The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough baguettes from 4-day old throw-away starter

ocbaker's picture
ocbaker

Sourdough baguettes from 4-day old throw-away starter

Hi all, first time post for me. I usually lurk and quietly absorb all the information but I felt compelled to post these photos because I am so happy with them. I have been trying to make a whole wheat sourdough starter (after previous failure) from Sourdolady's formula. On day 4 it was bubbly and smelled wonderful. When I fed it, instead of throwing away the rest of the starter (I hate to do that, dont you?), and I was curious as to how it was performing so I added a bit of water and flour to the throw away starter and let it ferment in a bowl overnight. Then I refreshed it again the next morning. When I came home 8 hours later I added 1 cup of water, 1 tsp salt and 2.25 cups of bread flour to the starter until it formed a pretty springy dough that wasnt too sticky (didn't know if this 4-day starter would work so I didn't want to make too much!). 

After mixing the starter, water, flour and salt it was then a 20 min autolyse with 2 minute kneading afterwards, 1 hour ferment, stretch and fold at 1 hour mark, and another hour of fermenting. Then I did another stretch and fold after that hour was up and shaped the dough into a ball. Then I cut the dough up into 3 pieces and shaped it into baguettes and let it proof for 1 hour. This was baked in a 475 degree oven with steam for 35 minutes total. 

I was worried because the dough didnt rise too much during any of the fermenting/proofing stages so I thought it was going to be some flat sourdough baguettes indeed. But no! These baguettes had humongous oven spring. The pictures are below. I cut into it hot, sorry I couldn't wait! And wow! Huge irregular holes, soft and slightly chewy crumb, thick crunchy crust. There wasn't a "sour" flavor from the sourdough but it tasted so good. I guess the starter is doing pretty well because at 4 days it can make some good baguettes :) By the way, this is my first time making baguettes because I usually stick to whole wheat breads but I think this is going to be a regular thing now!

Thanks sourdolady for a starter formula that really works and all others for your bread wisdom!

 

 

Baguettes

sourdough baguettes

 

 

 

baguette crumb 

 baguette crumb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Does sound like the bulk rise was a total of 2 hours?  And sounds like you've got a powerful starter going.  Congratulations!

"...I was curious as to how it was performing so I added a bit of water and flour to the throw away starter and let it ferment in a bowl overnight. Then I refreshed it again the next morning."

Refreshed, do you mean you added water and flour to it?  This would explain where the power came from, after sitting then 8 hours (bulk rise so to speak) it was more than ready to lift something and then you almost doubled the dough amount by mixing in water/salt/flour and did resting and folding developing the added gluten.  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)  See what I'm getting at?  

Lovely baguettes, I don't think my first ones looked that good!  :)

Mini O

ocbaker's picture
ocbaker

Thanks for your kind words Mini Oven. And yes, you're right, the bulk rise was 2 hours (because it didnt look like it was rising at all) so I let it go for longer.

Definitely adding flour and water to it the next morning gave it enough food to do it's thing. I guess I am surprised that I had any yeast at all in the young starter since my last attempt at a sourdough starter was so tragic! After more than almost 2 weeks of daily feedings my last sourdough starter could not rise bread :( but good thing there isnt a problem this time. Cheers!