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sourdough recipes & wild starters! - Page 5

post #81 of 516
OK I think I have sponge now! I fed and watered it, and it has a very faint alcohol smell although it's barely detectable. I'm going to try bread tomorrow, and if it turns out good I'll share it with my in laws when we see them for the weekend. If not, oh well! Wish me luck!
post #82 of 516
Well, my bread is, ummm, interesting! To say the least! It is very dense, and I should not have split it into 2 loaves because they are both very small. But, it is not hard as a rock, it is nice and tender inside... and has a very odd flavor, not at all like some sourdoughs I've had (this is not super sour like others I've tasted) but it is nice, I used part WW flour and part unbleached AP flour. And salt and olive oil. That's it! Hmm.... not sure how to change this for the next time!
post #83 of 516
I baked my sourdough last night. I have bricks. I threw them out they were so heavy! I am undaunted! I fed my starter again, and it went like gangbusters. I made another sponge this morning with it, and left it all day (about 12 hrs.) My sponge doubled in that time, so I decided to make it into bread. It is rising at the moment. We shall see how it looks tomorrow. The challenge is too much to resist! Must. make. sourdough!
post #84 of 516
I read somewhere oil slows down the rising process. I'm not sure if that is in all bread, yeasted bread or just sourdough. I never put oil in my sourdough, just flour, water & salt.

Gardenmommy, I have found that mine usually takes at least 3 loaves before it comes right.
post #85 of 516
I tried again. It rose like crazy overnight in my bowl (almost over the top). I couldn't remember if it needed a second rise or not, so I googled it. Everything I read said to give it another rise. So that's what it's doing right now. It looks like bricks, but I thought I'd give it awhile, and not get too impatient. I figure that at some point I'll figure it out!
post #86 of 516
I've only ever done a single rising. Also wanted to say you should taste your 'bricks' before you chuck them. The crust is thick and the loaves themselves are heavy but the bread itself is delicious and far lighter than one would expect based on the outer appearance.
post #87 of 516
Has anyone else sort of skipped the sponge making step? I made sourdough bread by mixing the starter, flour ,salt and water and left it to rise overnight. Then in the morning I cooked it. I've also done the sponge method but I seem to get similar results either way.
post #88 of 516
Originally Posted by bigknitwit
Has anyone else sort of skipped the sponge making step? I made sourdough bread by mixing the starter, flour ,salt and water and left it to rise overnight. Then in the morning I cooked it. I've also done the sponge method but I seem to get similar results either way.
So, do you not replenish your starter? I've always found that, when making any kind of bread, I get the best texture when I use the sponge method.
post #89 of 516
If you only do a single rising, then why do so many different websites (and I checked quite a few) tell you to do a second rising? And if you only do a single rising, then do you shape the dough and bake it right away? That's what I did the first time, and the dough never got any larger than when I put it in the pan.

I followed Oceanmomma's method of preheating the oven to 200C and then reducing the heat to 180C (which according to conversion charts works out to about 400F and +/- 350F). I left them for about 45 min. They were very hard on the outside, doughy on the inside. They clearly needed a longer baking time.

So this time, I thought I'd try something different, which was a second rise, then starting them out in a cold oven (also recommended by several "sourdough experts").

I'm still waiting on them to finish rising. I'll probably bake them first thing in the morning.
post #90 of 516
hmm, I only do one rising & I gently shape the dough so as not to squash it & bake right away. I put slash marks in the loaves sometimes & they open out & the loaf gets bigger while it is cooking. I used to not preheat the oven but I never got the nice crust like that. The whole point of having a very hot oven to start out is apparently to seal the crust. Mine always cooks nicely inside & is crusty outside but not too hard. I am yet to get a brick. I think it helped big time having a master baker bake with the culture I captured for a few months & then give it back to me!

I have also found with sourdough that the longer you leave it the sourer it gets. So two risings makes quite a strong flavoured bread & doesn't necessarily mean it rises anymore in the long run.

About skipping the sponge stage. I know someone who went to europe last year & travelled around. She stayed with an organic baker in Italy for a week & helped her bake bread. She said that the baker kept her sourdough as balls of dough in the fridge. I need to find out more details but I have a vivid memory of being given a ball of dough by the bakers at the whole earth bakery when I was in London years ago when I asked for some of their sourdough. I need to make some more bread this week as we are totally out so maybe I will experiment & save some dough as well as some sponge.
post #91 of 516
nak. thanks, OM, I will try again. I made bricks again; better bricks, but, well, still bricks.
post #92 of 516
Thread Starter 
I've only been doing one rising in the pans also- after reading your recommendations. I didn't find my dough was rising in the second rise, so I just put 'em in the pans and let them rise once and baked 'em.

And I notice that the stickier that the dough is, the better the bread is. More soft and rises up a bit more.

BUT yes. Definitely sour, and dense. I like it. It feels eminently more digestible than starchy yeasted bread.

For those of y'all who are struggling with bricks... maybe you could just try making your sourdough with white flour, just to see the result. The first time I tried sourdough, I used white flour with spelt, and it rose up so high and was light and fluffy. The starter was still ww, tho. It was nice to have that gratification, yknow.
post #93 of 516
When I've done the sponge method, I've left the sponge overnight to double or whatever, then in the morning, I added more flour and salt, etc, and put it in the baking pans to rise. However, I've had to leave it rise pretty much the whole day, otherwise I would have been baking bricks as well. I've never had a loaf that rose in the 45 minutes that I've read about.

When I do the no-sponge method, I just take a cup of the starter (I have several cups worth on my kitchen counter so there's always more to feed and replenish), add the rest of the flour/water to make a good bread dough, then put it in the baking pan and leave overnight to rise. In the morning it's doubled (or more) in volume, and I bake it. Since it has less *sit* time (about 10 hours, versus 20 hours for the sponge method - thanks to the second rise taking so long), it's less sour. I prefer this method, and I think it accomplishes the same thing...?
post #94 of 516
This is a great thread! I've read it twice now! I tried a year or so ago to make a starter and I got black liquid on the top which then molded.. I'd like to try again, I think Ill try it outside for the day time when I can keep the cats out, and then bring it in at night
post #95 of 516
nym I got dh to drill some holes in the jar lid for me when I captured the rye culture. That way only the smallest flying insects can get in but the big animals can't.

I'm leaving this weeks loaf of bread to rise now & I'll save a piece of dough to make the next lot with.
post #96 of 516
I'm going to try baking my sourdough again today. Maybe I'll get something edible this time! I'm going to try only letting it rise one time, then bake. I figure it can't be any worse than my last two attempts!
post #97 of 516
I was skimming over this thread as I prepare to revive my breadmaking. We were grain free for a couple months, and so the sourdough slept in it's pot in the fridge. It's taken several days for it to get back to a smell/bubbly consistency that I'm happy with.

I ordered this little book awhile back, and it is excellent (VERY simple and VERY cheap): http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...922525-3231223

I found that by starting really simple like the author suggests, with just starter, salt, and flour, I got the best bread. I have since incorporated things like buttermilk, kefir, whey, etc., because I always have those things on hand and like to use them up, and have had great success.

I only do 1 rising too, and it usually takes at least 6 hours. After I knead my bread, I shape it into a round loaf and put it in my medium cast iron skillet. Once it has risen fully, I slash the top and bake it at 325 for about an hour. I have tried setting a pan of water in the oven because it's supposed to improve the crust, and also throwing a cup of water into the oven to make steam when I put the bread in, but I didn't find it made much difference.

Oh, for bread that is like rocks, instead of throwing out, slice thin and toast for crackers. It is great with pate!

Anyways, I'm off to mix up my bread.
post #98 of 516
Hey, thanks Hibou. I may just order that! My bread is rising at the moment. It looked really good when I was kneading it. Nice and springy, a tad sticky, but not too much. I will just have to see. It is rising, I think, just not very quickly (which is part of the point, I know).

I feel like I need a sourdough for dummies. It must be user trouble, I mean, how hard can something be that people have been doing for centuries, kwim? Oh well, I will just keep trying!
post #99 of 516
Gardenmommy, it may just be your culture. If the flavour of your bricks is good, I'd persist with cooking them for now. Do different stuff like use a lighter flour for a while & maybe put it somewhere warm to encourage it to rise. Or even just feed the culture up for a few days without baking with it. If the flavour is not good, I'd abandon it & capture another culture. I'd post you some of my culture but I am not so sure customs would approve. I posted some of a different culture I had last summer to a lady about an hour's drive away & it exploded in the package. She scraped it off the inside, revived it & made bread with it

Yum Hibou! I'm making pate today when I get home. Sourdough crackers would be very nice with it!
post #100 of 516
Hello all. New to the thread. Just started trying to make bread with my starter today. Lucky for you all, I didn't find this thread during my starter-making phase- I had a zillion questions : but with some patience and google decided that I really wasn't making toxic sludge on my kitchen counter. Or living smelly sneakers. Or really strong parmesan cheese. I should have known I could find all the info I need at MDC

It remains to be seen if my bread will turn out. Just finished making my sponge into dough, sat down to NAK and read all the posts in this thread. Will shape loaves then bake tomorrow... Also want to try using starter in muffins, pancake batter, etc!

Looking forward to many sourdough baking adventures.
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