Old 09-23-2011, 08:14 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Jay I too enjoy the book Tartine and refer back to it often. San Francisco, Tartine’s home, is very different environmentally than any of our home areas. From what little I understand the sour relates to the temps and humidity as well as hydration and the amount of preferment in the dough. I have so much to learn about leaven.

Right now I'm in the middle of rebuilding my little kitchen on a shoestring. The optimum words in the sentence are “I'm” and “little” oh and "shoestring". My old kitchen was so dysfunctional that no more than one person could be in it at a time. If there were, cooking was more like a rugby match. Just a functional mess. And the electrical, Sigh! Dangerous is what comes to my mind.

The counter tops will be soapstone, I can find it and I think I can get what I want at a good price.

I’m building with the idea that I’ll need a 50 amp circuit for an electric oven at some point so an outlet box and conduit connected to it will be where I anticipate the oven may end up. At some point I'll likley replace the current fridge with a 36” so the cabinets will allow for this.

I’ve become keenly aware that bread has some specific needs and I might be able to incorporate some support for these needs in the new kitchen. A wine fridge might become a place to retard dough, better there than in the main fridge. Some small cabinet or drawer may end up with temperature control for proofing dough. Incorporating a wine cooler and proofing cabinet into the build would make baking much more proactive and less reactive and this would be helpful being able to plan activities. The qualities of the bread would be more consistent and more controllable.

Serendipity is always welcome, but its best on my terms.


Last edited by SCChris; 09-23-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:25 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris!

I lived in the Bay Area back in the 70s and am pretty familiar with the climate and the wine! While I really like the book and Chad suggests his testers were highly successful, put simply it won't work that way for everyone. I followed his methods for about three months and made really nice bread, but I was not prepared for his REALLY SOUR sourdough when I actually got some. I realized I would be better off learning from his book and not following it religiously.

Your story explains why you are doing large batches! Lots of work and tricky timing! Congrats!

The idea of a wine cooler as a retarder is very good! A cheap cooler should work rather well! I like it. Biggest issue would be longevity. We have some neighbors who went "cheap" and had multiple failures. Mine was moderate and has gone two plus years. Not sure what is best in this area???

I hope to make bread next week and rid myself of my flour curse!

Build On!
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