Is Interest in Sourdough Waning

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #28199
    aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    Interesting article about “straight bread” versus sourdough.

    One of the reasons for making sourdough was a shortage of commercial yeast. Of course what did not occur to me until reading this article is that there was also a flour shortage and a starter trades off commercial yeast for flour.

    But I was doing long, slow rises long before I ever even thought of making my own starter.

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    #28200
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    Thanks for posting the link, Aaron. I looked at the recipe, but I would have to buy beer to bake it, and most beer comes in multiple bottles. If anyone tries this recipe, let us know how it turns out.

    #28205
    RiversideLen
    Participant

    BA, convenience stores (around here) often sell single cans of beer, although they are often the larger size.

    #28212
    chocomouse
    Participant

    BakerAunt, you can add any leftover beer to your compost pile – it’s good nutrients for the garden. Although I would not suggest serving it to your Aerogarden (when you get one!)

    #28218
    RiversideLen
    Participant

    One of the reasons I never got involved with sour dough is all the flour it uses to keep the starter going. It just isn’t worth it to me.

    #28219
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    I did print the recipe, but I’ve never been a fan of positioning the risen dough into a blazingly hot Dutch oven.

    #28222
    cwcdesign
    Participant

    Once the sourdough gets going, Len, I just leave it in the back of the fridge until I want to use it. Sometimes, it can be in there for months.

    Will will feed it every 10 days or so, but he’s the one who revived it after 6 months – I’m trying to get him to use the discard or I will when I get my hand back.

    #28226
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    A starter that is left in the fridge will develop into one that is dominated by cold-liking bacteria, which changes the type of acidity you get to one that is a sharper ‘bite’. If you like that kind of sourdough, it works. (I can never remember if it is acetic-acid bacteria or lactic-acid bacteria that like the cold.)

    If you bake bread more than about 3 times a week, you can adjust your feeding schedule so that you feed first, then pull out what you need to bake with a few hours later. (That’s what commercial bakers do, they don’t throw away good flour!)

    My rye starter went bad a few months ago and I haven’t built a new one yet, but I’m holding off on much new recipe testing until after my cataract surgery, the first of which is later this month. I’ve been building preferments for some of the breads I bake, letting it sit anywhere from an hour or two to overnight. Overnight is long enough to start to develop some sourdough tang.

    #28227
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    If you get a large wide offset spatula, you can use that to safely lower a boule into a hot Dutch oven. KAF used to sell a ‘cookie spatula’ that works well for this, but, like so many great products, they don’t have it any more.

    #28233
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    In addition to the dropping into a blazingly hot pan, the recipe also requires the proofed loaf to be inverted, which was always a step that gave me trouble back when I was using a proofing basket.

    I’m wondering if the bread could just be allowed to proof in a pot. I have an Emile Henry pot that I bought for baking bread but have not gotten around to using. The instructions on it from King Arthur were originally to heat it up, but then they changed to putting the loaf in to proof, then putting it in the oven. I’ll think about doing it that way if I ever decide to try the recipe.

    I’ve never thrown away starter, but I have one of those that can be ignored for a while. It gets fed much more now that my husband has become addicted to my sourdough crackers. Like the one person in the article, I usually use yeast with the sourdough when baking bread or pizza dough but a lot less than if I were using just yeast.

    #28235
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I haven’t done a lot of work with proofing baskets, in large part because I like free form loaves where most of the slices are the same size, but I’ve found inverting the loaf (so what was the bottom in the basket becomes the top in the oven) a bit challenging, too. If it doesn’t rise much above the rim of the basket, you could cover it with a peel or that large offset spatula and flip it over

    I think it is a motion that would require some practice. But baking has a lot of those.

    #28237
    Joan Simpson
    Participant

    I don’t throw away the starter either BakerAunt,mine will sit in the fridge for long periods of time and still will turn out fine after a few feedings.I have poured some hooch off sometime.

    #28238
    aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    I don’t ever discard either. I’m not sure why I started doing what I do but I build up starter until I need it.

    I add small amounts of flour a couple or three times a day (between 5 and 15g) and equal water. But when I add some flour and water I don’t dump an equal amount. Then when I have enough starter I make something with it like bread or crackers. This has given me starter with a nice, sweet odor and flavor. If I want something with a more sour bite I can feed it once a day, in larger amounts.

    I have about a kilo of starter on the counter I’ll use it to make sandwich bread and BA’s crackers this week.

    I do not like the idea of dumping dough into a 450 degree Dutch oven. I usually make sandwich loaves because to me the rounds are a pain to make sandwiches from. But I’m starting to work on boules and batards more. I did try dropping a boule into a cast iron skillet. I had it sitting on parchment and used the parchment to lower it into the skillet. I may see if I have a Dutch oven bottom that will fit in the skillet and then I can put this on top. But I’m with BA on being afraid of this.

    I need to figure out how to get more my boules and batards a little stiffer and then I can just put it on the stone. I’m trying to let my bread rise/rest in a well floured towel but it’s not floured well enough and it keeps sticking like crazy. I may have to break down and buy a couche and or basket…

    #28242
    Italiancook
    Participant

    I wonder if people have given up sourdough for rye bread. I’ve had a difficult time finding caraway seeds this year. I wonder if people are making rye with caraway seed bread.

    #28243
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I buy caraway in 16 ounce containers online or at a place like GFS, if there’s a shortage of caraway I haven’t had occasion to buy it lately.

    I did just buy a pound of sesame seeds and some nutritional yeast flakes that I’m going to use for experimenting with hand-pulled Chinese noodles.

    I know my older son, who has been working on recipes from the ‘artisan beads in 5 minutes a day’ book but hasn’t gone the full bore ‘sourdough’ route yet, has been making rye bread more frequently lately. In some ways rye breads are more forgiving (or we are about them) because they’re generally expected to be a bit on the dense side, and they’re often more flavorful, too.

    I plan to make some pizza dough later today, using Reinhart’s ‘Roman’ recipe but adding in a little triticale flour. I’ll make pizza tomorrow. I wish I could still get the Oscar Meyer pepperoni, the Hormel one that seems to be the most prevalent one in the stores here has garlic in it and all the other ones I’ve looked at either have garlic or are not very mild.

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