The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where to "start" {no pun intended} Added pictures of finished bread

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tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Where to "start" {no pun intended} Added pictures of finished bread

Okay so I beleive my starter is well on it's way. I am currently on day 9 of the pineapple/rye start. I am currently doing 20oz S. 40oz W and 40 oz F. I am getting a triple rise and it's seems to not really be defalting all that fast. It had dropped in height but still not all the way down to my original start line in 24 hrs.  It says to refresh twice per day but I only refreshed 1 X yesterday in the am and then again this am it has doubled within 2 hrs. No hooch whats so ever lot's of bubbles and froth. My bannaton's (sp) came last night, I have my 3 books The Bread Bakers Aprrentice, Crust and Crumb and Bread. Now where the heck do I start???  LOL What would you suggest for a begginer? I have read so much that I feel a bit over loaded and I will wait until Friday to start. That will be day 12 from when I started this journey. Thanks so much. I have really enjoyed all the feed back I recieved from my very first post. I have learned so much and know this site will be my "go to" place for info!

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

See http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1174


Since you have been feeding equal weight of flour and water this is a good fit. I bake it in a romertopf clay baker (half batch) and slice it for sandwiches.


She has a lot of good stuff on her site including her book that you can download free!


wayne

proth5's picture
proth5

I'd let that culture mature another couple of weeks before using it (and yes, you need to feed it every day during that time).  These very young cultures can cause you problems which just vanish when it has reached the age of a few weeks.  Or not - your experience may be different, but at least you were warned.


I realize you are enthusiastic and ready to go, but time is your friend with bread baking.


Also, if it were me, I'd use a recipe from Mr. Hamelman's book ("Bread, etc") which you say you have on hand.


Follow his recipe being careful not to use the "Overall Formula" but rather the "Levain Build" and "Final Dough" columns when you scale your ingredients, and you should be fine.


Then really study the rest of his book.  Read it all - Especially the last page (before the index) - he has much to teach the beginner and even more to teach the experienced baker.  It will be the best possible start for you.


Happy Baking!

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Hi TCG,


You wrote



I am currently doing 20 oz S, 40 oz W and 40 oz F



I hope these amounts are an unfortunate typo and you're actually using 2, 4 and 4 oz or maybe even 20, 40 and 40 GRAMS.


Otherwise I would very strongly suggest you cut that 100 oz of starter (almost 3 kilos) down a huge amount. Unless you are in a bakery and pumping out dozens and dozens of loaves a day, you won't need anywhere near that amount of starter nor the expense of feeding such a large quantity and discarding four fifths of it every feed.


A workable suggested size: 10 grams S, 20 gram W and 20 grams F which will give you 50 grams or about 1/4 cup of starter. The discard from this (40 g) is more than what's called for in Hamelman's book  Bread for the Vermont Sourdough - he needs just 30 grams. Some people prefer to keep a somewhat larger amount but still not near 100 oz.


UPDATE: I just saw your other thread where you also say you use 20 oz, 40 oz and 40 oz but the photo of your starter jar is nowhere big enough to hold that much starter so I presume that is in fact a typo. WHEW!! 


Which recipe? I'd suggest you go with that Vermont Sourdough recipe, page 153 because:



  • it's a good basic one to make and learn from

  • it's a nicer basic sourdough recipe (IMVHO) than Reinhart's from BBA

  • you have the Bread book already

  • and lots of TFL members here have made it and can help out if you run into issues.


And, as has been wisely suggested above, be sure to read all the non-recipe parts as they will give you a huge amount of info you'll find helpful in your bread baking journey.


I don't have C&C but the BBA is also good for getting a novice to jump into breads they might otherwise shy away from. I suggest you try the Anadama, first one in the book, (even though it's not sourdough) to get you open to "unknown breads". It's really good. 


Also be sure to note there is a set of Errata for Hamelman's book which you can nab here:


http://mellowbakers.com/index.php/topic,242.msg1129.html#msg1129


I keep a printed copy in the back of the book for easy reference, but have made notes in all the recipes; yes, it's OK to write in your book. You may also want to keep a Baking Notebook where you make notes of your breads, what worked, what didn't what changes you made and how it affected the bread and so forth.


Happy baking,
Paul 
MellowBakers


 

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

ROFL yes Paul you are correct I am using Grams (hehe)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You comment:



It had dropped in height but still not all the way down to my original start line in 24 hrs.



Good.  If it drops that far down, on its own, it will be covered in hooch and take you a few days to get the culture back up to bread rising levels.  I don't let my starter stick around (unfed in ideal growing temps.) long enough to find out just how long it takes to flat line. 


Stirring the starter will knock the gases out fast (and it is fun releasing a puff of aroma) and if you are measuring by volume, it would be important to knock out the gas before using a measuring cup.  With weight measurements, it doesn't matter. (one more thrill for those using scales, they can playfully glob out the puffy stuff directly into the bowl on the scale.) The simple fact that the starter volume is falling is an indication that the yeasts had peaked, leveled off in gas production and the amouts of gas now being produced is falling off.  That is an indication that acid build up is happening and it is time to reduce the size of the starter and feed it to keep those little beasties active.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Thanks mimioven.. So I am guessing it's okay to only refresh 1x a day if I am not getting hooch and it's not delfating to my original start line. I am doing GRAMS not ounces lol.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What you should be aware of is that a newly formed culture is full of yeasts with different reproductive rates.  The yeasts that fit your schedule of feeding the best will servive to dominate the culture.


Feeding a starter equal weights of flour every 12 hours within ideal temperatures, encourages those yeasts that feed and produce gas is less than 12 hours.  Feeding every 24 hours encourages also the slower yeasts that take up to 24 hours.  If you want a slow rising yeast, then stick to 24 hour feeds, if you want to encourage a faster responding yeast feed more often but not under 8 hrs or the lacto bateria you are also breeding will suffer.  Keep in mind this also means that your starter rising times have a direct relationship to your dough rising times.


Another option is feed once, leave it to sit out for 4 hours in a warm spot and then move it to a cooler spot (not the fridge) for the rest of the peak and fall period.  Do let it peak and start to fall before feeding it to make sure the starter has ripened.


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Tomcatsgirl,


The advice that Proth5 gave you above, to get familiar with Mr Hamelman and Bread is very solid. The formulas and most of all the techniques are carefully written and can be understood by all.


As for your starter culture: Just keep in mind that flour is food, and water or lack of it will affect how easily the culture can feed it self. A stiff (low hydration) feeding will deliver a different amount of acids and alcohol and withstand longer times between feedings than a liquid culture. The liquid culture will be more active for a shorter time period. The temperature your culture lives in has a much greater impact on the health and activity than anything else. The same applies to your dough during fermentation and proofing.


If you can find a way to feed every 12 hours roughly, and keep it at 70-78F, your starter will become stable and healthy more quickly than on a 24 hour schedule at any temperature. Don't be in a hurry to park it in the refrigerator. Eventually you will have to return to the room temperature feedings to jump start your culture for use. Think of chilling your starter as a convenient way to ignore it while not needing to bake for a time (1-2 weeks).


One last thought. I feed my healthy starter at a firm hydration. 50g starter 80g water and 100g AP flour. It doubles in 4-5 hours and triples in 6 or 7 hours. Sometimes I will feed/refresh and immediately place it in the refrigerator. This becomes my "Mother Culture". When I want to bake, I remove a single Tablespoon (50g) of the mother culture to build what I need for the recipe, overnight. The technical term is called "elaboration" . The 50g of starter is plenty to build a 300g Levain in 8 hours, which will be healthy, happy and vigorous for rising your dough. There is ample remaining "Mother Culture" in the cooler to bake 4 or 5 times during the next 2 weeks. The elaborated starter will be plenty vigorous even after 2 weeks, if you refrigerate right after feeding. The benefit to using your culture in this manner is that you don't need to keep a lot of starter and there is no risk that you will use your starter in a dough and forget to with hold some for later refreshment, thus loosing your culture by mistake. I learned this from J. Hamelman.


Eric


 

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

While it was  two days of 24 hour refresh I will go back to the twelve hour refresh. After all I have put a great deal of effort into it I want it to be gooooood! I am no hurry what so ever if ya'll think longer time before putting it in the fridge so be it. Good things come time... Thanks so much for all your replies I hope someday to be able to return the favor as I won't be a bigginner forever!

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Things are going smoothly starter looks great I am refreshing 2X a day. I couldn't resist myself and instead of throwing my starter out I put some in a bowl for  pancakes with fresh raspberry syrup for Saturday breakfast. I also started a build for the Vermont Sourdough out of Mr Hamelman's Bread. I know as time passes the starter will get better with a better tasting bread as the result. I am very new so I figure practicing the 12 steps will be good for me. Hopefully Sunday I will get some picture s posted.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl



First picture is about an hour after I added my flour and water to my 12 day old starter. Second picture is 16 hrs after all the flour and water had been mixed in and it sat overnight. Third picture is after my first mix. Fourth after two folds and the fifth is sourdough waffles with fresh raspberry sauce and whip cream YUMMY! I also started that last night. I used the recipe from King Aurther Flour website. I have both loaves in bannatons in the fridge and plan on baking Sunday about 6 am. I am just curious do I leave them out on the counter for awhile before I bake or just put them in? Not really expecting much as my starter is very young but it's good practice. I will post pictures tomorrow. Now I want to make donuts!

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

So here we are Sunday morning with my very first finished sourdough EVER! I put it in the fridge  for about 16 hrs. Pulled it out at 6 am and baked it about 7 am. I am disapointed in how it turned out. I need to lower my oven rack. It had a nice rise in the oven I think but it's too dark. It has a nice smell slightly sour. My scoring was not deep enough. I used a baking stone with a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Threw in a few ice cubes after about 10 mins put the bread in and a few more ice cubes. Baked for 40 mins. Will add pictures of the inside once it is cooled. What do ya'll think?It was made with my 13 day old starter!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I wish my first sourdoughs would have looked as good!  Congratulations!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Some thoughts and suggestions:


First, your scoring looks deep enough to me. Why do you think it should have been deeper?


Second, there is a big difference between the browning of the top and bottom crust. Either you did not pre-heat your baking stone long enough or your oven heats very unevenly, or both.


Third, your crust looks rather dull in your photos. This suggests you need more steam during the first part of your bake. Throw in a few more ice cubes next time. You might also want to fill your skillet with scraps of iron or with lava rocks to increase the thermal mass. Alternatively, you may want to try baking your loaves covered with a stainless steel bowl or roaster cover for the first part of the bake, rather than steaming the oven with ice cubes. A TFL search on "oven steaming" will turn up topics with lots of good information.


Anyway, those are nice loaves for a first SD bake. 


Hope this helps.


David

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

I thought I needed more of an "ear" where I scored the bread?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

First, it is a common error to think that you get ears by scoring deeper. The opposite is true.


Second, to get an ear, you have to make your cuts at a shallow angle with respect to the surface of the loaf.


Third, ears are desirable on long loaves, not boules, and, if you want a good ear, your cuts need to be more parallel to the long axis of the loaf. 


If you have not yet read the Bread Scoring Tutorial (updated 1/2/2009), I think you will find it helpful and informative. There is a section looking at ears towards the end of the original post.


David

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Thanks for your replies still have not sliced it yet. Next time I will try more steam and lower my rack as well as heat the oven and stone longer than I did. Now that it has cooled the crust is cracking is that normal? It kinda sounded like rice crispies as it was cooling.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

That crackling sound is called "singing" and is a baker's delight. It's a sign of a well-baked loaf.


The singing is produced by the loaf contracting as is cools. If the crust is well-baked and not soft, it cannot contract because it is too dry and rigid. Therefore, it cracks. When this effect is sufficiently pronounced, you get visible crackling of the crust. 


So, congratulations!


David

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

And here is the inside. The top has a burnt toast taste (scraped it off). Soft inside kinda a smooth feeling just a slight sour taste smells more sour then it tastes. Not as much of a disaster as I thought. All your comments make me feel proud of what I have done here. From my very own starter to a fresh loaf of bread. So cool!! I'm gonna try again with the same recipe.

Roo's picture
Roo

Congrats on your first loaf, it look beautiful inside and out.