I love sourdough!

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Green Aura
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I love sourdough!

Post: #280811 Green Aura
Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:46 am

Long story short.
1) Daughter and I open bakery - small but perfectly formed - using my own sourdough starter.
2) OH has health issues and mother is getting more dotty so I've pulled out of the bakery (the gal is doing very well by herself)
3) Said bakery is not open on fridays
4) We ran out of bread last night :shock:

My tiny little bit of sourdough - about 80g, which has languished in the fridge for weeks (OK months) without any attention was given a feed last night.

This morning it's bubbling! :cheers: Not the most active I've seen it but with another few feeds it'll be as good as before. Of course, by then, the bakery will be open but I'll keep it active for future emergencies.

(In the meantime I've cheated and made a loaf of kefir bread).
Maggie

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280818 ina
Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:17 am

As I don't have a fridge or freezer, I used to dry out my sourdough - just mixed in lots of flour until it's crumbly. In that state it kept just as well as in a fridge. You are right - sourdough is fantastic!

Whereabouts is that bakery of yours? Just in case I should ever get to your area again... :)
Ina
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280820 Green Aura
Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:34 am

In Balnakeil Craft Village, Ina. Let us know - I'll put the kettle on.
Maggie

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280833 ina
Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:31 pm

Green Aura wrote:In Balnakeil Craft Village, Ina. Let us know - I'll put the kettle on.


Thanks - I will! I went through Durness on a Sunday a couple of years ago - a short round trip west and north... Always meant to return; these days I have more time but no money, so it'll have to wait, like so many other things I'd like to do...
Ina

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280864 Zech
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:15 am

I'm not quite so in love with my sourdough. Perhaps I just don't know it well enough. It had only been slightly neglected when I took it out of the fridge yesterday and it seemed reasonably alive, but the hot dog rolls I made with it just didn't rise at all.

I'd just about got the hang of managing it to fit in with baking bread once every three days, then we decided we're probably eating too much wheat, so I cut back to baking once a week, plus the occasional pizza or hot dogs. Now I don't know what I'm doing with it again. It's seemed very sour recently, and liquid has separated out at the top. I've read that this is OK, but is it a sign I should be doing something differently?
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280865 Odsox
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:45 am

I think people who make sour dough bread have a far more organised life than I do. :iconbiggrin:

I did try it once, read all the why's and wherefore's and concluded it wasn't for me.
I've baked all the bread we eat the traditional way for at least 30 years and in that time I've narrowed it down to a fine art. Fresh yeast is frozen in 20g portions, then I can wake it up by dunking it in hot water with half a spoon of honey, stick a kilo of Canadian flour in the Kenwood, 2 tsp salt, a tad of sunflower oil and said yeast. Stuff into 2 x 1lb loaf tins wait for it to rise and then bake.
Slice the loaves and freeze so that we can get 4 slices out every morning for lunch. Repeat every 10 days or so.
Summer time it takes about 3 hours start to finish, winter it's a bit longer, but none of this starting several days in advance business.

I appreciate that I have to buy the yeast where I could (should) be growing my own, but I grow most of the other stuff we eat so I reckon I can be forgiven for this small(ish) misdemeanour :tongue:
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280866 MKG
Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:06 am

I sort of go along with Tony, but I'm extremely lazy. Flour, oil, salt, sugar, water and yeast get dumped into a breadmaker and then I switch it on. 10 minutes, start to finish, and 5 of those are spent searching for the yeast.

I did swear off this method at one time - but then I found the Panasonic breadmakers (unashamed advert), which as far as I'm concerned make any more effort a waste of time.
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280872 Green Aura
Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:32 pm

If your starter has been in the fridge for more than a week since its last feed, Rachel, it will need a two or three booster feeds to get it fully active.

I don't hold with any of this doubling the amount of flour and water at each feed and then discarding some - what a waste! I keep my starter in a 1lb honey jar and it varies between 1/2 and 3/4 full at any given time. It is nearly 4 years old now and trundles along quite nicely on 50-100g each of flour and water at each feed - depending how much I need for the finished article (plus enough to bung back in the fridge).

Any leftovers get used in pancakes or oatcakes. This morning we had sourdough pancakes with blackcurrant jam (homemade, lower sugar) and butter for breakfast.

I have no objection to making bread with yeast, but I find I have no digestive problems when I eat sourdough. Without going into any details :shaking: my symptoms resulted in me being seen by a Consultant, a few years back. As well as cameras in every orifice (OK some details - I like to see you all squirm) I've been investigated for both wheat and gluten allergies - both came back negative. So I had to try my own "cure" and slow-produced bread seems to be the answer - whether yeasted or sourdough I make it over 24 hours, at least.

If you were prepared to alter your routine slightly, Tony, and start it all the night before - no need to do it any differently, just give a longer first rise, you could miss out the sweetener entirely and the flavour would be so much better. Give it a try.

Mike, no hope I'm afraid - unless you are prepared to use your breadmaker to do the dough and then bake it next day in the oven, then you too can have fabulous bread. You could miss out the sugar too.
Maggie

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280873 Odsox
Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:51 pm

Green Aura wrote:If you were prepared to alter your routine slightly, Tony, and start it all the night before - no need to do it any differently, just give a longer first rise, you could miss out the sweetener entirely and the flavour would be so much better. Give it a try.

There's the problem GA.
I get warned a day or two before we run out of bread, but if that day is dry and warm it keeps getting shelved as I have so much that needs doing outside. Making bread is a spur of the moment job with me, unless I get to the last day when I HAVE to make it.
As to "first rise" it only get's one, no knocking back or proving. I have no idea why that's the accepted way to make bread. One rise is enough for a perfect loaf every time, no large holes or anything untoward, plus it makes bread in half the time.

The honey sweetener is not a problem, half a teaspoonful to a kilo of flour is neither here nor there, but it "proves" the yeast and the froth lets me know when it's defrosted and woken up.

I have tried sourdough both commercial (when I lived in France) and home made and I'm not really that fussed with the taste, plus I found sourdough tends to be a bit rubbery in texture.
Tony

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280875 Zech
Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:02 pm

My sourdough (I'm not even sure if it's right to call it that, as it started as domesticated yeast) had gone less than a week since the last feed, but had spent only part of that time in the fridge. Do you use it straight from the fridge, Maggie, or do you give it time to warm up?

It's interesting to hear that you keep only a small amount going, because I had wondered whether I needed more (mine's in a 2lb jar - I think - at the moment, and nearly full), as it seems a bit more stable when there's more of it.

I usually make bread the slow way - mix up the dough the night before, then put it in a tin in the morning, and in the oven a couple of hours later. With bought and frozen fresh yeast (um, not really fresh by the time it's been frozen, I suppose), I only need 7g per pound of flour, or about 4 pence-worth. I like the idea of keeping yeast alive, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may actually cost me more in flour than buying fresh yeast.
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280876 Green Aura
Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:11 pm

It's out of the fridge for about 24 hours before I use it, Rachel - when I'm baking once a week that is. If baking daily it never goes in the fridge, just gets fed and used. I dump it all in a bowl and give it its first feed, then again about 12 hours later (twice). After its third feed I make the dough and then it usually gets another 12 hours or more before baking.

Incidentally I've just started experimenting with putting the bread in a cold oven, after forming, without a second rise. I did it with the kefir bread and, apart from a slightly thicker crust than I normally like, it worked very well. I've not used that particular recipe before so the crust may be down to that. I'll try again the next time I get to play.
Maggie

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280886 Zech
Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:31 pm

If I've understood correctly, that's three feeds each 12 hours apart, then make the dough at the same time the last feed, then leave the dough for another 12 hours before baking. If I want to bake on Sunday morning, that means I need to feed on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening and make the dough on Saturday evening to bake on Sunday morning. I think I may be coming round to Tony's point of view on this - I'm just not organized enough for that.

I'd just about got a 'system' that seemed to work when I was baking more frequently - I'd just leave the starter on the side and give it a spoonful or two of flour and a splash of water when I thought about it, which was probably once of twice on most days. Maybe I should go back to baking more bread, and just cut back on pasta instead!
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280887 Green Aura
Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:59 pm

It's not that rigid. To bake on Sunday, I'd get the starter out on Friday evening - feed, next morning - feed, Saturday evening - feed, put some back in fridge, make dough - enough bread for a week (have some starter leftover for pancakes :iconbiggrin:), Sunday morning bake bread, make pancakes, have full but not bloated, tummy. Heaven.

It sounds a lot but each step only takes about 5 minutes - apart from cooking pancakes and baking bread. And eating them. The rest of the time it's just sitting on your worktop doing its thing. It becomes routine very quickly. I tend to do it just before bed and first thing when I get up. Or I did, when I made bread every week. :(
Maggie

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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280897 ina
Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:51 am

That's what I always found - it really takes no time at all to make bread this way... Didn't even need to knead the bread, because the long time sitting does the same to the gluten as the kneading does. Or seems to, anyway. It's just a couple of minutes here and there...

And I think it's long been proven that a lot of digestive problems started with the introduction of quick-rise yeast and that horrible very short time production method of commercial bread - what's it called again? People thought it was gluten, or wheat that caused it, but from what I've read many people find they are perfectly ok to eat wheat bread if it's made the traditional, slow way. Even when I made yeast bread I always let it rise overnight.
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Re: I love sourdough!

Post: #280898 Zech
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:50 am

The thing is, whether I use shop-bought yeast or a sourdough starter, I make bread the slow way, mixing the dough the night before. Sourdough seems to require an extra 24 hours planning compared with shop bought yeast. It may only be a few minutes work, but it does involve either thinking ahead or, as Maggie said, routine. If you looked at my life, "routine" wouldn't be a word that sprang to mind.

I still like the idea of sourdough, I just haven't yet worked out how to fit it into my life.
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Rachel

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