The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

7/5/11 - Last Bake 'til Fall (Drying Sourdough Starter)

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

7/5/11 - Last Bake 'til Fall (Drying Sourdough Starter)

Hey All,

It's getting hot and sticky here in NYC, so I have decided to do one last bake and then dry up my sourdough starter so I don't have to keep feeding and discarding until fall when it cools down.


Stiff Levain
50g AP
50g WW
50g Organic Rye Flour
80g water
156g SD starter (whatever I had left in the fridge 50% hydration)
386g Total

9:15pm - Mix starter, knead until all combined, form into ball, cover and let rest.
10:00pm - Divide 300g, form into ball, cover and let rest.  With the remaining 86g or so, on a floured surface, divide into 4 pieces, roll out really thin with a rolling pin, and dry.  When dry, store in a tightly covered container.  I will test this starter out in the fall to see if I can revive it…  Fingers crossed. 

This starter has treated me very well leavening extremely reliably.  I believe it is about 2 years old.  It started out as a liquid starter and was converted to a stiff starter, back to a liquid, and then finally back to a very dry starter kept at 50% hydration in the refridgerator.  It was fed on an odd schedule every 3 to 5 days varying proportions of AP, WW, and organic rye flour, kneaded, left out for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature, and then refrigerated...

Final Dough
600g AP
50g WW
480g water
16g Kosher salt
300g of above stiff leaven
1446g Total

11:45pm - In a large mixing bowl, add the water, leaven, flour, and salt.  Mix with a rubber spatula until a shaggy down forms.  Cover and let rest.
12:15am - Knead briefly (30 seconds or so with the stretch and fold method).  Cover and let rest.
12:30am - Stretch/fold, cover and let rest.
12:45am - Stretch/fold, cover and let rest.
1:00am - Shape into boule, place into a well floured linen lined banneton, flour top of dough, cover with kitchen towel, place into large plastic bag, and into refrigerator on top shelf overnight.  Go to bed.
9:15am - I over slept.  Dough has slightly overflowed the banneton.  Leave in refrigerator.  Clean off baking stone, place on bottom rack, arrange steam pan with lava rocks and water on top rack.  Preheat to 550F with convection.
9:45am - Turn off convection, turn oven down to 500F.  Take banneton out, turn out onto floured peel, do not slash as it seemed overproofed…  Place directly onto baking stone.  Back 500F for 15 minutes, take out steam pan, turn down oven to 450F and bake for 50 minutes.  Let loaf cool completely on wire rack before cutting, at least 12 to 24 hours.

Notes:  300g of stiff levain for 650g of final dough flour when it is warm is too much for an 8 hour refrigerated proof.  Or, my rising basket is too small for 1446g of dough...

Happy Summer!


Mebake's picture

Happy summer to you too, Tim.  What about baking :) Aren't we seeing more of your "bold" bakes?3



breadbakingbassplayer's picture

This is the last of them until the Fall.  I'm gonna try not to bake when it's 90F + and humid...  NYC apartments aren't ventilated all that great...

Happy Summer Khalid!

chefscook's picture

A very happy and safe summer to you also what no bread baking over the summer I justify made a sourdough herb bread and it is hot outside too

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Today was just too gross, and I baked in the morning and it was still hot and humid...

Happy Summer!

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I shut down a couple of weeks ago. I can't bring myself to run the air conditioning and the oven at the same time. I usually start up again with challah for the Jewish New Year. Have a great summer.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Yeah, me neither... I don't have AC in the kitchen, so its pointless and a waste of electricity...  I'll probably start back in September if it's  not too bad.  Happy Summer!

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Here are the crumbshots.  I think I baked a little too boldly though...  It still tastes great, crust and crumb!


dwfender's picture

I'm in Astoria but can't manage to give it up for the summer.

When you say you are going to dry out your starter can you describe the process

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Convert your starter to a stiff starter at 50% hydration.  Divide it up into a few pieces and on a floured surface, roll it out into thin sheets as if you were making pasta, place on wire rack to dry until fully dry.  Then put it in an airtight container until you are ready to revive it and bake again...

wassisname's picture

I love these loaves!  Thanks for sharing one more, and I look forward to seeing them again in the fall.


Connie.'s picture

Hi BreadBaking Bassplayer, we live in Thailand en the rainy season was early and officially started recently. So; hot and humid. But I had never thought of stopping for a while because of the weather. Maybe a small piece of starter to try? Or play more bass? Anyway, I wish you a nice summer and hope to see your beautiful bread when fall comes.

EvaB's picture

but it never stops me from doing what I want. I know that its bad in New York, but so is Vancouver even in summer, and I've been there! Shower and dry off and then dry off from drying off! The key to baking in humidity is to bake on a bbq, its much nicer to bake outside, the kitchen stays a bit cooler. Of course that is a problem if you have no terrace or balcony, but its one solution. Another is fans, lots of fans, less expensive than air conditioning, and drying because it moves the air about! You aren't cooling the air simply moving it, and that drys it, never seen a wet wind unless its accompanied by rain, or on the seashore or any shore accompanied by wave spray! LOL

My problem with humidity is it sets off my chronic bronchitis, and we had 40 days of rain up here in June and July, and that simply killed any inclination to do anything let alone bake. Which would have at least warmed up the house a bit!