The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Just loafing around

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Ell Perry's picture
Ell Perry

Just loafing around

posted this in the intro section before I realized I should have parked it here.


Hi, new to the light here on the forum. I have been here a time or two to look around. Thought I might share my bread making routine with you all...

I vary my salt percentage from 1.5% (sandwich bread) to 2% for rustic eating bread, these are set up for sandwich bread.


My Sourdough recipe.

I only keep 2 cultures @ 60 grams (each) in the refrigerator, one white and one spelt. My cultures get fed between 5 and 7 days apart. Remove from fridge and let warm an hour, stir culture well, remove 40g (2/3rds), add 20g of water to the remaining 20g of culture, stir well, then add 20g flour to that stirring well to incorporate lots of air into the culture.  Let it sit out for 30 min (varies with temp and humidity) to get happy, then put back into fridge until the next feeding or use. Utilize the amount needed from the removed culture for the desired dough batch amount. The culture can be kept at whatever volume you wish, I have even kept mine at 30g each. You may wish to keep a single culture at 75g as that would give you 50g of culture to start a fresh starter.

NOTE: My starter usually runs in the 6 to 7hr range to double, so I usually start feeding my starter late on night 1 for the first feed, then early on day 2 for the second feeding, the 3rd feeding 2pm-ish, then when the 3rd feeding has doubled (second feeding of day 2) at about (8pm-ish) make into the sponge and refrigerate. Then it will be ready to pull out of the fridge on the morning of day 4 (approx. 36hrs later).

I feed my cultures once a week, if I am not going to make bread I utilize the cast off by feeding it until I have a cup of starter (250grams) that I use to make sourdough waffles.

Fresh starter……………………1160g…or…918g...or…870g….or…..372g…..or… 248g

Bread flour ……………………..490g…or…380g...or…325g…..or…..140g….or…..110g

A/P   flour ………………………450g…or…360g...or...295g….or…..135g…..or….100g

Water /or Milk  or (½ & ½) ….…370g…or…320g...or...275g….or…..110g…..or…..70g

Kosher salt ……………………….37g…or…34g….or...29g…..or……13g….or……8<g


Fresh starter for the 2400g batch of dough I feed as such, start with 45g, 135g, 390g for 1160g

Fresh starter for the 2012g batch of dough I feed as such, start with 34g, 102g, 306g for 918g

Fresh starter for the 1760g batch of dough, I feed as such, start with 33g, 98g, and 292g for 870g

Fresh starter for the 760g batch of dough, I feed as such, start with 15g, 43g, and 125g for 372g

Fresh starter for the 510g batch of dough, I feed as such, start with 10g, 29g, and 85g for 248g

For sponge, take fresh starter (whichever batch you are making) add the AP flour and water (or milk) then

30hrs + of refrigerator acidification time. Remove in the morning let come to room temp (Approx. 2hrs) transfer to mixer bowl, stir in the rest of your bread flour to a shaggy mass. Put mixing bowl in mixer and mix dough for approx 4 min. Let autolize for 45 min., mix dough while adding salt mixing for 3 to 4 min until dough is pulling away from bowl - to balling up (whichever desired). Turn dough out into a lightly (really lightly) oiled rectangular dish/vessel. Gently spread out dough evenly, and then turn over so both sides get some oil. Let rise for 2.5hrs with a Norwich fold at 1hr 15min (or twice at 50 min. intervals). Norwich fold is grabbing the top 1/3 of the dough lifting, lightly stretching and folding back to just past the center, turn dough around and grab the top 1/3 of the dough lift, stretch and fold all the way to the bottom edge. Now gently turn the dough in the vessel and repeat the folding process. When the 2.5 hrs is up, turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, cut into desired weights for the type of loaves you are going to make. Lightly de-gas and pre shape loaves, let relax for 20 min. De-gas and final shape loaves and put into appropriate baking vessels or forms. Let rise for 2.5hrs or until doubled (or whatever your dough dictates you to do). Then bake your bread.

Rustic loaves - First 10 min @ 475 then drop to 400 steam applied at beginning and every 5 min for first 15minutes Sprayed 4 times total). Bake until 200 internal temp.

Sandwich loaves start @ 400 for first 10 min. with only a single initial steam, bake until 200 internal temp.

I start my loaves length across the oven and rotate 180 after 10 min, then at the 20 min. mark I turn them 90 (length to frt/back) for 5 min the rotate 180 for the final 5min. Times are approx. as they apply to my specific set up.




AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

If it tastes as good as it looks I'm sure they're delicious.


As a far as feeding ones sourdough... I don't have any method as such. I keep my sourdough at 100% hydration and feed it as much as I need. So for instance - even if I only have 50g of sourdough and I need 70g for baking i'll either feed it 35g flour + 35g of water or sometimes more, wait a bit longer till it doubles, then take off however much I need. I have noticed that a few people have strict routines of ratios, timing, feeding in relation to however much leftover etc. But I have found that even if your feeding your starter quite a bit more then all one has to do is wait till it doubles. And as long as its healthy a bigger ratio of feeding can only do it good. My starter is a pineapple and rye. started off feeding it pineapple juice for the first few days then switched to water. Every so often I treat it to more pineapple juice. It's a beast of a starter and always triples in size. I have also found that 100% hydration always works in any recipe as the starter forms only a small ratio of the actual bread recipe and a sourdough works is meant to be high hydration.