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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #31
    Jon Solberg & DWCowles

    Meathead's first comment to me about bread was... I have a fear of flour.

    Since he made that comment he has attended a seminar put on by Peter Reinhart... One of the great bread bakers in America. Something tells me Meathead is over coming his fear of flour. Meathead has baked my Brioche hamburger buns himself both in his kitchen, on his Kettle and on his BGE.

    Steve Vojtek is a perfect example of how easy it is to learn to bake a really nice loaf of sourdough bread in 1 month. Baking bread is not as complicated as people think it is. Cavemen learned to bake bread long before there was commercial yeast or gas ovens.

    Learning to bake bread is easier than learning to smoke a brisket properly.

    Baking bread gives you something to do during a 15 hour low and slow cook.

    You both ought to give it a try or just make the Brioche dough and make donuts. Everyone likes donuts.

    Comment


    • Jon Solberg
      Jon Solberg commented
      Editing a comment
      I actually bake a lot. Just not a sour dough fan.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Jon... I hear you. Not everyone likes sourdough bread.

      What kind of bread do you make?
  • Steve Vojtek
    Charter Member
    • Mar 2015
    • 612
    • Melbourne Australia
    • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
      Diy electric smoker
      A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
      Gas powered pizza oven
      GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
      Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
      Slow'nSear - my favourite
      2 x Thermapens
      2 x wireless thermometers
      3 x wired thermometers
      Favourite drink:
      Scotch whiskey various brands
      American Honey WT
      And beer ....
      And at work just plain old chilled water....

    #32
    2nd loaf ( pre-fermented ):

    It is winter here now ( average 30F night to 60F day - give or take a few degrees ). Although my (16 hr old) pre-ferment got some warmth while i was preparing the first loaf for bulk fermenting ( i put a heater in the kitchen) it still wasn't as active as Breadhead's pic in post #23 in this thread. I still decided to proceed - this is about learning and practising handling the dough etc... i didn't expect a good result - and i didn't get one.
    I followed all the steps in #23 and noticed the dough was a lot stickier and much harder to handle but managed to get it really smooth and passed the ' window pane test ' so i proceeded with the 20 min stretch and folds using a tiny amount of flour on my hands to help me. After the third stretch and fold i discovered to my horror a little bowl of pre-measured salt just pushed off to the side. I forgot to add the salt in !!! So i added the salt and did some more slap and folds and the dough came together nicely - it made a big difference so i started the stretch and folds again. I lost a whole hour there. The rest of it went quite smoothly and the finger push test seemed ok ( although i'm still learning that too so i could've been wrong - practice and repetition ) I decided to put it in the oven and here are the pics:

    I will now stick to the basic loaf only for a few weeks - trying to juggle the different steps involved with the two different loafs was a bit much for me - i made mistakes... KISS .. Keep It Simple Student ..

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      After giving this more thought of why your pre-ferment was not developed enough after 16 hours, that was my fault! I forgot about your ambient temperature.

      Let's change the formula to this.

      Pre-ferment:
      24g sourdough starter
      288g 90° water
      288g bread flour

      Put the starter in your mixing bowl first.
      Add the warm water and mix the 2 ingredients together so they combine.
      Add the bread flour and mix it together just like you do your starter.
      Cover your mixing bowl and let it ferment at room temperature. We've dealt with your low ambient temp by boosting the SD starter quantity and the warm water.

      My estimation tells me you will have a preferment that resembles the one in my picture in 12/14 hours. You want your pre-ferment to double in mass an show bubbles.

      Once you have that add these ingredients to your preferment.

      300g bread flour
      100g warm water - 90°
      Autolyse for 30 minutes.
      12g salt. Add the salt during the slap and fold process.

      Then follow Chef Jacob's techniques.

      Boosting the starter quantity and the water temp will speed up your pre-ferment. Speeding up an intentional delayed fermentation process seems counter productive. But, we are just dealing with the cold ambient temp part of the mathematical equation. We are still slowing down the fermentation process. We are building gluten structure, flavor, shelf life and quality of your loaf.

      I apologize for misguiding you...

      Notice: We are sticking to our recipe...
      600 grams of bread flour
      400 grams of water
      12 grams salt

      We are just using the bakers percentage to change the formula to react to your cold weather. For every 17°F change in ambient temperature you are mixing dough in... The fermentation and proofing will slow down or speed up by 50%.

      The Baker's Percentage...
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7YTIrgv4JCI
      Last edited by Breadhead; June 15, 2015, 11:56 PM.

    • Steve Vojtek
      Steve Vojtek commented
      Editing a comment
      Quote: "I apologize for misguiding you"... No apologies necessary my friend - none at all..... You are certainly not misguiding me at all i've had good results based on all you advise. I know about temperatures affecting starters and pre-ferments and appreciate your further advice to overcome that. Your advice has speeded up my learning curve - and hopefully other's as well. My failures or mistakes will hopefully benefit others on their journey to great sourdough bread - if i get everything perfect than there's no lessons to learn...Temperature does play a big part in this - that's for sure.. Once i'm more experienced i may post all about that to help others..Thank You Wartface

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Steve Vojtek... "Once i'm more experienced i may post all about that to help others.."

      Paying it forward is the best way to show your appreciation for what others did for you.

      That's exactly why I chose to help you on your sourdough journey... Someone did for me exactly what I'm doing for you.

      Plus... That's what we all do on AmazingRibs.com, help each other out.
  • DWCowles
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 9709
    • Smiths Grove, Ky
    • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

    #33
    Steve Vojtek I wish you the best of luck on your success in the restaurant business

    Comment


    • Steve Vojtek
      Steve Vojtek commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you very much DWCowles .It's still a few years away but with the help of AR and the really wonderful guys and girls here i will make it happen ..
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #34
    Steve Vojtek I use these cheap painters buckets for my pre-ferments. I cover it with a clear shower cap. I mark the side of the bucket with a felt marking pen where it is when I'm done mixing it. That way I can easily tell when it has doubled in mass. I pay $5 for these painting buckets. Once it has doubled in mass I just add the remaining ingredients into the bucket. I mix it and autolyse it in the same bucket. Then I take it out of the bucket and start the slap and folds. During the slap and folds and the stretch and fold processes I use my clear glass Pyrex bowl to cover it during the autolyse process. I find this to be inexpensive and easy.
    Last edited by Breadhead; June 16, 2015, 12:30 PM.

    Comment

    • Steve Vojtek
      Charter Member
      • Mar 2015
      • 612
      • Melbourne Australia
      • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
        Diy electric smoker
        A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
        Gas powered pizza oven
        GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
        Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
        Slow'nSear - my favourite
        2 x Thermapens
        2 x wireless thermometers
        3 x wired thermometers
        Favourite drink:
        Scotch whiskey various brands
        American Honey WT
        And beer ....
        And at work just plain old chilled water....

      #35
      That's a great idea. I've used those before to mix paint. Shower cap is also a good idea - not wasting plastic wrap all the time. On my last bake i used a stainless bowl to cover during autolyse - saw it in your pics. I've wasted a lot of plastic wrap for nothing. I haven't seen any clear bowls in the supermarket - i'll have to go to Kmart for that. I'l be doing another loaf (or two) two days from now - have a few other things to take care of - i will post the results ....

      Comment

      • Breadhead
        Banned Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 0

        #36
        I like seeing bread pictures. How's your dad progressing on his bread journey?

        Comment

        • Steve Vojtek
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 612
          • Melbourne Australia
          • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
            Diy electric smoker
            A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
            Gas powered pizza oven
            GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
            Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
            Slow'nSear - my favourite
            2 x Thermapens
            2 x wireless thermometers
            3 x wired thermometers
            Favourite drink:
            Scotch whiskey various brands
            American Honey WT
            And beer ....
            And at work just plain old chilled water....

          #37
          I ordered two banneton's and received them today. One for dad one for me. I've also ordered and received a bowl scraper and a bench scraper and a baker's knife for my dad . My dad asked me today (he works part time in my company) if i made any more sourdough bread and i told him about my last try. Burned bottom and all. He seems keen to try - i will have to go to his place one sunday and show him how to do it.I will give him some of my starter just to speed it up for him.My dad bakes his own bread but uses baker's yeast. He always wanted to do sourdough but just like me he was always confused about all the info on the net.He'll be baking sourdough soon my friend and all thanks to you...

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            It's cool that you're going to teach your dad. It should be an easy transition from yeast to sourdough. I would just take his recipe that he is comfortable making and convert it to a sourdough recipe. If you send me his recipe I'll convert it for you. Here's how you convert a commercial yeast recipe to a sourdough recipe. http://stellaculinary.com/how-to-con...e-to-sourdough

            Having the right gear is nice. I have a variety of different banneton's. But I use the 8" round one the most.

            Today I'm baking sourdough baguette's on the BGE. I'm trying to hone my baguette skills. Shaping and scoring is where I need improvement. There's a guy on StellaCulinary that is a great breadhead and we are both working on perfecting baguettes. It's fun pushing each other to improve our game.
            Last edited by Breadhead; June 18, 2015, 11:16 AM.

          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            Wartface . 'It's fun pushing each other to improve our game' I may have a slight headstart but i'm waiting for someone to join here and push me too...
        • Steve Vojtek
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 612
          • Melbourne Australia
          • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
            Diy electric smoker
            A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
            Gas powered pizza oven
            GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
            Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
            Slow'nSear - my favourite
            2 x Thermapens
            2 x wireless thermometers
            3 x wired thermometers
            Favourite drink:
            Scotch whiskey various brands
            American Honey WT
            And beer ....
            And at work just plain old chilled water....

          #38
          The oven is finally here. I picked it up straight after work and got home and started making bread. During the half hour of autolysing i unpacked it on the back of my ute and had to install a plug (they didn't supply it with one). Now my dough is doing it's bulk ferment i had a bit of a play with it. It is still on the back of my ute in the garage - kinda like tailgating' i still have to decide where to put it. Garage aka my outdoor kitchen or do serious surgery indoors to fit it in. It is 900mm or 35.4 inches wide and i can comfortably fit two dutch ovens - bake two loafes at a time. It has a bottom element but covered so easy to clean any spills also a top element and one behind the fan. Each can be configured to run separately or two at a time or all three. It has all kinds of features in the programs that i still have to learn. Eg: Pizza mode . love that one. I still have to read the manual more thoroughly but i turned the bottom element and the rear element on and took it to max and my trusted oven therm bottomed out - unbelievable - this thing gets seriously hot . The gauge is in celsius and 300C is 572F and it went beyond that. So i turned the bottom element off and turned it down and it slowly came down to more usable levels. Great for pizza though. Some pics...

          Comment


          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            Pic no 2 actually looks like it is cold but trust me - that gauge has gone around and bottomed out. WOW

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow... I've never seen an oven like that. What brand is it? It will be great for pizza. I bake my pizza on my BGE at 650/700°F. You have to get OO flour to cook that hot though.

            I would start looking for a baking stone for that beauty. I can see your bread going right on the baking stone after being sprayed with water and then cover with a mixing bowl to trap the steam. I can see batards and baguettes dinner rolls and hoagie rolls on that baking stone too. Those are things you can't do in your Dutch oven.

            You are going to have a blast learning to use that new oven and your slow and sear.

          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            Wartface . It's not a top end oven more bottom to mid range brand (Technica) but it comes with a 5 year full repair or replacement warranty (they'll come out to fix it). It seems well built with tripple glazed door. For me to buy something with equivalent features but better brand would cost double. I can't justify that for a home oven. Online reviews are mixed but the better brands seem to have problems too. Nothing's built to last anymore. The 5 year warranty sealed the deal for me. And i already have stones - two round ones. I will put them to some good use. the slow and sear will be here next week - can't wait....
        • Steve Vojtek
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 612
          • Melbourne Australia
          • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
            Diy electric smoker
            A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
            Gas powered pizza oven
            GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
            Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
            Slow'nSear - my favourite
            2 x Thermapens
            2 x wireless thermometers
            3 x wired thermometers
            Favourite drink:
            Scotch whiskey various brands
            American Honey WT
            And beer ....
            And at work just plain old chilled water....

          #39
          Results of my third try:

          Fairly uneventful this time the new oven is great. Just one basic boule. I followed all the same steps as before. Handling the dough was easier again with a little more experience - with the slap and folds i find that if i use just my fingers not the whole hand it releases easier from my hands. And i think i mastered the one hand slap and fold - looked just like Chef Jacob's. For the final 30 min's of baking i was a bit conservative not knowing my new oven so i opted for the lower end of his recommendation ( 425 - 450 Fahrenheit or 215 - 230 Celsius ) i chose 215 C. Next time i will turn it up to get more colour and flavour in the crust. @Breadhead you asked me what kind of bread my dad bakes - he likes the european style rye bread, it's what he grew up on but he really loved my first boule and his only suggestion was to mix some caraway seeds into it - he likes that. I've also seen at Stella Cullinary that Chef Jacob has a video for a european rye bread with caraway seeds - i will attempt to make one for my dad - i'm sure he'll love it. I also managed to fit in a great dinner last night - i had a charcoal seared steak with (the new) oven baked potato chips (they were great!) and a salad but i'm still not happy with the sear on the steak - the SnS will fix that. I didn't take a lot of pics cause the same process but here:

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Sorry for not responding earlier. I've been busy with, friends, family and Father's Day.

            Again you produced a beautiful loaf of bread. Good on you!

            You seem to be getting comfortable with the processes and techniques. By now you should be moving closer to SEEING and FEELING the dough transitioning to the next level. Beginning bread bakers go by times listed by their mentor's instructions. Then they move to recognizing how their dough looks and feels and when to move on to the next process.

            Now... Let's stay with the same recipe, 600g bread flour, 400g water, 12g salt, but try something new. Let's use less starter and slow down the fermentation process a different way.

            Try this. It lets you mix it today and bake it tomorrow or when it fits your schedule. This is delayed fermentation... After you mix the dough. The longer you leave it in the refrigerator, up to 24 hours, the better. Slow fermentation enhances flavor.

            Recipe:

            550g bread flour
            350g water
            100g SD starter
            12g salt

            Use the same techniques but... Extent your proofing times to compensate for the reduction of starter/yeast in the dough. Make the first autolyse 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. Make the 20 minutes autolyse between stretch and folds 30 minutes, instead of the 20 minutes. We're trying to slow things down.

            Then when your dough is fully developed and ready for final proofing... Put it in your banneton, cover it and put it in your refrigerator. Leave it there for 12/24 hours. The cold temperature slows down the fermentation and gives the yeast, flour and water longer to works it's magic. You will get a little more tang out of your starter. We are moving away from grocery store sourdough bread. We are entering the Artisan sourdough bread zone.

            Less starter, more flour, delayed fermentation creates better tasting bread.

            The pH of this loaf will be lower because of the extended fermentation process. When you take it out of the fridge set it on your counter at room temperature. After 1 hour do the poke test. As soon as the dough only returns 2/3 of the way... Bake it.

            Low pH bread needs a higher heat and less time. Bake it at 550° for about 20 minutes. Leave your lid on for 10 minutes, take it off but leave the temp at 550°. Cook to color.

            I think you will be pleased with the results of these changes.

            Remember... We are just manipulating the 600/400/12 recipe using different methods, techniques and timing to achieve better results.
            .
            Breadhead...
        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 0

          #40
          Sorry for not responding earlier. I've been busy with, friends, family and Father's Day.

          Again you produced a beautiful loaf of bread. Good on you!

          You seem to be getting comfortable with the processes and techniques. By now you should be moving closer to SEEING and FEELING the dough transitioning to the next level. Beginning bread bakers go by times listed by their mentor's instructions. Then they move to recognizing how their dough looks and feels and when to move on to the next process.

          Now... Let's stay with the same recipe, 600g bread flour, 400g water, 12g salt, but try something new. Let's use less starter and slow down the fermentation process a different way.

          Try this. It lets you mix it today and bake it tomorrow or when it fits your schedule. This is delayed fermentation... After you mix the dough. The longer you leave it in the refrigerator, up to 24 hours, the better. Slow fermentation enhances flavor.

          Recipe:

          550g bread flour
          350g water
          100g SD starter
          12g salt

          Use the same techniques but... Extent your proofing times to compensate for the reduction of starter/yeast in the dough. Make the first autolyse 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. Make the autolyse/rest between stretch and folds 30 minutes, instead of the 20 minutes. We're trying to slow things down.

          Then when your dough is fully developed, final shaped and ready for final proofing... Put it in your banneton, cover it and put it in your refrigerator. Leave it there for 12/24 hours. The cold temperature slows down the fermentation and gives the yeast, flour and water longer to works it's magic. You will get a little more tang out of your starter. We are moving away from grocery store sourdough bread. We are entering the Artisan sourdough bread zone.

          Less starter, more flour, delayed fermentation creates better tasting bread.

          The pH of this loaf will be lower because of the extended fermentation process. When you take it out of the fridge set it on your counter at room temperature. After 1 hour do the poke test, with your ambient temp it may take 2/3 hours. As soon as the dough only returns 2/3 of the way... Bake it.

          Low pH bread needs a higher heat and less time. Bake it at 550° for about 20 minutes. Leave your lid on for 10 minutes, take it off but leave the temp at 550°. Cook to color.

          I think you will be pleased with the results of these changes.

          Remember... We are just manipulating the 600/400/12 recipe using different methods, techniques and timing to achieve better results.
          .
          Breadhead...
          Last edited by Breadhead; June 26, 2015, 10:21 PM.

          Comment


          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            Wartface - no problem at all. Family, friends and life always comes first. I've been having internet issues at home and until sorted out i've had to come to work and use the internet here to post. Shortly i will post another result - my best yet. I think i'm ready to try out pre-ferments or delayed fermentation - so i will. I have learned a lot so far about working with sourdough at my current temperatures. I will post the results. Thank you.
            Last edited by Steve Vojtek; June 27, 2015, 01:16 AM.

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Steve Vojtek

            I now declare you a Breadhead!

            Anyone that understands the terms pre-ferment and delayed fermentation is all in and advanced.

            You are a fast learner.
        • chudzikb
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 184

          #41
          Back from vacation. As luck would have it, was in VT doing breweries and rail trails between there and NH. Happened to stumble into King Arthur Flower's training facility and store. I met the woman that did the videos that you linked in this thread. Told her they were very helpful and thanked her. Bought some stuff in the store, ate some samples, it was a great visit, if you happen to be in VT, by all means you should go there. Starter starts tomorrow.

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            chudzikb

            King Arthur Flour Company is a great employee owned company. They are all about the customer, large and small. You can learn a lot researching their website. I like their bread flour the best. Their All Purpose flour is very good too. If you have Amazon Fresh available in your area buy it there. It's $3.49 for a 5lb bag. That's about 1/2 the price the grocery stores sell it for in my area.

            I don't think King Arthur is the place to learn to make sourdough bread. It's not their focus. Chef Jacob from StellaCulinary.com is focused on sourdough and goes into great detail of all elements concerning bread making.

            Developing your starter will be easy. Just follow my directions exactly and you should have an active starter in 2 weeks. Watch Chef Jacob's video enough times so each step is instinctual. After 3 to 5 loaves of bread you'll be amazed how easy it really is.

            Have fun on your bread journey and take pictures.
        • chudzikb
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 184

          #42
          "Bart" has been created! (as in a roadie named Bart) Pictures? That would require figuring out how to post them here. Too much work... My scale was ounces, I did the google conversion, will get a proper gram scale soon.

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice... You need to give your starter a name. You and your starter are partners and Bart needs to be respected and appreciated for all he contributes to your bread hobby.

            Bart is a living, eating organism that needs tender loving care. He's not to demanding all he needs is food and water. He prefers warm weather but if you put him in the fridge he will hibernate.

            Remember Bart poops and pees in his own habitat and needs you to clean up his messes frequently... Feedings are much appreciated.

            Maintaining a starter is much like tending to a newborn child. Feed, change diaper and nurture. Give them love and appreciation.

          • chudzikb
            chudzikb commented
            Editing a comment
            Bart is very much alive! Bubbles all over the place, tomorrow first dump and feed. I think with the ambient temps around 75-80 degrees in my house, this is moving quicker than expected.
        • chudzikb
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 184

          #43
          First question, I figure I have roughly 200 grams of starter, the recipe calls for 200 grams of starter. So, how do I get it up to that level? Don't dump as much when feeding? To allow the mass to "grow" in size? I know premature questions, there will be more in about 2 3 weeks.

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            chudzikb

            Increasing your quantity of starter is simple. When you dump 100 grams just increase your feeding by the amount required to get what you need for your next recipe + some to make sure you always have some left to feed.

            You currently have 200 grams. Let's say you plan to bake 2 loaves in 1 day. The day before you would want to dump 100 grams and then feed it 100g bread flour, 100g WW flour and 200g water. You would then have 500g of starter in 4 to 6 hours. Once it passes the float test its ready to bake with. Use the 400 grams for your 2 loaves and you will have 100g left.

            Once your starter is fully developed you will want to change your dumping process. I personally hold my plastic container over the sink and turn it upside down and dump all the starter that will come out of it without scraping it. Then I decide how much starter I'm going to need the next time I bake bread. If I'm not going to bake for a couple of days I feed it 25g bread flour, 25g WW flour and 50g water. I call that my survival feeding. Just enough quanity to keep the culture happy. Then before I bake I increase the quanity the day before.
            Last edited by Breadhead; June 26, 2015, 12:00 PM.

          • chudzikb
            chudzikb commented
            Editing a comment
            Perfect explanation, thanks for that!

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            @chudzikb

            See... Sourdough bread is MUCH easier than you've been led to believe.

            In a month or 2 you will be a legitimate baker of sourdough bread.

            There's a greater feeling of accomplishment in baking a really kick ass loaf of sourdough bread... Than there is smoking really, really good ribs.

            Lots of people can smoke really good ribs, not many people can make an Artisan loaf of sourdough bread.

            Steve Vojtek is flirting with Artisan sourdough bread baking now. He made his starter about a month ago.
        • Steve Vojtek
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 612
          • Melbourne Australia
          • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
            Diy electric smoker
            A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
            Gas powered pizza oven
            GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
            Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
            Slow'nSear - my favourite
            2 x Thermapens
            2 x wireless thermometers
            3 x wired thermometers
            Favourite drink:
            Scotch whiskey various brands
            American Honey WT
            And beer ....
            And at work just plain old chilled water....

          #44
          Speaking of starters i would like to post my experience with mine:

          Temperatures greatly affect how often a starter needs to be fed. I've learned that from research and also experimenting.
          At my current temps ( 40F - 60F aprox.) my starter only needs to be fed once every 24hours. I keep my starter at 400 grams at all times, with my work schedule i cannot predict when i'm going to bake. Except sunday - i can bake every sunday and i do. For me to bake and still get some reasonable sleep i need to get home by 6pm latest which is not always possible. I feed my starter every night before going to sleep by dumping 200 grams and feeding 100 grams bottled water and 50 grams WW and 50 grams BF all at room temps. I find that my starter always passes the float test when i get home at 6pm - so it's ready when i need it. Of course that will change when it starts getting warmer here and i will have to re adapt to suit.

          There are also ways of "controlling" the starter using temperature and a little planing ahead if needed. Eg:
          My dad wanted to bake his first sourdough yesterday. He only works part time - goes home at lunch time and due to work i couldn't go and show him but i did give him all the "tools" i bought for him and all the information and link to Chef Jacob's video etc. We viewed the video together so i could advise him on some of the steps etc.
          The night before instead of dumping i split the starter into two 200 gram batches. I fed both and took my dad's one to work in the morning. My starter is 'trained' to be ready at 6pm - no good for dad cause he wanted to start as soon as he got home. So i found a clean bucket and filled it with warm water - about 80-85F and put the container with the starter in it. Using my thermapen i would periodically top up hot water to keep it at those temps. By the time dad was going home the starter was passing the float test. It worked and my dad baked his first sourdough. He called me at 9pm last night and told me it's in the oven and looking good. He sounded very excited and so did mum. As soon as i get my hands on the pics i will post.

          I think one of the most important skills in sourdough baking is "knowing" your starter and being able to "manipulate" it within reason - at least for a busy guy like me.

          Comment


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Steve Vojtek... You are very astute. I'm quite impressed with your devotion to understanding how the ambient temperature effects your starter... Which is natural yeast.

            I'm sure you are also aware that the temperature of your dough at the end of your mixing process has the same effect on when your dough will be ready to bake.

            If... You want to mix your dough in the morning and bake it in the afternoon, you want your dough to be 80° at the end of the mixing process. Yeast thrives best at 80°.

            For those of us that mix our dough by hand, we have only 1 tool to achive that 80° goal... The temperature of the water.

            If you use a high speed mixer then you must factor in mixer friction. We don't need to do that.

            However... As you advance in your bread baking hobby you will lean toward slowing the fermentation process down by reducing the amount of starter you use and at what temperature your dough ferments at.

            Low starter content and delayed fermentation produces superior tasting bread.

            Bread baking is an interesting study!!!
        • Steve Vojtek
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 612
          • Melbourne Australia
          • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
            Diy electric smoker
            A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
            Gas powered pizza oven
            GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
            Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
            Slow'nSear - my favourite
            2 x Thermapens
            2 x wireless thermometers
            3 x wired thermometers
            Favourite drink:
            Scotch whiskey various brands
            American Honey WT
            And beer ....
            And at work just plain old chilled water....

          #45
          Result of my fourth try:

          This is from last sunday and with internet issues i was unable to post earlier. I apologize.
          With my oven issues taken care of i wanted to concentrate on improving my loaf. Mainly the issue of those "caves" or "tunnels" i've had in my previous loaves. After some research and the location of those "tunnels" i put it down to the "handling or shaping" of the dough. My theory was that i was somehow introducing air pockets during the stretch and folds. I took great care to avoid that by folding carefully and "smoothing out" the edges of the folds to avoid creating "steps" where air could get trapped. and the result? Fantastic ! Also managed to get more color on the crust..
          I still have a lot to learn but this bread is leaps and bounds better than anything i can buy at the supermarket and also cheaper and fresher ..
          Thank you for viewing..

          Comment

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