The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Member With An SMS (Save My Sourdough)

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Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

New Member With An SMS (Save My Sourdough)

Hi all. I have been a regular visitor here over the last 6 months but have never officially joined and contributed so i figured now was as good a time as any. I have learned many great tips and recipes by using this site and so i think its only fair to start giving some of that back wherever possible over the coming months and years.

First off a little about me. I am a 29 year old male from scotland. I have a wife and 1 beautiful little girl of 2. I make bread every week without fail. I make a variety of other things as well that normally compliment my bakery interest such as soups, burgers, tattie scones (my daughter absolutely loves a fresh baked roll and tattie scone) and various other things to give me the excuse to make bread. On average i bake about 3-4 times a week which always includes a hearty wholemeal loaf (breakfast), a batch of soft white rolls (lunch), pizza, finger rolls or any other bread that i feel like trying. My rolls basically come out the way i want them to all the time. My pizza is as good as i think it can be but i think my brown bread (whilst incredibly tasty esp for toasting or a big thick slice sarnie) still needs a little work as i dont always get it to rise as much as i want it to. Other than that for the meantime, as far as i dare to venture into the world of bread baking that is, im happy with my lot.

I have a sourdough starter that is about 3 months old and it hasnt been getting used as much as i think it should. The problem is my sourdough recipes are not family friendly. The sour taste basically puts both of my girls off it and thus far has prevented me from exploring this fascinating facet of traditional baking. The culture was good and active and could raise the bread well. It was especially good with brown bread and gave a much better spring than my yeast breads. Its been sitting in the fridge now for about 1 month and the wife was tentatively suggesting that we pitch it to free up some fridge space (hence the sms).

What im asking for is some tips and advice for using my sourdough to make it less sour, so that i might integrate it into our baking schedule a little more readily and save it from the bin. It doesnt even have to be loafs as such. Ive heard it can make really good muffins, cakes etc which use a raising agent which cancels out the sour.

Hopefully some of you on here can relate to this situation and will be able to point me in the right direction.

Ford's picture
Ford

In the search box at the top right hand side enter "reduce sourness" and click on "search."  You will find several answers to your question

Meanwhile thank you for introducing me to the terms "tatie scone" and "sarnie".  They may come in handy for working crossword puzzles.

Ford

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is limit he reproductive rates of the labs that make acid and promote the reproductive rates of yeast.

1. Use cheap white AP flour for SD maintenance

2. Use high hydration of 135-150- 165% and feed your starter often.

3. Store your starter and  work with dough at room temperature of 72 F.  Do final proofing at room temperature.

 4. Do not retard your starter, levains or dough in the fridge.

5.  A a pinch of commercial yeast to your breads to hurry them along so the time for the starter to make sour is reduced.

And as Ford says- do a search and see what many other Fresh Lofians think think. 

Happy Non Sour Sourdough Baking!

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

Thanks for the tips guys. I did a search on the site and read a few articles and I've got a game plan now. I'm just away to go and dig out my storage starter and revive it for some more baking experimentation. I knew there was a reason I bought that 1lb loaf tin. Just after I said that my rolls always came out fine I got a tray of flats this afternoon : ( I'm pretty sure it was my fault though. Was rushing to get a big batch of rolls made for a BBQ tomorrow and I let them overproof on the second rise and they fell flat. I thought they would recover on baking but alas, they still taste good. Might have to whip up another batch tomorrow.  Just for clarity does 150% hydration mean that for 100g of flour I need to use 150g water? I see that terminology used a lot around here and wondered if I had got the jist of it. 

Btw you are welcome to the Scottish terminology. Let me know if you need any more, cus ah ken aw the banter. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

150% hydration is very wet, 50 g of water for 100 g of flour.  Your 100 g of water for 150 g of four  is 100/150 = 66% hydration

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

As a Geordie, I very much enjoyed the last sentence there and do wonder if anyone would understand us stronger-dialect folk if we spoke the way we do at home! haha.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

In Clayton's book, he has a small amount baking soda, about 1/8 tspper loaf,  in some of the SD recipes.  I always thought this was there because he was afraid the dough wouldn't rise enough with just SD.  Turns out this is there to neutralize some of the SD acid to make the loaf less sour.

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

I'm very confused now. How can 150% hydration be wetter than 66%. If I had 50g of water and 100g of flour then it would be a thick and sticky mixture. How is that wetter than 150g water and 100g flour which is more like pancake batter to work with?Excuse my ignorance where applicable. 

 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

You were right the first time---150g water to 100g flour is 150% hydration. I think he was probably in a hurry and just saw it backwards when he read it ... and lost a 1 as he was typing his response. Unfortunately, it happens :-)

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

Thank you Debra for restoring some of my internal equilibrium. Just waiting on my storage starter to revive. I've kept the rest of it just in case. Hopefully it should be ready to bake in a couple Of days. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

This happens when you are old and too fast!  It is 'Oldfasto' at work.  Debra is correct on all counts.  She is a mind reader!

Happy baking

yamum360's picture
yamum360

With your wholemeal not rising as much as you like, try crushing half a vitamin c tablet and working it into your dough, works wonders for me.

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

Ive heard about the vitamin c tablet method but i havent tried it yet. One thing that i do put extra in my brown bread already is a whole egg. A time ago i looked at what other ingredients you put in wholemeal to condition it and make it behave a bit better and i figured most of them occurred naturally in the egg so i just cracked one into the bowl when i was mixing and it seemed to help. I have improved alot since then but havent dared to take the egg out to see what difference it makes with my improved techiniques, experiance etc.

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

I was reading about a sweet cake starter called a herman. It sounded like it had all the characteristics that i was looking for and of course because it mostly consists of flour,water and yeast would be ideally suited to making bread from. From what ive been reading i can see the only difference is it has milk and sugar (+ it would get started with commercial yeast). I also read it doesnt keep very well so my thinking is that i would just convert my sd starter to a herman when i wanted to bake with it. I dont know what the purpose of the milk is in it (other than hydration) which i could do with water so i was thinking i could skip that. The sugar i guess is what makes the yeast fare better than the labs and my way of thinking says if i just sweeten my starter with sugar before i use it then it should counter the sour. Does anyone here have any herman xp and can they confirm if any of my ideas are correct or inform me otherwise?

Cro-Magnon's picture
Cro-Magnon

I must have said some swear words in mentioning a Herman/sd crossover. Everyone has went awfully quiet all of a sudden. As it happens I didn't make a Herman, I just refreshed my starter using some of the advice on this site to make it less sour and it is on its first prove right now. Despite calculations the resulting dough was very slack and wet and didn't seem to come together like my regular white loaf dough. Just need to wait and see what happens I guess.