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Sourdough

(21 Posts)
WOODMOUSE49 Fri 15-Jan-21 14:03:49

I love sourdough and buy it regularly. I don't possess a bread maker but do buy bread mixes as they need little kneading. I have arthritis in my thumbs.

I found a sourdough recipe (including the starter) that used a folding technique. I did the starter which involved mixing 50g and 50g tepid water every day for 5 days. Then 100g of this was used to make the bread.

My starter was 'bubbling' a little at the end of the 5 days but the bread didn't prove.

Can anyone suggest what I could have done wrong? Or can you pass on a recipe you've used successfully? Bearing in mind, I can't do a lot of kneading.

The temperature in our cottage is not consistent.

I'm willing to give it another go.

SueDonim Fri 15-Jan-21 20:30:05

I’ve just made my worst-ever loaf of sour dough, which ended up in the bin, so I’m possibly not the best person to advise. grin

That said, did you feed the starter a few hours before you needed to use it? It should be nice and bubbly. I’m finding that sour dough is taking ages and ages to rise right now, even though my house temperature is decent. You could try making the dough in the evening and leaving it to prove overnight.

Nannarose Fri 15-Jan-21 21:56:07

I make all of my own bread, but I don't do the conventional 'sourdough', 2 general pieces of advice:
Try to find somewhere with a consistent temperature and no draughts! Airing cupboards sometimes work.
I also agree with longer proving. I prove my dough in the fridge over 24 hours, but I don't know how that works for sourdough.
As we don't eat enough bread to use conventional sourdough, I follow Richard Bertinet's suggestion of keeping back dough to mix with the next batch - a sort of 'cheat's sourdough'.

WOODMOUSE49 Fri 15-Jan-21 22:03:16

SueDonim

I’ve just made my worst-ever loaf of sour dough, which ended up in the bin, so I’m possibly not the best person to advise. grin

That said, did you feed the starter a few hours before you needed to use it? It should be nice and bubbly. I’m finding that sour dough is taking ages and ages to rise right now, even though my house temperature is decent. You could try making the dough in the evening and leaving it to prove overnight.

grin That's where mine is now.

I did the starter over a 5 day period. Added flour and water each day. I left the dough itself for 48 hours.

Mwdebbie Sat 16-Jan-21 06:18:24

I’m about to embark on making sourdough. I did quite a lot of research on the internet and found a site called sourdough.com, Australian based and it’s a real international community! There’s a very detailed mini-tutorial on making your starter, using a mix of plain and rye flour. I’ve ordered the rye online and it should arrive today. Apparently rye flour has lots of good bacteria! There are also tips on the site about how to find the best spot (temperature wise)to get your starter going - eg the oven with the light turned on, but no heat. I have a double oven so am going to use the small oven for this. The house is warm in the day but freezing at night. If this all seems a bit fiddly, I’m enjoying the challenge of trying something new! Good luck and I’ll keep you posted about how my ‘mother’ is doing!

NotSpaghetti Sat 16-Jan-21 07:32:19

We make sourdough and always use a starter from the previous batch but the starter must be fed and woken up, I feel, (so its6 going like mad) in order to get enough lift.

Also, make it up first thing in the morning or last thing at night as it's taking hours to rise. You cannot rush it.

I am not an expert and still have occasional fails but these 2 things are super-important. Good luck.

Kim19 Sat 16-Jan-21 07:43:13

Unlike you geniuses I only ever buy my SD. However, being on my own, I never can find a loaf small enough to stay fresh until the end. Recently heard mention of a linen bread bag which deals with this. Any experience of these, please?

GrannyLaine Sat 16-Jan-21 08:33:04

Woodmouse if your starter was only bubbling slightly, its not nearly active enough to use. Once its properly active it should double in size at least after feeding with the flour and water. Are you discarding some of the starter before feeding each day?

MiniMoon Sat 16-Jan-21 09:31:19

I've never made a sourdough loaf, but I do use the tangzhong method of making bread. I've made the roux with both semi skimmed milk and water, and the results have been very good. The bread keeps longer than a traditional loaf. I've made it by hand, and in the machine.
If you are interested here is a link explaining it.

Baggs Sat 16-Jan-21 09:52:58

My attempt, during the first lockdown, to make sourdough from scratch according to my DD's successful method, was a complete failure.

Now that Giles Coren has said that sourdough "tastes like shoes", I'm not sure I'm bothered any more 🤣🤣

GrannyLaine Sat 16-Jan-21 11:02:48

Baggs, then I can only say thatGiles Coren has never tasted a properly made slice of sourdough toasted and spread with very good marmalade. It took me many failures before I got the technique right.

MaizieD Sun 17-Jan-21 13:30:37

Now that Giles Coren has said that sourdough "tastes like shoes",

Does he eat shoes often?

I think my sourdough tastes fine, as does everyone else who eats it, but the texture tends to be a little 'chewy'. But then, when I made bread with conventional yeast, that was often a little chewy, too.

I'd suggest to the OP not to make such a big starter (I assume that you did chuck out discard half each time before feeding it). It gets quite expensive in flour to keep making big ones. I keep mine to 25g each of flour & water to 20g of starter (but it could go smaller) and keep it in the fridge for a few days if I don't plan to use it (I've also some in the freezer in case I manage to kill the current one). When I want to make bread I use a small amount of starter (9g is enough, but you can use more) with 70 -75 g each of flour and water, while keeping the 'base' starter going separately. That will easily raise at least 1kilo of flour, I have used it with one and a half kilos before now and it works fine. The starter must be doubled in size and bubbling well when you use it.

I always do the mixing and folding in the evening, leave it to rise overnight and bake in the morning.

@ SueDonim

My last loaf was not exactly a success. I forgot to put the starter in shock

(I tried to incorporate it into the ball of dough, but it didn't really work...)

SueDonim Sun 17-Jan-21 15:34:10

Hmm, yes, it probably won’t work without the starter, Maizie! grin I once forgot to put the yeast in the bread maker. Basically, I’d made a brick, haha!

My starter is now three or four years old and what’s interesting to me is that the flavour changes. It can be more or less sour and become more or less sweet, as well. I assume that’s due to using different brands of flour and maybe the different ‘bugs’ in the mix. I don’t think any tastes of shoes, although I’m not a huge expert in that area. confusedgrin

Missfoodlove Sun 17-Jan-21 16:30:18

Hi there, I’ve been making sourdough since March but am still learning.
My loaves are fairly consistent now but I’ve had a few failures.
Here’s a few pointers;

The more mature your starter becomes the less temperamental it will be.
Feed it a quality organic whole meal flour as this will have more bacteria than a processed white flour.
Use a kilner jar and keep it sealed.
A little honey will accelerate the starter if it’s slow.
Before baking drop a teaspoon of starter into a bowl of water.
If it floats it’s ready.
Use 250gm starter to 300gm strong white flour, add enough warm water to make a wet dough.
Leave for 30 mins.
Now add 15gm salt and fold it into the dough, if it’s sticky use some olive oil.
Cover the bowl and leave somewhere warm and drought free.
After around 4-6 hours it should have expanded and hopefully have one or two air bubbles.
Now fold it using flour, it should be dry enough to put into a banetton basket.
Leave overnight in the fridge covered.
Remove from basket and bake in a preheated oven 220/240 for 22 minutes, oven should be steamy, I use a roasting tin in the bottom full of water.
I store my starter in the fridge and just feed and use every 3/4 days.
Good luck, it’s worth persevering.

MaizieD Sun 17-Jan-21 17:04:18

Use 250gm starter to 300gm strong white flour, add enough warm water to make a wet dough

I use 150gm to a kilo (1,000gms) bread flour, sometimes to 1.5 kilos)!

I think it's amazing how much it can work. (I also resent all that flour that goes into feeding the thing..)

3 lots of stretch and fold, overnight rise, in morning shape and prove for half an hour while oven heats.

Fennel Sun 17-Jan-21 17:50:09

I make bread in the 'normal' way regularly. and we like the result. Fresh or dried yeast and 50/50 wholemeal and white strong flour.
Is sourdough really an improvement?
I've read up about it and one idea is to use pineapple juice for the fluid in the starter.

MaizieD Sun 17-Jan-21 18:27:52

I think sourdough seems more adventurous than using common old commercial yeast! Sort of folksy and self sufficient... grin

It's also a bit of a challenge...

Basically I had a go at it because it sounded intriguing, and if there was ever a shortage of commercial yeast or bread bit of starter in the freezer, or in a dried state means that, so long as you have flour, you've always got the ability to make bread.

I think pineapple juice might be a twiddle for the afficionados... (sp?)

Fennel Sun 17-Jan-21 19:09:50

It does sound like an interesting experiment - if I had a bit more energy - (and patience) - I would try it.
And there's always the risk of shortage of yeast, as you say Maizie.

SueDonim Sun 17-Jan-21 20:31:40

Sourdough is just different, a bit like an eggless sponge is different from a Victoria sponge. Simply a change, really. smile

My very favourite is the San Francisco sourdough but nothing I’ve eaten in the UK or made myself comes close, tragically.

varian Wed 17-Feb-21 14:45:44

A fresh sourdough loaf, cut and buttered while still warm is delicious but by the next day it is rubbery and unappetising.

grannysyb Wed 17-Feb-21 14:52:07

I find sourdough bread to be full of holes and the crust is too hard!