Do you put sugar in your sourdough?

Tracey_OHNovember 19, 2012

So I have been working on a wild yeast starter for over two weeks and I've been looking at recipes. I'm wanting to make just a loaf of white bread for sandwiches. I've got my first loaf using all starter and no commercial yeast rising now. My regular white bread recipe calls for sugar so I added 2 T in this loaf. Just wondering what other people prefer. Oh, and any of your favorite sourdough recipes would be appreciated! Thanks!


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Hey Tracey ! Glad you are now officially wild ! I have been baking bread since the mid 70's. I converted to wild yeast 4 yrs ago and have never looked back. I get almost all of my formulas from the "wild yeast blog ". Susan's ideas are wonderful..use her personal recipe link. She also has a weekly posting of other people's formulas. I usually don't use the ones that others post as they are not as successful as hers. I have found that 100 % of her breads turn out exactly as she shows. I do put sugar but very sparingly and rarely as most of the formulas do not call for it.

Give her blog a look and let me know if you have any questions. I hope that you will post pics of your breads. Also on The Fresh Loaf there are many many examples of breads with wild yeast. Most reliable posters are David Snyder and Hanseata and can use the search option on the The Fresh Loaf forum to get to their individual blogs within the forum. That ought to give you YEARS of baking ! c

Here is a link that might be useful: Wild Yeast Blog

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I like Dan Lepard's book and website. He's good for troubleshooting in his forum, too. Michael Ruhlman's "ratio" works well also. He says 3:2:1 flour, water, and starter by weight. Of course to that I add a good big pinch of salt and often a 1/4 c of Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Cereal. Then I adjust the water to give a slightly tacky result. I usually use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose flour and a bit of Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid). Normally I don't use sugar.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Like Jxbrown, I never add sugar. Unless I'm making a sweet style loaf of bread, I never add sugar to any of my breads.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:06PM
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sugar or honey in my starter, but, in my bread, no.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Thanks for the help! I'm glad to get the website recs. There are so many out there and I didn't know which ones were good. I will definitely be trying recipes from the wild yeast blog Trailrunner! I got my starter going using the Fresh Loaf but I find the site a pain to navigate, especially when looking for just recipes. .

Here's the's huge! I had to leave the house to pick up a kid so my 15 year old had to take it out. I don't think it's done but I haven't cut it open to see. I should have had him check the temp but I thought it would be done after 40 mins. We shall see...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:48PM
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tracey...the names I gave you on the Fresh Loaf will take you to the specific person's blog. They have posts then that have their formulas. As a rule David always posts a very good formula or the link to it in a previous post. So for ex: on the site you will search David Snyder's will bring up his most recent post and then you can scroll through his posts w/o having to read all the comments unless you want to . So it is pretty easy and less time consuming.

The other way is to search for a specific;...say sourdough raisin bread etc and it will bring up the specific posts that others have done. Let me know it you need help with it. I have used it for 4 yrs so pretty much know who to look for and what they do.

As to sugar you meant in your recipe not in the starter itself as you never add anything else but water and flour to a wild yeast starter. You will rarely see sugar added unless it is a sweet bread using sourdough. As far as other kinds of breads I always use some sweetening...they don't taste right without it and also the commercial yeast depends on it to help it grow just like it needs salt to slow it down...funny chemistry !! Good Luck and I hope the bread is done. You will have to teach son to always check the temp :) c

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:15PM
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For those cold winter mornings that are just around the are two links :

I haven't tried this one but it looks and sounds wonderful !

and this is the one I can just substitute some of your starter ...don't need to make more:

Balthazar Bakery Chocolate Bread...there is a slide show of me making it at the link below too :

1. Use Turbinado sugar for the top...lots not regular
2. Use the bittersweet not unsweet chocolate
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( you can use bread flour)
5 cups bread flour ( 1 c or so extra for kneading)
1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar, plus
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in 2 c warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature,plus more for pans
6 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
vegetable oil, for lightly oiling bowl
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream
4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1)Chocolate Bread Starter: Dissolve yeast in water for 10 minutes; stir in flour until completely mixed; cover loosely and leave to proof at room temperature 6 hours.
2) Chocolate Yeast Bread: KA with dough hook for 5 min. on low or till completely smooth- mix 5c flour, cocoa, 2/3 cup sugar, yeast water and 1/2 cup Chocolate Bread Starter (freeze the remainder for later use); scrape sides often let rest in bowl 15 minutes.
3)Turn on KA to med. and add soft butter and salt, cont for 10 min till it is smooth and shiny. After the 10 min add in about 1/2c-3/4 c flour now , just enough so dough cleans bowl and cont a couple minutes. Should be very soft but kneadable. Place on counter with a light dusting of flour and knead in chopped chocolate thoroughly.
4)Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours; leaving dough in bowl, fold dough into thirds as if folding a letter for an envelope, recover with plastic wrap; let rest 30 minutes.
5)Butter three 8"x4"x2" loaf pans and coat with remaining 4 T granulated sugar; divide dough in thirds ( will have 4# of dough approx) and then divide each third into 4 even pieces; roll and form each piece of dough into a tight ball; place four pieces, smooth side up, side-by-side in each loaf pan; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.
6)Preheat oven to 375�;right before placing in oven combine egg yolk and cream and brush on loaves; sprinkle with lots of turbinado sugar; place in oven, reduce temperature to 350� and bake for 40-45 minutes or until loaves have a slightly hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
7)Let rest in loaf pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Of course there is this sourdough recipe....

Here is a link that might be useful: 1 minute microwave chocolate cake

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:09PM
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I love the chocolate bread idea! I have made Ann T's decadent chocolate yeast bread a long time ago but I will have to try it with the sourdough. I tried to go to your photobucket link but it just took me to my photobucket acct.

JXBrown, I will definitely be making the cake...I had to restrain myself from trying it tonight! Thanks!

Oh, and my bread was great! Fully cooked and a nice sourdough tang. I have to say, I was ridiculously excited about making bread without commercial yeast:)


    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:24PM
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tracey..I am sorry..I "broke" the link when I took a pic of the chocolate bread out to use for our church auction ! I forgot...will have to make a new slide show will let you know. We go the Balthazar bakery in Greenwich village in NYC..this bread sells for over $10 a is the most yum !!

I have that chocolate cake recipe and always forget to try it. I may have to make it this weekend. c

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:21AM
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Congratulations on the bread !! I always use scales the first time a do a new formula so that the loaves weigh about 1 1/2 #...they then bake in my iron pots in 30 -35 min to an internal temp of 210. We like a bold bake and the iron pots give a nice crust...we are all about crust LOL !

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:25AM
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