Some quick (hopefully) sourdough questions....
I started on my sourdough journey a couple of weeks ago with some starter I acquired. I fed it up from dry and have been caring and loving it and of course baking bread from it. I am getting good loaves, but not yet great and I want to change that! With that in mind, I have some fairly basic questions....
1) Working with wet dough. The first few attempts I made had hydration percentages around the 70% mark and the dough was pretty tough to work with. Probably down to lack of experience, but I ended up with dough sticking to me, the worksurface, the proving baskets, etc, etc.... Any tips for working with these wetter doughs? I backed off the hydration to 60% and that's fine, but I want to get to a wetter dough for bigger holes.
2) Dough hydration percentages. For the sake of clarity, can somebody tell me if the overall percentage hydration should take into account the quantities of flour and water in the starter itself? For example, if I had a dough with 1Kg of flour and 600g of water then that would be 60% hydration......but if the recipe also included 200g of starter at 50/50 flour/water ration, then technically I would have 1.1Kg of flour and 700g of water, which would give a hydration of 64%. Which is correct?
OK - that's the questions for now....and here's a tip too.
If you are looking for a piece of granite for a baking stone, then phone your nearest kitchen worktop supplier - if you can find one that provides custom granite worktops, then they will have lots of offcuts of stone available. I called mine last week and then popped down there where they cut me a 14" x 14" piece of beautiful black granite to fit my oven and bevelled the edges for me. They wouldnt even take any money - just said to drop a loaf or two in at some point.
Anyway, this is a great site and I hope to learn a lot as I progress towards the perfect sourdough loaf!