anyone here make sourdough?

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  • anyone here make sourdough?
  • Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    lad at works pretty good at it, says i can have some of his ‘starter’ so im tempted to buy a proving basket, pizza stone etc and give it a go…..

    anyone here do it and got any good tips.  he makes a good job of his so i dont think ill go far wrong if i copy him but just wondered if you had any tips for ‘the perfect loaf’.  timings, mad dough making skillzzz, that sort of thing…..

    cheers

    thecaptain
    Member

    I have some in the fridge, haven’t actually used for a while and I’m no particular expert. Started from scratch about 10y ago which took a bit of effort but once it was growing it seems pretty stable and indestructible (sent it on a 2 month round the world trip, dried in a shipping container). Have done some bread, also use it in many baking recipes like pancakes and cornbread.

    thecaptain
    Member

    Oh, I should have said, the no-knead recipe/video on the web somewhere is quite good. Long ferment with sourdough you don’t really knead to need. Don’t be afraid to experiment, it’s all bread and quite edible even when it doesn’t quite turn out as you hoped 🙂

    lesshaste
    Member

    Yes, I do. I just use a bowl with an old pillow case in it to do the rise, dust it with rye flour to stop it sticking. I use around 10-15% rye in the mix (otherwise the dough is really sticky and hard to work), the rest is just a mixture of white and wholemeal in varying proportions depending on whether I want heavy or lighter bread. I do knead mine but only rise it once. Takes 24hrs to be ready at this time of year, just overnight in the summer. I use a stone in the oven, and would recommend making some kind of baker’s peel, just a bit of ply and a bit of broom handle in my case. I put a bit of greaseproof paper onto the loaf before turning it onto the peel and then chucking it onto the stone.

    Definitely worth doing if you are into this kind of thing, also nice relaxing task if you’ve got the time.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
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    Used to and it makes fantastic bread but I found  you had to keep it going or it dies.  It was fun but I wasn’t making bread often enough to make it worth the effort of looking after

    2tyred
    Member

    Had a few starters over the years – they’ve invariably bitten the dust during a long summer holiday through inattention. Nobody else in the house likes it, so I’ve always found it a bit of a waste, never quite got into a steady pattern with it.

    lesshaste – is the method you describe up there ^^^ using an established starter?

    Premier Icon jimmy
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    don’t use someone else’s starter – make your own. My best ones have “beard bread” and “baby’s head bread”. i.e. just scratch / scrape whatever your source is into a bowl of flour and water and let it go off for a week, replacing half the flour each day (follow usual instructions). Depending what your “source” is, you might not want to tell people 🙂 (This was inspired by Black Labrador Beer in Oregon…)

    lesshaste
    Member

    @2tyred  Yes, my starter is around 3 years old.  While I admire Jimmy’s adventurous methods of starting his, boringly I just went for using 50/50 flour and water for a week or so, and I’ve kept it going ever since.  How long are your summer holidays, mine is ok after a good feed and then tucked up in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

    Didn’t someone in the states brew beer with vaginal yeast?

    I used to make bread every day when the wee one was a baby, became just part of my routine. Problem was, ended up eating a shitload of bread (and butter!)

    no-knead recipe/video? where can I find it? which makes better result baking soda or yeast

    oldnpastit
    Member

    So, forgive this perhaps stupid question, but what’s the difference between using some random yeast you scraped off a slightly smelly body part, picking up whatever yeast is in the air, or just using dried yeast in a packet (which is a lot less hassle) ?

    Sure different yeasts will produce different flavours, but is there anything else beyond it?

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    used to, rarely bother now but the starter lives on for pizzas.  oh and smashed avo on sourdough natch

    Premier Icon marcgear
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    Dettigers02, Bread risen with baking soda is called Soda Bread, it’s quick and easy to make.  Soughdough is made using a ‘starter’ made from water and flour and natural yeasts from the air and can take several days to make.  The two are very different.

    I kept a starter going for most of last year, but neglected it at the back of the fridge and I thought I’d better throw it out.  It made excellent bread.  I cheated and started it with a bit of dried yeast but I’ve heard yoghurt works well and will try that next time.

    lesshaste
    Member

    Ok, for me its mostly about the flavour and texture difference. Sour dough starters raise bread with natural yeasts in a similar albeit slower less predictable way than normal dried baker’s yeast. The payoff for accepting this dodgier rising is that the starter also contains lots of lactobacillus, and these also consume starches and sugars in the flour leaving interesting sour flavours and to alot of people, tastier bread.

    There is also a lot of stuff floating about the internet about the bread being tolerated better by the intolerant, but being a soaking wet liberal in my outlook, knitting yoghurt and hand wringing etc, I’m unable to comment on this personally.

    Premier Icon cashback
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    I got sent on a course by my wife at christmas (she likes sourdough) at the thoughful bread company in bath, which was really good, you get part of their starters as part of the course, both rye and wheat which are 10years old. I have kept it up so far doing a loaf every couple of days. I normally bake a wheat loaf it in a tin to give a softer crust, but i have also done larger free form loafs. I am going to put my rye starter in the freezer as the my kids aren’t as keen and i keep forgetting to feed that one.

    i use the no kneed method, so i generally get the starter out the fridge in the morning, feed it, make the dough when i get home from work, to the strectch and pull method a few times during the evening, stick it in the tin before bed, and bake first thing in the morning.

    I have also made pizza and bagels a few times which go down well

    footflaps
    Member

    We don’t, but a neighbour got made redundant and started her own business making sourdough bread. It’s been her full time business for many years now…

    About Me

    If you follow her on Social media, you get all the recipe tips etc. She bakes different flavours each week.

    Some variants to try:

    My Bread and Ingredients

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    good info and whetting my appetite to get started!

    ill have a look at the ‘no-knead’ method.  sounds easier but will there be a compromise if you dont knead?

     I use around 10-15% rye in the mix (otherwise the dough is really sticky and hard to work), the rest is just a mixture of white and wholemeal in varying proportions depending on whether I want heavy or lighter bread. I do knead mine but only rise it once. Takes 24hrs to be ready at this time of year, just overnight in the summer. I use a stone in the oven, and would recommend making some kind of baker’s peel, just a bit of ply and a bit of broom handle in my case. I put a bit of greaseproof paper onto the loaf before turning it onto the peel and then chucking it onto the stone.

    ill look into rye, probably need to start making good basic loaves before experimenting with different mixes tho.  what does rye bring to the mix, different flavour or texture?  and wholemeal flour, does it make it lighter or heavier?

    yes, ill be looking at buying a stone too.  think my list includes a basket, stone, bread scraper and shower cap to go over the basket…..

    Used to and it makes fantastic bread but I found  you had to keep it going or it dies.  It was fun but I wasn’t making bread often enough to make it worth the effort of looking after

    and this is where i think ill end up 😀

    don’t use someone else’s starter – make your own.

    might i ask why?  is a starter not a starter?  someone elses may be better than mine anyway?

    The payoff for accepting this dodgier rising is that the starter also contains lots of lactobacillus, and these also consume starches and sugars in the flour leaving interesting sour flavours and to alot of people, tastier bread.

    on the subject of interesting flavours, the first loaf i tasted from my mate i could have sworn had vinegar in it, he insisted it didnt.  i loved that vinegary taste yet havent tasted it in any of his other loaves.

    thanks for that link to your neighbours site footflaps, some interesting mixes there, ill hopefully steal a few of them if i get confident at this.

    from watching my mate, it looks like my method will be mixing 500g flour, 220g (think he said grammes not ml anyway) of water, sea salt (not sure what quantity), then kneading it for 10 mins or so.  chuck in a mixing bowl with a shower cap on the top for a couple of hours.  then take out, stretch to 3 times the size of basket, fold over 3 times to basket size, place in basket, shower cap on, leave overnight to prove.  preheat oven to max with pizza stone in, empty the dough onto stone and cook for half hour or so depending on your oven.  he also puts a tray of water underneath in the oven and also sprays water onto the bread and around it.

    cant remember what he did with the starter, 50/50 maybe flour and water, cover with teatowel, leave til next day and go again.

    how does that compare with your mixes and methods?

    mariner
    Member

    Random replies to above

    There is a lot of tosh talked about bread making don’t get fooled by over complicating the process. Its flour water salt yeast anything else is a variation. If you really want to try before you buy lots of stuff then make a bread that uses sponge or leven first which is a pre fermentation starter. You this make as required and works in a similar way to a sourdough starter but is yeast based. The real secret is time. Long slow fermentation overnight in the fridge makes a better bread than warm short rise time.

    new york deli rye bread

    Tartine method.

    https://mailchi.mp/bread-magazine/56-international-bread-week?e=6923a28a75

    According to legend the original San Francisco Sourdough starter was made during California gold rush by spitting in the dough although more likely to have been a family starter carried with them. I used organic grapes with Spelt flour for mine.

    Lots of good books out there but be careful of the American ones as they use strange measures if you are used to metric.

    It is a fascinating subject if you get hooked but be warned it is addictive and you end up a bore like me.

    thecaptain
    Member

    Sourdough isn’t just yeast, there’s lactobacilli too (hence sour). Whether it’s better for you or not is another matter.

    lesshaste
    Member

    Sadex my starter is approx 40% water to 60% wholemeal flour. So if I’ve just made bread, I’d leave say 5g of starter behind in the jar. To that I would add 3g of flour and 2g of water. 12 hours on I would double it again, this time 6g of flour 4g of water…. and so on until I had enough to bake again.That would be when the starter was about 10% of the weight of the flour you were using to make the loaf. It can be left a few days without feeding, but I think it works better if it is at the end of a few feeds, its a bit more active like that.

    I think if you are not doing too much kneading, you could up the amount of rye in your bread. Rye flour has a strong sourish taste, which is fantastic, but has less gluten, so makes a heavier more solid loaf. Best toast going though!

    Like Mariner said, there is a good deal of technical style guff talked about bread, best thing is to dive in and have a go, it all tastes good, but also you always think you could improve it next time.

    hooli
    Member

    A few years ago I made a lot of sourdough bread, recipe off bbc food was as good as any. I had to stop as I was eating most of a loaf (while still warm, with an inch of salted butter on top while stood in the kitchen) 3 or 4 times a week and I was piling on the weight.

    I may give it another go and see if I can find some self control from somewhere

    2tyred
    Member

    While the breadnoscenti are here – what’s the consensus on why loaves (baked on a stone, not in tins) split?

    I’ve been baking bread for over a decade, 3 or 4 loaves a week plus other stuff, and I have never been able to identify precisely why this sometimes happens. Done all sorts of experimenting with oven temp, moisture, prove conditions, knead length, slashes, handling etc – never been able to definitively work out why some loaves just split and others don’t.

    A minor annoyance, but it’s always bothered me.

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    I usually have about 100-150 grams of starter in a kilner jar without a seal in the fridge, get it out, add about 150 grames of flour and 150 grams of water to it, give it a mix and leave. it seems to be go to go after about 5 to 6 hours.

    I am no expert but the baker on my course told me, if you want a more sour tasting loaf you can change the quantity of the starter. strangely using less starter will give a more sour taste.

    also heavier flours, like wholemeal and rye need a greater percentage of starter to make them rise.

    on the subject of interesting flavours, the first loaf i tasted from my mate i could have sworn had vinegar in it, he insisted it didnt.  i loved that vinegary taste yet havent tasted it in any of his other loaves.

    Assuming its the same as beer (it basically is) then that’s an acetobateria infection. One of the more common faults you get in pubs when they’ve not sold enough beer as it grows in the lines usually. Its a bacteria that turns the alcohol into vinegar. Whereas lactobaculus turns carbs into lactic acid (which is why sourdough and some Belgian beers taste of natural yogurt/yakult).

    Like most things fermentation related it will taste horrible long before it kills you (hallucinogenic wheat germ aside!). Plenty of Belgian beers are only legal as they’re grandfathered into EU law, you really wouldn’t want to know what’s been found in the starters!

    lesshaste
    Member

    2tyred   disclaimer first, I’m definitely no expert. My freeform loaves never split, but I do cut a big cross into the top before baking. Once I forgot and did get a random fissure running along the top. One thing that occurs to me is my house temperature is on the cool side, is yours v.warm by any chance? Another thing is moisture content in the dough, might it be a dry mix? Mines about 880cc into 1300g and feels pretty wet.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Didn’t someone in the states brew beer with vaginal yeast?

    No it was actually sour dough:

    https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a49894/yeast-infection-sourdough-bread/

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    We get excellent sourdough from our baker but I’m certainly tempted to give it a go. Most other breads can “get in the sea” as I believe young people say.

    Premier Icon blanklook
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    Certainly easier to use someone else’s starter  – after a few refreshes it will be totally “yours” anyway.  I don’t experiment much these days but just make a white, white/wholemeal or granary which all come out just great – have recipes if you want. Also good to try is a 100% rye flour which is the best with cheese. The loaves all last for a week (if they are not eaten first) and the starters live in the fridge and will last for over a week before needing a refresh (you can put in freezer too for occasional use). It’s not difficult and most of the skill is in the shaping of the loaf which comes with practice – as stated above; even if the loaf is flat or split, it will still taste good.

    myti
    Member

    I’ve been making it for a year or so. Found the no knead recipe from Hobbs house bakery really simple. Using the Dutch oven to bake it gives it a really professional look of lovely shiney thick crust. I feed my starter once a week and keep it in the fridge.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    been reading one of footflaps links, the hugh fearnley whatever his name is method and he mentions making a ‘sponge’ first as part of the process.  anyone do that?  seems an extra layer of faff for something im hoping will be simple.  havent looked at the ‘no knead’ method yet, ill go and find it on youtube now i think.  will the trade-off be the same loaf but takes longer from start to finish?

    id like to get in a routine of doing all the faffing in the evening, leaving it to prove overnight and then baking in the morning.

    blanklook, ill message you for a few recipes. EDIT:  no email address so ive pm’d you.  let me know if you dont receive it as thats happened to me before, new forum and all that……

    thanks

    myti
    Member

    Just about to take mine out of the fridge and bake in a couple of hours. Started it yesterday afternoon. Slow process but very little actual hands on time. When I was looking at making my first sourdough I was put off by the overly complicated recipes online including the Hugh one. Try the one above trust me! Get yourself a Dutch oven if you’ve not got one as it’s useful to have anyway but you can make it in a bread tin or on a stone the crust just won’t be as pretty. Sometimes I half or 2/3rds the recipe depending on need. I vary the flours and seeds also.

    Edit. I dont fold the dough with a wet hand but with a wet, large, flat plastic spoon as you have to fold it over the course of a few hours I just find it less faff then you don’t have to keep washing your hands. I’ll have one on the go when I’m bumbling about doing chores. I’ve also left it for a couple of hours if I need to go out and it still comes out fine.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    thanks, good link, and it was actually hobbshouse website i was looking at last night.

    few further questions…….. im still not sure what the difference in end product is between kneading and no-kneading.  why would you choose one over the other?  obviously no-kneading will be easier, but if it doesnt get the dough right itll be an inferior loaf wont it?  and if it isnt, then whats the point in kneading and why would you go to the bother?

    secondly, proving baskets.  they seem to come with some sort of linen liner.  i guessed that was to take out and cover the dough with once its in the basket, but ive seen pics on google of the dough actually in the liner.  whats the liner for?

    thirdly, dutch ovens.  same as a casserole dish of slow cooker inner?  again ive googled and there may be slight differences in material, shape etc but does that matter in bread-making?

    thanks

    lesshaste
    Member

    Regarding the sponge and all that, I just put the starter into the measuring jug with the water and give it a 5 second whizz with a soup blending wand thingymajig. Pour resulting liquid onto flour and salt. Then mix up and knead or not. Not much faff at all. One thing that is useful is what bakers call autolyse. Sounds technical, but infact just involves leaving the dough alone for 20mins between mixing in the liquid and kneading. It just makes the dough less sticky and easier to work. I’m all for minimum faff also!

    lesshaste
    Member

    The liner goes in the basket, then the dough onto the liner. When you turn the risen loaf out, it comes out wearing the liner as a hat. You then peel the liner off the fragile dough/loaf and transfer it to your oven. I just use a bowl as the shaper and an old pillow case as liner. I also shake rye flour unto the liner bowl combo before putting the dough in. This is to discourage it from sticking to the liner. It can be quite fragile when its risen.

    Premier Icon paul4stones
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    Yes this is me. Constantly dabbling with the sourdough and trying to work out what’s going on. I think understanding the whole process is important then you can make sense of some of the recipes and make your own mind up. I’d Recommend Andrew Whitley’s book ‘Bread Matters’ which is quite old now but I still refer to. Loads of good stuff online: theperfectloaf for lots of inspiration.

    Loads of artistic folk on Instagram too – artisanbreadmonkey for example with beautiful scoring patterns if you like that sort of thing!

    I usually refresh the starter overnight before starting a levain but for my most recent loaf I just mixed 2 week old starter out of the fridge with about 300g of flour and some warm water before I went to bed. Mixed, stretched, etc during the morning. 2nd proof just before lunchtime for about 90 min then baked just after lunch. Seemed to work as well as any other method.

    It’s all very temperature dependent and some people advocate long, slow, cold proofs for flavour. Depends if you’re just wanting to eat it or are after the perfect flavour. Worth getting decent flour – we have Gilchesters near by and they have some lovely heritage stuff.

    I had a lovely morning with a French Artisan Baker a couple of years ago:

    /https://paul4stones.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/the-artisan-baker/

    myti
    Member

    Not too sure about the difference between folding and kneading but my guess is that kneading forms the glutens that allow the bread to rise without collapsing, quickly whereas folding over a few hours forms them slowly but allows you to leave it in the bowl and not get all sticky as it’s a very high hydration dough it’s quite tricky to knead and I gave it a go kneading once and found I kept adding loads of extra flour to stop it sticking to my hands and the work top.

    I just use the linen liner to cover the basket when in the fridge if you use it in the basket you won’t get the nice pattern on the bread.

    I bake mine in a cast iron casserole dish…own brand le cruset type thing .

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    so many variations…..im sure ill get round to experimenting with a few of them, but for now im going to just copy my workmate who’s a bit of an expert so he can hold my hand 🙂  still waiting for my basket and scraper through the post but was itching to get cracking so made my first loaf today.  it was bloody lovely!! (beginners luck) 😀

    mixed 300g starter with 500g strong white flour and 240g water, 10g salt.  kneaded for 10 mins then did first prove for 2 hrs at room temp.  then as ive no basket and nothing oval shaped i used a round mixing bowl with a floured teatowel as liner.  just kept folding into the middle for a minute or so a la hobbshouse ‘no-knead’ method, and put in fridge for around 18hrs.  had to do it that long due to work commitments as i wanted to cook next morning, hence the fridge.

    7am i preheated the oven with an old cadac plate as my pizza-stone for half hour at 250 degrees.  plopped the dough onto the plate, scored with sharp knife, tray of hot water underneath for steam, and cooked for around 30 mins et voila!  really pleased with it, lovely chewy yet crispy crust and soft bread!

    ive just attempted to start another one today but went over with the water so stuck a bit more flour in but i think ive messed the amounts up a bit.  as i only just finished shaping this one at 6.30pm ive left it out for the night at room temp, see how it turns out.

    one thing i can see myself getting a bit narked with is the cleaning up!!  hands covered in sticky dough, bowls covered in dough that seems to set before i can get them washed, soak em in hot water but still take ages to clean, then the scourers get glooped up too.  flour everywhere……. anyone got any tips on how to minimise the cleaning faffage?? 😀

    Premier Icon paul4stones
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    Think it needs baking a bit longer but great crumb. I think I would do that amount for about 15-20 mins at the high temp then turn it down to about 200 for another 30 mins. Depends how you like your crust.

    The thing I like about it is that it’s just flour, water and salt and it makes bread. I love trying to work out what’s going on and why it’s not worked when it doesn’t. You can always toast it!

    Premier Icon paul4stones
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    Should have said it looks ace for a first go and tummy is rumbling.

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