The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question on sour dough recipie

jafwiz's picture

Question on sour dough recipie

I followed the crust and crumb recipe for San Francisco sourdough from Peter Reinhart and i have a few questions about the process . The bread surprised me with the flavor and oven spring but why so many steps? First i have starter on my counter that i feed daily. It says to take that starter and make a firm starter.9 oz bread flour,16 oz starter and water as needed? Then it says to allow to rise at room temp for 6-8 hrs then refrigerate overnight  that's one day. Then i take that firm starter mix the dough and let sit for 4 hr at room temp then shape and refrigerate over night another day. On the third day i can bake? It just seams like a lot of steps and days  Is that needed? Second question was the flour. I made my starter with brad flour and that's what i feed with the bread was good but to chewy could i use AP flour instead or do i need to make a new starter?

dabrownman's picture

AP flour for feeding instead of the much more expensive bread flour.  I too refrigerate my starter, levain builds and bread dough to bring out all the sour that my starter can muster.  My experience points to temperatures of 36F and 92 F mean that the Lab are outproducing the yeast between 3 and 13 times  The bread will have more Lab than yeast while fermenting and be much more sour as the result.  Feeding whole grains to the starter and levain will also improve flavor and sour too.

Happy baking.

chefscook's picture

When I make or say use my sourdough I remove 1/2 c of sourdough add 1 cup,APF and 1 cup lukewarm water and keep out for ref for 6-8 then back in Referagtor  hope this helps you out


chefscook's picture

sorry I made a mistake it is NOT 1 cup water it is 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Janetcook's picture

I am not familiar with that recipe but from what you have written I am thinking that the process he has outlined is suggested so that the dough acquires a nice sour flavor.  The longer a dough ferments the more LABS are proceeded and they are what create the flavor when using AP or BF.

Since you already have an active starter that is ready to be used I would imagine you can skip that first step and move right into step 2 which would mean you can mix the dough in the evening….let it sit out on the counter for 4 hours to give the starter a bit of time to work and then refrig. for a bulk ferment overnight followed by baking in the morning.  

That is the time table I follow with all of my breads and I too have an active starter that doesn't need refreshing.  If yours isn't as firm as he suggests - simply adjust final ingredients so flour and water quantities remain the same.