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Adventures in sourdough
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is huge in Japan
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Are you feeding it twice a day? If you're keeping it at room temperature the thing needs to be fed twice a day, taking out half of the starter and giving the remaining part its weight in food. (ie keep 100g out of 200g of starter and feed it 50 g of flour and 50 g of water.)


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Posts: 6962 | Location: Flo-Rida | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Weirdy American Tart Thing
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I had it in the fridge. Took it out last night and fed it (kept some back for the fridge) fed it some more, it bubbled and doubled by morning and so I mixed up some dough with 90F water, some barley syrup instead of sugar, white bread flour, an egg and some olive oil. And some kosher salt. Kneaded it in the KitchenAid on speed 2, like I'm supposed to, for 4-ish minutes. Put it in a glass jar, covered with plastic film, in the microwave with the door ajar, it was 76F in there. It lurked for two hours and rose maybe a 1/16 of an inch.

Am I just not letting it rise long enough? Yeah, I'm a house hermit, but I can't wait around forever for dough to rise.

I cheated and added instant yeast and it rose perfectly. So, if that's what I have to do to get at least some of the benefits of sourdough, well then, I guess I'll cheat.



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
is huge in Japan
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The thing is, getting a sourdough started is not easy. Also, the sourdough has to be raised and trained like a damned pet. They do get better and more consistent with age. When I first started my pet starter, it was weeks before I could use it to produce a halfway decent loaf of bread.

Honestly, with sourdough I generally don't recommend people start with trying to make their own if you're not used to raising one. It makes more sense to start with an established starter, and then down the road think about starting your own.

You can get a really good sourdough starter from King Arthur.


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Posts: 6962 | Location: Flo-Rida | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Weirdy American Tart Thing
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You're not the first person the recommend the King Arthur starter. And I may just try that, it's just when I go to the KA site I find myself adding *way* too many interesting things to the shopping cart! Smile

I have read several books and sites on how to convert a regular yeasted recipe to a sourdough and sit there thinking 'um.....' so I checked the freshloaf forum and found a pizza dough recipe that seemed really close to the measurements I typically use and modified it. Starter started itself just fine, but again it wouldn't rise as a dough, so I just kneaded in some instant yeast and it took off after that.

Dough was lovely and stretchy, not too sticky, stretched nice and thin with good bulge-y edges. Once baked the crust was nicely crisp and didn't bend or flop when moving the slices to the plate, despite the thinness!

It didn't really have a sour taste, which is good, 'cos I don't want that, but it did have a nice wheat-y-ness to it.

So, all in all I'm not unhappy with my starter, even though I have to 'cheat' to get results. Even the King Arthur recipes say to use instant yeast, just to get reliable results.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Maeve,



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So... you don't like the sour flavour of sourdough, and you're okay with adding instant yeast to every loaf... Why on earth are you going through the trouble of a sourdough? Big Grin

If you're concerned about the glycemic index of the loaf, then the grains you're using matter far far more than how you're getting the loaf to rise.

I know that the lactic acid in sourdoughs reduces the blood sugar spike, but it's the lactic acid that gives the dough it's sour flavour, so if your bread doesn't have that flavour... you're probably not getting the benefit.


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Posts: 6962 | Location: Flo-Rida | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't really like an intense sourness, not all the time anyway. I do like the flavour changes that this starter adds to the bread.

And I already figured out that I'm failing at sourdough, I just have to accept that and move on.



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm still playing with the gloop. I do realise that I'm not getting the lower glycemic benefits, but I like how it makes the pizza dough taste! And it has a different texture, one that we quite like.

I did just manage to bake a loaf without instant yeast! It's a variation of my favourite ciabatta recipe and the only thing I forgot to put in it was mashed potato.

I add Durum wheat to mine, but Bob's Red Mill Semolina is almost as good and much easier to find. Great addition to pizza dough too.

Once I get them off the tablet, there'll be some pictures, but it got great oven spring.

Next experiment will be to just add starter to the regular ciabatta recipe and just use the instant yeast to make it rise on my schedule.

Tried the starter in waffles and it came out meh. But perhaps I just haven't yet found a really good recipe.



This message has been edited. Last edited by: Maeve,



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maeve those look lovely! Do you just bake your dough on a stone or do you have a flat pan?

I made a new year's resolution to master the art of sourdough, so hopefully I have something to contribute here soon.


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Posts: 4109 | Location: Tacoma! (Because really, who wants to live in Seattle?) | Registered: October 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The loafs are on parchment/baking paper and that goes right on the stone.



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Weirdy American Tart Thing
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More experiments with sourdough.

I think I prefer treating as something more like a poolish - which is sometimes called a sponge starter. Generally it's mixed the night before and left out to ferment a bit, then added to the dough and it looks kinda like pancake batter. A biga is mostly the same thing, only it's much stiffer and looks more like a blob of dough.

So I fed my starter the night before. About 10pm or so I add flour and water, cover it and leave it on the counter. In the morning I mixed up my basic ciabatta ingredients, decreased the water to 350 grams and added 111 grams of fed starter. Why that amount? Completely arbitrary. I figured 100 grams would be pretty good, since I use 88 in the pizza dough and this recipe has a bit more flour. 111 was what got plonked into the weighing bowl, so I just went with that.

It turned out really good! We don't like a thick, crunchy crust and this is just a thin, crisp crust and then the crumb is a bit chewy, very squishy and tender. OK, I didn't get big holes, but I can live with that. Besides, we like this bread for sandwiches, so a tighter crumb is fine.

No pics, I cut up on loaf for the yarn shop and left one for the boys, they had meatball subs. And the whole loaf was gone when I got home.

The addition of the starter made the dough easier to handle. It was easier to grab it and fold it in on itself, then flip it over and stretch it a bit to mostly rectangular shape. It didn't spread as much as previous ciabatta doughs have done and it got great oven spring.

So while I am chuffed that I know I can mix flour+water+time and in a few weeks have a substance that will leaven bread, I really prefer to use it as something more like a poolish.

Next up, I shall add it to my regular sandwich loaf.



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not sourdough: I just tried to make kitchenaid mixer bread (where the machine does all the kneading) and I think I added too much yeast and too much whole wheat flour.

It was not very good.


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Posts: 8092 | Location: On the 34th Floor | Registered: November 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Joccy, what aspect didn't turn out good?

One thing to be careful of when using the Kitchenaid to knead bread is that it is easy to over-knead the bread since it is far more efficient than hand kneading.


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Posts: 6962 | Location: Flo-Rida | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was fine in terms of the kneeding, actually. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the flour, and when the recipe called for only white. And I thought I'd killed a bunch of the yeast packet by using too-hot water to bloom it, and added part of a second packet. As it turns out, the yeast was fine, the bread over-proofed, I had to knock it down a little just to get it in the oven and then it almost overflowed the loaf pan anyway. And the taste was super bland but overly yeasty, because the seasonings were meant for a regular loaf and not a whole wheat one.

It was generally just bad.

I'm wracking my brain to try to think of ways to use it - I'd made bread soup, but I don't want to throw good ingredients after bad. Maybe I'll just throw it out.

(Not upset about this, by the by. I was just experimenting, and wanted an excuse to keep the oven on when it was cold out.)


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Posts: 8092 | Location: On the 34th Floor | Registered: November 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I never had much luck with active dry yeast and prefer using instant yeast.

Make croutons out of it?



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I suggest feeding local wildlife with it Wink

On a bragging note, I've finally perfected pizza dough! This success was YEARS ... more than a DECADE in the making. we've finally been enjoying deliciousness at least twice a week for the last month or so.

Any of you have success with bagels? I think that's my next project.


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Posts: 6962 | Location: Flo-Rida | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've successfully done bagels, but now I'm trying to remember what author/version I used. I know it wasn't Peter Reinhart, I think it was Dan Leader's version. I do remember using barley syrup in the boiling water and then dunking them in ice water before baking. This really worked best for me. My main problem is I *love* bagels and it's just too carb-heavy for me to eat them anymore.

You want a really low hydration dough for bagels. I've never tried it with sourdough.

Yup, pizza dough took me about a decade to where I thought I'd perfected it and I've still kept playing with it since then. Smile

So far we all really like using the starter as a poolish for the pizza dough.

ETA: It may have been Hammelmann?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Maeve,



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Spawn has has almost constant stomach aches for a long long time.

After we get moved he's going to try an elimination diet (and to get his stress levels under control).

I suspect we're going to be going mostly dairy and/or gluten free.

Oh well, it's good practice for catering specialty foods.


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Posts: 24396 | Location: With my weird little family | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jocelyn:
It was fine in terms of the kneeding, actually. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the flour, and when the recipe called for only white. And I thought I'd killed a bunch of the yeast packet by using too-hot water to bloom it, and added part of a second packet. As it turns out, the yeast was fine, the bread over-proofed, I had to knock it down a little just to get it in the oven and then it almost overflowed the loaf pan anyway. And the taste was super bland but overly yeasty, because the seasonings were meant for a regular loaf and not a whole wheat one.

It was generally just bad.

I'm wracking my brain to try to think of ways to use it - I'd made bread soup, but I don't want to throw good ingredients after bad. Maybe I'll just throw it out.

(Not upset about this, by the by. I was just experimenting, and wanted an excuse to keep the oven on when it was cold out.)

Too late for this loaf, but if you get bland loaves again: bread pudding! You can make such good bread pudding from really unpromising ingredients. One of my favourites was made from value frozen pizza bases that made terrible pizza, but as bland, almost-biscuity carbs in convenient slices made excellent bread pudding.


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I have starter that I probably need to get again - I think I did get it from King Arthur, but so long ago that I need a new batch.

I have the materials to start on a styrofoam rising box, but as I don't have a location to put it anywhere, I haven't finished it yet.

(If I could make some headway on my arduino/electric imp projects, I could have it send me status updates via SMS, but I haven't, so there's (not) that...)


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Posts: 6861 | Location: darned eff I know | Registered: June 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have managed to kill my starter. I last fed it before Christmas, because I wanted to share it with my almostbrother. I fed it lots, took his share out, fed mine a bit and chucked it back in the fridge.

Where it's been since yesterday, when I went to get a blob for my naan. It didn't smell like fruity alcohol, it smelled like acetone. bluh.

I did try feeding it and I check it last night and there should have been bubbles. There were no bubbles.

So. I get to start this all over again because while I don't use it instead of yeast, I do like the taste and texture it gives me when I cheat and use it with regular yeast. So I'm off to buy some pineapple juice.



Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.


The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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