The Fresh Loaf

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making use of bmuir1616's "guide to refreshing a sourdough starter"

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hullaf's picture
hullaf

making use of bmuir1616's "guide to refreshing a sourdough starter"

I caught onto refreshing sourdough starter in bmuir's guide as one of the easier ways to understand my starter -- TFL node 6742. Now that the weather is warming up I find my starter is developing better though this guide really helped me with the numbers. 

First, since I have been wanting to convert my 100% starter to a firm one and I had just bought a used Glezer "Artisan Baking Across America" I thought I'd try her method for that. (My starter began about three years ago from freshly milled rye flour per RL Bernbaum's "Bread Bible" method.) I took 15 grams of my starter, added 15 of water and 50 of while bread flour (15-15-50), it rose 2x by 8-12 hours. Since it seemed slow to rise I then used Glezer's method to enliven my firm starter to make sure it was active enough - so I did a refreshing schedule of (15-25-45) starter-water-flour every 12 hours. That just didn't seem to go as Glezer said it would (by tripling or quadrupling!?). So, as I read in various blogs here on TFL (such as node 1807), I took Andrew's advice and used his amounts (30-30-50), and my starter started to grow well to 2-3x in 3-5 hours. So, I knew my sourdough starter was good. 

Now, I was ready for bmuir's guide and graph to direct me. I did the (25-50-50) building first, every 12 hours I added on, and by 36 hours I had the 500 Grams of starter/preferment to bake. (I didn't want the 1000 gram amount.) After the first two feedings it had doubled in 4-6 hours (the aroma was soooo goood) and with dmsnyder's and Mike Avery's advice I refrigerated it "because you want to use the starter at the peak of activity when you add it to the dough". 

I was now ready to make bread. I took out the refreshed starter/preferment from the fridge and let it warm up for 2 hours to nice and bubbly. I made half recipe of Glezer's Thom Leonard Country French by zolablue's node 3934 -- specifically with the sifted Hodgson Mill graham flour mixed with KA bread flour. I followed the recipe fairly exact; it rose according to the hours mentioned (I made sure of a 75F rising temperature by using a heating pad+rack+towel cover). I made one large boule, risen in a willow banneton, and baked it a total of 40 minutes.  

 

shaped Thom Leonard country french bread

shaped Thom Leonard country french bread

 

baked Thom Leonard country french bread

baked Thom Leonard country french bread 

 

sliced country french bread

sliced country french bread

 The bread rose well, had a great oven spring (though maybe not deep enough slashes?) and had a great wheaty taste. I wish I had real high extraction flour to see how that affects the taste. 

  Then since I had more fresh sourdough starter leftover, I made pizza dough per Peter Reinhart's 'transitional' whole wheat pizza in his WGB book. I quickly made up a soaker with whole wheat flour, let it sit/autolyse for an hour, added it and the remaining refreshed starter to the total dough and refrigerated it until an hour or two before I made the pizza, probably 6-8 hours. The dough turned out much more elastic and fun to work with than in the past when I had used this recipe. I did use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast - maybe this and the nicely active starter helped.  

 

elastic sourdough pizza dough

elastic sourdough pizza dough

I used the tomato based sauce per "a pizza primer" by Floydm's recipe and here is the result, a tasty pepperoni-onion-mushroom-basil pizza.  

 

'transitional' sourdough crust pizza

'transitional' sourdough crust pizza 

 

As you can see I used several different books, and many ideas, recipes, and recommendations from a variety of TFL bloggers. The Fresh Loaf has been so good for me! 

Anet 

holds99's picture
holds99

Hellaf,

Really appreciate you posting your sourdough information.  I have been trying to revive my starter and get it back into shape for baking and am having some problems.  I am into day 2 of Mike Avery's steps, the ones he recently posted for Lisa and it seems to be working.  I still have a day to go. I'm anxious to see how it goes at the end of day 3.  I will let Mike know how it came out and maybe ask for some critique if I have problems.  It's really a challenge to figure this thing out...lots of variables in the equation.  I've had good success following Nancy Silverton's recipes but there's a lot of waste and I was trying to reduce the amount of starter that gets tossed.  I'll try to read the nodes you listed.

Your bread (Thom Leonard Country French) is beautiful; nice rise with great crust and crumb...and the pizza looks delicious.  Very nice job. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL