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Sourdough Bread

Posted by ann_t (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 11:37

I've been in a bread making mode. Decided to get back into baking Sourdough bread this week. I started a new "Sourdough starter" using the instructions from Amy's Bread. This is the same one that I used a number of years ago. It is a straight sourdough. Made from organic rye flour and spring water. Nothing else. I use a rye flour from a local bakery that mills and sells its own flour.

Once the starter is strong, and ready to maintain, I turn it into a white sourdough starter.

I started Monday morning and the starter was strong enough to use by Thursday.

The first loaves. Out of the oven Friday night.


made from my new starter.

I mixed up another biga with the sourdough starter on Friday morning and kneaded up the dough on Friday night. (I use a Magic Mill). A 2000 g batch (12 cups plus the biga). 82% hydration. Left it in the fridge overnight and Moe pulled it out mid afternoon on Saturday so that it would be ready by the time I got home from work. Shaped one big round loaf and baked two pizzas from the remainder.


This was my favourite pizza so far.
Topped with spicy Italian sausage and sauteed mushrooms.

I use Ken Forkish's method to bake the pizzas. Rather than the stone on the bottom of the oven, it is placed near the top, about 6 or 8 inches from the broiler. Baked at 550°F (that is has high as my oven will go) for five to six minutes and then finished under the broiler for two minutes.

The crust was perfect. (if I do say so myself) Thin, maybe 1/8th of inch thick with a puffy rim. And lots of little charred bubbles. Just like my favourite pizzeria.


The second pizza - Pizza Margherita. We were too full so this pizza didn't get eaten. And since I do not like leftover pizza, I gave it too a friend.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sourdough Starter - Amy's Bread


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sourdough Bread

Breath taking!! I had just committed to bread baking this week so I thank you for the tips and website.


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My first try!

Ann_T, I've been glued to your blog for the last couple of days and tried the baguettes. Um, not very successful LOL! It's alright, though. We'll toast slices with garlic butter to go with our spaghetti and meatballs tonight.

But, the pizza I just made with it is wonderful! I followed the Forkish directions and couldn't be more pleased.
Thank you!


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Ann_t, your breads always look so good!!!

Despite baking mostly gluten-free now for my friend, I am able to use rye flour because his problem is a wheat allergy (the gliadins). I will definitely try a rye sourdough starter! Thanks!


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RE: Sourdough Bread

AnnT, as always, the bread looks perfect.

When it gets warm enough here to actually make starter, I'll have to try again. Elery loves sourdough, although he'd have to bake the pizza in his grill/pizza oven, my stove doesn't have a usable broiler.

I do have rye flour, but envy you your freshly milled local stuff.

Annie


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Oh, my, the loaves are magnificent! Just the information I needed. I have never made sour dough bread and want to do so, but, here it is: I am intimidated.


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Cathy, Who are you making the bread for?

Alexa, your pizza looks amazing. I wish I had known about this method years ago.

Thanks Party.

Annie, my house is quite cool at night. I turn the furnace right back. In fact, a little cooler is better than the heat in the summer. The temperature is suppose to be between 75 and 77°F but never over 80°F. But my kitchen isn't that warm. I haven't had a problem with getting the starter going.

Thanks Kitchendetective. Don't be intimidated. The instructions are really simple. Easy to follow.

~Ann


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I wish I liked sourdough Ann. Your bread looks amazing, as always. I just find it too sour for my taste.


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Jasdip, I don't like a heavy sourdough flavour either. So I turn the rye starter into a white sourdough starter which isn't quite as strong in flavour. I have two starters now on the go. One white and one I keep feeding with rye.

~Ann


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RE: Sourdough Bread

AnnT, I tried a sourdough starter a couple of years ago. Since my kitchen stays about 50F, 55F tops, the starter just won't "grow", not until we get some sun in those south facing kitchen windows. Then it'll warm right up!

Then I'll try again. I'm blaming it on the cold, because I've tried 3 separate times, but have been unsuccessful each time. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather blame it on the temperature, LOL.

Annie


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Beautiful bread and delectable pizza.

Magical work with flour. You should consider getting a tattoo, "Born To Raise Dough".

dcarch


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LOL Dcarch!!!


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RE: Sourdough Bread

No, I think you are right Annie. Must be the cold. You need it a little warmer than that.

~Ann


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If my kitchen was 50 degrees, I'd be wearing a parka with gloves and Uggs...insulated underwear....ear muffs....sheeesh....I'm be so freakin' cold I'd be miserable.


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AR girl, my family would revolt! Our thermostat is set on 68 for winter and DH is always under a blanket. I'd probably be ok, but I run hot!


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Now that I think about it, there is one good thing about menopause. I was cold my entire life until this year. It is 29 right now, real feel 23, and I did just fine walking the dogs. Annie, I'm coming over to your place. LOL.


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Looks wonderful. I've been working on reclaiming my starter. I think it got too sour or something -- I quit trying pure sourdough bread until a couple of weeks ago and finally got my first decent loaves in years. Should have been over here sooner for inspiration. ;)


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Beautiful bread Ann. Forkish methods have me baking as well.
I made a pizza last week that was divine but did not take a pic. Also some burger rolls that were light but solid in crust.
Mostly making rye/multi grain and just made another being snowed in yesterday. Took it to neighbors. I'm not that interested in actually eating it. I like making it. Sure i taste it, but have way to much for us to consume.

I do like the no-kneed for the minimal time involved but it is only great right out of the oven. And why it works.

Taking methods to a higher level has been an eye opener. Good results, lasts longer, better flavor next day. Dough holds well to bake later, etc.

The Finnish rye ruis have been a good diversion having less wheat and more rice grain. Maybe just a winter need for a sturdy bread for smoked salmon and stinky cheeses.


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I'd probably be happy with 68°F to 70°F but Moe likes it much warmer. When I come home from work, I automatically turn the heat down. And at night I turn it back to about 55°F. And the furnace never kicks on in the night.

I mixed up a sourdough biga and fed my sourdough starter before going to bed last night and they both more than doubled overnight.

This is what they looked like at 6:00AM this morning.

Biga

Sourdough Starter 8 hours after being fed.

~Ann


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Someone mentioned Ken Forkish, and I just received his book, which is beautiful. When he wrote it (published in 2012), his levain had been going since 1999! That is a bit more commitment than I can muster. Going with Amy's method once I track down rye flour (the flavor of which would not bother me at all).


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Kitchendective, check out the flours in your grocery stores. Most of them should have small bags of rye flour.

I made a sourdough rye cocktail bread this week.

Slices look bigger than they are. Small like sliced baguette.

Perfect for serving smoked salmon.


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I'm new to the cooking forum, but have been baking with sourdough for the last 2-3 years and love it. I have not yet mastered pizza dough though and yours looks fabulous! A quick search for "Ken Forkish Pizza" lead me to the site linked below. But it is uses commercial yeast rather than sourdough. Are you just using his baking method or somehow incorporating the whole process with the sourdough? Would you mind sharing your recipe/process? We are pizza lovers and I'd love to be able to make a pizza crust that looks that good!

We just had homemade sourdough pasta last night. It was delicious and fun to roll out the pasta with my little girls (5 and 2), but I certainly learned a few things about my new pasta roller. Maybe I'll share some pictures after our next spaghetti night.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Cooking of Joy: Ken Forkish Same-Day Pizza


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Ann-

You hand-knead? What the difference in using a dough hook vs. hand kneading?


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Emorems0,
Great link! Never saw it before.
Nope, Ann,
No local rye flour to be had, but market an hour away has it and I will be there next week. Yay!


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Looks amazing ..


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I like it very cool, so does Elery. Anything over 80F and I'm miserable, but I'm very comfortable at 55F with a sweatshirt and socks. My feet are the only part of me that ever gets cold, but this winter is pushing the envelope. It's been below zero regularly and even with my thermostat at 55 my furnace is running pretty much constantly.

I'm only thankful I don't use propane, the cost of propane has reached $5 or $6 a gallon here, it would cost $2500.00 just to fill the propane tank at the farm a single time. The Attorney General is now looking into "price gouging" by the propane companies....

But spring is coming and I have all those south facing windows in the kitchen. I'll be starting tomatoes and sourdough at about the same time, I think.

Annie


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Emorems0, basically I am just using Forkish's "folding" method. And his method for baking pizza. Other than that I'm making bread the way I always have. I often add a biga to the bread that I make and now that I have my sour dough starter going strong I make the biga using some of the starter.

Xminion, I have a Magic Mill that I bought specifically to mix bread dough in. I don't use the dough hook. Just the roller system. Kneading is more difficult with really hydrated doughs. So I do very little in the way of hand kneading.


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First time reading this post, but I've been making sourdough pizza for a long time! My starter is 5 years old, and really tasty. It has traveled from Denver, CO to Southern California, so it has varied yeasts in it.

We bake our pizza on the BBQ. It gets that wood fired flavor that you get in a real pizzaria. We even make breakfast pizzas! Get the grill hot! Oil one side of the bread, and fork it. Have toppings ready. Slide the dough, dry side down and grill for a minute (long enough to stiffen the dough). Then top and return to grill with lid down and cook for 5 - 8 minutes. Depends on your grill and heat. When adding eggs, it takes an extra step and some practice, but they end up perfectly poached if done right.

I love that smoked salmon idea with the cream cheese, capers and onions. I have made sourdough bagels. But the baguette idea rocks!

Inspiring thread!
Suzi


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Suzi, how do you get that wood fire flavour on the grill? I've baked pizza on the grill and haven't been able to achieve that wonderful wood fire flavour. Are you baking on a charcoal grill or gas? What is your secret?

A few months ago I made Moe a pizza for breakfast, topped with bacon, fried potatoes and eggs.


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Ann-t, to get that fire smoked flavor, you need smoke.

Charcoal might work fine, but we had a gas grill. I just put soaked (all night) wood chips into a packet of foil, pierced with a knife, fork or ice pick. When the chips get hot, the smoke escapes through the holes and fills the grill with smoke.

We used to use a gas grill, but now we have a Treager Pellet smoker, so no need for the wood chips any more.

Your pizza looks great! Nothing like a breakfast pizza!

I'm making sour dough pancakes this morning. I love my starter!

Suzi


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I wondered if you were turning your grill into a smoker. I have heard good things about the Traeger Wood Pellet Grills.


~Ann


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Just saw them at Costco. They have hickory pellets also., but I like the other flavors better. Hickory is so...welll.........You know! Ordinary!

We love our Treager, but there are many other brands and you can even build your own smoker! Any meat you wish to smoke with any flavor of pellets can be found!

Pizza rocks in that smoker! Treager calls them grills, but you can't get the sear on a steak that you can on a real grill.

Suzi


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I use one of those cast iron trays designed for wood on my gas grill. A foil packet would work the same and would not cost but a few cents.


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In the past when I've cooked pizzas on the grill they were good. But I didn't get the wonderful charred bubbles that I get from my favourite pizzeria in Victoria. Their thin crust pizzas cook in a few minutes and have the charred bubbles on the rim that I am looking for. Following Ken Forkish's method I've finally been able to achieve this.

Suzi, thank you for the information about searing. I know that I would use a grill more for grilling than I would for anything else. So a Traeger is probably not for me. I do miss having a smoker though, so I might have to look into getting another designated smoker.

~Ann


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I started Monday morning and the starter was strong enough to use by Thursday.
Hate to be such a rube, but how do you tell? By aroma? Do you taste it it?


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Kitchendetective, you can tell by how active it is. How quickly it doubles after you feed it. The recipe I use is very specific on what to look for at each stage.

It probably also helps that I bake a lot so there are yeast spores in my kitchen. Taste and smell are important but more so because you want the starter to develop a pleasant sour smell and a tangy taste. It shouldn't have a musty or unpleasant, bitter taste. If it does start to smell funky then you need to start over.

Also, even if we were to use the exact same flour and water, your sourdough would have a different flavour than mine.

~Ann

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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So I've been using Jeff Varasano's method for sourdough pizza dough and a starter from sourdo.com successfully for a month and a half or so.

To those in a cold climate - I made a proofing box with a styrofoam cooler, a light bulb, and a dimmer switch. I can keep a small environment at 85-100* pretty easily that way, confined to a corner of my countertop. That allowed me to get my starter going quickly and to keep it active. I freeze it when I am not using it and after a feeding, it comes back full force within a day, usually 6-8 hours.

So with that said - to bake a loaf like you have in the OP, what all is involved? Is that basically the same recipe, just shaped and cooked differently? I'd be very interested in any links to additional info you might have. I've found that searching for bread recipes is far too broad for what you have there in the OP. Your pizza (and the others in this thread also!) look fantastic.


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Toddrhodes, I have a basic recipe that I have been using for a while. I use this recipe for baguettes, boules, pizza dough etc. I edited it recently to adapt it for sourdough.

If you already have a sourdough starter that you are feeding, than there isn't much involved. The night before you want to bake, use 2 ounces of your starter, 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water to make a Biga. Cover and leave it to rise over night. Then go ahead and make your bread using the biga as your "yeast". If you aren't sure if the biga is strong enough, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of yeast to the mix. Think of it as "insurance".

~Ann

Here is a link that might be useful: Bread Recipe.


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Thank you so much Ann. I also just today picked up Flour Salt Yeast Water (whatever order he puts them in...) by Ken so I can learn more of the why's and how's than just the recipe. The reviews make it seem like quite a valuable text to own so I look forward to that.


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Hi, Ann! I usually lurk but your bread is so beautiful I thought I would try your SD biga recipe. I use an old Oregon trail starter that I've had for years that I want to try your recipe with. My question is relating to the recipe in your link. Is the flour and liquid you use for your biga or levain included in the ingredient list at the beginning of the recipe? I have fairly good luck with the no knead method or the stretch & fold as my hands aren't helping me much any more. I also thought I would try your recipe either in the kitchen aid or my bread machine, Oster, 2 lb.


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Terrapots, I just add the biga to the recipe. I don't reduce the amount (1000 g or 6 cups of flour). But I noticed a big difference in measurements in other recipes when I started to weight flour and water. Ken Forkish lists 1000G's as being equivalent to almost eight cups of flour. But the flour that I use (Canadian flour), six cups is 1000g. No wonder people have trouble with bread baking if they are going by cups instead of weight.

You can definitely mix in your Kitchenaid or your bread machine. My Kitchenaid is one of the older Hobart machines and will easily mix six cups of flour, but not all of them will. If you are just using your bread machine to mix/knead the dough, you can add many more cups than what is required for a two pound loaf.

I do almost all my mixing in a Magic Mill because it will handle double and triple batches of dough.

My starter seems to be quite strong. I've been adding just a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast to dough for insurance. But I think the next batch of dough will be made with just a sourdough biga or Levain.

Ann

Here is a link that might be useful: Bread REcipe


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Thank you Ann. And, thank you for the link. I love making sourdough but it's only lately that I've been able to make loaves that someone will eat. My daughter keeps bringing SF sourdough bread and it's so much better than what I've normally ended up with. I'm getting closer but not close enough that the SF SD will not be chosen first. We'll see.


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DH started a sourdough last weekend using the organic rye method. After 24hrs i said no way will i eat that or anything related. : 0 it was barnyard stinky, but by wednesday, after feeding, it was sweet like maple syrup whole wheat pancakes, then became odd again by thursday.
(life got busy and then the Olympics and Canada's fantastic curling wins, woohoo!), forgot to feed the mama...but seems ok today and have a starter going, but i made my own usual sponge,

1 cup warm water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup medium or dark rye flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

...all in good fun but mine is doing better...we shall see tomorrow. Wondering if he should have added 'insurance' yeast.


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Sleevendog, did your husband make the same starter that I use?

It shouldn't have an unpleasant smell. If it does, then he needs to toss it and start over.

If he is trying to develop a wild yeast sourdough "mother", I wouldn't add yeast.

~Ann


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Ann, i told him to start over. : )
It is a wild yeast 'mother'. He's been baking bread since he was a child. It does have a pleasant smell. But i still call it 'barnyard'. It is active this morning. And did become fruity and sweet smelling as mentioned in this method linked.

Here is a link that might be useful: rye starter


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Sleevendog, that starter is pretty similar to the one that I started with. Amy's Bread does recommend using spring water, because of the chemicals/ fluoride, etc.. in tap water that can create bad bacteria.

~Ann


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It was a total fail, but i made my pullman and a half dozen lovely bialys with my multi grain rye.
He will start over. We do have reverse osmosis but also have some bottled water downstairs.


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Can (or should) the starter be made in an airtight container?


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The starter should be able to 'breathe'. It can usually handle an airtight container for a short while but keeping it airtight for too long will promote undesirable anaerobic microbes.

I cover mine with a plastic shower cap-type bowl cover - it helps to keep the moisture in (I've found that covering it with a cheesecloth made it dry out), but also lets some air in since it doesn't have a tight seal.


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I follow the instructions given in Amy's Bread. I use ziplock or Bernardin Plastic containers with screw top lids.

I've never used cheesecloth because as mentioned above, the starter can dry out, but it also can cause the starter to develop mold.

I fed my two starters this morning.

One white and one rye and made both a biga and a levain. I'm off work for the next four days and will probably bake twice.


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I started the process, finally, but I'm already having doubts. I used bottled spring water and organic rye flour, put inside an oven that ranges between 70 and 80 when off, but with light bulb on intermittently, and I cannot see any sign of anything happening after 20 hours. Not giving up though .


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Be patient Kitchendetective. Amy's Bread instructions say it can take 36 to 48 hours. Take the temperature of your mixture. Make sure it isn't over 80°F. You want it closer to 75°F to 77°F.

If you bake a lot, it is easier to get a sourdough starter going because of the yeast spores already in the air.

If your starter isn't starting to develop after 48 hours, follow Amy's Bread instructions ....

"If the batter has not doubled within 48 hours, feed it with ¼ cup (2 ounces) spring water and ½ cup (2 generous ounces) rye flour (or more of either ingredient if necessary to achieve the consistency of thick pancake batter). Stir it vigorously, cover it, and let it sit for 24 hours, or until you see some definite activity. Proceed with Stage Two."

Ann


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I knew I could come here for moral and technical support!


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Rye starter

Such an inspiring thread! Using Amy's instructions posted by Ann_t, I mixed up a rye sourdough starter. Although I saw bubbles it didn't double in 51 hours. I wasn't home at the 48 hour mark. I followed the directions and added more flour and water. Now I wait... I'm wondering what went wrong. I used spring water. I wasn't able to use organic rye flour, what I did use was Hodgson Mill Old Fashion All Natural 100% Stone Ground Rye Flour. We keep the house on the cool side, 68 during the day and 66 at night. I kept the starter in a closet that's on an inside wall. I'm wondering what went wrong. Was it a fluke? Since the house was cool, should I have waited a while longer before feeding? Was the stone ground flour too heavy? Just curious. I would love your ideas.


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Janice, I would think that the problem is that your house was probably just too cold. The recommendation is 75°F to 77°F. A couple of degrees either way is okay. And once your starter is established, the cooler temperature probably won't matter. But initially you need it warmer than 66 to 68°F.

Ann


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RE: Sourdough Bread

A heating pad is your friend ! If you go and visit The Fresh Loaf you will find a ton of information on sourdough and wonderful formulas posted by folks that have been doing this for years and will offer a lot of tried and true guidance. Get a heating pad and set it to warm...place your starter container on it ..the container should have straight sides and a lid that can be placed very very loosely on top. Stir your starter a couple times a day..it needs air. This is an aerobic process not anaerobic and you must get fresh air into the mix. Vigorous stirring whenever you add water/flour will really help. Wrap the jar with a towel while it is on the heating pad to keep drafts to a minimum. Feed as directed and discard as directed. I will link to the process I used and many others also with great success. Good Luck. If one way doesn't work try another:) c

Here is a link that might be useful: Sourdough 101


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Does the rye starter make all the bread taste like rye?

In the book, 52 Loaves, William Alexander uses apples to make his starter. Has anyone done this?

I saw above that someone freezes their starter when they can't tend to it. I'm glad to read that's an option, as I haven't tried making a starter because I figured my schedule wouldn't allow for it.

How on earth, Ann, or anyone, do you stay so slim and eat bread like this? I'd be eating whole loaves. This is actually a serious, well, sort of serious question. I love making bread, but haven't been doing it much as DH and I want to shed a few pounds. I would love to be able to bake and bake, but not gain weight. Oh, well, wouldn't we all?

Sally


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Sally, all bread does not taste like rye if you only feed your starter with rye. I only use a couple of ounces of starter to make a biga or levain. And I use white flour in both and white flour to make the bread. Unless of course I'm making rye and then I use rye. Also, once your starter is going strong and you are feeding it to maintain, you can start feeding it with white instead of rye.

I've never frozen any of my starters. Even if I'm not using it, I still feed it once a week just to keep it "happy". It only takes a couple of minutes.

Also , you can bake and freeze the bread.

~Ann


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Thanks, Ann.

Sally


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Ann,
Just to let you know that I am receiving "FOLLOW-UPs" of this posting in my e-mail.

Carlos


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Carlos, I saw your other thread. The only way that you would receive follow-ups to any post is if you requested it. Unless there is a glitch with GW.

Just below the message box there is an option for receiving followups by email. Make sure you haven't clicked it by accident.


~Ann


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Just wanted to report that I have now begun Amy's Phase 3, using local market's bread flour this time, after Phases1 and 2, with organic rye. My starter keeps showing 71 degrees on an instant read thermometer, but since I have had bubbles and foam, although a little later than predicted, and there has been no bitter taste, I am going to assume that the temperature is good enough. Does that sound right? Tonight, at 11:30, should I manage to be awake after a day of chores, I will "refresh" again.

Now, I know that this is not earth shaking news, but for someone who has been sourdough-from-scratch-averse it actually is!


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Thank you Ann and Trailrunner for the feed back. Since it had shown some action I just couldn't pitch it. I fed it stirring vigorously, and placed it on a heating pad. It is also wearing a bright red stocking cap! Now I wait...


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Janice...paint a smile on the container :) You should do great...the stirring is really important to incorporate air in the mix. The yeast needs oxygen. Keep us posted and don 't let the heating pad get too warm.

KD...waiting to hear from you too !! I would have it warmer than the 71...heating pad or oven with light on and container set near the light. That is where both of mine are at the moment. I fed both of mine just now with my apple yeast water and spelt flour.

As far as apple yeast water it is SO easy and is wonderful to substitute for part of the water in the bread formula or to build your levain . All you do is take 100grams of organic apple and cut it into 1/2 " pieces with peeling on. Place it in a quart jar with filtered water about 2/3 full. Stir well and leave it in a warm place ,80 degrees, with lid loose ( stir every few hours during the day for the first couple days--needs LOTS of air-- and keep warm ). Keep lid loose. It will smell like apple cider by day three and foam nicely when stirred. By day four you can use it to rise bread ! Amazing. You can use it alone...meaning just take = amounts of AYW ( apple yeast water) and flour and let it rise up...should double/triple easily overnight in a warm place. If it doesn't then let the AYW ferment one more day. Try the flour /AWY again. When it doubles and smells wonderful you use that as your starter/levain for the recipe. I use my scale to measure out the amount...so 100g AYW and 100 g flour ( you can use any flour you want...I have used whole wheat, rye, spelt..whatever I have) Proceed with the recipe as you usually would. The other thing you can do is just substitute some of your AWY for some of the liquid in the recipe...you aren't making a levain with it you are just using it as an additive. It keeps the bread very moist ( no apple taste) and helps the rise.

Let me know if you want a specific recipe to try. Store your AYW covered in a glass jar in the fridge. Oh and every week drain out the old apple and toss it away and add 100g new apple and add back however much water to get it back to 2/3 full and let it set out about 4 hrs in a warm place till bubbly again . Then store back in fridge. Once a week repeat.never use all of your original AWY and just add new apple and replace used water...it just gets better and richer as the months go by. Truly amazing. You can also use dried apricots or raisins or dates to "feed " just to change it up. I can share a ton of info on it if anyone is interested. c


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Kitchendetective, congratulations. Won't be long before you are baking your first loaf of sourdough.

Do you have a light on your hood over your stove? If so, set your starter, beside the stove with the light on. This should provide just enough heat to raise the temperature above the 71°F.

Looking forward to your next update.

Janice , make sure you check the temperature of your starter. You don't want it to get too hot from the heating pad. Don't let it get over 77°F. You might also find that the light on your range hood might help with the temperature.

~Ann


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RE: Sourdough Bread

Ann and Trail,
You are so kind to offer support, which I desperately need!

"KD...waiting to hear from you too !! I would have it warmer than the 71...heating pad or oven with light on and container set near the light."

The oven temp (in the one oven that has a light) reaches 83 degrees with the oven turned off, but the interior light on. With the light off, the temp is 71 and the internal temp of the starter never gets over 71 and never reaches the robust status of doubling every 8-12 hours, which is what I am seeking. I kept refreshing it for 6 days and don't think I should go further with it, but I still have it.

Last night, I placed a new starter on the high shelf over my big oven. The ambient temp this morning, over the shelf, was 77. The internal temp of the starter was 81.3 and very few bubbles were present. I am assuming that I need to discard this starter, right? (The undesirable grows if the temperature is above 78?)

It doesn't help that our outside temperatures have been swinging between 82 and 32--I kid you not. Several days in the high 70s resulted in the most beautiful blooms all over my plum trees. The next night, the hard freeze encased the blossoms in crystal clear ice, like they were suspended in glass. Spectacular appearing, but every blossom withered and died with the thaw. Then yesterday was 82 degrees, but last night was in the low 40s, with 40 mile an hour wind gusts, which will persist all day today. So, today I purchase a heating pad. I am now on a mission to produce sourdough bread, despite the weather.

Trail--I would love a recipe with apple water!

edited to add what disappeared:

It doesn't help that I spent yesterday out of town and couldn't stir and monitor the entire day. Started physical therapy and it's something that I should have started years ago. I have high hopes. Today I have good pain instead of bad pain. I am wondering whether I should use the heating pad for my body or for my bread. Frankly, I think the bread will win. I guess I'll start new starter today.

This post was edited by kitchendetective on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 10:54


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RE: Sourdough Bread

hm....to tell the truth I have never checked the temp of my starter or my oven with/without the light or my bread dough or the starter as I was getting it going ! My house is 68 all winter and then in the Summer we keep the thermostat on 78. Whatever time of year it is all seems to do just fine. I have never made an exception for my bread dough other than to place it in the oven with the door propped open with an oven mitt. That is how it is today with the dough I am currently making. It has to rest at "room " temp for 3 hrs...with stretch and folds every 30 min for the first 2 hrs and then leave it alone for one hour. Then shape and let rise one hour at room temp then retard overnight and bake direct from fridge in 500 degree pre-heated pots tomorrow. I just checked my oven temp with the light on and it is 73. That is where I do my apple yeast water and my starter after I feed it and that is where my first and only , current , stater got going.

One of the things they caution is not to over feed your starter...as in until it doubles don't feed again. I followed the method I linked 4 yrs ago and didn't have a problem. I know others on the Fresh Loaf have had to try about 3-4 times to get one going. I used rye flour from my local health food store and bottled water ( that is important when getting it started) and King Arthur white AP flour. It could be that is the problem with your first starter is over feeding. As to the second starter I wouldn't worry at all about "bad" stuff growing at this point. The tiny bubbles and concept of "bad" are not a problem at this point. Simply carry on and move it to a slightly cooler place and feed/discard and definitely stir well and give it air via a loose cover. It should be fine. As to the other one after 6 days if it has bubbles and has a fine odor I sure wouldn't discard it either. I would take out half and feed it and leave it where it is about 75 for 24 hrs and see what is what.

As to apple yeast water just chop up 100g of apple and put it in the quart jar with 2/3 full filtered water...it does love the 80's so use your oven with light. Stir very well every couple hours all during the day for 3 days - 4 days. It is ready to rise bread. The apples will always float and the water will be VERY fizzy ! You can hear it ! It does need a lot of attn and warmth the first 3-4 days and then it is completely care free and can be in the fridge for weeks at a time and not used.

Once you get your other starter going....and I do urge you to go to TFL and read some of the discussions on getting a starter going...I will tell you how to store it when not in use for lengths of time...when I am gone on a bicycle tour I leave mine unattended in the fridge for months. Keep us posted. c

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/search/node/debra wink starting a sour dough starter

read the first two articles by Debra Wink...linked above and then the link below...you will know more than I do when done :) Debra's way always works !! c

Here is a link that might be useful: TFL...link to a lot of discussions


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RE: Sourdough Bread

I fed both of my starters at 1:00 PM today. The last time they were fed was last Monday, so 9 days ago. This is what they look like after three hours.

Almost doubled. The one on the left is fed with both white and rye, and the one on the right with just white.

Rather than toss the leftover starter, I made a biga and it will be ready to use a few hours from now. I'll knead up a batch of dough before bed and put it in the fridge overnight.

~Ann


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