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Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

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Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:26 am

I like sourdough bread and it suits my digestive system. I made some years ago but this was with a starter that was given to me.

I make most of our bread and have been intending to try making sourdough again, and with the current difficulty getting yeast I thought now is probably a good time.

My first thoughts are, back in the days when I made it before, I was making bread most days ... nowadays we only need a two or three loaves a week ...so would welcome suggestions on amounts and feeding routines for the starter.

Also any hints and tips before I actually start the starter.

We usually eat wholemeal or granary bread ... at the moment we have both those flours, some stoneground spelt and strong white flour.

I’ve also read of making a ‘cheat’s starter’ using quick yeast.

Your thoughts please.
:D

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:47 am

Haven't made sourdough for a few years now, but did put a starter together a week ago, because I was low on yeast (no longer the case)

I'm a simple person, Andrew Whitely's is the simplest. I don't follow his advice on temperatures.

Day 1 Mix 40g Wholemeal, preferably stoneground flour with 40g water, in plastic box with a lid.

Day 2 Mix 40g Wholemeal with 40g water, plus mix from Day 1.

Day 3 Mix 40g Wholemeal flour with 20g water, plus Day 2. (Less water tightens the dough he says)

Day 4 Mix 120g Strong White Flour with 100g water plus Day 3. Keep the lid on, though once it's getting lively I tip it into a Kilner Jar with a loose fitting. If you're using it, say every other day, it's fine keeping on the side. If not it will keep in the fridge.

Put about six sultanas in Day 1.

AW mentions keeping the mix at 28 degrees, but easy here. Also use tap water straight from the tap.

Scullion's posted somewhere making a mix out of apples, and Gill's doing the same and will be posting photos, that's on the Cooking thread.

All the best. I'm sure you're aware rising times can be slow, dough somehow feels different but nicer in my opinion. All the best to you both.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:21 am

This might help you for the whole process.

https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/stori ... er-at-home

I've got banneton, but also used a large pyrex bowl (using cheese cloth) with lid.

There's a youtube video of that, I'll have a look for that later.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby liketocook » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:41 am

I was given my starter suffs but have found that it hibernates quite happily in the fridge for long periods without feeding. In fact mine went from the beginning of January until last week without being fed before I revived it.
I keep my starter quite small at about 150-180g and find this works well for me, giving me enough for a loaf and keep the starter going.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:47 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FVfJTGpXnU

Andrew Whitley wouldn't need seven days. Haven't watched the video again, but you decide type of bread you want. After the starter stage, as a beginner I suggest making a white loaf, which will be good for your digestion and then move onto wholemeal and whatever you want.

liketocook's experience with keeping a starter is same as mine.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:05 pm

Apple starter.



As Dennis says, you can make a one of starter using an apple.
These images are from 2009 which is why I'm now updating the process and making an apple starter again this morning.
Would you like to join me?
Chop and apple, cover it with water, and add sugar. I've just used honey as I don't have sugar.

Image

Leave for 24hrs or 48hrs on the windowsill until you have a fizzing (like lemondade) concoction.

Image

Take the apple out, and feed the liquid equal amounts of bread flour to the fizzy water you have, and you will have a bubbling starter with excellent aeration overnight

All ready for your usual bread recipe (in place of your usual yeast)

Image

As Dennis' friend has found out, if you just leave it, the bubbles will go, and your bread will be flat. Plan to bake on Frid, or Sat if your apple mix is sluggish to respond. My window is south facing!


I shall post a sourdough ratio, of feeding your mother starter based on how many loaves you make per week.
If you make more bread, you increase the ratio, fewer loaves in the week, you decrease your ratio. TBC, we are off out for a walk...........

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:40 pm

Gill ... I only have Bramleys at the moment (confusion by farm shop assistant as to what is an ‘eating apple’ :lol: ) but we are expecting dessert apples on Thursday afternoon ... have you used Bramleys or dessert apples? How much sugar?

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:06 pm

Big typo above, about AW's temperatures, should have said, 'not easy here'.

I was rushing (well that’s my excuse!) before our virtual coffee meet, great fun, despite all that's going on.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:56 pm

Your smallest bramley will be fine :lol:
I've used gala. The 2009 image above is granny smith.

Cover with water - I'd say a coffee cup = 300g.
Sugar = A dessert spoon - I used honey.

We are waiting for it to ferment, like a cider. 48hrs should do it.

Do you want to try a potato if you are unsure? You can do the same with a tayto.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Gill, tempted as I was (as the sister of a potato farmer :lol: ) to use a potayto ... I've used the smallest Bramley, and some honey from the village in Bedfordshire where I lived when I was small :D ... we don't have a south facing windowsill, but there is a space on the heated 'windowsill propagator' which has space for seven little seed trays on it but we're only using six at the moment, so the jar of apple and honey is sitting with a little bit of 'bottom heat'.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:15 pm

Thanks Dennispc ... will give that video a proper look when I’ve got the laptop out ... I’m on my phone at the moment.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:17 pm

Yours might be ready quicker than mine on a heated propagator.
(like bread proves quicker in summer temperatures than winter). No problemo, I'll be very interested in your result vs mine.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:33 pm

Suffers
If you open your lid, you should hopefully see the beginnings of activity.
Mine tastes a little fizzy, and is displaying the start of a row of teeny bubbles, at the water "edge" on the right where the liquor meets the glass.

I think I'll be feeding it flour on Friday morning - but will talk you through it.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:39 pm

A very few bubbles but no fizz yet ...

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby scullion » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:10 pm

this is the site that i used when i first made sourdough. i did find it a little wasteful and i can't remember what i did to reduce the waste - but i know i did! - i may have added the excess into ordinary bread while i was waiting for the starter to get going.
i did quite a lot of reading and one site said that using rye flour to feed the brew was good - i may have done that but it was many years ago!

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:53 am

Regarding the waste, Scullion, I probably used 1 1/2 bags of flour to make my mother leaven over 7 days.
As you feed in the flour, it is used to activate your starter, until it is viable.
The mix you remove, you can make pancakes or crumpets with, to avoid throwing it. But it is spent effectively having done its job.

When you have your viable starter, you will find your own best method to feed the leaven, keeping it at peak to make your bread weekly.

I was given a ratio that I followed, that eliminates any waste, for a weekly feed.
Say you need 100g per loaf of starter, and you make 3 loaves a week. That's 300g starter you require.

Divide the final weight of 300g by 15
= 20


Frid, you take you 20g of starter out of the fridge. To keep it at 100% hydration, add 40g water & 40g starter.
In the evening add 100g water & 100g flour.
Gives you 300g starter.

And no waste for the week.

That ratio again? divide by 15.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:56 am

This is my bubbles network this morning, Suffs.

Image

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby scullion » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:18 am

Yes, I worked out a way to make up just what I'd need but in the end the poor starter spent more time in the fridge, over the years, than working. We don't eat much bread so it wasn't worth keeping it going.
We don't keep up with the small loaves now cooked on sunny days - but the subsequent breadcrumbs are getting used in Glamorgan sausages - another delight I hadn't made before.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:35 pm

Signs of life this morning, but not a lot .... sorry, lousy pic but you can just see the bubbles

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:01 am

Good morning, Suffly

the apple yeast water

I've fished out the apples this am, and strained the pips. To give me 150g apple yeast water. It's a little syrup-y and very apple-y

Image

Going for 100% hydration, I've mixed 150g apple yeast water: 150g bread flour - I didn't realise I only have stoneground strong flour in, which like rye, sucks up the water more than white.
Anyhoo, I have a thick paste back on the windowsill, that I shall feed again either this evening or tomorrow am, depending on the reaction.

Image

The wetter the paste, the quicker the starter eats through the mix. Which is why I'm being vague on the timings.

Tomorrow, or even Sunday, I shall mix the preferment for the loaf, but at the moment, I've just got the paste mix.
I cannot remember it being this thick, but we shall see.
I'm starting to get twitchy ;) but there is a lot of life to my water. I shouldn't worry.

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