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Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:28 am

You beat me to it Pepper. :)

But, below the article are a couple of highlighted comments, here’s one,

“Why on earth do you have any wasted sourdough starter.
I have kept my starter now for 2 years and I have never thrown any away.
All these recipes saying you have to feed your starter and throw half away etc are complete nonsense.
Use what you need and if you are building up more starter than you need through feeding just keep it in the fridge to slow it down. It will be fine and will liven up again in the warmth.”


My experience would be the same, though I wouldn't use the word nonsense. ;)

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:36 am

We’ve made pancakes with some of ours ... the chicken batter idea sounds tempting ... but we don’t have much ‘discard’.

Yesterday I baked our loaf in a big enamelled cast iron pot. Having researched thoroughly I didn’t pre-heat the pot ... I did use the baking paper technique. The loaf didn’t spread (of course) and the crumb seems slightly softer.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby jeral » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm

Yay, Suffs. Good to hear your Dutch oven worked as well as you hoped.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:48 pm

OH had some with his minestrone for lunch and pronounced it good :thumbsup

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby scullion » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:22 am

i don't have any 'cast away' starter. we do get an excess sometimes but i've been drying it to see if it works when rehydrated as some sites would suggest. it would mean that my partner could make up batches of flour at home and just add water to cook bread while we were at the annual solar display, rather than taking a pot of the fresh to feed or a separate pot of yeast - and to store in case i kill the starter!

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Sloe-Gin » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:04 pm

Late to this thread and, though I admit to not having read every post here, can vouch for the Le Creuset (remember him?) cooking method,
I use a mix of strong white, wholemeal and rye folours.

I've never made a starter with fruit before and wonder what it lends to the whole process.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:07 am

Morning SloeGin.
The making a starter with fruit makes it pretty easy. You use an apple or plum for example, and will be baking several large loaves in about 3 or 4 days.
Unlike the permanent making leaven process, that takes about 10days of feeding & feeding, and discarding.

Pleased to see you're finding the cast iron pot working, Suffs.
Be careful, it will probably craze and show cracking after a while, so it you treasure it for other things, I'd switch to a different pot.
My bread pot is a heavy stainless steel one, which I used for everything else such as pasta.
Otherwise, I just use a traditional bread tin.
Or freely shaped if I fancy it.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:58 pm

My pot is quite elderly Gill ... I don’t think the bread baking will cause it much damage ... but OH has been instructed to keep his eye open for any suitable bargain marked down by his manager as shop-soiled.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:56 pm

Where we've got to so far ...

I've been trying different techniques etc, and so far this is our everyday loaf

sourdough wholemeal tin loaf.jpg
sourdough wholemeal tin loaf.jpg (76.05 KiB) Viewed 679 times


I don't make a sponge ... I make a dough using 300g wholemeal and 200g white flour, about 4 tablespoons of starter and just over 300 mls lukewarm water.

Ten minutes kneading in the Kenwood stand mixer with the dough hook then it has an hour to prove and is knocked back ... then this is repeated at least once ... more if the dough needs to be a bit more active. Then it has it's final knock back, and folding and proves for another hour in the loaf tin before baking at 270C for 30 mins.

Apart from the starter and proving, the recipe is very similar to when I use the Quick Yeast

I'll show you a pic of the crumb when it's cooled enough to cut.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:44 pm

sourdough wholemeal tin crumb.jpg
sourdough wholemeal tin crumb.jpg (79.43 KiB) Viewed 672 times


You'll see that it has a much more even crumb that a typical sourdough loaf ... apparently this is usual with a sourdough loaf baked in a tin ... it suits us as it works for sandwiches etc. The flavour has a mild sourdough tang so it is very versatile ... but if I wanted a loaf for bruschetta I wouldn't use a loaf tin ... I'd make an overnight sponge, prove in a banneton and bake on a flat tray.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Badger's Mate » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:40 pm

A cake tin is used in this house if the dough is a bit soft. I get some spare starter and have made crumpets and flatbreads with it, reasonably successfully. Just coming to the end of a packet of yeast, so will do some sourdough baking (there's a wheat and a rye starter in the fridge) before the next packet gets opened.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:44 am

And a lovely everyday loaf it is too, Suffs.
Perfect for toast!

I have a fantastic tin for loaves, that was given to me as a gift by a baker friend.
Nothing sticks to it. I use it for all loaves - including loaf style cakes.
Unbranded but like this one:
amazonbakingtin

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby dennispc » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:16 am

Like Suffs I moved to using a tin for sour dough as we want it for lunch time sandwiches. Same crumb as well.

However I used a lot more starter than that. It’s a couple of years since I baked one. (11/06/18) 550g flour, 300g water and 150g of starter and proved in the fridge overnight.

Looks like three one hour proves and then baking - unless you think it needs another knock back. Must be an early start. :thumbsup

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby aero280 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:09 am

I don’t keep a separate starter. I put it all in.

I’ve kept gradually increasing the quantities to fill the tin, a John Lewis 2lb one. I think I posted the details earlier in the thread.

After mixing it all together, I remove roughly 200g for the next “starter” and keep it in a jar in the fridge. Then I put the dough in the bread tin and leave it to rise. I have tried a knock back and second rise, but that was not too successful as it struggled to move. I may try again and see if the starter has changed over time.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby scullion » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:11 pm

we have been experimenting with drying some of the excess starter that sometimes accumulates when there is no sun and seeing how it rehydrates. i dried it, spread thinly, on a silicone sheet in front of the dehumidifier then put the very dry pieces in an airtight jar.
a few days ago i rehydrated some that had been dried a month or more ago. 25g dried starter, 25g flour, 50g water. it took a couple of days (leaving it without further additions) to come back to life and made a very lively starter.
definitely worth doing if you have excess/no room in the freezer/going on holiday/likely to forget about it in the bottom of the fridge.


my partner mixes the dough the previous afternoon, leaves it in a covered bowl, overnight, on the counter without any kneading. then the next morning puts it in a tray, again no kneading, leaves it for a couple of hours and bakes it when the sun is out. he calls it his lazy man's loaf - tastes (and looks) great.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:19 pm

Sounds worth doing before we head in your direction next June Scully :thumbsup

I find I’m doing something with the starter roughly every other day ... if Im not making a wholemeal loaf, I’m making flatbreads (yesterday with kebabs for supper), pizzas on Saturdays, and then there’s sourdough naans and pancakes too
I’m using most of the starter for baking. Don’t have much discard now I’ve got the hang of things.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Gillthepainter » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:49 pm

That's great to hear the drying process works so well.
I know when sending starter through the post, some bakers will air dry out their levain before sending.

I used to just send a wet amount that had lost its oooomph. So it didn't explode in the parcel.


Suffs, you've still got heaps of enthusiasm.
That's great. I got rather deflated when Tony would always ask for pittas. I got sick of making pittas.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby Suffs » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Today I used the sourdough discard to make some cheese scones ... I'll post the pic and method etc on the Baking Thread ...viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4466&p=95513#p95513

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby aero280 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:06 pm

Today I needed to make a loaf. I keep the starter in a glass jar, and in the two to three days between loaves it usually rises up the jar and then subsides. It's been fine for a year. Today the top edge of the starter that had stuck to the sides had turned blue with mould and smelt strongly of blue cheese. I've been using this method for a year and it's the first time it's gone mouldy.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the dough improver I got from lakeland?

Anyway I got the starter out from the bottom of the jar without touching the mould and it seems OK, so I used it to make the loaf and added some to some double cream that was past its best and make some scones with, as suggested above. It will soon be time for tea. OH has been sent out for cream!! :)

The jar has been thoroughly cleaned and a bit of the dough from the loaf will keep it going.

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Re: Sourdough ... your experience and tips please

Postby aero280 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:27 pm

And a photo. The starter was a wholemeal one, so the scones are slightly brown to start with.

IMG_3389.JPG
IMG_3389.JPG (87.48 KiB) Viewed 347 times

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