear as mud.


Am heading back over to Prescott tomorrow for a short visit, so perhaps will be in your neck of the woods.


Susan from San Diego

aznana's picture
aznana

Ah Susan, you were very clear, and I did exactly that every other time I have used this recipe. Just a slip due to distraction on my part.  My husband and I really like this recipe as it makes a lovely loaf for the 2 of us, Thank you so much for sharing it. (Have a lovely time in Prescott looks like you will not have any snow to worry about. We are in Maricopa, will be going up to Pinetop next Sat for a week)

Joey Moose's picture
Joey Moose

After much suggesting from some of you folks here, I finally made one of these loaves, and goodness it was an awesome thing to do.


I started with my starter [rimshot] and left it out for a few days, feeding it every other eight hours of so.  Then yesterday, after I thought things were good, I made the dough.  Since I had just a cheap Wal-Mart diet scale, I did rough measurements, but it was still alright.  I mixed lightly with a small spoon and left it alone.  S&F according to directions, but when it came to the linen-lined collander, I freaked.  I didn't know where I could find either.  So I swerved a bit and went with a heavily dusted papertowel in a 1-quart mixing bowl.  Put the dough in there, covered with plastic wrap and chucked it in the fridge.


Eight am I put it back outside and nine am I gently plopped it on a floured cookie sheet.  Thankfully the towel didn't stick at all.  I lightly shaped it, placed a sheet of wrap on it and let it stay for an hour.  At ten am, I removed the wrap and placed it in the oven.  I didn't do any misting or stuff like that.  I just covered it with a metal mixing bowl and baked according to the recipe.  Took it out when it was done [though I did leave it for an extra five or so minutes] and I practically ooohed over it.



A nice small loaf.  You can see where I tried slicing it open [looks like I need a better razor :\ ]  Sprung quickly during the first 20 minutes; it was rather pancake-shaped when I placed it in.  After waiting for an hour or so, I cut it open.



A very nice loaf of bread, if I do say so myself.  My mom was in awe over how it was.  And the taste!  VERY good; the sour was more of an mild end note than anything, it just finished the entire bread.  Also, VERY chewy and moist, not at all doughy.  I suggested this would do awesome as a soup bread, and Mom agreed.


Now she's wanting me to make another one! :D

ehanner's picture
ehanner

What a great loaf Joey! When you said paper towel I held my breath but all's well that ends well. I'm glad it turned out so well for you on your first try.


Eric

alldogz's picture
alldogz

Did i miss it in this discussion. Would love to try this small loaf and experiment with a firm starter  (first timer). I have a 100% starter sitting in the fridge...how do i get it to the firm stage ...is there a link to that explanation? Thanks!


Becky

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Becky,


I would bring your starter out of the cold and feed it at a lower hydration for a day or two every 12 hours. Try using a 1:3:4 where you take say 30g old starter: 90g water and :120g flour. At room temperature there will be plenty of food for a 12-16 hour feeding cycle. That's what I do for my mother starter. I feed it at RT for a while and then store it cool between baking periods as a firm starter.


Eric

alldogz's picture
alldogz

Wow..so quick a reply!!! thanks so much..will get right on that. I just didn't know what the percentages should be for the 100% starter. This looked like a nice small loaf to experiment with and everyone's photos were making me drool...i am sure there is a link to the firm starter and/or an informative discussion, but i am on dialup at the moment and your quick reply was JUST THE TICKET! thanks again!


becky

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