The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1.2.3, An Easy Formula for Sourdough Bread

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

1.2.3, An Easy Formula for Sourdough Bread

Hi Everyone!

I'm Flo Makanai, French "author" of the (in French, sorry...) blog Makanai (http://makanaibio.com/). I love bread baking, especially sourdough baking, and I've been doing it for about 15 years.

As I always have many obligations other than baking bread (who does'nt?!) AND lots of sourdough to use (I hate throwing it away once it has reached maturity), I eventually came to "invent" a formula that works for me in France (Janedo from http://aulevain.fr/, whom you certainly know, has also tested that formula and it works for her too).

Here it is:

I weigh the liquid (100%) mature sourdough I have on my counter. It gives me a weight which I shall call weight 1.

I then multiply "weight 1" by 2 to obtain the quantity of liquid (water, rice milk, milk...) I'll need. So the liquid will weigh twice as much as the sourdough.

Then, I multiply "weight 1" by 3 to obtain the quantity of flour(s) (always organic for me) that I'll need. So the flour(s) will weigh 3 times the sourdough. 

I mix those 3 ingredients, I let the dough rest 30 minutes and then I knead my dough, adding 1.8% to 2% of the flour(s) weight of salt.

So "1" = sourdough weight

"2" = liquid weight, which is "1"x2

and "3" = flour(s) weight, which is "1" x3

Example : with 125g sourdough, I'll bake bread with 250g liquid and 375g flour + 6 to 7g salt

The reason I'm writing today on TFL is that I wonder if that formula works in the States, where flours are so different from the ones we have in France. Is anyone interested in trying and then posting a comment on TFL? That would be interesting.

I posted this formula (in French, but you can use the Google translator, even if the result is quite ... unusual!) on Makanaibio yesterday (here: http://www.makanaibio.com/2008/10/123-pain-au-levain-une-formule-qui.html), if you can read French or if you'd like to see a few pictures of some of my breads.

(And please excuse my english, I certainly made mistakes I'm not even aware of...)

I hope to read you soon!

Flo Makanai

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Bienvenu, Flo Makanai!

Many of us bakers who hang our hats here on TFL know of your exploits quite well!

Your part in Janedo's adventures with Anis Bouabsa's baguettes was very important. Your photos were lovely and brought the excitement of the bakery to life, so much so I could easily imagine the smells as well.

I am able to read your blog and enjoyed it very much. I agree with you about the passion that the American sourdough authors have brought to their writing and baking. I wish only to suggest that you might enjoy reading Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread and Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America as well.

I like your 1.2.3 method. It makes very good sense and is easy to remember and easy to execute as well. I actually apply it to my starter as well, to keep it even simpler, perhaps. I found that 1:2:3 as a starter ratio helped extend the starter's ripening time.

Since 67% is a very versatile hydration level, you can practically never go wrong, unless of course you are baking ciabatta!

I will make my next sourdough using your method and (I hope) post something to help promote it!

Thanks for posting on TFL!

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Hi David,

Thanks a lot for your comment, I'm (almost) blushing (and certainly honored!). I'm not very present on TFL, because of a crucial lack of time to do all the things I'd like to do, but your name sure is familiar for me too.

I own and I've read with passion, too, Hamelman's Bread and Glezer's Artisan Baking. In my most recent post on Makanai, I only mentionned the authors I knew of during the early 90's. I've discovered many other ones since. But thanks a lot for the precision, good books on baking are such a treat!

For your starter, do you mean you give it twice its weight in flour and 3 times its weight in water? That would produce a very liquid starter, and I'm not sure the 1.2.3 formula I'm using would then be an easy one to use because the dough's hydration level would then be higher than 67%: the bread would certainly be very good once baked but pretty hard to knead manually, don't you think so? I use a 100% starter.

Thanks again for your answer, and I'm now waiting for the results of your experiment and a picture too;-)

Flo Makanai

http://makanaibio.com/

Soundman's picture
Soundman

May I call you Flo?

Sorry if I caused some confusion. Like your 1.2.3 sourdough method, I feed my starter 2 times as much water as starter I am keeping, and 3 times as much flour. So it's a firm levain. It's also in the same nice 67% hydration as the dough I often build.

BTW I have recently been keeping very little starter, 'cause I don't like to waste flour. So I may refresh 8 grams of starter with 16 grams of water and 24 grams of flour. It's a small amount of starter, 48 grams, but using your method I would keep 8 grams for refreshing, and build my final levain with 40 grams of starter, 80 grams of water, and 120 grams of flour = 240 grams of final levain. That would work. Then I would use 240 grams of starter, 480 grams of water, and 720 grams of flour = 1440 grams of final dough, 2 nice sized loaves.

However, recently I made a couple of Anis baguettes, leavening with yeast (!), where instead of the ripe levain that Janedo uses I added in the discarded levain from 2 prior feedings. I thought it might be acidic, but it was lovely! The loaves rose beautifully and I know they were good because my wife was quite eager to eat the bread. I had one aesthetic problem, I didn't seal one of the baguettes well enough and there was a "side accident" but I'm just learning my baguette shaping!

Please keep posting on TFL, if only to tell us when you have a new blog entry. I have added your blog URL to the blogs I read and will check back frequently.

Tell me if I confused you again!

Soundman (David)

zoe zhu's picture
zoe zhu

sorry i am a bit confused. shouldn't 1:2:3 dough be 71%? there is water and flour in the sourdough starter too.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Flo.

Welcome to TFL!

Your "1:2:3" formula results in a 67% hydration dough, which is pretty standard for American sourdoughs which seem to range from 65-68% hydration. A good example which you might want to look at is the "Vermont Sourdough" in Hamelman's "Bread."

The difference is in the flour used, as you point out." American flours are generally classified according to protein/gluten percentage, while French flours are classified by ash content. Moreover, while there are generalizations that can be made, there is really no standard definition of "all purpose" versus "bread" versus "high gluten" flour.

Janedo and I have gone back and forth trying to figure out what American flour would be closest to T65, for example. Some American mills have flours they mill to replicate French flours, but one cannot be sure how well they do so without getting their complete chemical analysis.

Anyway, if you want to see an example of an American sourdough made with "high gluten" flour and a 68% hydration dough, see this: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9339/susan039s-sourdough

This bread recipe was developed by a member here, SusanFNP, based on Hamelman's "Vermont Sourdough."


David

josordoni's picture
josordoni

Hi Flo!

Interesting this 1:2:3 ratio.

 I feed my starter by volume: 1 tablespoon starter, two of water and three of flour.  When I bake I take one tablespoon out, feed that 1:2:3 and back in the fridge, and use the rest to bulk up for baking (when I bake by weight, including bulking up the starter).  

I will try your formula next time I bake - I am using English branded flours, not US ones (Dove Farm Organic Bread Flour, not sure where this comes from whether it is English flour or imported,)

It is the turn of my rye starter this weekend - I keep a rye and a white and they do perform differently - so I will report back.

 Lynne

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Hola Flo,

 I've read your blog too,  felt a bit lazy and tried the Google translation... it was very amusing!  I'll definitely try your 1,2,3 formula next time I'm baking... I just fed my starters today and put them in the fridge for a rest, but next weekend I'll wake one of them up for a 1,2,3 sourdough and let you know how the formula works with Spanish organic flour! 

Richelle

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Yep, I've tried it... MANY times. I base it on 600g of flour because that is how much Flo mentioned to me in the beginning and it makes a perfect sized loaf for me, or two bâtards, which I like. But the use of the formula is particularly interesting when it comes to calculating upon the amount of "extra" starter you may have hanging around and don't want to throw out. So, instead of following a strict recipe, you can just make up a batch, big or small, following the formula. Now, of course, that is possible for any recipe if you know the baker's %. But many people like very simple ways of doing things and not necessarily having to pull out a cookbook. This formula couldn't be simpler!

Jane 

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Maybe a bit off topic, but why am I so often reading about bakers throwing out surplus starter? I never, ever throw out any..... I keep my starters (one rye, one wheat, one quince/AP) firmish, very thick batter-like and only feed them once a week. What I don't need for that week's baking I empty in a separate container (all three together) and when that is full I make sourdough pancakes with baking soda (no oil needed!) or a batch of cake-batter that the oldish starter still manages to give just enough oven-spring.

I absolutely hate to throw away good food....

Richelle

Soundman's picture
Soundman

I agree, Richelle!

I have always felt bad about the supposed necessity of discarding starter. I finally realized that it was easy enough, and tasty too, to save the starter that didn't get refreshed, refrigerate it, and incorporate it into something, pancakes, biscuits, blueberry cake, or, why not, bread.

I have used the unchosen starter in bread the last three or four weeks. I am happy to report I have seen no negative effects to just including it another loaf of bread. (I thought maybe the acidity might affect the yeast that leavened my recent baguettes, but not at all.) I tend to make a single loaf and it disappears right along with the sourdough bread it didn't get to leaven.

Soundman (David)

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

When I start a build for a new batch I take 10 gm of starter from the 40 or so I keep in store, and I keep the remainder just in case something goes wrong. You never know! But once I have a new stored starter, from the previous batch, the 30 gm oer so of the old one goes into the next batch.

Jeremy

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Thank you for all your comments and willingness to try that formula (and yes you sure can call me Flo!).

Janedo summed up beautifully the "why" I came up with this formula. Because yes, Richelle and David, you're completely right about not needing to discard the surplus starter BUT there are times when I just don't have time to do anything but a bread AND I need an extra big bread or 2 or 3 loaves for the following days (because we at home eat A LOT of bread, I almost never purchase any, and there are times when I just can't bake for 2 or 3 days in a row) AND it's then so much easier to just weigh my mature starter and just prepare a big batch of dough. I can then bake a bread during that day, keep the rest of the dough refrigerated and I'll just have to bring it to room temp the next day and bake it.

For those who, like me, have a quite time-consuming job outside home + 3 little girls + about 2 hours commuting at least 3 days a week, this formula is precious or I'll have to discard my beloved starter when there's just no time for pancakes or cakes or whatever...

But I do bake sourdough pancakes or crêpes (my girls and I had sourdough crêpes at lunch today, filled with ham and fresh mozarella di buffala, yummy!) and we often eat sourdough cakes (many recipes are on makanaibio.com) at home too.

Thanks again for your answers and I'm waiting to hear from all of you again!

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Flo,

Obviously the simplicity of your formula is a hit! BTW in case it isn't already apparent, TFL posters, this one included, have a healthy fondness for digression. I hope we never hijack your topic, but I can't guarantee it!

I will ready my starter(s) to use your method on the weekend. I'm looking forward to the descriptions and photos that will be added to this post in the near future.

Thanks again!

Soundman (David)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I love the simplicity of your method. Easy to remember, the simplest of math. Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks,

Betty

Marni's picture
Marni

Hello, and thank you for sharing this formula.  I'm hoping to try it today!  I have some starter that is ready to go, so I'll use that, it's not old, I refreshed it yesterday at mid-day.  The 2-3 cups of old starter in the fridge will go into pizza crusts for tonight's dinner.  I also can't see why I'd waste any!

Marni

Marni's picture
Marni

Well. I did try the formula on the 28th.  It totally flopped and I think I can point to various causes.  I made an extremly thick, dense pita - not purposely.

 My second attempt went just fine.  I started the dough the night before using 235g liquid starter ( I don't have the precise hydration of it.), 270g of water and 705g flour.  I used King Arthur AP flour. The dough was basically a batter.  I added another 100g of flour and then I had a pliable, workable dough.  Sticky, but doable.  I used 8g salt.  I didn't calculate that, but added what felt right. So it was just under 1%. I let it rest and did three stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals.  It was then very smooth and not sticky.

I shaped two loaves and let them sit out for 30-45 minutes before going into the fridge for the night. After 8 1/2 hours they came out and one baked after 2 1/2 hours out and the other after about 3 /1/2 hours.

They baked under a cloche ( an ancient, battered pan) at 520 reduced to 450 and had a very nice oven spring.  I didn't slash the first one deeply enough, but it was okay.

I've read here about loaves "singing" when they come out of the oven, and once or twice I have listened closely and noticed a quiet crackling noise, but the first loaf out was so noisy I thought someone was in the house and walking up behind me. ( I was home alone.)

They smelled incredible and I have to admit I cut the first one too soon as I had to taste it.  I know that it wasn't ready.  Dinnertime proved that to be true.  It was very bland while still warm and full of flavor 8 hours later.  It was chewier than other sourdoughs I've made.  I would definitely make it again. 

1,2,3 Sourdough

1,2,3 Sourdough

1,2,3 Sourdough Second Loaf and Crumb1,2,3 Sourdough Second Loaf and Crumb

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Marni,

That's some nice looking bread! How does (did) it taste?

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Marni, thanks so much for writing us about your experiment with the 1.2.3 formula.

Your bread looks great, and it's nice thing that it sang so loudly! I'm glad you already think of doing it again.

Your salt percentage is incredibly low. In France, we usually add 1.8 to 2.2% of salt. I know that in Belgium, professional bakers are not allowed to add more than 1.7% of salt and belgian bread is quite bland for a French palate. So 1%... Is that what you always use?

For the 1.2.3 formula, it's most important to use a 100% hydration starter to avoid adding more flour (even if it's not a problem in itself to add flour, but it sort of ruins the idea of an easy formula, don't you think?).

But maybe the 1.2.3 dough will always be too sticky to work with when using flours like KA Bread flour, instead of French flours. I really wonder if that is the case.

I'm leaving for a long week-end in Brittany, in the town of Carnac, on the Atlantic shore. i'll be back on monday and I'll be happy to read about other experiments too.

Thanks again, Marni.

Flo Makanai

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Flo,

Congratulations on your very interesting interview! Your food philosophy I find very congenial. The bread (with pureed hazelnuts and rice milk) sounds delightful, and very nourishing. The pictures are mouth-watering and beautiful too. I haven't used rice milk before, and will look into finding some locally.

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Well thanks a lot David!

Yes that bread (on a 1.2.3 formula) is super good. I often use vegetal milks (or do you say non-dairy milks?) instead of water when baking and my prefered milks are almond and rice. They add a little sweetness, something mellow (if one may say that in English?), but so little fat and sugar that the bread remains extremely healthy (because if there's one thing I absolutely refuse to control, it's the quantity of bread I eat per day!!). If you try one of them, please tell me if you like the result.

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Flo,

To answer your question about what we call these non-dairy milks, I guess either "non-dairy milk" or by name, i.e. coconut milk, rice milk, etc. You caught me by surprise with your rice milk, so I await an answer from someone with authority on the subject!

Here are some pictures of my successful 1.2.3 Wheat-Rye Sourdough. They're fresh out of the oven so the crumb pix will come later. (I find if I shoot up close, the flash blows away all detail. So I am taking these using the zoom from 3 feet away, and the details are more visible.)

Wheat-Rye Sourdough

Wheat-Rye SD

Wheat-Rye SD

Loaf 2:

Wheat-Rye SD2

Wheat-Rye SD2

These were shaped, as you can see, in oval brotforms. The recipe uses 10% Whole Wheat, for which I used a mix of red and white wheat, and 5% Rye. I can't wait to taste this bread, but I will let them sit for several hours before cutting them.

I love the simplicity of the 1.2.3 formula (in part because it fits the way I have been tending in the last 6 months). I apply it to my starter, the final levain, and the dough to be baked. I try to use amounts that don't require a calculator, to make it extra simple and idiot-proof!

I will report back about the flavor and with picture(s) of the crumb.

Edit: As promised... crumb pix...

 

Wt-Rye SD Crumb1

Wt-Rye SD Crumb1

And another:

 Wt-Rye SD Crumb2

Wt-Rye SD Crumb2

I am thrilled with the way this bread turned out! The crumb is light, airy, and soft. The aroma is lightly sour and lovely. The taste is wheaty, and makes you want to take another bite, and another. The crust is crunchy but thin. (I hope Eric Hanner sees this. This bread was baked while the dough was still cool from overnight retardation!)

I like this bread so much I hope I can repeat it as is. It's the bread I will bake for my family for Thanksgiving. Thanks, Flo!

Soundman (David)

Marni's picture
Marni

Your loaves really look great.  I guess I need to be more accurate with my starter proportions or just add flour as needed to get the right consistency.  I think I'll find it easier to start with the 1,2,3 idea and add the flour.

The flavor of my loaves was good.  It didn't seem much different than other sourdoughs I've made.  I'll try increasing the salt next time as Flo mentioned.

I also plan to use your photography suggestion as I have the same problem with the flash and never considered that simple solution!

Regarding the non-dairy milks, there are some popular brand names - Rice Dream, Soy Dream, Silk, 8th Continent and others.  Trader Joe's has house brands that are very good.  Almost all my baking is dairy free and I find that the rice milks work well.  Since I don't have a dairy version to compare to, I can't tell you if the milk versions were better, but we're satisfied with the results.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Thanks, Marni, for your kind words!

Thanks also for the information on rice and soy milks. We have a Trader Joe's near us, so I'll try some of their Rice Milk.

I know what you mean about getting the right feel to the dough. With this type of hydration (67%) I try not to add too much flour, because if I can work with the dough at all I know it will produce a nice open crumb. Still, sometimes the dough just feels too slack and you have to add more flour.

I hope you find using your zoom helps. I hate having a great looking picture in the view-finder only to lose all the nuances through the "smarts" of the camera!

Soundman (David)

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

That looks beautiful. Do you remember what temperature you used for baking, and for how long? Did you use steam? Gotta try that!

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi merrybaker,

Thanks for the generous compliments!

I always use steam, (or water vapor at least). Nothing fancy, just a steam pan on the bottom rack and a plant mister.

I'm glad you asked about the temperature. I have been experimenting for the last month to develop the right oven technique when baking sourdough bread that has retarded in the refrigerator and has not had 3 or 4 hours to get up to room temp.

(The issue came up in this thread: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9071/straight-refrigerator-oven.)

The first thing to mention about oven technique is this: I score and load one loaf at a time, so the first loaf always has a head start and I have to factor that in as I play with oven temperature. (I am going to have a Super Peel soon, to remove that particular obstacle, I hope!)

This latest bread, 1.2.3 Wheat-Rye Sourdough, I started with the oven at 480 dF, on convection bake. I had preheated the oven for 45 minutes, so my baking stone was good and hot. Since the oven door is opening every 2 minutes or so, for misting purposes, for almost 10 minutes, the oven itself hardly holds that temperature. Once the first loaf took on color, I stopped misting it, but the second loaf required one more shot of mist on its side of the oven and another couple of minutes before I removed the steam pan.

At that point I set the oven to 460 dF and shifted the loaves around. My oven has a hot spot, so I moved the second loaf to it, so it could catch up in the color department. I made sure loaf2 had the beginnings of a nice golden color before setting the oven to 440 dF and letting the loaves bake. They baked for another 18 minutes before I checked in again, saw that the color was good, and took each loaf's temperature. I was shooting for around 207 dF. Each loaf was between 190 and 200 dF, so a few more minutes sufficed to get them to the right temperature. Out of the oven to cool for, as it happened, 6 hours before I made my first cut.

I am thoroughly pleased with this bread. My wife was profuse with compliments, which is all the encouragement I need to try again. I just hope I can duplicate it!

A couple of other points to make: I bulk fermented the dough at 68 dF for 6.5 hours; I shaped in brotforms and retarded overnight in the fridge; the loaves were out of the fridge for 1.5 hours before I loaded them into the oven; I am using 2 separate starters, because it helps create a nice sour tang, as I feed one of the starters half as often as the other one.

Finally, Flo Makanai's 1.2.3 formula is very easy, almost mistake-proof.

Hope this helps!

Soundman (David)

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

the baking details. And the link. I love the way everyone adapts the process, but all produce good bread.

Richelle's picture
Richelle

I made a batch of 1,2,3 dough today with my very ripe sort of 100% starter, white AP and appr. 16% fine whole wheat and coarse rye. Added just a pinch of yeast (as I wanted to be able to bake before the end of the day...) Mixed it by hand, using the method Janedo described for the Anis' baguettes, did 2 folds and let it rise at room temp, then placed the bowl outside to ripen a bit further, until needed.

Enormous air bubbles in the dough and even after quite firm shaping of 3 baguettes, lots of bubbles remained in the dough. Let the baguettes proof while the oven was warming up to 250 C, slashed and misted them and baked them under cover the first 10 minutes. Lovely bloom, nice thin crust thanks to the baking under cover and wonderful taste.

Unfortunately, our camera is not functioning well, but believe me, these were the first baguettes I was really proud of with respect to both crumb, crust and appearance!

Thanks again Flo, for sharing your formula with us!

Richelle

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I have 2 questions:

1.Does this ratio work when whole wheat or flour mixtures are being used rather than AP or strong flour?

2.Is there a different ratio to use when a firm starter is used? 

I just tried this ratio and it worked beautifully with my high hydration starter but I just started a very thick,hard starter and would like to know if anyone has experience using a specific ratio for this scenario.? 

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

clazar123,

Let's see what Flo and Janedo have to say...

Meanwhile, depending on your flours, I can imagine modulating the hydration somewhat. For examle, high rye content would suggest a higher hydration.

That said, the bread I just baked used 10% whole wheat and 5% rye and I didn't have to adjust the water content at all. On the other hand, my starter is also 67% hydration, while Flo M. and others are using 100% hydration, so my bread was about 1% lower hydration, roughly estimating. I don't think that affected my bread one way or the other, and I wouldn't change a thing, given how the bread tasted.

How about a picture or two of your efforts?

Soundman (David)

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Hola Clazar,

I just happened to make a badge of 33% wholewheat/coarse spelt - 66% AP according to Flo's formula and just had to compensate for the wholewheat with an extra splash of water. I made baguettes again and they turned out fine!

I would suggest when using a very thick starter to firstly dilute this starter with water until it resembles your high hydration starter end proceed from there with the Formula.

Greetings,

Richelle

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I just mixed up a sourdough variation of Norm's Onion Rolls using this ratio (winging it on the egg,oil,sugar amounts) and I'll see if I can figure out how to do pictures (if the rolls turn out).

The eggs got put in the water weight as a liquid, the sugar and oil were added as extra ingredients. It seemed to need a little extra flour but came together very nicely. It has been rested-and folded and is now resting. I'll post later on the outcome.

I have been "on a roll" this weekend and today-English muffins,whole wheat sandwich bread,123 French Bread and now 123 onion rolls. All with a dynamite starter that just doesn't quit. It keeps bubbling away-I swear it's calling me. I'm having great fun.

I'm going to try the whole wheat variation of the 1-2-3 formula soon. Thanks for the replies.

I'd still like to hear from someone that uses a stiff ?levain? in a simple formula like this. Is there a simple ratio? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yep, jumped onto the band waggon. I've got a dough sitting on the counter. Started it yesterday morning with some firm starter. As I usually do: took out about a heaping teaspoon of stiff refrigerated starter but it was semi-mature of about 3 days. So I let it warm up with a little warm water and let it just sit there for a few hours until it smelled ripe and the bubbles were present. Then I added a little more water and equal weight of flour to come up with thick pancake dough consistency of 100% hydration. It weighed 133g and I let that ripen or mature.

Now I don't know if that answers the stiff levain question but I would be tempted to add enough water to a ripe stiff levain to create a 100% hydration and then continue. I could have done that but the amount I store in the refrigerator is barely 100g so I decided to feed to increase my starter amount and leave the refrigerator starter alone.

Around 4 pm I added 265g water, and a combination of flours that totaled 400g (including potato flour & roasted flour) and a rounded teaspoon salt. Mixed it, let it sit for 45 minutes and then lightly kneaded, oiled it and tossed it into a bowl. Four hours later I tucked it into the refrigerator for the night. This morning took it out to warm up and folded it three times with about an hour in between. The dough has a very comfortable 65% hydration to manage and shape and feels quite stiff in comparison to my last loaf of 87% hydration.

...And here it is:

 

 1-2-3 pop!

1-2-3 Sourdough Success!

Mini O

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Absolutely gorgeous bread, MiniOven!

I love the sheen on the crust. Perfection!

Soundman (David)

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Mini O, what  beautiful loaf! Wish I could report similar success, but alas, somehow I goofed. I used what I think were Janedo's quantities: 125g starter, 250g water and 375g KA bread flour, with 6g salt kneaded in later. Ended up with a bowl of glop! I did the Bertinet slap and later some stretch and folds but the dough was still way too wet. So in desperation I lined my banneton with parchment paper and shaped a quick sorta boule and dumped it into the banneton and put the entire deal into the refrigerator overnight. Then this morning I let it warm up and baked it in my ss Dutch oven like the No Knead bread. Got surprisingly good oven spring and holey crumb. I do have to admit to a major  crime - it was still warm when I cut it! I can only imagine my starter was more liquid than Flo's. Guess I will just have to try again, A.

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

AnnieT, you're not the first one in the US reporting that your dough is way to wet with that formula.

2 possible explanations : a starter much wetter than my 100%, as you suggest ; or a flour that is whiter than the ones I use in France : as Janedo was telling me yesterday on the phone, it could explain that US experiments result in a wetter dough, when my basic loaves are made with a wheat T65 basis, which is a little more complete flour than US's bread flour (which is more like a French T55), and absorbs a little bit more than white flour.

I'm glad, though, that your bread had excellent oven spring and a holey crumb.

Please try again, but with a mix of flours, like 325 bread flour and 50g whole wheat, for ex?

Or... add a little flour. But I'm afraid you won't get so much oven spring, then, and a denser crumb. PLease tell me, OK? And thanks for trying the formula.

Flo Makanai

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Good morning Flo, and thank you for responding to my comment which I hope you didn't think was criticism in any way. I did notice that several of the TFL members who tried your formula had used a mixture of flours and for some reason I thought that was not being true to your method. I have several flours in my freezer which might work well - white whole wheat, graham flour, whole wheat - so I will try substituting 50g of one of them next time. I'll be sure to let you know, but unfortunately I seem to be the only TFL member who can't manage to post pictures! A bientot, A.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello AnnieT,

First of all, good luck with your next try at 1.2.3! It's easy as... well, it can be.

Pictures aren't too hard on TFL. The main problem (I think) people have is that their pictures, in their cameras and on their hard-drives, are at too high a resolution for simple upload to TFL's server.

There are 2 ways to overcome this problem: 1) use a third party hosting site, such as Photobucket or Flickr, which apparently automatically lower the resolution of photos uploaded to these sites; 2) use a standalone photo resizer on your own PC (or Mac) to bring the resolution down to acceptable-to-TFL. I resize my pix to 600 X 480 more or less automatically with a program called PicSizer. There is another program called Picasa (nice double-pun) that does the same thing.

Here are links that explain more or less the same stuff on TFL itself:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2960/posting-photos-faq

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2934/posting-pictures

Good luck!

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

AnnieT,

Don't worry about me taking what you write as a criticism! I read and post on TFL to LEARN more and more, endlessly, about bread baking, and I appreciate +++ constructive comments, and yours was. (and I'm confident you're soon going to tell us that you tried another combination of flours and that it worked really well ;-)).

One does not have to use a flour combination, in fact. It is possible to "work" with an extremely wet dough, but there's not much choice for cooking such a dough: you have to put it in a pan or in some sort of oven proof pot to bake it, unless you want ... pizza! [That said, I baked in a large covered skillet, this afternoon, a dough so wet it looked like a cake batter (it wasn't a 1.2.3, I was trying to bake Nancy Silverton's English muffins!! I guess I made a wrong conversion from cups to grams?) and the result is surprisingly good].

Good luck with your next try (and posting pictures. You're NOT the only one to have pbs;-); BTW, thanks David for the helpful hints).

Flo Makanai

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hey David, many thanks for the suggestions for posting pictures. I have the pictures safely in my computer and I can make them the correct size - but I can't get them from here to TFL. I keep hinting to Floyd that I will provide coffee, lunch, whatever if he will come over to Whidbey Island next time he visits his folks. No dice. Maybe I could email my pictures directly to you and you could post them? I thought not. One of these days I will surprise and amaze you, but until then my bread will be my secret, A.

Jolly's picture
Jolly

Hello Flo Makanai:

I live in the US, the pacific north west Oregon high dessert country, elevation 5,000 feet.


Thought you would like to know that you're 1.2.3. formula works very well at this altitude. I didn't even need to make any adjustments to my recipe.


After reading through the info...you sent I decided to try your formula. With your formula I produce and develop a recipe within minutes. I was amazed.


I decided to create a sandwich bread recipe, which I called (Big Deli Red) Its a Spiced Red Pepper Sandwich Bread.



My recipe contained 212g wild yeast starter, 1/4 tsp. instant yeast, 424g water, 550g all purpose flour, 43g whole-wheat, and 43g rye flour, salt 12g. I used 1 tbsp. Spectrum's vegetable shortening instead of oil and just threw in roughly without measuring, 1 tbsp organic sugar, 1 tsp. crushed dried red chili peppers, 1 tsp dried onions, fresh ground black pepper, 1 heaping tbsp. toasted flax seeds crushed, and 1 heaping tbsp. toasted coconut granules.


A friend gave me about 5 pounds of organic dried coconut granules so every time I bake I've been adding coconut to all my bread recipes for added fiber. Thought it would be great way to use up the coconut granules. It really adds to the flavor of my breads I like it very much I may just keep on using it as a basic ingredient in my bread recipes.


After I had mixed up the dough I realized that I didn't have a glass roaster or even a Dutch oven to bake the bread in, and  I had doubled the recipe. I don't know what I was thinking of. So I just decided to bake up 2 large batards. And to make up for the Dutch oven I placed a large cast iron griddle on the upper shelf hoping that would make a difference.


In mixing up the dough I threw all the ingredients into my mixing bowl even the salt, for it was getting late. Mixed up the ingredients using Eric's large Danish whisk. I didn't use my dough hook machine. When I'm working with sourdough I don't knead my dough. I simply mix up the ingredients until the flour integrates into a dough. Then slap and fold the dough for two minutes and knead for 3 minutes. The dough is a little sticky but not bad. The dough sat on the counter for 30 minutes covered,  folded the dough twice. Chilled the dough over night in the fridge. In the morning I set the cold dough in my oven proofer for 2 hours, shaped 2 huge batards, 40 minutes later they were ready to bake.


Now for the shocker---when I slashed the dough the batards really spread and flattened out. I was pretty upset and just felt like walking away. "OK!...I stuck it out so I placed them on a hot stone, oven temp 450ºF. and just walked away but I set the timer for 20 minutes. Wow!...When I looked into the oven the bread had, had a terrific oven spring. I never saw such a spring. I quickly rotated the batards and turned on the convection oven and continued baking. The loaves were just beautiful a rich amber brown and well crusted with blisters.


I had baked up two monstrous French batards 17 1/2 inches long and 16 1/2 inches in circumference. They were huge and filled with scads of holes. I took pictures but I can't figure out how to post them. My daughter will be visiting soon hopefully she can help me post the pictures later in the month.


2 hours later upon slicing the batards I had holes everywhere small, medium, large, some hole as large as 1-inch I had scads of holes everywhere on the bread. Flo, the bread was fantastic and the flavor outstanding. Yes, you're 1. 2. 3. formula works great here in the US at the elevation of 5,000 feet.


Using a cast iron griddle on the upper shelf really made a big difference it worked beautifully.


"Oh!...I also wanted to tell you one of the loaves contained Kamut flour. That particular batard  had extra large holes. I expected the loaf to be heavy but it baked up very light and airy. Used Richard Bertinet's method of slapping and folding, for about 2 minutes it paid off for I got scads of large holes everywhere.


Now I'm going to develop more recipes using rice, and almond milk as you suggested, and the liquid from pumpkins using you're formula. Pumpkins and acorn squash are in season and I've been wanting to develop a good pumpkin bread recipe too. I'll let you know what I come up with next.


Appreciate you're thoughtfulness in sharing your formula with us here in the US. Come back and visit us again, soon.


P. S. Enjoyed you're site on the net. I'll come and visit again.

Jolly


Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Hi everyone!

I came back last night on the net after 3 days of vacation with my kids, and it was great to read all your contributions.

There is so much to write to answer you all, I don't know where to begin with... 

David : i'm honored and really happy that your wife loved your 1.2.3 bread so much! Your crumb is beautiful and it's interesting to read that you baked the dough while still cool from overnight retardation. Interesting too your use of 2 differently fed starters.

Richelle, your suggestion for adapting the 1.2.3 formula when using a stiff starter seems a good one. I'll try it at home ASAP. Too bad I can not get a look at your baguettes, but it's great the formula pleased you.

Clazar, yes this ratio works with whole wheat or flour mixtures. It even is one of its advantages, because one can be freely and easily imaginative with that simple formula. But I've never baked a 100% whole wheat with it, though. A 100% T110, yes (T110 being semi-complete wheat in France), but not a 100% T150 (i.e.whole wheat), and no complete rye either. But I often use 30 to 50% of complete (rye, wheat or spelt) in my flour combinations. And I always mix different flours. I almost never use 100% bread flour. And in France, there is no such thing as strong flour. Our "bread" flour has 10 to 11% proteins only, so less gluten than the US ones.

I've never used a firm starter with that formula. But you could either

 

- dilute yours BEFORE kneading to get an equivalent of a 100% starter, like Richelle suggests;

- or you could also weigh your stiff starter, leave it on the side, weigh double amount of water +  1/3 of your firm starter weight (because a stiff starter is usually 50% hydration, which means it contains 1 part water for 2 of flour -so a total of 3 parts-, while a 100% has 1 water for 1 flour. So if you want to go from a 50% to a 100%, you'll have to add the missing part of water, which would be 1/3 of the total weight of your firm starter, if I'm not mistaking myself), then weigh triple amount of flours. you mix flours and water, let it rest 30 min to 1 hour, then add your stiff levain cut into pieces + salt, knead and so on.

Mini Oven, your bread is beautiful, bravo! The way you're using a stiff refrigerated starter is very interesting. I'll try it.

Jolly, thanks for your comment and I'm glad it works for you too! Your recipe seems yummy! Sorry you got frightened when the dough began spreading before "oven-springing"!

Thanks again to all of you, no more time to continue that post, sorry.

Flo Makanai

 

 

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi, Flo!

Hope your vacation was peaceful and restorative.

I'm surprised to say I'm happy with my two starters. I would have predicted that it would be too much bother, but that's not the case. (The reason I did this was to build back a little of the tang my starter had lost.)

Even with 2 starters I have only 85 grams total. One I feed mostly with rye and a little AP. (I gave up on an experiment with semolina.) I feed it just once a day, and it develops a nicely acidic flavor as a result. The other is my "regular" starter, which I feed twice a day with a mix of AP and whole wheat. (I'm not sure where AP is on the French T-scale, but my AP flour is about 11.5% protein.) I use them to build a final levain in a 2:1 ratio, twice as much "regular" starter to the rye starter. Of course the yeasts are coming from the regular starter, the bacteria largely from the rye starter. It is working really well. All my breads have regained a nice delicate tang. (I know in France the sour in sourdough is not prized as it is here, but the tang I write of is not overbearing in the least, just pleasant.)

Anyway, welcome back! Your 1.2.3 formula was an instant hit!

Soundman (David) 

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Yes my vacation was peaceful and restorative, thank you very much. Just... much too short;-)

The way you feed your starters is extremely interesting. If I understand correctly, both stay on your counter, they're not refrigerated, are they?

Mine is refrigerated between uses. And it's almost always fed with T65. I've not taken time yet to build a rye one, for ex. But I may adopt your method!

AP is probably something like a T55. To be precise, in France we commonly use T45 for everything, so it is the real "all purpose" flour in a French kitchen, BUT but it is really weak for bread baking, and a French baker uses at least a T55, and often, when hoping for a clear wheaty flavor, a T65. As far as I'm concerned, my AP is an organic T65. I bake everything with it, from bread to pie crust, chocolate cake, scones, or whatever. I rarely have T55 in my pantry, and I guess I buy about 1 kilo of T45 per year.

Once again, David, I'm happy if my formula helps and pleases;-) Thanks again for trying it, in the first place. 

Flo Makanai

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

I know what you mean about those 3-day vacations: you were just starting to relax!

First off, 1.2.3 suits me to a T. (Probably a 65 as well.) Like you I'm all for organic flour. In the U.S. organic is getting really expensive! Still, unless the supplier is killing me with the extra dollars for organic, I pay up.

I'm not sure if this would work for anybody else, but it sure does for me:

I do refrigerate my starter(s) in between uses.  I build my final levain Thursday night and pop both my pets back in the fridge, without an extra feeding. They're so good they don't complain. ;-)   (I now trust my starter so much more than I used to. Whew, that feels good!)

So come the next Tuesday night and out they come. I then feed my regular AP + whole wheat starter (it's 48 grams at this point) 4 times at 12 hour intervals to make sure the yeasties are active and happy. The rye starter (36 grams at this point) I feed twice, at 24-hour intervals.

As I have said, I feed them more or less 1:2:3, so they are both firm. The 'more or less' is because rye flour soaks up H2O, so I splurge on the rye starter with an extra gram or 2 of water if it's too stiff. 

Thursday night, I have a very bubbly AP starter and a nicely acidic-smelling rye starter. Together, 2 parts AP + 1 part rye starter, they build a potent final levain!

I know it's kookie, but I am a firm believer in what's-working-now!

I will be posting again with 1.2.3 formula results. It has already become my regular weekly bake.

See you back at your blog.

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Thanks David for your explanations. My starter does'nt seem to complain either, and he has a buddy in the fridge : a Tbsp of firm starter I use once in a while.

I regularly take my starter out of the fridge the night before kneading. I let it warm up about 2 hrs, then I feed it on a ratio of 1:2 in volume (1 = starter and 2= flour) + the flour's weight of water, to be sure I have exactly a 100%. For a long time, I fed my starter without weighing, but these days, I like having exactly the same hydration for a base. My starter rises during the night, and the following morning, I feed it again with the same proportions. In the evening, I use what I want, leaving something like 2 Tbsp inb my starter pot, which I place in the fridge. And so on.

I'll post ASAP a recipe of firm levain baguettes with dried tomatoes on my blog.

Waiting to see your other 1.2.3 results.

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Flo,

I am a confirmed scale person (owing to my music background?) and always weigh everything. That's how to develop consistent bread. Emerson said: "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" but what did he know? He wasn't a baker! (Besides, in bread it isn't foolish.)

I started at 100% hydration for my starter and it was happy then as well, but it gradually lost its ability to deliver the tang I like. So my current regimen is the result of experimenting to get my tangy groove back.

Oh yeah I want to see your baguettes with dried tomatoes!

Keep up the great blog!

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Hi David,

I'm a bit of a scale maniac too, but that's less surprising, as I'm French!

I posted the firm starter baguettes with dried tomatoes on makanaibio.com, if you want to take a look. Their crumb could have been lighter (I could have added a little yeast) but we liked them that way, cut into sandwiches. They were dense but moist (because of the marinated tomatoes, that were almost juicy), and really flavorful.

Have a good day!

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Flo,

I love those loaves! Je ne suis pas d'accord, the crumb looks very holey, not dense. There has to be something to hold the crumb together, with all the lovely bits of tomato. I bet when you bite into a piece of the tomato you experience a wonderful taste explosion! (Your children are very fortunate to be eating so well.)

Now some questions. How long did you leave the dough in the refrigerator? It appears flexible, depending on what time you are working on J-1 and J, but maybe I'm misreading.

I see you based this recipe on the Pearl's Walnut Levain, from Maggie Glezer; you've made a lovely and no doubt delectable variation! I love also the mix of flours: I'll call it bread flour, rye, whole wheat, and... epeautre? Do you know what our name for epeautre is, is it spelt, or triticale, or something else? In any case this mixture appeals to me very much; you get a light, well-formed crumb with lots of flavor from the non-wheat flours.

I see the rye is T130. Does rye come in many extractions, or degrees of refinement in France? I mean, does T130 rye use the whole berry, or has a small portion of the bran and germ been removed? Can you get T55 rye as well, and T150, and many gradations in between? In the U.S. there aren't that many different extractions available: white, medium, dark, and whole. White rye has little flavor, so artisan bakers don't use it much. Dark, like its name, is mysterious and is not consistently defined. That leaves medium and whole!

Last and least question: can you taste any of the garlic from the tomato oil?

Beautiful work!

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

David,

You're right, the crumb was holey, but dense "quand même"! I'm glad you like those baguettes ...  at least virtually! We really loved them (even if, to be honest, 2 of my kids would have prefered T65 baguettes! My girls have a good appetite, ask twice for soup at dinner for example, and are not fussy, but they also love, once in a while, to eat junk food. They're... kids!).

Epeautre is spelt. I can buy it T70 (white) or complete, and I absolutely love its subtle taste and the chewiness/moistness it adds to a bread dough.

I left that dough in the fridge for 20 hours. My firm starter was ready in the morning, I prepared the dough, and put it in the fridge around noon. I took it out the next morning around 8:00 AM.

In France, I've only bought T130 and T150 rye, and rye kernels too. The T150 is complete. The T130 is a little less complete, some of the germ and bran has been removed. The T130 is easy to use for bread baking. I suppose it resembles the US dark rye? I've never bought white rye, and I'm not sure I could if I wanted to!

The taste of garlic is very subtle in that bread. I did not prepare the marinated tomatoes myself, I bought them already prepared, and they were sweet and juicy, full of flavor. Maybe I should write it on Makanai, so that no one could imagine that just cutting a fresh tomato and letting it marinate a little would be OK...!!

Thanks again David!

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Flo,

I give your kids all the credit they deserve. They are trailblazers! These delicacies you bake are new to their palettes.

Here's a confidence: back when I was a boy I didn't like tomatoes! OMG I can't believe when I was 4 years old I stuck my nose up at pizza! How bad is that? But confession is good for the soul, so I feel better now.

I knew you meant the tomatoes were pre-marinated, not fresh, so I suspect everyone else will. I wonder if I took sun-dried tomatoes and marinated those, with olive oil and a little garlic, hmmmm, that might work too!

Now that I have taken to baking another loaf of bread during the week, using the "discard" from my starter-refreshments, I have all the freedom to try any of these savory breads. My latest such bread has been getting a workout as bruschetta, with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. The tomatoes I planted last April produced enough fruit that the green ones, which we just harvested, are still ripening, gradually turning a miraculous red! We're eating fresh, organically-grown tomatoes in November. C'est chouette, non?

I'll post my next 1.2.3 results on Sunday, most likely. Keep up the great baking!

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Oui c'est chouette, ces tomates qui continuent de mûrir de la sorte! And, now that we're confessing each other terrible truths (;-)), where did you learn your French?

It should work OK to marinate sundried tomatoes, but I would pour some boiling water over the tomatoes first, let them "plump up" a little, then drain them and put them in a marinade, don't you think so?

Keep up YOUR great baking too!

A bientôt,

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Flo,

Excellent suggestion, the boiling water! Naturally sundried tomatoes are tough and dry and we want them to plump up some. And then reuse the water in the recipe.

Off topic: it's a while ago now, but I spent a year in Europe, first in Austria (Salzburg) studying music, then in Paris for 3 months. I had the benefit, during the winter before going to Paris, of an excellent French tutor, a singer colleague I used to accompany au piano, who resisted dating but was happy to teach me French. (Elle était tres jolie, gentille et généreuse.) When I got to Paris I became almost one of my friend's family (and learned so many important things about good food and wine!). Avec Monsieur j'ai regardé Bernard Hinault, quand il a gagné le Tour de France, aux environs de la Place de la Concorde. Vachement excitant!

OK, that's my story. How did you become so fluent in English?

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

David,

Good idea to use the tomato water for the dough.

Off topic too : thanks for telling me how you learned French;-)

My English comes from having lived (and gone to school) in the States (Princeton, NJ and then Potomac, MD) for something like 18 months when I was young, with my family, following my Dad, a scientist who was invited to work there. And since a few years, my parents have become Americans, they live in the States more than half the time, one of my Dad's brother has been living in the States too for 20 years and his sister for 30 years. So I have an (relatively because traveling is so expensive) easy access to the States (since the kids are born, we've come to visit my parents 3 times). Add to that that I fell in love with US cooking magazines a long time ago, so I've received a ton of them during the last 10 years + I read a lot of other things in English, and here is my story!

Have a good day!

Flo

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Ton histoire picaresque m'intéresse beaucoup. C'est la preuve que, comme on dit en anglais, "le monde est petit."

I should have figured you lived on this side of the pond for a while, as your English is easy and fluent (as is Janedo's). Mon Français, pas tellement.

Now here's why I say it's a small world: I too have lived in Princeton, for 4 years in fact. (Il y a longtemps!) In 1981 I finished my graduate school work there. Go Tigers!

I just remembered, my dough is fermenting and needs a fold! À bientôt.

Soundman (David)

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

David,

Sorry I did'nt answer you earlier. Life's been quite hectic lately at Makanai's!

Please don't hesitate to mail me at makanai.flo@gmail.com so that we could go on writing each other on topics that are not 1.2.3.

And, BTW, how was your latest 1.2.3?

A bientôt.

Flo

KristinKLB's picture
KristinKLB

Isn't this recipe around 71% hydration?


50g h2o, 50g flour in starter


200 h2o


300 flour


total is 250 h2o and 350 flour. 250/350 is 71.4ish, no?


Or do I not understand this?


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You have the idea, add all the flour and divide that into all the water or other liquids.

Atropine's picture
Atropine

May I just say how much I have enjoyed reading the half English/half french replies?  I do not know but probably 5 words in french, but it does seem to give the conversation a bit of beauty and grace :-), a flowing from idea and language to idea and language.  It has just been a treat for me this morning :-)


And to keep this on topic, I cannot wait to try this formula!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I can't tell you what the hydration is on my starter as I confess to not measuring. I use about equal volume water/flour to make a cake batter consistency. And that may be why I need to ask about the consistency of the dough. When I mix the 1-2-3 (by weight) I end up with a very sticky dough-I have to increase the flour by a few tablespoons or decrease the water,if I think ahead, and then I really stretch and fold for about 5 minutes with dough sticking everywhere til it comes together. It is a great loaf when it finally comes together but wondered if that was the expected characterisitc of the recipe.

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I made this recipe for the first time a week or so ago.  I have a 100% hydration starter.  My dough was also very wet.  So much so that I added quite a bit of extra flour during the initial mix.  I was worried that I may have added too much, but the bread came out very nice.  I have been following the Basic Sourdough recipe in BBA for several months now, and the bread I made with the 1-2-3 method stood up to anything else I have produced.

Susan's picture
Susan

I've been using Flo's formula and have been very happy with it.  At the first fold, I sprinkle on dry steel-cut oats, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds (or whatever  happens to be around).  The additions make the dough more manageable. 


Thanks again, Flo!


Susan from San Diego

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Clazar 1 2 3: Yes, it's pretty wet! But it seems that with the American flour (vs our French ones) it is even wetter. We can do a perfect 1-2-3 and not have to adjust a thing. You can add a bit of flour or as Susan does, some seeds, oats, etc, but do try and keep the dough on the high hydration side because the resulting bread is fabulous with beautifuly open crumb.


A trick I do for these types of high hydration does, is that I knead it in the mixer, then for the folding, I don't even take it out of the bowl, I just wet my hands and fold it straight in there, pulling the sides up. Then for the shaping, I don't let it rest, I just pour the dough on to a WELL floured counter, shape the boule and put it in a well floured banneton, trying to avoid really incorporating flour into the center. That way the dough is manageable, but I don't add much extra flour. The dough flattens a little bit on the peel but gets incredible oven spring.


Jane

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Jane!


I totally agree, wet is good and avoid the extra flour if at all possible.


Your technique, wetting your hands and folding in the bowl is my favorite for dealing with wet dough. I never curse the stickiness, keeping my mind on the wonderful open crumb that will result in just a short while! ;-)


Soundman (David)

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

David, et al, I am not generally afraid of a wet dough.  My first attempt at 1-2-3, however, was VERY wet.  Wet enough that I couldn't handle it (although it didn't occur to me to fold it in the bowl).  Add to that the fact that I was dying to use my new brotform -- I'm pretty sure this dough would have seeped right through -- and you see why I cheated in a bit of extra flour.  Next time, I will try it without the extra addition.

Janedo's picture
Janedo

If it's REALLY wet, do add a bit of flour or maybe a bit of rye flour which gives great taste and absorbs water. But just add a tiny bit at a time. If you are mixing in a mixer, watch the dough. After 3-5 min, it should stick on the bottom, but pull off the sides, never form a ball. When you stop the machine, it should slide back down easily.


If you're doing it by hand, try the no-knead folding method by Hamelman. In the bowl, mix the ingredients and let them rest, then using a spatula, fold the down by dipping it down the side and pulling up and over the rest of the dough, turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat, doing this twenty times, letting the dough rest 15 minutes, then doing it again, rest 15 minutes. Do that for an hour or so, let the dough rise 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, do a really good fold, let rise again. Then shape. A floured French banneton would be best. Forget the brotform, I dare say!


Jane

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

David, hi!


I also love using wet hands, and high hydration bread is absolutely fabulous.

Richelle's picture
Richelle

A confession: with most of my sourdoughs (all wet doughs) I don't even shape and don't allow for a final rise...


After having the dough ferment in a cool spot during the night in an oiled container, I let it warm up for an hour or so, flour my countertop, flop the dough out and very gently and quickly do a double fold. 1/3 of the dough towards me, 1/3 away from me and the sort of rectangular I then have in front of me, I gently roll up from right to left and drop on a piece of baking paper with the seam under. Quickly into the very hot oven on a baking stone, cover it with an old pan that I sprayed with a bit of water on the inside and voila! Amazing oven spring every time!


P.S. I use a cover during the initial 20 minutes of baking because I have a gas oven and steaming just isn't very effective. Gives a very nice sheen to the crust as well!


Richelle

ema2two's picture
ema2two

I've been trying to maintain a starter to make Glezer's rye bread, and questioning it's health when the 1st build of the rye sour fizzled both times a tried after carefully feeding the starter twice a day.  The starter was given to me by a friend who uses it successfully regularly, and was fine when I used it a few weeks ago to make Glezer's sourdough challah.  I was lamenting how much I've tossed in the process, especially since I was questioning the health of my starter I started a second one going and was keeping it going with all rye flour at 100% hydration.


So I was delighted when I stumbled upon this thread in my ramblings through the site this morning looking for something to do with the day I'd planned to devote to rye bread.


I took the rye starter discard from today and used it to make a 1-2-3 sourdough, with the "3" of flour added being KA Bread Flour:


Starter:  50 g rye flour (14%)
             50 g water (14%)
Water:  200 gm (57%)
Flour:  300 gm KA bread flour (86%)
Salt:  6 gm (1.7%)


I added a bit more flour from the coating of the counter where I did some stretch and folds, and was impressed with how nicely the gluten had developed from doing some stretch and folds in the bowl first, after letting it rest about 15 minutes between mixing and doing the bowl stretch and folds.  I set it to rise in my LaCloche oblong baker, where I planned to bake it.


I got delayed running erands, and got a call from my babysitter that the dough was overflowing between the base and lid of the lachloche!  Came home and saw that it had become a bit gooey, but it wasn't overlowing the container the way I've had some yeast doughs do when set to ferment in a container that wasn't enough oversized for the dough size.


My oven had been preheated and I popped the baker in the oven at 450.  I wasn't sure about baking times, so I pulled it out after 30 minutes to check internal temperature.  There had been some dough seeping through the crevice between the base and dome, and I had to pry them apart.  Bread didn't have much oven spring, though it had been massively overproofed and was puffed up when I put it in the oven, so that didn't surprise me too much.  It was clearly not cooked, so I didn't bother with temperature and put it back in the oven at 425.  Not sure why I turned it down, just seemed like the right thing to do, based on my very little experience.  Let it cook about 20 minutes more.  My husband misunderstood me, when I asked him to take it out, so he turned off the oven but left it in the oven for a bit longer.  Internal temp was about 208 when taken out of the oven.


End result (sorry--haven't mastered the picture thing, yet):  a nice open crumb with a pleasant sour tang and a hint of the rye taste.  Crust was a bit soft, though the top crisped up after letting it sit out as it cooled.  Sides and bottom are still a bit soft.  I'd definately make it again, being careful NOT to do so when I had errands the duration of which was unpredictable.


At the same time, I took my questionable white starter (fed KA Bread flour) and tried a 1-2-3 sourdough with it.  It is a firm starter, so I followed the math to add extra water as if it were a 100% hydration starter, and added the water and flour from the weight of the 100% hydration starter.  I got a wet dough that was so wet as to be unmanageable.  I set it to rise on parchment in a brotform, and it didn't puff up at all.  I baked it anyway, and the result was an anemic looking brick.

Janedo's picture
Janedo

So, the lesson is that in the States, the formula works for more whole flours, but not your basic white. It has to be altered when using just white flour. That is really interesting, because here, we can do a straight 1- 2- 3 and it is perfect. For 600 grams of flour, I even like to go up to 450 g of water when for the formula it should be 400g.


Jane

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hi Ema2two, and Welcome to the site!  I'm wondering about your white starter....


When you added water to it to make it 100%  did you smell it?  I quess what I'm getting at is ...was it mature enough to use?   Maybe it needed to mature before being put to the test. 


Mini

ema2two's picture
ema2two

I'm in the midst of it, so I can't give a final report, but I gave another try tonight.


My white starter had increased to 3-4 times it's orriginal volume in 24 hours since the last feeding, and I took the discard, added the necessary water to make it 100% hydration, combined it with the discard from my 100% hydration rye starter, and made a 1-2-3 sourdough with a combination of KA Bread flour and KA white whole wheat.  It had same nice consistency as the rye 1-2-3 I made yesterday.  I did some stretch and folds in the bowl with a spatula, punctuated by some rest periods, then turned it out onto a floured counter and did a bit of hand kneading.  I rounded it and put it in a well floured brotform to ferment on the counter for a few hours.  I'm going to let it retard in the fridge overnight.


My plan (correct me if it doesn't sound right) is to take it out in the morning and let it come to room temperature.  Then I can


1) bake one large loaf (about 2 lbs) in the round shape of the brotform, on a heated baking stone coated with some coarse corn meal.  I will preheat the baking stone to 450 or 500, do I do the whole bake on that temperature, or decrease it?  About how long would be an estimate of baking time?  I'll check to make sure it's done with a thermometer (200 degrees F, right?) and a thwack on the bottom crust of the loaf.


--OR--


2) cut the dough into 2 oz pieces and shape into rolls. 


I haven't really made rolls yet.  Here's a few novice-level questions:
--Do they need another period to proof briefly after shaping into rolls? 
--Can I just bake them on a parchment covered baking sheet? 
--Do I bake them at a lower temperature than the large round loaf would be baked?
--Rough idea aobut baking time for rolls?


 


Thanks again for helping me figure this out.  I'm looking forward to some nice sourdough with dinner tomorrow night!

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

Thanks to all of you who go on nourrishing that forum topic, and especially to Jane, dear friend, who answers when I should be doing it...


All your experiences are really interesting but I lack the energy to answer all of you in English. If only you could read French, that would be much easier:)


Ema, if baking rolls, you could skip the proofing period after shaping. Or limit it to 20 min or sthg like that. i've done it, and the oven spring was terrific.


Yes you could bake them on a parchment covered baking sheet.


I'm not sure I would lower the oven temp. I personaly don't. I've read that the bigger the mass, the lower the temp, and vice-versa, which means you could/should even bake the rolls at a (little) HIGHER temp. The idea is that if the mass is big, it'll need much more time to bake than smaller ones, so you'll prefer to use a not-too-hot oven so that it will not burn on the outside while staying a little raw in the inside (I've made that sad experience!).


Baking time : 20 to 30 min, roughly.


For a big unique bread, my oven temp is 230°C (no idea in F, sorry) for 30 min, then 210° if the bottom of my bread is not colored enough and my bread does'nt seem completely "set".


The thwack on the bottom crust sometimes just isn't enough. I've recently baked a number of breads with a hint of raw dough in the middle. Maybe because those breads were super huge ones and the oven temp too high, and I did'nt follow the "rule" I've just written you!


I've gotta go. I'll try to connect to TFL during the WE.


Hope your 1.2.3 breads please you all, everyone:)


Flo Makanai

Scottyj's picture
Scottyj

Wow! This thread just took me an hour to read. I am very new to baking breads. I just completed my starter using AP and WW combination. and I think that I can pull this off.


I know that it has been about 19 months for anyone to post on this thread but this 123 system looks to good to let go. I will post my resaults here and hopefully it will revive the thread again.

ClaireC's picture
ClaireC

Thanks for breathing life back in to this thread, Scottyj.  I've not read it until now.


I had a go at the formula yesterday and found it very straightforward.  I managed to completely and utterly overprove it so it definitely wasn't a pretty loaf, but it tasted delicious and had a good, open texture all the same.

photojess's picture
photojess

thanks for bringing it back up.

Scottyj's picture
Scottyj

Well I did the loaf. I was going to try and wait till I got better at baking regular yeast bread before tackeling this, but I just could not wait. I followed it completely like Flo said and it came out great. Now I have a sourdough formula to use:-) I was also able to use my new baking stone for the first time man is that great.


Waiting to go into the oven. needs another 15 minutes to rise.



Outmof the oven waiting to cool and be cut into.



Cooled and cut into.


SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Ciabatta Rolls made with the 1-2-3 formula.  I had extra starter and thought I would like to try the 1-2-3 formula.  I used King Arthur Bread flour.  The dough was so hydrated I just decided to go for some Ciabatta rolls.  I mixed and did stretch and folds with my hands.  I baked them on a pre-heated stone.  Covered the rolls with a foil pan for 10 mins. uncovered and baked until nicely browned.  My husband and I both loved the flavor and enjoyed them with dinner tonight. 




They were a still a little bit warm but we really enjoyed the flavor!


Sylvia 

Scottyj's picture
Scottyj

I think I will try the roll's also. Thanks Sylvia for the idea. I think my wife would enjow them. 


 


Scotty_J

md_massimino's picture
md_massimino

how long did did you let the dough rise?  They look great, gonna try that this weekend.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Times can vary because of different proofing conditions.  Give the dough a finger test for checking...don't over proof!

avatrx1's picture
avatrx1

I've been working on generating a starter for approx 1 week now.  I just fed it again with equal parts of flour/water.  (part rye flour + white flour).


I'd love to try this recipe.  It seems so straighforward.  What I don't know is how to tell what the hydration rate of my starter is.  I'm assuming that since I fed it with equal parts of flour/water since the beginning - that is 100% regardless of the original amount of the starter?


Since I JUST fed it and it's sitting on the counter - when can I use it?  Do I have to wait for the bubbles to form first?


I've gotten the hang of feeding my starter, now I just need to determine how to USE my starter.  :-)  It's less than a week old, so maybe it's still too soon to use?


BTW:  I took French in boarding school back in the 60's, but only know a few phrases and the name for a hat.  Don't ask me why I remember that.  The only German I remember had something to do with a hat also.  It was a song that my Grandpa would sing to me.  I must have an affinity for hats.............


-Susie

mcbeth's picture
mcbeth

@Susie, as time goes on, as long as you keep feeding equal weights of water and flour, your starter will approach 100%. That approach is actually really quick. I've transitioned my starter between different hydration levels trying to find one I'm happy with.

Hmm, rereading your question, it looks more like you are asking about baker's percentages. You take the weight of the liquid and divide by the weight of the flour. That'll give you the fraction. If you then multiply by 100, you will of course have the percentage (which is what the % symbol is supposed to suggest to the mind).

I'm much more busy than before, and am not baking as much bread as I would like, so I'm using "excess" starter all the time. Pancakes and English Muffins are both easy enough to do to prevent tossing starter out.

As far as the hydration of the 1-2-3 method, I'm surprised so many people are claiming it is 67%. It isn't 67% because the starter is 100%, and a significant amount of the total mass. 71% would be much closer to the right number.

BTW, I'm totally doing this tonight.

Scottyj's picture
Scottyj

Susie I just use it. I will leave it on the counter after I remove it from the fridge for about 2 hours before I do anything with it, just to warm it up a bit. but other than that I use it. I also try to bake on the days that I feed the starter that way I will use the starter that I take out for the waist. If I am not baking that day I still leave it on the counter of about 2 hours to warm it up. take out what I need and place it back into the fridge.


Can you use your starter now as it is new. YES you can. I used mine the day after it was concidered alive and became my new child.

avatrx1's picture
avatrx1

I've used this recipe twice now and both times it worked great!  Thank you for posting.


My question is on throwaway starter.  I left my starter on the counter last night and forgot to "feed" it.  It had risen and then fallen.  It really needed some nourishment.  In order to use it in this recipe, must I feed it first?  It looked somewhat depleted and didn't look like it had a lot of life left in it.  I didn't know if it would produce the oven spring.


Yesterday I mixed up dough and then left for most of the day.  Although the dough hadn't risen much, I decided to try it anyway.  Instead of a loaf, I flattened the dough on the counter and cut it into pieces for rolls.  It had a little Poof in it, and I didn't let it rise any further.  I placed the rolls on parchment paper on a jelly roll pan - covered with another pan as a lid - placed on a hot stone in a preheated oven and baked for about 13 minutes covered.  removed the cover and baked another 20. 


The flavor was wonderful, the oven spring was more than I had thought it would be and was great! but I had set the oven at 475 and forgot to reduce it once I put the rolls in.  They were a little more brown than I had hoped for.  Lots of holes though.  Today they're kinda hard so I want to try again, but not sure about the starter I left out.


I keep messing with my starter(s) because I hate to throw anything away.  I had hoped to make a 75% hydration starter to experiment with, but added too much water at the outset forgetting that the flour is 100% and the water should be 75%.  Since I'd had these 2 additions /  amounts reversed, I just added flour to the watery starter.  hmmmmmmm?


How can one tell if the starter is active enough to use or if it needs feeding first?


I usually keep it in the fridge and take it out to warm it up before I use it.  this time I took it out and forgot to feed it.


any wisdom you can share?


thanks


-Susie


 

SourFlour's picture
SourFlour

I have made breads using a formula similar to that, although I like the simplicty of it so much I might have to test out those exact proportions.  I think two important things this formula tells us right away is the hydration and the starter percentage.  Some people have been claiming that this is 67% hydration, but using a 100% starter would actually result in about 71% hydrated dough. This is slightly wet dough, not quite enough for ciabatta, but great loafs, boules, batards, and baguettes (although wet and a bit difficult).


The other factor to keep in mind is the starter percentage.  In this case its about 17% (1 part starter out of 6 parts total), which looks like a pretty nice number to be at.  I have been baking a lot of my loaves at around 20-33%, although I have started trying to use less starter for longer fermentation times.  If I would like to make a loaf rather quick, I will bump my starter % up quite a bit, to 50-60% to get all of the built in flavor that would otherwise be lacking from a short fermentation period.


Thanks for sharing this formula and making it simple for people to get a good baseline for their breads.


Danny - Sour Flour
http://www.sourflour.org

Flo Makanai's picture
Flo Makanai

it's been a long time since I last took time to come here on TFL (I never have enough time for ANYTHING, it seems!) and I'm surprised and happy to see some of you are interested in my 1.2.3 formula, even liking it!


And thanks for the math, too :-)


Enjoy baking.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I tried your 1-2-3 formula this weekend using a 40% WW and it turned out great. It proofed much faster than the traditional sourdough recipe that I use.


Thank you for this, Maybe sourdough bread doesn't have to be an all day process.

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

But I've been making the 1-2-3 bread several times a week, and it comes out great and is unbelievably easy. I almost always add some pumpernickel flour (a little or a lot, depending on what I feel like), and it comes out great. I made some 30% pumpernickel rolls with dehydrated onions for hamburger buns, brushing them with melted butter when they came out of the oven, and I couldn't stay away from them.


Thanks, Flo!


Patricia

droidman's picture
droidman

Received a digital scale for Xmas. Have been waiting to try this out.


232 g 100% hydration starter
464 g water
696 g Dakota Maid Bread Flour
12 g sea salt (2% of flour weight)


Let it rise for a couple of hours, but had stuff to do so retarded in fridge. Put on counter at 11:00 PM. Shaped and placed in bannetons 8 hours later. I probably allowed the primary fermentation to go on too long, but nothing I could do about that... a guy's gotta sleep.


Allowed the loaves to proof 2 1/2 hours. They hadn't risen as much as I'd hoped, but there was a definite oven spring.


Baked 25 minutes at 450 degrees. Wonderful bread with a mild sour tang and crust that's chewy. Nice.


Will definitely be playing around with this formula in the coming weeks. Thanks!


Zee Obligatory Crumb Shot

Oakville Curmudgeon's picture
Oakville Curmudgeon


I'm two years late to the party but thought I'd post in any event.  I have a sourdough starter that is more than 50 years old.  AP flour, milk powder and spring water.  It was that way for many years before I got a piece and I've kept the thread going.


I made a loaf exactly as laid out by Flo.  Let it rest a half hour, kneaded for a little under 10 minutes until it was silky using the French Fold.  Shaped the dough and put it into an oiled Lodge cast iron pan and covered in with Saran.  I put it in the oven with the light on and it took about 4 hours or so to bulk up to the edges of the pan. 


Baked in a 375F oven for 35 minutes to an internal of 205F.  Soft chewy crust and a fine crumb.  Beautiful flavour.  So simple to make, quick to proof, and as tasty as you would like.


I used Canadian AP flour, my sourdough and filtered water, everything at room temperature. 


Merci beaucoup, Flo, un pain extrodinaire.


 


 


 


 

coffeetester's picture
coffeetester

How ripe does my starter need to be to use this method. Will combining it into a loaf not let it get some rise. I am finding that my starter rises and falls in about 9 hours but i dont usually get back to it by 12 hours. This is my next project after Norwich so I am starting to do some research now.

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

I like the simplicity of this formula.  Like others have said, it is certainly easy to remember!   I have a question about baking the bread in loaf pans instead of making a boule.  About how much dough should I make for a regular sized loaf?  I don't want to make so much that it outgrows my pans.


Colleen

Joey Moose's picture
Joey Moose

I have been experimenting on your formula for some time now [two, three months] and the results have been suberb.  Fantastic all the way.


I do have a small question though.  At the moment I'm using half milk, half water for the liquid and I want to continue enriching it - some sweetener or butter.  Also with assorted dried fruits.  I know I should knead the fruits in, but I am curious when I should add the other enrichments.  I think they would be dissolved with the liquid, but should the total weight of the liquid stay to 200% or can it be more?

TastefulLee's picture
TastefulLee

...prolong my fermentation time?

Hi, all. Thanks to the OP for posting this quick, easy recipe for sourdough bread. I made it twice yesterday.

The first time, I mixed the dough, rested 30 minutes, then did stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals until it windowpaned, 4 in all, then bulk fermented for about 2 hours, and shaped and baked in my cast iron dutch oven at 500 ° for the first 30 minutes, then down to 475° (my oven’s version of 450°) for another 15 or 20 minutes. In my opinion this loaf was very good, although the bottom crust was somewhat thicker than I would have liked. It must have been tasty, because there was only the end left when I went to bed last night :D

The second loaf was a bit different. I mixed the dough and rested 30 minutes again, but this time the dough only needed 2 stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals to windowpane.(I should add here that in the first batch I added slightly more water to the dough when mixing as I felt it was a bit dry-I’m not sure that would make the difference, though.) I then placed the dough in a lightly oiled bowl to proof in the refrigerator, intending to extend the fermentation period, but when I checked on it  a couple of hours later it was already passing the poke test. Despite this I left it in the fridge for about another 4 hours before baking in the crockery insert from my slow cooker lidded by my pizza stone.  The loaf was BEAUTIFUL - gorgeously browned, slightly crackled on top, a little shiny from the egg white wash I used for the sesame seeds I topped it with - just a wonderful loaf with excellent oven spring.  I was so excited when I pulled it from the oven…only to find it was STUCK to the bottom of the crockery - and I mean STUCK. I cracked the crust in my effort to release it, and finally managed to rescue it this morning after it was completely cooled. So disappointing…but there’s a lesson here for us all:  GREASE the crockery before you add the dough!

I’ll be making another loaf today, but was curious to know if I could extend the fermentation period somehow to allow flavor to develop. I was thinking perhaps reduce the amount of sourdough starter by a quarter, but as I am fairly new at this I’m not sure what, if any, other adjustments I’d need to make to the recipe, so I thought I would put the question to the experience of this group and see what you in the more qualified population think I should or could do.

Many thanks to all of you who so willingly share your skill and experience with those of us who are just beginning on our journey. :D

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

I have made this bread many, many times, and my advice would be to either use cooler ingredients (cool water, refrigerated flour) and then bulk ferment at a lower temperature, which would make a very long and slow ferment and result in sourer flavors, or to interrupt the bulk fermentation at the stage when it hasn't full finished. At half to 2/3 completion, an overnight refrigeration should be fine. Another approach is to finish the bulk fermenation then form the loaves and refrigerate overnight. Experiment with these methods, and I'm sure you'll find one that fits (or a combination, depending on how long you want to wait). Just remember that cooler, longer fermentation will result in a more sour flavor.

Patricia

TastefulLee's picture
TastefulLee

... for your response and suggestions. I made the bread again yesterday and this time it required 3 stretch and folds instead of two prior to windowpaning- not sure why but that’s what happened. Anyway I then placed it in the oiled bowl which I slipped into the refrigerator to proof for several hours. This time I had to bake it an hour earlier than the previous loaf.

After considering the procedure I followed and consulting my notes, I arrived at the conclusion that the additional 30 minute interval for the 3rd stretch and fold was the culprit.

Anyway I baked it in my crockery insert with my pizza stone as the lid, and it rose beautifully, but it peaked into somewhat of a cone shape rather than a smooth topped round loaf. I wonder if this is another sign of over proofing.

I am going to experiment once again, but I have a few questions. I’m fairly certain if I reduce the amount of active starter I use in the recipe I can slow things down, is that correct? Also, I wondered if I could reduce the time between stretch and folds to 15 minute intervals to reduce the time the dough spends at room temperature which seems to significantly oppose the long, slow, cold fermentation I’m after.

I should also note that using cool water is an especially good idea in my opinion, although unfortunately I had already mixed my dough with the usual lukewarm temperature liquid prior to receiving your comments.

Also, may I ask what is your procedure for making this bread? I'm curious to see if there's anything I'm missing or could improve.

Thanks again in advance for any helpful advice, and for assisting me in my quest to perfect a ‘go to’ sourdough bread for my family. Lisa

alpenrose's picture
alpenrose

Please excuse me for tagging along with the big kids again!  Was there a recipe for the bread itself used in conjunction with the 123 starater. --I did not see a recipe.  Or, is it that you more experienced bakers just pick a levain and then pick your favorite bread recipe? The two not necessarily being wedded together forever?  

Also, isn't the 1-2-3 starter actually a levain?

 

Thank you

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Was there a recipe for the bread itself used in conjunction with the 123 starater. --I did not see a recipe

The formula is explained in the very first post.

The weight of the sourdough culture (levain) is measured and that figure is multiplied by two to calculate the amount of water needed.  Then the weight of the SD culture is multiplied by three to calculate the amount of flour needed. Thus Flo calls it the "1-2-3" formula.  The salt is a percentage of the weight of the flour (1.8 to 2%)

In simpler terms, if I have 200 grams of ripe sourdough, I will need 400 grams of water and 600 grams of flour.  I then calculate the amount of salt needed, adding it after the autolyse.  That will bake into a nice little boule or bâtard.

It's an easy formula to mix and bake; one that I used quite often last summer.  Just tweaked it to bring the hydration up to around 70% and the salt down to 1.5%.   I also substitute 10% of the AP flour with rye.  It's a nice little bread to retard overnight, which is handy when you want to bake midweek, but have a full time job.

Hope this answers your question.

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

"but it peaked into somewhat of a cone shape rather than a smooth topped round loaf"

This is due to your shaping technique, I would say. It's one of the hardest parts of getting a good-looking loaf. You can cruise this site or Youtube and watch some masters shape their loaves.

Here's what I do. When I'm going to refresh my loaves, I weigh my starter then follow the 1-2-3 recipe using 10-20% ww or rye and KA AP flour. I usually use starter straight from the refrigerator, where I've stored it after letting it get bubbly. (Some folks on this site wouldn't use discard for this bread, but I find that it works fine for me.) Then I add some warm water and room temperature flour. I don't ever have a problem with the dough going too fast for me, probably because my kitchen is rarely very warm, and my starter is discard. I stretch and fold the dough every 30 minutes until the it looks right, then let it continue to rise until it's wobbly and soft if it needs more time without more s & f's. I don't think about "doubled" with sourdoughat this stage, but maybe I should. I tend to try to avoid over-fermentation early on the side of letting the final rise be my criterion for oven-ready. Again, I shake the brotform and if it's a little jiggly and looks soft and has "doubled," I go for it. If I get in a bind with time, I refrigerate along the way, either after the bulk fermentation or after shaping.

If you leave out part of the starter, you're changing the equation of the recipe, so you will have to replace the percentage of the starter you're leaving out with half flour, half water. It seems like a difficult way to approach it when you could use room temp or cool water instead. Good luck!

Patricia

TastefulLee's picture
TastefulLee

Hi, Patricia. Thanks for your advice. You were very correct - my coneheaded loaves were due to overhandling. Since I proof in a bowl in the fridge, the dough is basically round when I remove it to bake. After I read your post I gently lifted the waiting dough out of the bowl and lightly placed it in the crockery without attempting to shape it at all. I brushed with water, sprinkled with seeds and baked--perfectly browned, perfectly baked, and perfectly round! 

I'm so glad this site affords me access to people who actually know what they are doing  - LOL. I'm grateful to you all! Lisa

hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

glad I found this I now know what to do with my "waste"! sourdough

 

 

pizzarossa's picture
pizzarossa

For an absolute beginner, this formula makes things so easy! I used 195g of 100% hydration starter, double that of water and triple of flour, along with 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp sugar and 2 tsp salt (salt added after overnight in fridge). Baked for about 40 minutes at 230°C on a parchment-lined sheet.

 

Crisp crust, feather-soft crumb, lovely taste.  :)

me.favorite's picture
me.favorite

Hi all :)

I just started making my own sourdough bread. I use the formula above. The firts one I made I can call almost success - with the exception that the crumb was a bit tough. But the taste and rise was good. Mixed 2 flours - KA bread and WW (2/1).

Tried making it again yesterday with all KA bread flour - and it was waaaay to sticky, and was not rising well (I ended up baking it in a form). Also came out very tough.

I am not giving up - started the dough again today. All KA bread flour. Consitancy was great. I put it into the mixer, and in about 4 minutes it just liquified... I've never seen it before, and I make a lot of yeast bread (sweet and savory). Any ideas???

I would also appreciate any advice on how to make the crumb softer.

THANK YOU!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

To make the crumb softer, switch to KAF all purpose, which has a protein level of 11.7%.   It's a much better flour for hearth breads which use preferments and long fermentations.

The KAF bread flour you're using is a much stronger flour (protein level of 12.7%) - which is why the crumb is tougher.   Using AP will make a difference.

As to the dough liquifying after four minutes of mixing, perhaps your water measurement was off?    Did the hydration of your starter change?  Was it more humid  in your kitchen?

The next time you mix it, don't add all of the water at once.  Add it slowly as the mix proceeds so you can see and feel the consistency of the dough, then make the judgment call of whether it needs more water.  

Let us know how it goes.

me.favorite's picture
me.favorite

Interesting! Thank you Lindy! I will try with the regular flour.

Not sure about measures being off - i weighted everything, and the dough was nice at first...

I was just watching some videos, and realized that I put salt along with the water and flour into the starter, and kind of mix it all together, whereas people suggest to do it later, because it destroys protein. Maybe this is the case.

Anyway, I will try again :)

placebo's picture
placebo

I tried this formula with KAF bread flour, and the dough ended up pretty wet. I seem to recall a few others mentioned the same difficulty. Cutting back a bit on the water will probably help.

petertee's picture
petertee

Hi, This is my first post here so I may not get it right. Right?

This is a fascinating site and this thread has gone right to the heart of my interest - to master sourdough bread. I've had mixed results with earlier efforts from gleanings from Elizabeth David, Lepard, River Cottage, Paul Hollywood and the most influential on my efforts Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. EH counsels against throwing away half of your starter from time to time. And for no apparent reason to my eyes - except to keep the size of the retained mother/chef at a sensible size. His method is to start small in teaspoon size additions - and this has worked for me.

Sometimes my dough has been stiffish and I've added water and sometimes annoyingly sticky and I'm learning to add flour to counteract (but not too early?).

The early posts with Flo were interesting and entertaining and I've settled on a formula based on David/Soundman's early post ...

<i> BTW I have recently been keeping very little starter, 'cause I don't like to waste flour. So I may refresh 8 grams of starter with 16 grams of water and 24 grams of flour. It's a small amount of starter, 48 grams, but using your method I would keep 8 grams for refreshing, and build my final levain with 40 grams of starter, 80 grams of water, and 120 grams of flour = 240 grams of final levain. That would work. Then I would use 240 grams of starter, 480 grams of water, and 720 grams of flour = 1440 grams of final dough, 2 nice sized loaves. </i>

Taking this as my framework I instigated a refreshed culture from my mother/chef of 8g, 16g tap water, 24g strong white flour on Friday evening. It sat all night on top of our Rayburn stove (switched off but I guess abiut 30degC).

Saturday about 7:00 I made up a sponge/levain of the 40g starter mixed with 80g tap water then added 120g strong whiteflour in a lidded bowl and left covered at room temp until evening.

About 22:00 the 240g levain well bubbled through had 480g tap water mixed in stages with the levain to dissolve/disperse the levain before adding in stages the 720g of flours (325g strong white, 325g Wholemeal wheat and 70g wholemeal rye) and 10g salt. The mixed dough (but unkneaded) was covered over and put into the refrigerator overnight.

Sunday morning out of the 'frig at 07:00 and left at room temperature till after breakfast. The mixed dough was stiff in the bowl with a slight dry crust that disappeared with kneading. EH has taught me to stretch knead with 10min pauses between for 3/4/5 times then to rest covered in the bowl for at least an hour. After the hour the dough was stretched out and folded to then cut into two pieces to be formed for the banetons and proofing. Proofing took about 4hours and then individually onto a non-stick sheet and a baking tray into the Rayburn at 200degC for 30 minutes or slightly less for the second one.

The finished loaves fresh from the Rayburn (behind).

The appearance can only hint at the soft chewiness of the crumb and the full taste of the fullgrains. Yummee!

This looks set to become my regular production.

Happee.

Peter

 

me.favorite's picture
me.favorite

I want to say thank you for the great formula and advise - my bread is coming out so well! It is easy to over-ferment and over-proof the dough. I find mine is ready to bake in about 4 hours. Also, AP flour produces better results (which is strange, because I make beautiful panetones and they work best with the bread flour). Anyway, this formula is awesome - I mix white and some whole grain flours, or make all white, and it works!!! One important thing - what I learned is that baking in a dutch oven produces the best oven rise (or cover it with a bowl). Pans in the oven do not help me. Anyway - here is my bread: