The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

sourdough -- how making bread fits my lifestyle

cognitivefun's picture

sourdough -- how making bread fits my lifestyle

I love sourdough bread.  And I find it fits my lifestyle better anyway.

I work at home. And with baker's yeast bread, I may forget that something is bulk fermenting and it over ferments. With my sourdough bread, I don't have to worry about it. I bulk ferment and proof in my basement at 70f. and I can forget about it for a few hours and not worry about it.

Today for the first time I proofed and then retarded in the fridge and baked early this morning straight from the refrigerator. It worked great, sourdough rye, came out wonderful.


Anyone else find that this fits their lifetstyle better?




JMonkey's picture

I love sourdough, but unfortunately I don't work at home, and I let mine ferment for 7-8 hours before popping it in the oven or the fridge. So sourdough is a weekend deal for me.

During the week, if I need to make bread, I'll either do a *very* slow rise (less than 1/8 tsp yeast for a two-loaf recipe) all day and then proof it pretty warm (95 degrees F) in a warmed oven when I get home from work. Or, I'll have a poolish or biga proof all day, and then knead up the rest of the loaf as soon as I get home. Makes for a late night, but it does come out of the oven between 11pm and midnight.



andrew_l's picture

I also work at home and find sourdough fits with my lifestyle. Unless the weather is unusually warm - then my sourdough really gets moving and either insists on being proofed and ready to be baked before I'm ready for it (and is bland, not sour), or has to proof in the fridge and be baked next morning (when it is delectably sour and flavoursome).
Richard, do you machine knead or hand knead? I use Dan Lepard's kneading method - 10 second knead leave 10 minutes, 10 second knead, leave 10 minutes, 10 second knead, leave 30 minutes, 10 second knead, leave 30 minutes, 10 second knead, leave 1 hour, 10 second knead, leave 1 hour then divide and shape etc.
THAT is the bit which I'm prone to mess up the moment I get involved in something else and forget it's time to do my 10 second knead... Never spoils the loaf though - the dough seems very forgiving of a variable routine!

cognitivefun's picture

No, I use Van Over's food processor method.  You take the temperature of the flour and make sure that the temperature of your wet ingredients, when added together, equal 130F. These days my kitchen is 75F. so I use cold water. The dough is processed 45 seconds and reaches 75F to 80F temperature and then I bulk ferment at 70F in the basement.


This 45 seconds method in the food processor has worked very well, and I've had tremendous success with it.


The bread seems to last a long time without staling and it tastes wonderful.


The Lepard method probably works for similar reasons: you avoid oxygenating the dough through a long kneading process. One thing you can do with the food processor method is you can process 20 seconds then let the dough rest in the processor for 5 to 20 minutes, then do the other 25 seconds. I think this might be especially valuable for brioche which I haven't been able to make satisfactorily with the food processor method.


After this processing, I ferment and proof at about 70F. Bulk takes around 5 to 7 hours and proofing perhaps 1 to 3 hours for my sourdough starter.


I do fold a few times during bulk ferment but this can be done during a break in my day and is a lot of fun. If I had to kneed every 30 minutes I don't think I would be able to make bread very often as I just get caught up in work.