Friday, September 7, 2012

All About Sour Dough

Over the next few days I will try and explain the process of making a starter,  feeding it, storing and using it to make a loaf.  This is based on my experienced and I am not an expert.  but it works for me .

White Flour Starter.
Into a sterile glass jar mix 1/2 cup of bakers flour,  ( strong bread flour ),  with 3/4 cup of FILTERED water.
Place a Chux loosely over the top,  and place in a sheltered place outside.
You are going to capture wild yeast that lives in the air.
Leave for 3 to 4 days ,  to ferment.
You can bring inside now and sit it on the kitchen bench.
If it smells bad ,  chuck out and start again.
When it starts to have small bubbles on top,  stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of Filtered water.
For the following 3 days feed with 1 tablespoon of water and flour.
When the starter is active,  ( with bubbles on the top and smelling a little like beer, ) , transfer to a larger sterile container and feed with equal larger amounts of water and flour.
This can be 1/2 cup of each.
This is to increase the amount of starter for use in following recipe.  ( you will need 400 g of starter.)
You can now use your starter to make bread or screw on top and place in fridge

Instead of going to all this trouble,  you may be able to get a small amount of starter from someone else. If you do,  just put it in a large sterile jar and feed it to increase the volume.

If you leave your starter on the kitchen bench ,  you will need to feed it every day.  Only do this if you intend to make a lot of Sourdough bread., or want to build up the amount of starter.
If you place your starter in the fridge, best fed once a week.  However it will last a lot longer without a feed.  I left mine for 13 weeks last year when we went OS.  I don't recommend this as it took a lot of refreshing.  I think it was sulking. LOL.
When left in fridge it will develop a grey water on top,  just stir this back in and feed it.
When you take your starter out of the fridge and feed it, it needs 7 hours or overnight to become very active.  It is then that you can make your bread.
Do not use all your starter, leave 1/2 cup in the jar and start feeding it again until you have enough for the next loaf.


It is best to start off simple.

This recipe is adapted to the TMX from 'Bread Revolution',  by Duncan Glendinning and Patrick Ryan.

Place into Tmx bowl,
400g active starter,
500g bread flour
250g warm water, filtered.
2 teaspoons of each salt and sugar.
Knead for 4 mins.
Scrape/pour into lined bread tin. Cover with plastic
Let rise , in a warm place,until at least double. 
Brush with egg wash.
bake in oven 200/220 o C,  with water in dish in bottom of oven.

Look at Cookies variation,  for double rise method.
Can place in fridge over night,  then bring back to room temp,  before baking.
This starter is mild in flavour,  but the large amount of starter does not give an over powering sour taste.
The dough is very moist,  and I like to roll it around on a floured SIL mat to make it more manageable.
Make a plain loaf first,  then add seeds or wholemeal flour,  once you understand the method.

Bread sticks made with this recipe,  are as close as I have got to a genuine French Baguette.

1 comment:

The Bush Gourmand said...

Thanks so much for this Chookie.
I made a starter a few weeks ago and it failed to capture anything!
It smelt mildly alcoholic, but no bubbles. It was outside for 4 days, brought inside and no bubbles.
Outside again, and same thing.
It still didn't smell bad.
I chucked it and will start again. Maybe we live in a sterile environment!! HAHA in a country town?
Thinking perhaps I should try some rye flour starter...