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Sourdough Miche

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    Sourdough Miche

    I got my wife a subscription to Butter Book for Christmas thinking that we (her and I) could learn to bake bread and other things. Her response, 'I don't bake, what am I going to do with this?'. I guess I'm an atypical husband that doesn't think this stuff through, married 30 years I clearly don't know her. I think I can get her to change her mind. However, my daughter said she will use it and made a couple really good deserts and last week started to make a sourdough miche. She made the sourdough starter last week, the dough this week, and baked 2 loaves this morning. The loaves aren't perfect but the bread tastes really REALLY good. It's dense and didn't rise as much as we thought it would; need to figure out why. Here are some pics.
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    Increase hydration (I hope you have a scale) 😃 AKA, you REALLY need to make sure you’re getting your measurements exact

    You may need to work on the kneading process. Not sure though!

    Plus, it can be super dense if under or over proofed (to the point it totally deflated).


    • kjbarth
      kjbarth commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, we have a scale. My daughter measured all of the ingredients on the scale before adding. First time doing this so have no reference other than the recipe and commentary that goes along with the recipe.

    Also, did the starter pass the float test?


    • kjbarth
      kjbarth commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ll have to figure out what that means and see if she did it or if recipe called for it.

    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      You starter is the sourdough yeast that allows for the bread to rise. And you can test the starter by putting a glob of starter in some water to see if it floats. If it does float, it has enough gas/yeast to make your bread rise.

    A few thoughts on it not rising as much. (post the recipe if you'd like feedback on it):

    1) A new starter might not be as active as an established one. Feed it daily for a while. Use it when it's at its peak after feeding. Might want to use a little more than a recipe calls for as it get its feet (so to speak)

    2) knead (either by folding or in a ktichenaid etc) until it doesnt want to be kneaded more. If you're folding, you typically will do 3 or 4 folds, 30 minutes apart and when doing the last set it will be harder to pull the dough out. At that point, stop folding and let it rise.

    3) Don't go by time for the rise. Most recipes assume a 75F proofing area and if your house is cooler, even to 70, it can drastically affect the rise time.

    4) At the same time, don't let it overproof (rise too long).

    5) When you go to move from bulk fermentation (the first rise) to the shaped loaf in a banneton, you need to preshape the loaf, let it rest and then shape it enough to give the resulting dough some tension, otherwise it just flattens out. If she doesnt have a banneton, grab 1 or 2.

    THE BEST resource I've found for sourdough is The Perfect Loaf - https://www.theperfectloaf.com because he's very detailed and shows pictures of the starter at its various stages as well as dough at various points in the process.

    He has a Youtube channel with helpful videos here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5v...WFBKFyJU_jMvrQ and posts on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/maurizio/

    Other excellent resources - Ken Forkish of Flour Salt Walter Yeast has videos walking through his process. https://www.youtube.com/user/KensArtisan


    • kjbarth
      kjbarth commented
      Editing a comment

      House is cooler than 70 so that didn’t help.

      Don’t have a banneton so we used 2 wicker bread baskets lined with hand towels. Baskets were too big.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      PS: Score the loaf as you put it in. That will let it rise a bit more.


    Baskets can work if you size the dough up or find smaller ones. A banneton is just a specially sized and shaped wicker basket. I'd get linen or other smoother cloth lining and dust it with rice flour to prevent sticking.

    On cool temps. You have 3 options:

    1) Just deal with longer rise times and figure out how long a good rise takes for you.
    2) Rise in the oven with the light on. Two thing here. Some ovens will get up to 90+ doing this and you don't want to kill the yeast. And don't forget NOT to preheat the oven. Ask me how I know.
    3) If she gets serious, buy a proofing box. This is what I did. I grabbed https://brodandtaylor.com/collection...er-slow-cooker since I keep the house very cool during the day.

    Probably the biggest things I had to learn to get a decent rise was to not overproof (and not drastically under proof) and what was really key, to preshape and shape to get decent tension in the dough. See the links above - they helped me a ton.


      Oh, I just looked at the picture again and noticed dark rye. Rye does not build gluten well and gluten networks give the dough structure and strength, preventing a flattened dough. I'd consider something like this:
      700g total flour made up of:
      500g good AP flour
      100g bread flour
      100g rye.
      You can even do 600 AP and 50 of each of the others.

      510g water. Make sure this is warm but not hot ... about 80F. If you want a softer crumb, replace up to 100g of water with milk.

      12g salt. You can go higher (up to about 20 for this) but around there.

      40-60g starter.

      Combined flour and water or water and milk, mix until there's no dry flour. Cover and walk away for 30-60 mins. After that, uncover, mix in the flour and starter. I usually reserve a little water and mix that with the stater so it's easier to incorporate here.

      Either knead for several minutes in a KA or turn it out into a greased bowl and cover. do 3-5 sets of folds every 30 minutes. When the dough doesn't stretch easily, stop folding, cover and let rise.

      After bulk, dump it onto a floured surface, preshape, the cover and let rest for 20-30. Come back, shape and put int he banneton. Putt t hat in a big plastic bag and into the fridge overnight to ferment. Bake the next day at 400F in a covered dutch oven for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 20-30 until internal temp is about 208F. This is about a 73% hydration dough.

      That's a good basic bread recipe (I use it for sandwich bread). As she gets more familiar with what she likes and doesn't like, branch out, altering the proportions, adding seeds, etc.
      Last edited by rickgregory; January 27, 2021, 08:28 PM.



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