Playing with Sourdough

I've written about sourdough bread before and came to the conclusion that it just didn't fit in with my lifestyle, in that by the time I had made a loaf it was bed-time! I want the bread for sandwiches etc at lunch!

However, the fascination of making bread with just flour, water and salt, no yeast, is so intriguing I just couldn't resist revisiting it. My idea being to be able to make a loaf that could be refrigerated overnight in it's uncooked state and baked fresh from the fridge the next morning. I want a process that's easy and that won't become a chore.

I'm halfway there in that I've got a good starter going. I did this by mixing 50 gm of bread flour and 50gm of water in a preserving jar (holding the lid down loosely with an elastic band rather than the catch). After a day I added a further 50 gm flour and 50 gm water and on subsequent days threw half of it away and topped it up with the same amounts of flour and water. This is a 100% hydration starter: that is the water weighs 100% of the weight of the flour. This method of calculating recipes is known as baker's percentages. They differ from normal percentages in that all other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of the flour rather than the total amount of dough.

I won't post my recipe and method yet as I'm still working on it. I'm not at a stage yet where I'm confident that the dough won't collapse in the fridge overnight and also need to adjust the method to improve the crust - it's too crusty at present. However, in the absence of anything else here's a picture of one of the test loaves; this long fermentation system produces a bread that is infinitely more tasty than breads made by normal methods so I'm happy to persevere in my endeavours.

Trial sourdough

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There are four comments

tamara

I liked the part in you post where you say “I’m half way there”! I am too, every weekend I try a different method and I have the taste down completely but I am struggling with the shape and crust, it’s either too wet so falls apart (the only solution is a loaf tin, but I prefer a round cob) or too crusty. They say once you have “it” it’s a cinch, but it’s getting “it”! Keep going I’d be interested to see how you get on, my production leaven is looking good this evening so hope to move on to making the loaf tomorrow, the recipe I am using requires another 24 hrs once the loaf is made before cooking.

tamara, (Email ) (URL) - 03-06-’10 22:10
Phil

My problem is not so much with the dough/texture/crust etc. It’s in creating a recipe whose time-scale fits in with my life rather than it’s!
I rise very late in the morning and also don’t want to cook after 8pm at night, so it’s a challenge.
Another criteria is that I want to be able to make a loaf that’s bread – not all holes ( I know that’s not what most people want, but my sandwich filling keeps disappearing through the holes! ).
I’m currently doing a low 67% hydration loaf which I hope will achieve this. If I can make it one afternoon, shape the loaf and then retard it in the fridge overnight to bake the next day, I will be a happy bunny.

Great website bye the way – keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

Phil

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 05-06-’10 15:41
danmcg

Wow that’s some fine looking bread. Nice work wheels, I got to get a starter going!

danmcg, - 26-06-’10 22:27
Phil

Thanks Dan

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 28-06-’10 14:02

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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