The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dry Baked Goods Using Sourdough

Marni's picture
Marni

Dry Baked Goods Using Sourdough

I bake a lot and have for years. I have only been experimenting with sourdough for about eight months though and have a question for those who are more experienced.

Except for a chocolate chip cookie recipe posted by PaddyL, any cakes, banana breads, muffins, brownies etc.  that I have made using sourdough have come out too dry.  This has happened if I follow the recipe exactly and when I have altered it.  I do not have this problem with regular quick breads, muffins etc.  Only when I use sourdough.  The recipes are not all sourdough, they just call for some to be added in addition to everything else. I don't want to add lots of additional fats to everything.  Do sourdough enhanced recipes cook faster?  That's the only thing that just occurred to me.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Marni

holds99's picture
holds99

Good Morning Marni,

With the conversion to the new TFL system I am not receiving any automatic e-mail subscription notifications or e-mail responses to postings from TFL.

I'm trying to isolate the problem and determine if the problem is on my end. I would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly post a short response to this comment i.e. "Here's a post re: your TFL request mm/dd/yy." to see if I get notification.

I can go to TFL's Home Page and that's fine but since Nov. 19th I have not received any information via e-mail from TFL and am trying to determine the cause.

Thanks,

Howard

holds99's picture
holds99

FWIW. First, let me say, although I have made a lot of quick breads and muffins I have never tried what you attempting; introducing sourdough into quick breads; breads, muffins, etc. My initial thought is that you're mixing 2 distinctly different methods. Quick breads and muffins, in addition to flour, usually have oil, eggs, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. If they contain oil/butter and/or eggs they're sort of a basic enriched dough. I don't know about how the baking powder/baking soda would affect/interact with the sourdough or vice versa. However, assuming there isn't any adverse effect by mixing them it would seem to me that unless you're introducing the sourdough strictly for flavor, you would need something on the order of a liquid levain (small amount of active sourdough starter (1-2 Tbs) mixed with water and flour and fermented overnight (10-12 hrs.)) and use that either in place of water in your recipe or reducing the amount of water (plus levain) called for in the recipe to meet the baker's % of liquid for your quick bread/muffin formula. As for the baking powder and baking soda, I just don't know about having both baking powder, baking soda and a levain in the same dough batch. It could produce a pretty active batch of dough.

If your quick breads and muffins are turning out dry after baking, then the dough/batter may need more hydration, especially if the sourdough you're adding is in the form of a firm starter.

As for sourdough cooking faster or slower, my guess is it's a "wash" (baking time is usually a funtion of the size of the loaf and oven temp.) I suspect it's probably about the same. I use a digital probe thermometer and check the internal temperature of the loaf, looking for 205-210 F. internal temp.

Don't know if you're any further ahead by reading this but, off the top of my head, those are my thoughts.

Best of luck with your experiments.

Howard

Marni's picture
Marni

Thank you for your thoughts on this.

I also bake a lot of quick breads - four kids - I've got a lot of lunch boxes to fill.

The sourdough in the recipe is just meant as flavor for the most part. I think it also adds the tang that buttermilk would - without dairy. I also thought it was intended to make things tender, as buttermilk would, but that is the problem - I get dry, tough results.

I don't think it is a problem to use it this way, so many recipes call for it. I'm not experimenting without a recipe. I do that all the time, but not when I so unfamiliar with it all. The King Arthur waffles are amazing and use this combo. When the soda/BP dry ingredients are added to the batter, it all rises from the reaction, and create a light loaf(and waffle). Mike Avery at sourdoughhome has a blueberry muffin recipe with this combo and when I made them, they were terribly dry. (BTW- the muffins get raves, so I figure it's me.) The cookie recipe from PaddyL comes out great though. She got that from a book by Rita Davenport (?) all about doing this. (I know - read the book. But it's out of print.)

Oh, and I use a liquid levain, so it's not that.
Sorry for the rant on this, but right now I have about 2 1/2 cups of disgarded starter that I would love to put into some muffins or banana bread, but I'd rather waste just that than it plus all the other ingredients too.

Marni

Marni's picture
Marni

Howard,
Here it is! I just realized with your comment on my sourdough post here, that I also am not getting notifications. I don't have subscriptions to many posts, but since I started this thread, I should get an email - Right? I saw your post on the front page ( I check it all the time) or I would have missed it.
Please share how you fix this problem. Good luck.
Marni

holds99's picture
holds99

I didn't get automatic notification of your post.  I had to go to the home page and check.  We're in the same boat.  Hang in there.


Howard