The Fresh Loaf

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Pics of my first sourdough bread using my first sourdough starter

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Theresse's picture
Theresse

Pics of my first sourdough bread using my first sourdough starter

...which surprisingly turned out pretty perfect!  I was following a Ken Forkish recipe but put in sourdough starter instead of dry yeast without altering anything else in the recipe.  I thought it would be a major flop but it turned out not only attractive to look at but VERY delicious!

I first made the starter in Dec. '13 but have only used it in pancakes and waffles until now!

 

Theresse's picture
Theresse

I didn't have a banneton for the second one so I put it over a towel in a colander.  Haven't cut into it yet.  Used a 4.5 qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven for both.

ExperimentalBaker's picture
ExperimentalBaker

If only I could get such open crumbs like yours!

Theresse's picture
Theresse

I'm as shocked as you are!  ;)

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Hi Theresse. I also make Forkish's breads, and I was imterested in your substitution of sourdough for instant yeast.  Could you please tell me how much starter you used for the substituted yeast?  Also which of Forkish's recipe you used.  I have his book and sometimes bake his overnight white and wholewheat loaves.  

Your loaves look amazing, congrats and well done!  They must taste amazing.  His breads are great.

Thank you for posting, and I hope you can respond.

Sondra

Theresse's picture
Theresse

Shoshanna6, 

Thank you so much for your positive comments!  The short answer is: I don't remember enough to share any valuable information!!  Here's the long answer, which may possibly be helpful:

It was a really weird mix of partly following his recipe/s and partly not, and I'm so sorry I don't remember enough of the details (stupid - I know everyone suggests writing everything down!).  I was so immersed in it all...too much information going in at once (reading his book, skimming other books and his and others' videos online) that it's actually hard to explain all the steps my mind was taking as I processed everything and made my goofy decisions.  I kept reading the book but then being unsure about some things so then I'd look at his youtube videos.  I'm not sure he was consistently staying on the same recipe throughout his string of videos, if that makes sense (though I think it would make sense that he was being consistent!).  For example during one video he refers to it as one of his "straight doughs" and also calls it his "40% whole wheat overnight dough."  He later says it's Field Blend #2.  I was also thrown off by the levain video because I assumed the string of videos was all the same recipe and that it used a sourdough starter when in fact it appears (?) he used just dry yeast (hence my goof up).  He said it doesn't matter much whether we use all or some of the type of dough he recommends, so I didn't use whole wheat, not having it immediately on hand.  I *think* that if you organize his videos by date then start at the bottom, his videos are as in order as they can be.  He says in the book that he only ever uses a total of 1,000 grams of flour in his recipes (traditional french method?) so I calculated that that was about 4 cups, and same with water (a bit less cause it wasn't whole grain - I believe I used 780 g. and converted from there).  I wanted to try it without weighing to see if it's really necessary since I thought a lot of the process was more about feel and how humid the air is, etc.  I was looking at some other online recipes for consistent patterns/amounts across the board regardless of author, and now I'm not sure but I think I actually added 2 cups of starter to those 4 cups of autolysed flour (!).  This was due to having seen a recipe that called for 4 cups of starter per 5-6 cups flour.  As you can see, I was really all over the place and mainly only used Ken's recipe as a guideline or as a way to practice his method of autolysing and folding rather than kneading, etc - even if not his precise ingredients.  I feel like such an idiot for overcomplicating things and doing all this at something like 2 in the morning... I was like a zombie and I might remember more had I not been so tired! 

What I'd like to do is just not use dry yeast unless I really need to.  Only because if I'm keeping the starter alive and fairly active (or even if in the fridge but I don't have to have bread immediately), I don't see the point in having to use dry yeast unless my breads are coming out really flat which they're not, so far.  It just seems more fun to use the starter. :)  I'm sure the time will come again when I'll use dry active yeast (of course).  I'm just disappointed so many of these great cookbooks don't have more levain breads - almost all of them are for dry yeast.

My guess is that I may have gotten that decent crumb from  having had that pretty firm ball of autolysed  dough/water - having gone about an hour or possibly longer instead of a half-hour...and that when I added all that sourdough starter and couldn't get it to mix together, that lack of incorporating may have created the bubbles/holes?  I thought it would be funny if - if my blunder's positive result hasn't been done before - I could name the "new recipe" something like "pain de l'erreur, pain du faux pas" or "pain de la gaffe" or something like that. ;)  Or it could be pain du cordes (bread of ropes), haha.  Or more accurately, pain de patte a corde (of rope dough)!  Ok enough public self-amusement for now.

Sorry that was so long (and confusing)!

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Ah, I understand completely.  I am not an experienced baker by any stretch of the imagination, and by reading so much information and advice (often contradictory) and watching many videos on YouTube, I also get confused and head off on my own tangent!  I have read on WildYeast blog an article on converting commercial yeast to sourdough.  Perhaps I should revisit that site and see if I can sort it out.  I, too, prefer to use wild yeast over commercial.  I would just like to have happy 'accidents' like yours.   You obviously have done something right!  As you say, now to try and replicate!

Thank you for responding to my query and I do hope you can keep on baking such beautiful loaves

Regards

Sondra

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Tremendous crumb!

Theresse's picture
Theresse

Wow - thanks Floydm! :)  I wonder if I'll ever be able to replicate it!

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

No complaints, here!   8))))

Theresse's picture
Theresse

Thank you Mr. Marley! ;)

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

If this were viewed as a loaf of bread made by a forum member who bakes regularly it would rightly gain comments such as "wow", "impressive" and "fantastic crumb".

As it is, you say this is your first sourdough made using your first sourdough starter so on that basis it is an exceptional loaf. Did you not have any failures with sourdoughs before this point? I would imagine that many of us didn't get anything like that kind of reasult with our first sourdoughs. Well done.

Theresse's picture
Theresse

EIPanadero,

You are too kind!  Just blew up my ego to 3x its size, thank you!

I've made bread before, but not sourdough starter.  Well, I made it back in I think December and have managed to keep it alive but hadn't used it in bread until now.  I've made homemade bread before using dry yeast, too - though always doing it the basic way - either hand mixing or using a mixer and then kneading.  To be precise, I believe I've made 8 loaves between when I first tried a few in the mid-late '90s and last winter!  Mostly sandwich bread but last winter I also tried using the banneton for the first time and that bread came out looking pretty okay - it just had a whole wheat sandwich bread type of recipe with active dry yeast so it had a tight crumb.

I'm trying to decide if next time I should attempt to recreate that recipe that I 'goofed up' on - to see if it will come out the same - or if I should try something different such as actually following one whole recipe as I'm supposed to!  I've always wanted to try french bread.

Thanks again!

Theresse's picture
Theresse

Hi guys -

I'm autolysing some dough right now and am going to try using Forkish's Overnight Country Blonde levain recipe (p. 168) right now using mostly KA AP flour but some KA whole wheat too (1000 g total).  It's the first time using the digital scale in grams and doing an overnight proofing instead of retarding in the fridge after proofing about 5 hours as I did last time.  Last time I used a relative ton of sourdough starter so this time - following the recipe precisely for a change - I'll be using 216 g. of SS (or about 3/4 c).  I'll be interested to see how different the flavor will be compared to my last one, using so much less ss.  There goes the beeper - wish me luck! :)