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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Michael Brinton
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 256

    Breadhead So I may have neglected my starter. I used all BF and water at first 100% hydration. Then I found some whole wheat I had and fed (Bee, the name my daughter chose) the right 50/50 ratio. Then I realized the Whole wheat was expired, ran out of BF so I used AP. Water is pooling, (maybe hootch? But I think to early) on the top. I'm restocked on supplies and wondering if you think I should start over or just begin feeding on the proper schedule with the correct flour?
    I've been making this 70% hydration white bread loaf from serious eats too practice my techniques. Going to put the stand mixer away and hand mix one for practice. I have the smaller Lodge skillet combo which worked good the first time. I just can't wait to incorporate my wild yeast starter.

    Comment


    • chudzikb
      chudzikb commented
      Editing a comment
      Neglect? I actively abuse poor Bart! I am shocked that he keeps bouncing back, a couple of days out of the fridge, feed and dump and all is well.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1

    Michael Brinton ....

    Mike... A starter will take a lot of abuse as long as you feed it. Daily if it is kept at room temperature. Once or twice a week if you keep it in the refrigerator. The flour type, AP, BF or WW is not critical. Chef Jacob taught me that if my primary use of my starter is for making bread, bread flour just makes sense and the reason we include WW is one of the bacteria prefers that type of flour. Plus a small amount of WW flour just makes your bread taste better. If you run out of BF don't worry about using AP flour. It doesn't effect your starter 1 bit. If you're out of WW feed it all BF or whatever you have. It won't skip a beat if you feed regularly.

    Watch your starter... How long after feeding is it taking to pass the float test? If it gets to that point in 4 to 6 hours you would be wise to feed it twice per day. There is a peak time to use your starter when it blooms after a feeding. After that point it will slowly start collapsing on it's self. It will still pass the float test but it won't be as strong as it was at its peak.

    Hooch... Hooch is usually created by not feeding it often enough. The hooch is actually the bacteria poop and by product of there digestive system. It's alcohol and Co2. It will damage your starter but if you catch it soon enough it won't kill it.

    Do this. Hold your starter over your trash can or the drain in your sink. Pour out everything that will drain out on its own weight, don't scrap it out. That will get rid of the vast majority of the hooch. Then feed it enough flour and water to bring it back to the weight you've been keeping it at. It will be back to normal, healthy & happy, in about 12 hours or less.

    Bee is a great name.πŸ‘ How cool is it to have your daughter involved with your bread making hobby. Great move Pops!

    Wise move grasshopper on putting your stand mixer away.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Your learning curve of how the bread is suppose to look and feel at each step in the process will go much, much faster if you make it by hand. You just can't learn those techniques inside a mixing bowl. Later... After you can look inside that mixing bowl and know exactly where your dough is you can use your mixing bowl again for some steps of developing your dough. I ALWAYS do my slap and folds and final shaping by hand though.
    Last edited by Breadhead; July 16th, 2016, 10:45 AM.

    Comment

    • scottranda
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 1540
      • Charlotte, NC

      Breadhead I have a scale, spray bottle, chopper/scraper, and a starter going! My starter's name is "Factor". By the way, Factor will need to go in he fridge from Monday to Thursday. Unexpected business trip.

      Do I really need a proofing bowl? Or can I use a bamboo bowl I already have?

      And what about my LeCreuset Dutch oven? Can I put that on my Kamado at 500 degrees?

      Comment

      • Breadhead
        Banned Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1

        Originally posted by scottranda View Post
        Breadhead I have a scale, spray bottle, chopper/scraper, and a starter going! My starter's name is "Factor". By the way, Factor will need to go in he fridge from Monday to Thursday. Unexpected business trip.

        Do I really need a proofing bowl? Or can I use a bamboo bowl I already have?

        And what about my LeCreuset Dutch oven? Can I put that on my Kamado at 500 degrees?
        Welcome to our bread/pizza dough party scottranda ... πŸ˜†

        I'm pleased you followed the bakers tradition and named your starter... For what that starter is going to do for you, it deserves the utmost respect.πŸ˜‰

        In the fridge Monday - Thursday... No problem. It will just slow down the process. For every 15Β° reduction in ambient temp the starter is in, it reduces the speed of the starter by 50%. Like wise for every increase in ambient temperature it increases the speed of the process by 50%. Plus... When your starter is in the fridge, 1 of the 2 bacteria goes totally dormant. The one that stays active in cold weather is the one that produces more of a tang in your starter.πŸ˜† Those that like real tangy sourdough bread ALWAYS keep their starter in the fridge.

        The bamboo bowl is probably intended to be used as a banneton, final proofing basket. Be sure to line it with lots of flour, I use rice flour in my banneton but any flour will do.

        Your pretty Dutch oven... It certainly can take the heat. I'm not sure how your pretty enamel finish will take the heat from your BGE but be sure to use your heat deflector. For the size of loaf you're going to bake a 7 quart DO is best.

        Good luck on your first loaf. Take pictures. Keep us up to date on your process.πŸ‘

        Comment

        • MBMorgan
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 5726
          • Colorado
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            > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

          OK ... so the new Lodge 7qt DO arrived as promised yesterday. It appears to be perfectly pre-seasoned with no bare spots or rust at all. As a precaution however, I'll hit it again with a couple more seasonings before 1st use.

          Now, on to the starter:

          It all seems pretty straightforward. I'm off to the store shortly to pick up bread and whole wheat flours. I'll probable get it mixed (and named; I'm thinking of Winnie (the poolish)) tomorrow. And now a question or two:

          If I mix the starter tomorrow, I'll have about 8-9 days of feeding and building it up before I have to consign it to the refrigerator for a week or so while I'm out of town. I've read that refrigerated starter needs to be fed every 3-5 days ... and obviously that can't happen in the case. So the question: How long is starter (esp. a young one) viable in the fridge without feeding? And will special steps be required to resurrect the poor thing when I return?

          Second question: The starter container ... can it be airtight? (I assume not due to the CO2 that gets produced) ... or is "loosely covered" ok?
          Last edited by MBMorgan; July 16th, 2016, 12:27 PM.

          Comment

          • Breadhead
            Banned Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 1

            Mbmorgan ...

            Winnie, the poolish is a very cool, creative name for a starter.πŸ‘

            You have the exact same DO I use when I use that method to bake my bread. Good move there.

            Your starter... Having 8 or 9 days before going on your trip is fine. Feeding a refrigerated starter every 3 to 5 days would be necessary if you were using it frequently. However, if I'm not making a lot of bread I put it in the fridge and dump & feed it once a week. You will be fine even if it's 9 or 10 days.

            What I would do before you go out of town is do your last dump & feed but this time feed it twice as much flour and water than you normally do. That way your bacteria buddies have lots to feed on. One will go into hibernation anyway.

            Then when you return... Take it out of the fridge and dump it all out except 100 grams. Feed that 50 grams of Bread flour, 50 grams of WW flour and 100 grams of water. Cover your container with a cap or plastic wrap and leave it on your kitchen counter at room temperature and feed it daily. My bet is, is that it will pass the float test on day 1 or 2.

            When shopping for your bread flour look for King Arthur flour. It's the best in my humble opinion. General Mills flour for bread is a close 2nd.

            If Amazon Fresh is available in your city buy it from them. They have King Arthur bread flour & WW flour much cheaper than anyone I've compared them to. Less than $4 for a 5lb bag.πŸ˜†

            I'm excited to see your bread journey develop. Ask me any question you want. I enjoy helping newbie's learn.πŸ‘
            Last edited by Breadhead; July 16th, 2016, 02:03 PM.

            Comment

            • Breadhead
              Banned Former Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 1

              Today... July 16th, is the 1 year anniversary of this thread.😎

              I'm so pleased it is still active and people are currently using it to learn to make sourdough bread... Especially in a BBQ website.πŸ˜†

              Thank you all that have used it to learn and the others that have just commented on various topics. I'm looking forward to this coming year and hopefully more aspiring bread bakers will want to use this information to shorten their learning curve of making real Artisan Sourdough bread.πŸ‘Œ
              Last edited by Breadhead; July 17th, 2016, 12:31 AM.

              Comment

              • fuzzydaddy
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 4924
                • Near my cookers...Pensacola FL
                • Hardware
                  Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado.
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                  Chimney starters.
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                +1 to what Breadhead said very well!

                Comment

                • scottranda
                  Charter Member
                  • May 2015
                  • 1540
                  • Charlotte, NC

                  Happy 1 year anniversary! I am feeding this guy right now! This is my starter after 48 hours!

                  Breadhead how do I know "what" part of the starter to dump? It's a big mess. Do I skim the top and throw that out? Or do I mix it altogether and dump a conglomeration?

                  Comment

                  • Breadhead
                    Banned Former Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 1

                    Originally posted by scottranda View Post
                    Happy 1 year anniversary! I am feeding this guy right now! This is my starter after 48 hours!

                    Breadhead how do I know "what" part of the starter to dump? It's a big mess. Do I skim the top and throw that out? Or do I mix it altogether and dump a conglomeration?
                    Thank you scottranda ...

                    Woohoo... That's coming along nicely. Stir it a little. Put another bowl on your scale, tare your scale to zero, pour out half of the weight of your starter then feed it so it's back to the starting weight. Cover it with plastic wrap. Then repeat that daily for the next 10 to 12 days and you will have a happy and healthy starter that will pass the float test.πŸ‘

                    Remember... Your beautiful fully bloomed beginning starter is probably going to go dormant after this first dump and feed. Don't panic, just feed it daily. In about 10 days it will wake up and be fully bloomed and be very active. Patience grasshopper.πŸ‘

                    Comment

                    • scottranda
                      Charter Member
                      • May 2015
                      • 1540
                      • Charlotte, NC

                      Breadhead am I pouring out half of the starter or 100 grams? I dumped 100 grams of starter and fed it back 100 grams (and kept half hydration by 25g WW, 25g of bread flour, and 50g of water).

                      My starter weighed like 528 grams after I weighed it after 48 hours. So, I dumped out 100 grams and fed it back 100 grams.

                      And what's that smell? smells funky. That normal?

                      Comment


                      • scottranda
                        scottranda commented
                        Editing a comment
                        So, I used the original recipe, but after 48 hours, it weighs a lot more!
                    • Breadhead
                      Banned Former Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 1

                      Originally posted by scottranda View Post
                      Breadhead am I pouring out half of the starter or 100 grams? I dumped 100 grams of starter and fed it back 100 grams (and kept half hydration by 25g WW, 25g of bread flour, and 50g of water).


                      My starter weighed like 528 grams after I weighed it after 48 hours. So, I dumped out 100 grams and fed it back 100 grams.

                      And what's that smell? smells funky. That normal?
                      Scott... If you originally put in 50g BF, 50g WW flour and 100 grams of water. Your starter weighed 200g. You sealed the cereal bowl with plastic wrap. Nothing got in your cereal bowl and nothing got out, no evaporation. No matter what was going on chemically during those 2 days of that process would add to the mass weight.

                      My guess... When you put your cereal bowl, full of 200g of starter, on your scale to weigh it you didn't tare out the weight of your cereal bowl on your scale, first. My guess if you weigh your cereal bowl with nothing in it... It weighs 328 grams.πŸ˜‰ I write on my starter container the weight of that container empty. That way if I know my bowl weighs 328 grams, no matter how much flour & water I feed it I can subtract the weight of the bowl in my head, to determine how much starter I have.

                      You made exactly the right decision to pour out 100g and replace it 100g. Good move!

                      The funky smell... The wild yeast is eating flour and digesting it. That creates alcohol and Co2. That's why you have that sweet smell and the bubbles. The smell is of fermenting alcohol. Creating a starter is very similar to brewing beer. The chemical reaction creates addition chemicals. Someone that has experience in managing a starter can tell when their starter is ready to use... Just by the smell. When your starter starts smelling not so sweet but acidic... It's telling you it needs to be dumped and fed because it's living in it's own excrement.

                      You're doing good and making good instinctual decisions.

                      Bread making is like BBQ... You learn in small increments. You never have the luxury of making huge leaps.😏 Every loaf... You learn a LITTLE more. Ask chudzikb about that statement. He's learned a lot in the short time he's been baking sourdough bread... But he will tell you none of it came quickly.

                      Bread is like seducing a sexy woman... She will only allow baby steps toward your eventual desire, but she makes sure you want to call her for the next date... Patience grasshopper.πŸ‘
                      Last edited by Breadhead; July 17th, 2016, 12:25 AM.

                      Comment


                      • scottranda
                        scottranda commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ahh, yes, forgot about the weight of my bowl. Starter is still on track then!
                    • MBMorgan
                      Club Member
                      • Sep 2015
                      • 5726
                      • Colorado
                      • > Weber Genesis EP-330
                        > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
                        > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
                        > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
                        > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
                        to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
                        > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
                        > Thermoworks Smoke
                        > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
                        > Thermoworks Thermapen
                        > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
                        > Anova sous vide circulator
                        > Searzall torch
                        > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

                        > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
                        > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
                        > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

                      Update: The new starter is assembled and sitting in a bowl waiting for local yeast to do its thing. I used Chef Jacobs' amounts for flour and water and now have a HUGE 1000g bowl of bubbly. I figure I'll let it get fully started before cutting back to a more sensible size (I just noticed that Breadhead recommends a 200g starter) ... which is probably better suited for home use. That said, I'm happy to take recommendations for the most appropriate size starter before I start cutting back.

                      Comment


                      • chudzikb
                        chudzikb commented
                        Editing a comment
                        200 grams is more than enough! You don't want to be wasting all that flour.

                      • MBMorgan
                        MBMorgan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        chudzikb - I've never been accused of under-doing something . I'll let it get started in its current enormous form then cut it back for the first feeding. Thanks!
                    • Breadhead
                      Banned Former Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 1

                      Originally posted by Mbmorgan View Post
                      Update: The new starter is assembled and sitting in a bowl waiting for local yeast to do its thing. I used Chef Jacobs' amounts for flour and water and now have a HUGE 1000g bowl of bubbly. I figure I'll let it get fully started before cutting back to a more sensible size (I just noticed that Breadhead recommends a 200g starter) ... which is probably better suited for home use. That said, I'm happy to take recommendations for the most appropriate size starter before I start cutting back.
                      Mike... Chef Jacob is a professional baker. He thinks on a bigger scale than us home bakers. I personally would cut it back to 200 grams when you do your first dump and feed.

                      Just put a cereal bowl on your scale and dump 100g of your 1000g culture into it. Then feed it 25g of BF, 25g of WW flour and 50g of water. Stir it up a little and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on your counter top for a day. Repeat that DAILY, regardless of how your culture looks. It will go flat, no bubbles, for 6 to 8 days. Keep dumping and feeding daily.

                      Once your starter fully develops and passes the float test... You can make it much smaller or much bigger in a days time. If I keep my starter at 200g and plan to bake lots of loaves where I'm going to use lots of starter, I just add 200g of flour and 200g of water after a dump and feed and in 24 hours or less I'll have 500g of starter. It's that simple.

                      Comment


                      • MBMorgan
                        MBMorgan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Great info ... Thanks!
                    • MBMorgan
                      Club Member
                      • Sep 2015
                      • 5726
                      • Colorado
                      • > Weber Genesis EP-330
                        > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
                        > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
                        > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
                        > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
                        to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
                        > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
                        > Thermoworks Smoke
                        > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
                        > Thermoworks Thermapen
                        > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
                        > Anova sous vide circulator
                        > Searzall torch
                        > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

                        > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
                        > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
                        > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

                      Today's update: 24 hrs into starter development

                      Yesterday, the starter (Winnie) started showing slight signs of activity after only about 6 hours. Today it had increased in volume enough that it was showing signs of wanting to crawl out of the bowl. I decided to cut it back to 200g so, after stirring thoroughly, I transferred the much slimmer starter into its permanent stainless steel canister home. I'll give it another 24+ hours before the first official dump and feed.

                      Comment

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                      PK 360 grill

                      Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

                      The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

                      Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

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                      Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

                      fireboard bbq thermometer

                      With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

                      Click here to read our detailed review


                      Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                      Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

                      Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                      Click here to read our detailed review and to order