#21  
Old 11-02-2009, 05:52 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Hi Rossco!

Here is the basic process. Note: this assumes bread flour.I think I did the conversions in my head about right but you want the water to total about 65% of the weight of the flour (you will use higher hydration later but...this is just a first pass.) If you use AP you will need less water by about 5%

Evening before...

Take 100 grams of starter (or if you want to measure 1/4 cup). Add 200 grams of flour and 200 grams of water (about 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water). And feed your remaining starter as normal! Stir it up, cover it with saran or something and let it sit on the counter overnight.

Next morning it should be frothy and lively and ideally just starting to be concave (depressed) in the center of the bowl (i.e. just peaking). You will now want to add about 1250 grams of flour and 750 of water (about nine cups of flour and 3 1/4 cups of water). (I do it by hand but I will assume you should use a mixer the first time). And 45 grams of salt!

Stir it all up as best you can and mix with a dough hook for 3 minutes at low speed - until it is sort of mixed. Let it sit for 5 minutes and mix for 2 more minutes at low speed. Move it to an oiled bowl and let it rest about 20 minutes. Do a stretch and fold (look for that on the Fresh Loaf site if you don't know what it is.) Wait ten minutes and do it again. Leave it alone for an hour or so. Divide it into four loaves and proof in bannetons or bowls, or make baguettes or... This makes about 6 pounds of dough so you can make 4 1 1/2 pound boules or batards or way too many baguettes.

Let them rise about 3=4 hours but the real clue is they should grow by 50 to 70 percent. Don't let them double - they will be overproofed! You want to bake them early.

Put a stone in the oven and a pie pan or cast iron skillet. Heat the oven to 450 for 45 minutes to an hour. Add ice about 5 minutes before baking. Move as many loaves as you can bake to a peel/peels with semolina or brown rice flour or parchment and slash the loaves. Put in the oven and add about 1 cup of boiling water to the pan. (Be careful!)

Bake about 35 minutes and check the internal temp. Shoot for 203 to 207. Repeat with the remaining loaves.

You can try to cut downt he recipe but it gets awkward to make only 1 or 2 loaves. It is easier to make 6 pounds. The dough should have some substance. Don't make it too wet the first time!

Let me know how it works. (and check my conversions - the grams are right!
Jay

Note: this is intended to be a bit forgiving and make it easy to make good bread. I.e. to be safe! Not to be "the best"!

Last edited by texassourdough; 11-02-2009 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Add salt to the recipe and a comment!
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  #22  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:54 AM
heliman's Avatar
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

OK - I added 1 cup bread flour and 2/3 cup of water.

It is very thick now and has me worried that it may be too thick. I had to stir for a good few minutes to get the brew to mix. I'm wondering if I add the same ratio flour/water tomorrow if it won't be a bit too thick.

Also, if I add 2 x cups of flour per day plus water am I not going to get a masive amount of the starter? Will need a new fridge for the brew alone!!!

Rossco

UPDATE: This beast is going like a rocket. Have had to upgrade the container once and it is fast outgrowing that too. Revenge of the Yeasts!!!

Last edited by heliman; 11-03-2009 at 05:47 AM.
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  #23  
Old 11-03-2009, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Hi Rossco!

I lost a long response! ARGGH!

It will be thick but not as thick as pizza dough! Thick is not a problem once it is robust but it is better to keep it to 100% hydration until it is robust. Starter is often shipped as a 50% range dough packed in flour. Thick is not a big deal per se.

A question is how much starter you added the cup of flour and 2/3 cup of water to. IF it was a cup or so, the expansion is high but okay. IF it was a quarter cup then it was about a 10X expansion and it was way overfed which will mean it will probably take a day and a half or two days before it can peak and be ready to be fed. It won't hurt much but its better to only double or triple the starter (by weight) at this stage.

Given you have scales, I suggest you use them.

Once the starter is active and robust again (it will expand and unless your measurements were way off should be wet, stringy, and foamy), switch to repeatable, controlled process for expansion.

I would suggest following my pattern. When I start a new jar of starter I put 100 grams of ripe starter in a clean quart jar and add 55 grams of flour and 55 grams of water to the starter. Stir for 10 seconds. Put the lid on loosely and leave it out for an hour or so before putting it in the fridge.

I would suggest following that pattern but leaving it out on the counter and feeding twice a day. At each feeding discard 100 grams of ripe starter and add 50 or 55 grams each of flour and water and the amounts should match. Within a couple of days the starter should reliably be peaking within 8 to 10 hours.

Why do I suggest 55 grams as the feeding amount? I move jars about once a month and when I switch to the new jar I lose some starter in the old jar. Adding 55 of each results in a slow growth of the starter so I can get a full 100 grams to start my bred and another full 100 for the next jar. If all you do is replace exactly what you take out, at the end you will take 100 grams for bread and only get 90 for to feed. Not a big deal for you can feed it a bit extra, but...I opt to make the starter slowly grow. You may not want to do that while you are feeding twice daily, in which case you would have 200 grams of starter in the jar after the first feeding. Thereafter you would simply remove 100 grams and add 50 grams of flour and 50 of water to get back to 200 grams and steady state.

Hope that helps!
Jay
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  #24  
Old 11-03-2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Excellent info - thanks Jay ...

Update on this: The Beast sleeps!!!

After adding the 1 cup flour and 2/3 water it raged angrily for a few hours than fells asleep. Checked it this morning and there are a few bubbles but it's not puffed up.

When do I add the next lot of flour/water? Should I discard some of the brew at this stage??

Rossco
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  #25  
Old 11-03-2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Wierd!

The rage may be all you get. Young starters are sometimes erratic. It will let you know by forming hooch. You shouldn't need to stir it now except when you feed.

How much starter do you have? You can throw away as much as you want but I would keep a half cup or so...

Keep me informed!
Jay
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  #26  
Old 11-03-2009, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Probably have about 1 1/4 cups at the moment.

Does it need another feed at this stage or should I wait for the hooch to signal me?

Rossco
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  #27  
Old 11-03-2009, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

I would wait a bit. Don't wait more than 24 hours, but...let's see what it wants to do...
Jay
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  #28  
Old 11-05-2009, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

UPDATE
--------

There was some brown water so I gave it another feed and it puffed up again and got rather excited. Does this mean it is still active??

Rossco
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  #29  
Old 11-05-2009, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

That is exactly what it means. How did you feed it. You want to feed it at least an equal amout to the starter to twice that amount. And use the scale. It is a good practice issue.

I.e. 100 grams of starter (about 1/4 cup). Add 50 grams of flour and 50 of water. Its activity should peak about six to ten hours later. Feed twice a day...

As an aside, I find that keeping starter in the fridge causes it to slowly lose activity. Every month or two I keep it out and give it multiple feedings. The first is slow but the second is almost always back to normal.

Starters are alive and they have personalities. Each is different and wants to be treated a bit differently in my experience. You have to learn yours. And it will react! If you ignore it it will get unhappy and punish you! If you feed it and pay attention you will learn to make it happy and it will reward you!

The brown water was hooch!

You can probably make bread with it now but it will probably be a bit slow and dense. Still, worth trying this weekend!
Jay
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  #30  
Old 11-05-2009, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Sour Dough Starter...

Hello Jay .. tks for the info ...

I only added about 1/2 cup flour with about the corresponding amount, just slightly less water as a test. Will throw away some of the mix tonight and add feed as per your specs now that I know the beast lives. It has quite a nice yeasty aroma!!

Thanks again for the info Jay - will report back on the progress and will likely try the first loaf on Sunday.

Rossco
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