The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter finally rises and falls, now what?

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

Starter finally rises and falls, now what?

So, I have now a starter that rises & doubles (beautifully) has lots of bubbles and air-pockets & even falls by the end of a 24 hour period (I can see that faint mark above the surface on the glass, good sign?. I have fed it at the ratio 1:2:2 with 50%wwf & 50% bf.

It's been quite stiff since I started feeding it breadflour (doesn't liquify like with the other flours) and the smell is not something I can describe as pleasant or nasty, it just smells like flour I think. The only problem is it doesn't float in water as some of u earlier suggested it should. Is that a huge problem? Should I wait on a few more days till it floats or bake to test? A little intimidated by the bread recipes I went through.

Will be my 1st sd bake not really sure what to expect - Do I have to start with a loaf of bread? How about starting with something safer like pizza dough? Or Pita bread? Anyones got ideas or recipes for a beginner?

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Appears to be healthy and strong. Do you do the float test when peaked and are you careful not to knock out the air bubbles?

The smell is interesting. It should have a nice smell when peaked and bubbly. If left longer then it will take on an alcoholic smell. Once it starts to fall, even after 24 hours, it only smells like flour and water?

Feed it a few more times and keep trying that float test. Other then that I think just dive into a simple bread recipe. Might not be perfect but it'll be edible. Don't forget it'll take up to a month for your starter to fully mature.

Have you got the Hamelman Vermont Sourdough recipe?

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

No, whats the Hamelman Vermont recipe?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

from the book "bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman.

Weizenbrot's picture
Weizenbrot

hamelman's vermont sourdough recipe

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

Email sent. Thankyou for the share. I think I may have knocked out the air bubbles before dropping it in water (habitual stirring). Will try again later. For now I think I will maintain my starter from the refrigerator till ready for baking. Thankyou once again.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Have you already put your starter in the refrigerator. I tend to not refrigerate a starter till it has proved itself and made bread successfully. Especially if it's still very young. It'll benefit from being kept at room temperature and fed at regular intervals.

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

Found it! 

http://www.homecookingadventure.com/recipes/easy-sourdough-bread-vermont-bread

That sure is a quick recipe with total fermentation and proofing time of 5 hours only.

Thanks!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

as is his Pain au Levain.  these were my first 2 sucessful SD recipes. 

Happy baking Vtg79 and good luck.

Leslie

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

So, my starter is still at room temperature and its rising. Checked at around 8 hours after feeding and it smells a little tangy and dropped a big blob in water without stirring, it does float but also sinks more slowly thereafter and still a bit stiff, not quite poufy. Guess I will have to wait longer till it floats like in those youtube videos!
Thanks Lechem and Leslie!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Keep on feeding it and I think by the weekend you should try a recipe. Best way now is to see how it performs. The resulting bread will soon tell you. Might not be perfect but it'll be a start.

Vtg79's picture
Vtg79

Yup feeding it for now and meanwhile also checking checking and preparing for the recipe you sent me. Small differences in detail, looks like a better recipe to start with. Thnx a lot for it. The only 2 things,

1: I don't have a dutch oven, nor anything resembling it in my kitchen. Wonder if I can just use a loaf pan covered with aluminum foil to get a good crust?

2: The baking temperature should be 240°C?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

If you don't have one then a similar pot which fits the dough will suffice. If you don't have a pot then the next best thing is a baking stone and introduce steam by using a steam tray (pre heat it with the oven then pour in water just before baking). If you don't have a baking stone then a baking tray or bread pan is fine too.

Can't remember off hand but I think Hamelman doesn't even say use a dutch oven (I might be wrong). That was just my own note to the recipe. 230°C with steam for the first 20 minutes, then 210°C till golden brown for the remainder should be fine. Every recipe has a slight variant on baking. Depends on your oven and I don't think there is an exact temperature as even this will have variables. When baking treat as you would with your usual bread. If it's a dryer dough then 35-40 minutes should be fine. For wetter it'll need longer etc. All our ovens are a bit different but steam is important.