The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does this look right

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Does this look right

Hi All

I am new to bread making so am very much at the experimentation stage.

Until recently I only made bread by keeping a little of the dough from one batch to use in the next which certainly improved my bread making it softer and better tasting but as I said I am new to all this and one day when I forgot to keep a little back I decided to try making a little starter of my own.

Having read lots of posts on here and elsewhere about starters I chose one of the methods  and mixed equal amounts of bread flour and warm de-chlorinated water mixed with 10g Clementine juice (couldn’t find an orange) and left it in a pot for 12 hours.  At that point I repeated the process and mixed the two sticky mixes together.  From then on I have been mixing 100g starter with 100g flour (Plain or strong white)  and 100g warm water and this is what it produces

The line on the tape shows where it was when I finished feeding it and as you can see it rises way beyond double and it looks fine, all nice and bubbly with no sign of mold or anything but I have never done this before so I am really not sure if it smells right as it seems very sour to me. 

Is that normal or am I doing it all wrong?

I am now at day 4 and seem to be starting quite a collection.  Is there any way I can use the spares as it seems such a waste to simply throw it away but pretty soon I will have a kitchen full of starter pots.

Could I perhaps refrigerate some of the spares to slow things down so I can revive  them if number 1 dies?

Many thanks

 

jayc32's picture
jayc32

Looks like you have a nice thriving starter. Use your extra to make waffles or pancakes, also put some in quick breads it gives it a wonderful flavour. You'll find a good sourdough pancake/waffle recipe on kingarthurflour.com.

Happy Baking!!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

culture it should be sour!  Way to go.  For me,  the more sour the better.  It wouln't be too sour using white flour no matter what you do - so not worries.  I'd make some bread with some your fine starter and see now it performs and tastes.

Happy baking.

linder's picture
linder

You can mix some of your starter that is quite liquid with more flour to make a stiff dough and freeze this in a plastic baggie, as insurance in case your starter goes 'south' and dies.  You can then 'revive' the frozen starter.  I froze some from last year and revived it one year later, good as new.

Linda

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Thank you all, your advice is much appreciated.

The problem with doing something for a first time is you don't really know what to expect I have decided to follow all three of you.

I have transfered 300g  of the starter to a plastic bag and now it's in the freezer then I found an old recipe for sour dough starter Pikelets (if you are in America you will know them as crumpets) that I would like to try as  the store bought ones come in packs of 6 or 8 and there are only two of us so half of them tend to go off before we get a chance to eat them so I would rather make 4 at a time but first I have had to order so rings as I have nothing to set them in so that's on the  to do list for later on.

Finally I am using some of the starter to make a sandwich loaf , some rolls and a few cheesy bread sticks.  The starter  might still be a bit fresh but while it still smells sour the smell wasnt quite as strong as yesterday so I thought I would give it a go; its proving at the moment and if it works I will post pictures.

So thats about it for now,  once again thanks for the advice I will let you know how things progress.

 

Yeti's picture
Yeti

If you've got plenty of spare starter kicking around you could try Alaskan sourdough pancakes - 

300g of 100% hydration starter (1:1 flour to water)
2 tbsp sugar

1 egg

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

A little extra water to make the mixture pourable


Simply mix and use like you would any pancake batter 

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Hi

We have just finished supper and I had to say we thought they were really rather good.

Hubby likes the more traditional French crepe style pancake because that is what he was brought up with, and while he eats the American style pancakes when we travel to the states he always says they are too heavy for him so I was somewhat wary how your pancakes would go down but I put it to him and he said “Ok give it a try” so we had your Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes ala your recipe after tea.

They were delicious and not at all heavy so I got the thumbs up as he actually enjoyed them and came back for more which was a really pleasant surprise - thank you.

I now have something nice to do with my spare starter mix and a new pudding rather than something just for Shrove Tuesday. Dread to think how many calories they are but they were great - Once again many thanks for the recipe I will definitely use it again

Best regards Jean

 

Yeti's picture
Yeti

I'm glad you enoyed them! They're a favourite of mine for breakfast on weekends, I try to convince myself that they must be healthy because of the olive oil :) 

You could also give sourdough crumpets a try if you're looking for something else to do with the starter

Dave

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Hi Dave

I found a few recipes for crumpets (we call them Pikelets around here) but I am currently waiting for a set of crumpet rings to arrive because the Tuna size cans over have an inner lip and my can opener isnt the type that can remove it so I can't use something like that while I wait and I don't have anything else that would be suitable,  But yes we like the idea of creating our own Crumpets/Pikelets -  Pikelets are a bit thinner but Midlanders always called both types Pikelets

It was funny but your pancakes reminded me of them as the first one filled with bubbles that made similar holes.

Once again thanks for the receipe it will become a regular along wth Sourdough Pikelets if they taste as good; together with something I sort of invented myself this afternoon.  It is  a cross between a British fruit scone and an American biscuit, sweet, light and fruity but my oven was a little too hot today and they came out too brown so I didn't take photos. All the same they taste great so next time perhaps and I may even post the recipe.

Is it any wonder both hubby and I are overweight - oh humm

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Thanks Yeti sounds lovely, I will give it a try, its shrove tuesday tomorrow so I was planning on making pancakes.

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Sorry hit save instead of preview just wanted to check are these the thicker American style pancakes or the thinner british variety?

Yeti's picture
Yeti

They're more American style breakfast pancakes :)  there's no reason you couldn't replace some flour and water in a British pancake recipe with some sourdough starter however!

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Well as promised here are the results of my first days baking with one of my starters as shown above

If I say so myself am really pleased. 

Haven't tried the bread yet since I made it for hubbys sandwiches tomorrow and I mistimed the bread sticks  a little so they were a bit over done but all the same they tasted good with soup but the rolls really stood out as they were absolutely  delicious.  They were crusty on the outside, soft and white on the inside with a great taste and flavour. I did notice a slight tang and I thought there was a vague saltiness but hubby didn't notice either he just said they were great and voted them the best yet.  So I guess my starter is about ready.

Thanks for all the help and advice, to think I thought I had done something wrong because of the strong sour smell ... Last night I was even thinking of starting again who knew............

One last question how do you get the cheese on top to be chewy like it is in the shops?  Mine was quite crisp and I think that was where the saltiness came from but I would love it to be more chewy

All the best Jean

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

new baby starter!  As time goes on it will get better and better.  Now you only have 10,000 mor bakes to go :-)

Happy Baking.

jayc32's picture
jayc32

Those are beautiful looking loaves. My mouth waters just looking at them. I wish you much success in many baking adventures with your new sourdough starter.

Happy Baking!!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Jean wrote:
One last question how do you get the cheese on top to be chewy like it is in the shops?  Mine was quite crisp and I think that was where the saltiness came from but I would love it to be more chewy

Since the cheese is shredded, why not add it as you take the bread from the oven? It should melt nicely without crisping.

cheers,

gary

rbg22's picture
rbg22

Is my sourdough starter acting properly if after feeding it rises, and then falls, or is it supposed to stay risen?  It's on day 8 and I've been following this recipe here and feeding it before bed every night.  I can see on the glass jar where it's risen to, cause it leaves flour etc on the glass, but when I look at it in the morning, it's back down to where it was before feeding.  (I've been measuring out 1/4 C, discarding the rest, and adding 1/4 C water and 1/4 C whole wheat flour to the saved 1/4 C starter).

Thanks!

 

rbg22's picture
rbg22

When she says "cover" is that air tight? I have a canning jar, so it has the lid with 2 separate parts with a rubber ring.  I heard that it needs to breath, but it's a big jar, so I thought there might be enough air in there between feedings to have it closed.. but I'm not sure.  Do I need to cover it with a cheese cloth or something?

Thanks!

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Hi

From everything I have read the cover needs to be loose to allow the gas to escape. I use a tall tub with an airtight snap on lid but I just rest the lid on top I don't snap it closed so its not air tight and the gas can lift the lid and escape.  OK I am very new to this too but my books and other posts on this and various other websites seem to echo the fact that the gas needs to escape and if you snap the lid tight you prevent that because while there may be appear to be a gap above the starter that gap is full of air. Therefore if you lock the lid  the gas will have no where to go and that could cause the lid to pop off  with quite a force - not good for your fridge or kitchen.

In answer to the other question I don't know if its normal since as I said at the start I am still new to all this, but my starter rises and falls each time I feed it but I mark the tub with a line written on masking tape and I have noticed when it does falls it always ends up a little further up the tub than where it was before I fed it.

All the best jean

rbg22's picture
rbg22

Thank you so much for your answers Jean! 

Yeti's picture
Yeti

I use a jar with a plastic lid for my starter - the kind you get coffee in when it's foil sealed, and the lid has that little waxed cardboard insert.  I just removed the cardboard and it seems to be able to breathe quite well (overfilling usually means it leaks all over the fridge)

I've had my starter going since last September and it always rises then falls back, but fed once or twice a week it's still going strong

Dave

bob13's picture
bob13

      I have dried some of my starter and put it in the freezer for safe keeping.  It is a very simple process, just thinly spread some of your starter on parchment paper and let it dry out.  When it is solid it will come off the paper easily and can be crumbled to tiny pieces that I put in a very small plastic container and into the freeze for safe keeping and not using much of my valuable freezer space.  Now it is easy to share some with friends and I have a back up for when I loose my "mother" starter.

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Drying the starter then crumbling and freezing sounds like a great idea before I go on holiday as I was wondering what would happen if I had to leave the starter for 3 weeks.  

Do you need to feed it first and is it easy to rehydrate?

Thanks for the cheese advice Gary I will try that next time

Happy Baking Jean

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you don't have to freeze it.  Just build it to its peak at 100% hydration then, don't throw any away, and feed it flour only to get it to 60% hydration so that you can knead it.  Let it sit on the counter in its covered container for another hour.  Then refrigerate it.  When you get back in 3 weeks it will be fine.  When you get back, take 25 g from the middle and you van build it right back to full strength in 3 feedings or less.  No worries.

bob13's picture
bob13

Agree that for only 3 weeks no big deal.  But if you do dry some starter to insure you never lose the mother lode, simple add dehydrated starter to 1/4 c h20 & 1/4c flour and start again.  Pretty simple if you value you starter and want to be sure you will always have the original.