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How to make sourdough bread...

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  • Willy
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1816
    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

    Pequod I am most interested in the acidity level of my starter; I do like a good tang in my sour dough. What does your starter do in this regard and how do you store it (temperature)?

    Comment


    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      Willy, have you tried an overnight preferment? I have found that my 50/50 starter used in a preferment yields a good acidity.
  • Pequod
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 480
    • Crozet, VA
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    Originally posted by Willy View Post
    Pequod I am most interested in the acidity level of my starter; I do like a good tang in my sour dough. What does your starter do in this regard and how do you store it (temperature)?
    I prefer a milder flavor. I know it's there. I know it's sourdough, but not strongly tangy. I store my starter in the fridge during the week, and then take it out 2-3 days before I'm going to use it and keep at room temp, feeding daily. The first feeding retains a lot of the fridge starter, replacing about 50%, and then subsequent, daily feedings replace about 90%. Since I like a milder flavor, I favor the Chad Robertson Tartine Bread approach, which Forkish also uses, which is to use a "young" starter. By "young" they mean one that was fed 6-8 hours ago and has just barely passed the float test.

    For a tangier flavor, you can still use the Forkish bread formulas, but maintain your starter differently. Colder temps favor acetic acid for more tang.

    Comment

    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1816
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      Pequod. Did you ever make a loaf with starter "fresh" from the fridge? I kept my starter in the fridge for 2-3 months and made loaves with it fresh out of the fridge. The yeast did fine, but the bacteria seemed to suffer a lot and I lost almost all of the tang I love in a sourdough.

      Comment


      • Pequod
        Pequod commented
        Editing a comment
        No I haven't. I usually nurse it back to health with some feedings before use. On another forum I've seen someone keep their starter in a wine fridge, which keeps temps in the 50'ish range (I think). Haven't investigated it further, but might be a happy medium?

      • Willy
        Willy commented
        Editing a comment
        Pequod Mine is in a wine cooler now. It's not yet two weeks old, but it has a nice tang at present and it made a very tasty loaf on Thursday. I hope that doesn't change over time. My "fridged" starter went from good to no tang over a couple of months.

      • Pequod
        Pequod commented
        Editing a comment
        Cool! (Pun intended) You'll have to keep us up to date on that. Be interested to know how it works over time.
    • scottranda
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 1731
      • Charlotte, NC

      70% hydration. Preferment. With semolina flour (15%). So good!
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • Thunder77
        Thunder77 commented
        Editing a comment
        That is artistry right there! 👍

      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        Thx jgjeske1 !

      • Willy
        Willy commented
        Editing a comment
        Beautimous!
    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12683
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        SNS
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        lots of probes.
        CyberQ

      That's a really good looking boule scottranda

      Comment

    • MBMorgan
      Club Member
      • Sep 2015
      • 6189
      • 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

      As promised a few days ago, I baked exactly the same bread (Forkish's White Bread with Poolish) as in post #578 but this time in the new bread cloche that I received for Christmas. The results were pretty good. The crust was crisp ... but not quite as thin (or as crisp) as it was when baked in the new 5 qt. Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven (inverted with the skillet on bottom). The crumb was light, airy, and very moist. Once again, oven spring was quite good but the loaf failed to split along the seam. The cloche is larger in diameter than the 5 qt. DO and the somewhat "sloppy" high hydration dough was able to spread out more laterally than vertically.

      The bottom line: La Cloche is very effective. It is lighter than CI ... but it's also more fragile and requires some special considerations that CI doesn't. I'll use it again ... most likely for lower hydration bread that won't try to spread out quite so much ... but the new 5 qt. CI DO remains my favorite.

      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • lonnie mac
        lonnie mac commented
        Editing a comment
        Dang nice looking though! I'm new to this baking thread. Kept up with it for a while, but not new to sourdough. I too find my La Cloche a bit different than my CI. Guess I have just made too many batches in the CI.
    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12683
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        SNS
        Pizza insert
        Rotisserie
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        Chefalarm
        Dot
        lots of probes.
        CyberQ

      That's a great lookin' boule regardless of how it was baked.

      Comment


      • MBMorgan
        MBMorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Ron!
    • Bumper
      Former Member
      • Dec 2016
      • 32
      • Canberra, Australia

      Some of my bakes using Ken Forkish's Flour Yeast Salt Water recipes. Sourdough, pulled pork pizzas etc and my sourdough starter made from grated apple mix ala Paul Hollywood's Bake
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      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 12683
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        That's some great lookin' bread Bumper .

        Comment

        • Bumper
          Former Member
          • Dec 2016
          • 32
          • Canberra, Australia

          Originally posted by RonB View Post
          That's some great lookin' bread Bumper .
          Thanks Ron. Next on my list is a sourdough Rye. Haven't done one yet but love the rye flavours, and it will go gangbusters on a rubens with short rib pastrami.

          Comment


          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            Field blend 2 out of Forkish might scratch that itch.
        • MBMorgan
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 6189
          • 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

          "Do you like your crust better with your Dutch oven skillet combo? How does it compare?"

          scottranda - I've tried 3 different baking vessels: a 7 qt. CI DO, a 5 qt. CI DO/skillet combo, and a ceramic bread cloche.

          So far, I like the 5 qt. combo best (inverted with the skillet on the bottom). Its more compact shape helps control the size and shape of the boule. The crust seems thinner and more crisp than that produced by the other two. I think it's because, being smaller (less volume), there is more steam per cubic inch during the initial 30 minutes in the oven. More steam = better crust.

          The cloche comes in second. It's diameter is significantly greater than the 5 qt. DO and the high-hydration dough that I'm fond of has a tendency to spread out laterally at the expense of vertical development. The crust (so far) seems to be only a little thicker and a little less crisp than crust from the 5 qt. combo.

          The 7 qt. DO comes in a distant third. Like the cloche, its large diameter lets high-hydration dough spread out too much and its much greater volume means less steam per cubic inch while baking covered. Basically, I've retired the 7 qt. DO from baking duties.

          I'm going to stick primarily with the 5 qt. combo from now on and see if the pattern of better bread continues.

          Comment


          • scottranda
            scottranda commented
            Editing a comment
            Really interesting. I want to try the CI combo. I really want better crust. My crust is average

          • scottranda
            scottranda commented
            Editing a comment
            Do you spray your dough with water when you put the boule in the combo?

          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            scottranda - Nope ... no spritzing, spraying, or anything else to add moisture. Doesn't seem necessary.
        • scottranda
          Charter Member
          • May 2015
          • 1731
          • Charlotte, NC

          Mbmorgan I'm thinking I need to figure out better crust. I use SS bowl inverted over pizza stone. Both preheated. I spray dough generously right before I put bowl on top. Bake for 20 min with bowl @500, then bake another 7-10 min without bowl @450. Any longer, I am running rusk of burning my bread. Should I steam with bowl for 30 min for better crust?

          Comment


          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Lately, I've been following Forkish's procedure. Bake covered at 475 for 30 minutes then uncovered (still at 475) for 15 to 25 minutes until the color is right. I wonder if the additional thermal mass that CI has something to do with better ... or at least different ... crust development?

          • scottranda
            scottranda commented
            Editing a comment
            I need to try CI combo. Have to convince wife to allow me to buy it 😬😎

          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Here's the one I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=amazi0a8-20
        • Willy
          Charter Member
          • Apr 2015
          • 1816
          • High Desert of the Great Southwest

          FWIW, my crust is always superb (maybe I've never eaten a really good crust?)--very crisp and "shattering". I use a fairly thick, high quality, SS bowl with a pizza stone. I do spray the loaf once it's in the oven (but nowhere else), right before topping with the bowl. I do 20 or 25 minutes covered at 500°F, then turn the oven down to 425°F for the remaining 30-35-ish minutes (I bake to color). The crust is the most reliable feature of my loaves. My gut tells me the thermal mass of the cover isn't too important--which is not to say that a foil cover would work the same--and my loaf never spreads out wide enough to contact the sides of the bowl.

          Comment

          • scottranda
            Charter Member
            • May 2015
            • 1731
            • Charlotte, NC

            My crust is ok. I have a very sturdy SS bowl and spray dough with water right before I put bowl on top. I think I need to increase my time under the bowl, then reduce temp and increase time without the bowl.

            Sometimes my dough hits the sides of the SS bowl, but I learned it doesn't affect it much, other than burning the dough touching (only). So, you just cut off that very small part. It doesn't affect the oven spring at all.

            Comment


            • Willy
              Willy commented
              Editing a comment
              Gotta just keep experimenting! I've got a REAL unusual loaf in process--actually looking shaky right now. I report later today or tomorrow.
          • MBMorgan
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 6189
            • 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

            Originally posted by Willy View Post
            My gut tells me the thermal mass of the cover isn't too important--which is not to say that a foil cover would work the same--and my loaf never spreads out wide enough to contact the sides of the bowl.
            You're right about thermal mass not being too important ... but only once the bowl temp and that of the air inside the bowl have equilibrated with the oven temp. I like the CI cover because I find that it can take me one or two (or more) minutes to wrestle a high hydration boule off the work surface and into the CI DO base ... all while the CI cover is sitting out cooling very slowly thanks to its high thermal mass.

            Comment

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