The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Too-Sour Sourdough

StephaniePB's picture

My Too-Sour Sourdough

It ended up taking me a little longer than intended to get another loaf together, the starter has a life of its own, what can I say, and it absolutely refused to activate two weeks ago. I'm letting it sit a little longer before trying it. So last weekend I went back to the all white flour wild yeast starter, and baked this. All flour was KA bread flour.

I started on Friday night, pulling the starter out of the fridge. I dumped all but 2 or 3 tbls, and fed it with 3/4ths of a cup of flour, same amount of water (my scale broke a few years back and I haven't replaced it, so unfortunately all measurements are by volume).

The next morning it had bubbled and settled down, so I fed it with another 1/4 cup water and flour. 5 hours later it was ready!

The recipe I've been using for my standard sourdough calls for a sponge, so 1 cup of the starter was mixed with 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water. That then sat for another 4 hours. After it doubled, mixed in the rest of the flour (3 cups), and water (1 cup), let sit for 20 minutes (autolyze).

I increased the salt from the basic recipe with this version, upped it to about 1 1/2 teaspoons. I put it all in the bread machine to let it knead for about 10 minutes, and needed to add another 1/4 cup or so of flour to get the right consistency.

I let it sit for another hour or so, then did 3 stretch and folds over the next 3 hours. At this point, it was pretty late, so I shaped it, put it in a brotform, and into the refrigerator until morning.

My fridge and apartment are extremely cold, so I put the dough in the sun the next morning to warm it up - I've found that direct sunlight works much better than my oven, which is electric and doesn't have a light inside to generate any warmth. The dough started rising again pretty quickly, and continued to rise for about 6 hours. It more than doubled in size, I'd guess close to tripled, but when it had only doubled it was still bouncing back pretty well and I felt like it wanted to keep rising.

Baked it for about 45 minutes, starting at 450, ending at 375. I think I should have kept it at a higher heat longer.

I think it came out beautifully, at least, it looks fantastic. It's a little spongier on the inside than it should have been, I'm guessing that's because I dropped the oven temperature too early.



The taste? If you like extra-sourdough bread, this is it. I'm not a real fan, and find that I don't really like eating this bread without something on it to help cut the sourdough flavor.

I'm trying this bread, with this starter, again this weekend. I want to see if there's a way I can get the overnight piece out of this, I wonder if that's what's allowing the starter to develop such a strong flavor? Whatever happens, at least it's fun to play!