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  • Sourdough starter?
  • Right, I seem to have a bit more time on my hands, and I’ve fancied giving sourdough a decent go, any recommendations on a good starter? There’s lots of stuff online, but the good folks on here always come up trumps…

    G.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    If youve got a week or so before baking, make your own, if you need to buy one then this is recommended…..

    Online store

    EDIT: this was a thread i started a year or so ago….

    anyone here make sourdough?

    I regularly make one using the recipe in The Midlife Kitchen. It’s idiot proof so long as you follow the simple instructions.

    Easy to throw in some raisins or herbs if you want some variation. Either way, it’s absolutely banging. Sampling proper bread makes you realise how shit normal supermarket loaves are.

    normantz
    Member

    Fantastic hobby! I’ve tried following the guides from theperfectloaf.com – the beginners loaf is a great place to start and gave awesome results. Happy bread journey!

    Premier Icon toby1
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    Tartine is what I tried at the weekend, screwed it up a bit and still got reasonable bread out of it!

    Useful tools are a dough scraper and Casserole dish, but you can live without these if you want.

    For reference I love trying to make it and I hate when it doesn’t go to plan, it’s both fun and frustrating and I wish I had more time to spend on it!

    Do any of you buy ‘fresh’ flour online?

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
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    I’ve just used organic flour and water, the flour has natural yeast in it already. Be patient and make sure it’s somewhere reasonably warm.

    pdids
    Member

    I would advocate not buying a starter but make your own. You can have a ready to go starter in about the same time it will take one to be delivered. Plus you get to be smug about it.

    I used the starter recipe from the same Hobbs website as the link above as well as generally using their basic sourdough loaf recipe.
    Loaf recipe

    Main change I made is putting it into the fridge overnight for the second “raise” rather than somewhere warm. Makes it a lot easier to handle to get into the oven.

    mariner
    Member

    Get a compost heap or get used to starter pancakes for breakfast. Its like having kids or pets that have to tended. They even have starter hotels for when you go on holiday. Rise up (sic) against the tyranny of the sourdough starter. Smash the cistern it lives in.

    Having said that its brilliant. I dried off some of the discard from Alexander the Great – you have to give it a name – and keep it in a jar as a powder in case I need to restart it.
    Best recipe I now make is New York Deli with fennel seeds in. It is not a true sourdough but a halfway with a poolish overnight starter using yeast. Brilliant with smoked salmon.
    Explore the traditional flours and Spelt.
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    myti
    Member

    Make your own in a week. All you need is good quality flour and water and a glass jar. I changed from organic white to wholemeal rye and it’s so much more active.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    Must admit it seems a bit of a dark art. I’d make some good loaves, some bad, all by the same method.

    i don’t make it any more as you have to keep on top of it and keep baking, keep looking after the starter all the time, binning some, putting more in, after a while it just went flat. didnt have the time or inclination to bake a loaf each day.

    sometimes you just have to admit defeat, i just cheat now and buy from aldi or whatever 😀

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Make your own in a week. All you need is good quality flour and water and a glass jar. I changed from organic white to wholemeal rye and it’s so much more active.

    This. You can even buy jars with a one-way valve in the top to help it ferment.

    Interesting yeasty smells in the kitchen though…

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    i just cheat now and buy from aldi or whatever

    Most supermarket “sourdough” really isn’t. I’m lucky to have a superb baker up the road you does amazing sourdough in several varieties plus lots of other fantastic stuff.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    Most supermarket “sourdough” really isn’t.

    yep, so i hear. does any supermarket do ‘proper’ stuff, or will it just be the local bakers?

    Premier Icon Sandwich
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    Mine always went furry and died even when kept in the fridge. 2 loaves maximum before another one went phut. Lovely bread though.

    Like Myti I used wholemeal organic rye as my starter flour from Shipton Mill.

    redmex
    Member

    I’ve never made bread but do enjoy sourdough loaf, are any of you using a breadmaker or im expecting a life of brian xxxx off answer.

    Premier Icon cashback
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    I don’t seem to have any issues with my starter, get it out of the fridge in the morning, feed it, make a dough late afternoon, do a stretch and pull meathod a few times in the evening. Put it in a tin in the fridge over night and bake in the morning. If you don’t need it in the morning it will quite happily wait another 12 hours or so. And repeat every 2 to 3 days. The same starter I got from a baker in bath is still going 2.5 years later

    Premier Icon core
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    Co-op’s sourdough is very bloody good.

    Premier Icon mikejd
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    My wife recently bought me a breadmaker, and it has a recipe for sourdough. You can make a starter in it using two plastic pots, uses yogurt and rye flour and takes 24 hours. Then use one and put one in the fridge. Recipe takes 5 hours per loaf, second loaf just needs the starter taking out of the fridge. The whole process takes very little time , just minutes to mix the ingredients then just leave to work.

    I am experimenting with various flours – white, wholemeal, spelt and rye. Some mixes don’t rise so well but the bread still tastes great and is not totally flat.

    Bit of a cheat really I guess but much better than supermarket bread.

    Premier Icon brant
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    My starter is rye, but I use it to make mostly white bread now.

    My recipe is dead easy though it takes 2 days and it’s a tinned loaf not a free form nonsense one.

    Put 30g of starter in a bowl with 30g of warm water and 30g of white flour. Cover and leave somewhere for 24hrs or so.

    Feed your starter with 15g of water and 15g of rye flour, give it a stir, put back in fridge.

    Then mix in another 200g of flour and 200g of warm water, and leave somewhere warm for another 24hrs.

    Then mix in another 500g of flour and 500g of water, 10g of salt, stick it in oiled tins, dust the top, leave for 2hrs, then bake on hot as **** for 15mins, then 210deg for 15mins.

    myti
    Member

    Might give that a go myself brant for a change from my usual. I do mine over the course of a day normally and it’s lovely and flavourful but quite dense.

    Premier Icon brant
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    The extra days fermentation adds more bubbles and that.

    I did a course with Pollen Bakery in Manchester because I accidentally backed a Kickstarter campaign. Course was good. Came home with four loaves. Course was £160. These were then “Dad’s £40 loaves”.

    Recipe as above is actually basically their Rye bread recipe. But my kids won’t eat Rye bread as they are dickheads.

    But Rye works great as a starter.

    I can’t be arsed with all that folding and proving and stuff either. This I no knead, no prove.

    I leave my mix in a bowl with a plate on the top, on the router/Xbox as it’s warm and I don’t have an airing cupboard.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    brant, how often are you baking a loaf?

    i get the ‘topping up with what youve just used’ bit, but mine would just die if i left it a few dqys, even if i kept it in the fridge. never really got the knack of keeping a good starter bubbling up……

    Premier Icon kennyp
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    I’ve been thinking about this for a while. However my main interest is in making pizza dough rather than bread. Any differences in starter recipes that I should factor in?

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    pretty sure its the same starter kenny…..

    Premier Icon brant
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    brant, how often are you baking a loaf?

    i get the ‘topping up with what youve just used’ bit, but mine would just die if i left it a few dqys, even if i kept it in the fridge. never really got the knack of keeping a good starter bubbling up……

    Once a week. But it had been a month or so.

    It lives in the fridge in a small Tupperware. My double ferment wakes it up well I guess.

    I did get some of Pollens starter and I did feed it daily and leave it out for a while until reading on here I could fridge it and forget.

    There was once it seemed to have nearly gone rotten in the fridge but I rescued some and left it out for a few days with daily feeding and then put it away in the fridge again and it’s all good.

    myti
    Member

    Sadex punk I bake about once a week also. Keep starter in the fridge feed it night before using and leave it on the side it should live for weeks without a feed like when on holiday. If you can be bothered try whole organic rye flour. Could have been the brand of flour you were using maybe or do you keep your fridge really cold?

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    hmmmm tempted to get my little jar out again and try making a starter then, maybe do one loaf a week. the loaf only lasts a day or so before going hard tho, do you find that too? the downside of natural ingredients with no preservatives?

    ok, let me get this straight then, i assume you both have a starter (how many grams?) think from memory mine used to be 300g, (150/150) that you keep nicking bits from (30g or so) and putting in another pot to leave 24hrs with a bit more flour and water. then top up main starter and stick back in fridge for a week, rinse and repeat?

    brant, i cant remember the measurements i used to use, but that seems a lot of flour and water (715g/715g), is that a BIG loaf?

    also i see thats a 50/50 mix, which would be difficult to form into a shape, but i see youre using tins (cheat cheat cheat 😀 )

    myti, whats your recipe?

    thanks chaps

    Premier Icon brant
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    My starter is about 100g
    I’ve never thought of needing it to be bigger.

    I take 30g out at a time, then replace that 30g with 15g water and 15g flour. I don’t change pots unless something terrible happens like when it went mouldy and I scooped a bit out, then coaxed it back to life.

    My mix makes one big loaf and one small one.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    and how did you build it?

    50g/50g from the off on day 1
    bin 50g, top up 25/25 day 2.
    repeat on day 3 etc until day 7 when its ready?

    and purely rye, no white?

    myti
    Member

    Think I put my method down in the old thread. I still play about with it but normally use 200g of starter which is 50 50 water and rye. It’s a very wet dough so I use the no knead method keeping it in the bowl till the final shaping. I find sourdough is only good as bread on day one of baking but is awesome for toast for a week as it never goes mouldy. I don’t mind this as I only make one a week I’ll have it as toast every morning and if I’m wanting sarnies or whatever I just buy rolls, pittas etc in my food shop. If I want to show off for a party I might bake a loaf to have as bread with cheeses or pate.

    Premier Icon brant
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    and how did you build it?

    I paid £160 for a course, came out with four loaves and a pot of spunk.

    Premier Icon brant
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    I’ve just realised I’ve done this recipe a bit wrong.

    Let me go again.

    My recipe is dead easy though it takes 2 days and it’s a tinned loaf not a free form nonsense one.

    MORNING DAY 1, Put 30g of starter in a bowl with 30g of warm water and 30g of RYE flour. Cover and leave somewhere for 24hrs or so.

    Feed your starter with 15g of water and 15g of rye flour, give it a stir, put back in fridge.

    MORNING DAY 2. Then mix in another 200g of VERY GOOD WHITE BREAD flour and 200g of warm water, and leave somewhere warm for another 24hrs.

    EVENING DAY 2. Mix in another 500g of VERY GOOD WHITE BREAD flour and 500g of water, 10g of salt, stick it in oiled tins, dust the top WITH RYE FLOWER, leave for 2hrs, then bake on hot as **** for 15mins, then 210deg for 15mins. BAKE UNTIL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE IS 95DEG C.

    DON’T FORGET THE SALT.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    i think im going to have another bash at SD after my hols next week, and i’ll be giving your no faff method a go. ill reduce the final quantities as i dont want two loaves, but just one question…..

    does your original fridge starter live in the fridge non-stop? so you take it out fridge, remove 30g for starter 2, top up 30g, back in fridge til next loaf?

    or do you remove from fridge, leave overnight and remove 30g, top up and fridge?

    or do you remove from fridge, take 30g for new starter, top up and leave overnight to grow, then fridge it again?

    TLDR: do you ever let the original starter grow at room temp at any time?

    cheers

    Premier Icon jimmy
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    I made one starter from my baby daughters head. And another from my beard. Whatever you want to use, just rub it above the bowl of flour and water when first mixed. Inspiration came from a brewery in oregon which does this for its beer yeasts. One came from the brewery dog but I don’t have a dog to try that. Make it personal – just don’t tell people until after they’ve eaten it.

    Kenny – I sourdough pizzas, they were SUPERB if I do say so myself. Just make smaller lumps of dough and they don’t need so long to prove.

    Premier Icon jimmy
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    @Brant – only 2 hours for the final 500G?

    Premier Icon brant
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    Yes.

    Just out now.

    https://www.instagram.com/shedfire/p/BxdGGWxHYdL

    Premier Icon brant
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    I slit the top with a scalpel after proving in the tin for 2hrs because the crust that had formed hadn’t split much like it does sometimes.

    Bugger it.

    There’s a lidl along the road that does decent bread, and a new branch of a local bakers opening 50m along the road that do top class bread.

    I’ll stick to buying it, seems too much bother.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
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    @Brant – only 2 hours for the final 500G?

    also just realised…….the timings dont add up.

    MORNING DAY 2. Then mix in another 200g of VERY GOOD WHITE BREAD flour and 200g of warm water, and leave somewhere warm for another 24hrs.

    if its 24 hrs, should it not then be MORNING DAY 3, rather than EVENING DAY 2?

    Premier Icon brant
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    Oh balls I thought I’d edited that right.

    Day 2 was today.

    I didn’t leave it for 24hrs. I left it for about 8hrs.

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