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  #11  
Old 04-27-2012, 03:47 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

I love this forum!

Whether it's oven building or bread baking, a total rookie like myself gets the benefit the years of experience from others.

I'll start paying more attention to my baker's percentage and give it a bit longer to mature before jumping into the sour dough.

Bill
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2012, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Its a slow but interesting road Ive been on and off for a few years and I still have so much to learn.
Its worth it though a great skill to have.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:53 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Keep feeding the starter. It will get there, if it isn't already.

Based on your photos you need to add humidity to the oven. An easy way is to put a cast iron skillet with lava rocks in the bottom of the oven when you preheat. Then put about a cup of ice in a pie pan with holes in it and set that on top of the lava rocks a few minutes before you add the bread. Spraying a bit of water in is also good. Be careful of your oven glass. Hot glass and water = failure!

PS the reason you are getting better color with more loaves is the humidity from more dough! Also... don't let the crust dry out...

Good luck
Jay
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:27 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Thanks Jay.

My starter is looking good. When I feed it it doubles up in volume in a couple of hours or so with lots of big gas bubbles visible through the sides of the glass measuring cup.

The starter is now fifteen days old and seems ready to go. It smells like a cross between the back room of a winery and sour dough bread. It is extremely active and jumps into action when I feed it. I had planned on doing my first sourdough bake this weekend, but some other committments prevented that from happening.

I'd be grateful if you could point me toward a good recipe for a beginner looking to take his first attempt at sour dough from a homemade starter.

Bill
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Do you have a scale or do you use measuring cups? I'll give you one in cups.

take your starter and make sure you take out enough to keep feeding.

For the bread

1 cup bread flour
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoon starter

let set for 12 to 16 hours at 70degrees

5-1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1-7/8 water
1 tablespoon salt
All of your starter build from above

mix everything together EXCEPT THE SALT just get it mixed to a shaggy mass. Cover and let set for 20 to 60 minutes. Then put in the salt DON'T FORGET THE SALT. Mix in the salt if using a mixer (second speed for 1 to 2 minutes)

Bulk ferment for 2-1/2 hours keep around 76 degrees

Fold twice at 50 minute intervals

divide the dough and shape

final ferment 2 to 2-1/2 hours at 76 degrees

In a regular oven bake with steam at 460 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.

When I do this in my WFO I'm at about 500 to 550 degrees and I shape into a longer loaf then round (like french bread) I bake 15 to 20 minutes. I look for a dark crust but not burnt, and the bottom of the loaf makes thump sound when taped with your finger.

If you just do two loaves you might think about adding some steam to the oven like a pan with a small amount of boiling water in it. Some people add lave rocks to help in the steaming.

Let me know how this works for you.
Faith
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:27 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Thank you Faith! I'll give it a shot.

Bill

P.S. I do have a scale. I went out and got a digital designed with baking in mind and displays both grams and ounces.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2012, 02:13 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Hi WJW!

Sounds like your starter is probably ready to try. It will continue to get better and more robust for some time. (Also more complex)

Faith's recipe is good. By weight I would suggest something like

Mix the preferment about 8 pm...
50 grams of starter
100 grams of water
100 grams of AP flour (preferably good flour - unbleached for sure - I like King Arthur among the commercial flours)(can also use 50 grams of whole wheat and 50 of AP as an alternate)
Stir it in a good size bowl until it is pretty well mixed and let it sit overnight. It should be roughly peaking the next morning - more or less...in any event it should be usable. NOTE: My expansion is 4X the weight of the starter. (I am assuming your starter is 100%, i.e. equal weights of water and flour. If wrong it is not a big deal)

Next morning mix the final dough. Here is where it gets a bit tricky. Wetter is better but assuming you have minimal bread experience that can cause you major grief. So I will shoot for 60 percent hydration of the final dough - i.e. water weight = 60 percent of flour.

Take the above (250 grams). We will add 1000 grams so final weight will be 1250. The total weight of flour will be 781.25 grams. There is 112.5 grams in the preferment so you need (rounding off) 670 grams of AP flour for the final mix. The total water will be 781.25 *0.6 or 468.75 grams. Again your preferment has 112.5 grams of water so you will need an additional (rounding off) 355 to 360 grams of water for the final dough. I would encourage you to weigh the additional flour and water separately.

While I like delayed salt addition, you can do it either way. In either case salt should be 2% of the total flour or 15 to 16 grams in this case - about 2 3/4 teaspoons of table salt. If you want to mix it early mix it in the flour before mixing the final dough. If you want to add it late, follow Faith's process.

Then take a bowl, add the preferment, then the water, stir to mix. Add the flour (with or without the salt). I like to mix my dough a bit more than to the shaggy stage - particularly if I am adding salt early...it will work. In any event, don't forget to add the salt!

A Google search will show the stretch and fold process. Faith's schedule is a great place to begin. I bake my loaves at 455 or so indoors for a total of about 35 to 45 minutes. You will want to have steam in the oven during the first 15 minutes or so of baking. For a first try, you can simply put ice cubes in an aluminum pie pan in the bottom of the oven. Longer term there are a bunch of better ways to do it. (As I wrote previously I like a cast iron skillet with lava rocks which I preheat with the stone. Then I put an aluminum pie plate with (drilled) holes on top with a cup of ice and let the ice melt/drip onto the lava rocks and cast iron to humidify the oven.)

Good luck! Either recipe should make fine first sourdough!
Jay
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2012, 10:40 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Thanks Jay. I've been out of town on business for the past couple of days. I'm going to try some bread tomorrow.

Bill
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:11 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Don't know if I can get an answer in time to help...but I'm trying to do sourdough today. After reading all of the stuff about larger batches of bread working better in a WFO, I have decided to take that to heart. I am going to attempt Jay's recipe (with Faith's instructions regarding time) but I'm going to triple it.

Is there a problem with doing that?

I have also tripled the size of the preferment.

Also, is there a maximum size of dough batch that I can stretch & fold?

Thanks you guys.

Bill
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:21 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: My first attempt at bread and making sourdough starter.

Hi Bill!

The whole point of using bakers percentages is to make formulas expandable. My formula can be multiplied to any size you want.

Normal limits to S&F is around 50 to 80 pounds, maybe 100. You should have no problems so long as you have a tub big enough. I really prefer rectangular tubs for S&F as the shape is helpful in managing the dough. Be sure to oil the container with olive oil (or neutral vegetable oil).

Good Luck!
Jay
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