The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough bread , rolls and discard crumpets

Stephen's picture

Sourdough bread , rolls and discard crumpets

So after many months of struggling to get ‘it’ right, I feel iv made some real progress with todays work.

with a very active starter and plenty of discard I had plenty to play with today and I’m very pleased with today’s outcome.

it’s funny, with all the cryptic advice you can receive when you ask for help with making sourdough, it’s only when you tried every way advised, that you can appreciate that not all advice given will work in the same manner for you as the person that’s given it.

If iv finally learnt one thing with sourdough it’s that, no amount of advice from anyone will get you the desired bake; yes it helps, but understanding what your dough wants is what counts. I call the advice iv received as cryptic; this is not a bad thing, but though you can get the best advice you can, at the end of the day, it’s the dough that does the talking and what advice might work for some, might not necessarily work for all.

Though there is always room for further improvement, and I’m sure others can do better than what iv done today,I feel iv really achieved something day.

mariana's picture

Very nice, Stephen. This is a very beautiful bread, indeed. Looks so yummy!

Stephen's picture

Cheers very much for the past advice you’ve given. Iv still a ways to go, but I’m now in a more confident position than I was, thanks to the little techniques you suggested that could help me. The starter doesn’t triple like you suggested (again maybe a different strain of flour types,) but it does double quickly and does come back when you mix it mid cycle. And so far it’s doing want I want. 
you had it right. It was the inactive starter that was the major cause of failure, but with that now corrected, it should just be a case of improving the mixing/folding stage.

Once iv bettered this a bit more, I may look into doing  sourdough brioche in much the same way, the possibilities are vast and I’m looking forward to trying it all.

HeiHei29er's picture

Congrats on reaching that milestone and well said!  It’s a great feeling when it finally clicks and things start to make sense.  Very nice loaf too!

Benito's picture

It’s great when you have that ah ha moment and things start to work.  I felt the same early on, the advice did seem cryptic, but that was likely because I didn’t have the knowledge to use it or understand that I have now most of the time.  Keep on baking and you’ll have more ah ha moments along the way then some of that cryptic advice starts to make sense to you too.  Good looking bread you’ve baked.


Stephen's picture

Yes, its almost as if people are being deliberately evasive with the help that you ask of them, now that Iv tried the advice of the many, I find iv now found something of a middle ground for most advice given; almost a bench mark you could say for what ‘could’ happen if you did it the way first advised. All the tips iv had have done ‘something’ but not exactly what had been discussed, so finding that balance after such a time is in itself its own reward. Honestly the first time I got ‘it’ I thought it was a fluke, but having bake it the same way a few times now I feel it’s safe to say I have a new standard for what to expect with the methods I use. I’m looking forward to what comes next and what new things I can learn from further development.

Kistida's picture

Congrats on a beautiful bake!

You're absolutely right about advice being cryptic. Most bakers do explain his/her parameters for the bake and since we're almost always not using the same brand of flour, type of water and do not possess the same level of skills and experience, our bakes will usually look different from that of a seasoned baker who's probably baked that same recipe more times than we can count.

Bertinet (from his book Crumb) always say you've gotta "show the dough who's boss" to get your desired bake. I think you're doing just that. :)

- Christi