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Sourdough

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I would like to make some sourdough bread. I have looked at a few recipes, but do you guys have any tips on the best way to make it? Like, have you guys done anything that recipes don't say or not done something that it says to do.

Any help would be great.

 

Carol

post #2 of 22

Hi Carol,

I recommend you pick up the Tartine Bread book by Chad Robertson.  This bread book really delves into the heart of sourdough bread.  It goes into detail about creating your own sourdough starter that is clear and concise, but yet makes you understand the relationship between the baker and the starter as well as covering the use of the starter.

Regards, Joy

post #3 of 22

Here're some basics that i found useful to understand sourdough starter (lievito madre):

 

 

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #4 of 22
post #5 of 22

Brother Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice is an amazing, amazing book. He walks you through several different types of starters. After using the book for a few months, I was able to not only make breads from his recipes, but could also turn out a decent loaf without even needing a recipe based on the principles I learned in that book. Crust and Crumb, also by him, is kind of the Cliff Notes version.

 

I passed up a used copy of his Artisan Breads Every Day a couple of years ago at the used bookstore next to my office and have never stopped regretting it. I went back the next day for it but it was gone.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

So for a sour dough it is better not to use instant yeast?

post #7 of 22

Just using instant yeast will not give you a sourdough bread. You need some sort of fermented starter and a slow rise for the finished loaf to have that sour tang. 

post #8 of 22

At work our starter is over 23 years old. It was made from grape juice.

Every month I feed it a beer.

post #9 of 22

Sour dough breads are risen using wild yeasts present in the air and your flour. Best bet is do some reading on starters etc before attempting it.

post #10 of 22

I should get back into sourdough. I had one going for about 15 years, don't remember how it went bad on me.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #11 of 22

I forgot to feed mine and it went off, had to start a new one and it is not quite ready to use yet. Needs a few more days to build up.

post #12 of 22
I just started on making sourdough bread.
The starter seemed active enough, but the bread didn't rise very well.
It is still tasty dough.
I think I didn't let the gluten develop enough before baking. The second attempt shoukd happen later this week.

I got to say that I quite like this totally "from scratch" approach.

I will persevere :-)

Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #13 of 22

My favorite was Sunday morning sourdough pancakes. Breads and dinner rolls were good, but the pancakes stuck in my mind.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #14 of 22
@chicagoterry: I am looking at buying both the breadbaker's apprentice and crust & crumb. Is iit worth buying both or do they overlap a lot?
I do have artisan bread making.

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post #15 of 22

Hi Butzy,

 

I have them both, but only because I used to work for the company that repped the publisher's books to bookstores in the Midwest back in the 90s when they came out and I got them both for free. I think Apprentice is the better, more thorough book. Crust and Crumb is more about the formulas--at least the 1990s edition that I have--there is a more recent one. Apprentice has the same formulas but includes more discussion about what is happening at each stage of the process and it has more information on technique as well as more pictures. I don't usually care much about whether a cookbook has pictures or not but I found some of the pictures in this one actually helpful rather than purely aspirational.

 

I use Crust and Crumb more now, though, because it's leaner and more to the point and I don't really need all the discussion any more.

post #16 of 22
Thanks @chicagoterry

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post #17 of 22
Want to learn how to make sourdough bread?

Eventually, you will realize it is very, very easy. The recipe is a piece of cake - they are a dime a dozen on google and they are almost all the same.

The top 10 basic SD recipes are ALMOST all exactly the same. They just have a different experts name tag on them. They all have bread flour as the main ingredient at 100%. They all have the water content between 60 to 70 percent of the weight of the flour. They all have the salt content at 1.5 to 2% of the weight of the flour and the quantity of the starter you add to the proces... Only determines how long your dough will take to rise. Less starter and a longer rise will produce a better loaf of bread. If you reduce the starter content, you must add flour and water to your recipe. If you reduce your stater content by 100 grams, you must add 50 grams of bread flour and 50 grams of water... If your starter is maintained at 100%.

It's the techniques that gives you a good crust, a good crumb and fancy looking ear's.

There's only 4 ingredient"s... Flour, water, starter and salt. How difficult can that be? People figured that process out 2000 years ago. Way before instant yeast was engineered.

Your water content can very from 50% to 80% of your bread flour. The more water you add the more open crumb you will get. The less you handle the dough, the more open crumb you will get.

The more tension you get on your final shaped dough... Will give you better oven spring and those pretty ear's.

Your starter can be from 10% to 50% of your flour weight... The less starter you use the longer it will take for your dough to rise. It's just basic math, starter is yeast. Less yeast, longer rise. A fast rise produces a lower quality bread.

The magic of sourdough is learning...

#1... The Bakers Percentage concept

#2... What is autolypse

#3... What is stretch and fold

#4... What is fermentation all about, fast and slow

#5... How do I master shaping my dough

#6... How do I dock/score my loaves

#6... How do I get steam on my dough during the first 15 minutes of the cook

Guess what... I learned all of that on YouTube. It's all there... For free!

Don't waste all of your money on these fancy, dancy books by famous bread bakers... They all have ALMOST the same recipe.

You can view the techniques of all the other functions on YouTube... By the people that wrote those expensive books.

Happy baking my friends...

My bread... http://www.flickr.com/photos/food_pictures/8991726160/

The crumb... http://www.flickr.com/photos/food_pictures/9001969603/
Edited by Wartface - 2/20/15 at 5:27am
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartface View Post

Want to learn how to make sourdough bread?

Eventually, you will realize it is very, very easy. The recipe is a piece of cake - they are a dime a dozen on google and they are almost all the same.

The top 10 basic SD recipes are ALMOST all exactly the same. They just have a different experts name tag on them. They all have bread flour as the main ingredient at 100%. They all have the water content between 60 to 70 percent of the weight of the flour. They all have the salt content at 1.5 to 2% of the weight of the flour and the quantity of the starter you add to the proces... Only determines how long your dough will take to rise. Less starter and a longer rise will produce a better loaf of bread. If you reduce the starter content, you must add flour and water to your recipe. If you reduce your stater content by 100 grams, you must add 50 grams of bread flour and 50 grams of water... If your starter is maintained at 100%.

It's the techniques that gives you a good crust, a good crumb and fancy looking ear's.

There's only 4 ingredient"s... Flour, water, starter and salt. How difficult can that be? People figured that process out 2000 years ago. Way before instant yeast was engineered.

Your water content can very from 50% to 80% of your bread flour. The more water you add the more open crumb you will get. The less you handle the dough, the more open crumb you will get.

The more tension you get on your final shaped dough... Will give you better oven spring and those pretty ear's.

Your starter can be from 10% to 50% of your flour weight... The less starter you use the longer it will take for your dough to rise. It's just basic math, starter is yeast. Less yeast, longer rise. A fast rise produces a lower quality bread.

The magic of sourdough is learning...

#1... The Bakers Percentage concept

#2... What is autolypse

#3... What is stretch and fold

#4... What is fermentation all about, fast and slow

#5... How do I master shaping my dough

#6... How do I dock/score my loaves

#6... How do I get steam on my dough during the first 15 minutes of the cook

Guess what... I learned all of that on YouTube. It's all there... For free!

Don't waste all of your money on these fancy, dancy books by famous bread bakers... They all have ALMOST the same recipe.

You can view the techniques of all the other functions on YouTube... By the people that wrote those expensive books.

Happy baking my friends...

My bread... http://www.flickr.com/photos/food_pictures/8991726160/

The crumb... http://www.flickr.com/photos/food_pictures/9001969603/


Great post.

post #19 of 22

Thank you Wartface for putting it down so concisely.  It gave me a good chuckle.

 

What the books really can do is give you some courage while you are in the thick of it.  YouTube is a great resource, but for me, Flour+water+computer=danger, at least in my kitchen:look:  

 

What I have found time and again, as I taught college students to cook, is that many folks need courage more than anything else; especially when using yeast or a starter for the first time.

 

In this case the ingredients are cheap, play, make mistakes, experiment and learn what works and what doesn't.  

 

post #20 of 22

Couldn't agree more.  I think it's hard to make a completely inedible bread until ya figure it out.

post #21 of 22

I have made some pretty dense loaves at times while experimenting. Ate them but not what I want for a sandwich!

post #22 of 22

One of my favorite cookbooks had instructions on 'How to cut a brick" in their bread section.  It was how to cut dense bread into very thin slices for sandwiches; I used it myself a few times.

 

The best sourdough hint for me was to test the leaven before using it, if it doesn't float in warm water, it is not ready to use.  Once I started doing that, my bread was more predictable.  

 

Bread baking  really is all about getting a feel for the dough no matter what the leavening agent is.  Only experience will give that knowledge.  Folks can help along the way, but it is no different than any other craft, it takes time, the courage to fail and patience to master.

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