The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starting over with Soudough

  • Pin It
Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Starting over with Soudough

Hi all - I'm back after a long absence. The Jewish Bakers test recipes got me back into regular baking and now I'm ready to start on sourdough breads again. I had gotten rid of the 4 starters I had in the fridge because they were very old and had been stored for over a year. I ordered and received the live KA sourdough starter last week and started feeding it about 4 days ago. I am wondering if this starter looks ready to use. According to the directions I got with the starter it should be ready to use - it's been so long since I've worked with starters I'm unsure of when ready is "ready". Does this starter look right for use?


 



 


PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I'd guess that's about a 100% hydration?


Paul

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

100% or pretty close - I was instructed to add 1/2 c. water to 1 c. flour.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

That looks quite similar to how the KA culture that I ordered some time ago looked after it was fed and revived.  If kept at a high hydration is is quite bubbly.  I would say if after feeding it increases in volume 2x - 3x [use a cylindrical container so you can get a good measurement of volume increase] and it smells good when ripe then you are ready to go!


sPh

Ford's picture
Ford

It looks good to me.  How is the aroma?  I suggest you buy some scales and refresh with equal weights of starter, chlorine-free water, and all-purpose (unbleached, unbrominated) flour.


Now, get back to the fun -- bake some bread!


Ford

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I do have some scales and will refresh according to the above instructions. Thanks to everyone for all the input.


Trish

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I'd really like some input here. These are the loaves I made from the recipe Sylvia linked to. I thought it looked like a straight forward enough recipe that would get me back into sourdough baking. I think the starter may have needed refreshing before starting. The dough was retarded overnight in the fridge and then I brought it out this morning, let it warm up and then put it in bannetons for the final rise. Baked on a baking stone at 450 F for 20 minutes covered the first 10 minutes with aluminum roasting pan sprayed with water.Here are the results. Obviously not good but not door stops and fragrance is nice - I am going to try this recipe again tomorrow - what should I do differently?


 


DailyBread's picture
DailyBread

The crumb looks fabulous.  I'd say you are on the right track!


DailyBread

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Trish,


These are just some thoughts for you to play with.


Firstly, you could do with a little more activity in your leaven.   This means you need to feed it a few times before using it next time.   I think you acknowledge this, but I would like to agree that this is the key to your problem here.


The other piece of advice is to omit the retarding stage ...but just as a temporary measure.   Why not ease yourself back into baking with sourdough cultures?   The processes are long and complex enough, without having to work with major retarding time along the way.   Once you have a really active culture, and are producing breads which you are satisfied with from that leaven...then go for the retarding element.   This is just advice: if your time schedule is best suited to retarding, then stick with that.


I'm saying this because I think the lack of leaven activity and the long retard have had a negative effect on the final bread, judging by the pictures you have posted.


Best of luck


Andy