The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeap, another one of those sourdough nublets

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

Yeap, another one of those sourdough nublets

So about a week and a half ago, I decided to try my hand at making a starter, and soon, sourdough bread! I started the starter with 1 cup of wholewheat flour and 1 cup of drinking water. I also added a teaspoon of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to it. I fed the starter for about four days by discarding half and then feeding with half a cup of water and half a cup of wholewheat flour and after the initial fermentation, stuck it in the fridge. Now, I've noticed that the texture of the starter is quite runny. During the feedings I have slowly been cut down on the amount of water used. As of this Monday, I used about 125mL of flour and 100mL of water, and the starter is still quite runny. Am I doing something wrong?


 


Edit: I forgot to mention that I leave the starter on the counter overnight after feeding it before sticking the starter back in the fridge.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You got two strange things going on....  you want to grow a starter, yet you stop it from growing in the refrigerator.  Is there a reason? Like you can't feed it every 12 hours or your room temp is above 90°F?


It is very typical for a sourdough to be refreshed and get thinner as it ferments.  That is actually one sign of activity.  I hope you stir your starter often.  If you can, try to leave your starter out on the counter top and discard/feed every 12 hours instead of chilling it.  The whole process of converting a commercial yeast sponge into a sourdough starter will just take longer each time it is stored in the refrigerator.


Does the starter rise after you refresh it?


Mini

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

Hey Mini, I put the starter in the jar because the instructions said so. In terms of feeding, I only do so once a week since I cannot afford to buy flour often. As for rising, provided the starter stays warm, it does indeed get quite poofy.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I get it, not enough flour because you are using a whole cup to feed.  What about reducing everything down to just 1/4 cup?  Coffee scoop size?  Then you could get in more feeds and reach your goal 2 months sooner?  (and waste less flour)  You only have to increase the volume when preparing for a bake.  


Have you found uses for your discards? 


Mini

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

One step ahead of ya! I fed my starter last night with 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water and the consistency looks much better. As for discards, I've just been throwing them out. I haven't been keeping them because I'm not sure what to do? Do I just collect everything as opposed to throwing it out?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

As far as discards go, don't become a collector.  You can be baking bread if your starter is responding.  Muffins or pancakes if it smells good to you.  The starter will improve with time.   I like mine a little thicker too.   It never hurts to test it to see how the flavor is building. 


Mini

Handful's picture
Handful

Try making some homemade sourdough noodles. I made some with whole wheat flour and they were AWSOME!

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

The work week needs to hurry up and be over with! Results shall be posted asap!

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

OH MY GOSH!!!! THE STARTER LOOKS SO GOOD!!!! I just fed the two pets about an hour and a half ago, and they have both doubled already!!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so keep em well fed!  Hope to see a loaf soon...  Now time em and note when they peak and fall.   Dig out those disk markers and mark the glass!   But don't refrigerate them!


 

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

So I went ahead and made some English muffins. They turned out alright, but I think I need to leave the dough a tad wetter as the innards were a bit raw, but the outside was a tad burnt. The flavour though, was MIND BLOWING. Hopefully an actual loaf of bread will be posted up soon! 



Handful's picture
Handful

Those look really good. I just made my first batch recently and they were delicious! So much better than storebought.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I had the same problem until I started cooking in the oven. I grill them a bit on both sides and then pop them in the oven. I think I saw this in PR's BBA or his whole grains book. Nice looking muffins! I make mine with WW flour or WWW flour and WW starter. Sometimes add a bit of rye.

maryserv's picture
maryserv

I did the same thing with my discards one day - made a load of sourdough English Muffins! I had the same experience and adjusted the temp on my griddle so I could leave them on longer and not have such dark outsides. Yours don't look too dark to me though. Did you spray the griddle for each batch? Was the cornmeal on the outside too much or not enough or just right?

For those that were a little too chewy (read - slightly RAW) I used fork to half them and toasted them in the toaster oven.

Pizza dough is another way to use your discards, there are many sourdough pizza crust recipes out there if you dig. Also, you can convert a yeast recipe to sourdough if you know your hydration percentage (sounds like it may be around 100%?)

Happy baking!

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

Mary, I sprayed between each batch. I ended up having to let the second and third rollings rise before cooking so I let the griddle cool, sprayed, and then cooked the second and third rounds. As for the cornmeal, it seemed to intuitively know how much to stick to the dough. I am overall quite happy with these, though I'd use a smidge less flour next time and would use a lower heat setting on the stove.

maryserv's picture
maryserv

See, it is all about the learning in your own kitchen.  Good job!  : )

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT
maryserv's picture
maryserv

Congrats on your very first loaves!  Of course they are the best!  They look so good, I can hear them crackling right now! 


Mary