Make your own sourdough

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okra
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Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260719Post okra
Thu May 17, 2012 12:18 pm

Sourdough is a rising agent used in baking which contains lactobaccilus culture or in other words which is made using airborne wild yeast bacteria to form a starter. Sourdough is used for in baking rather than use of a commercially produced yeast and is very self sufficientish

Apparently use of sourdough makes baked goods have a distinctive flavour, bread has more air bubbles and baked goods will last longer before going stale.

Sourdough is surprisingly easy to make by putting a few tablespoons of organic flour in a jar and stirring in enough warm water to make a thickish paste. The mixture is then covered and placed somewhere warm but not too hot to develop. The mixture may take up to a week to form sourdough and all you need to do is just stir it occasionally. Eventually, little bubbles will form throughout the mixture and your sourdough will be live.

Once you have successfully made some sourdough. feeding it will keep it alive. Stir the sourdough, then add enough flour and water to double the volume and place it in the fridge. Cooling the sourdough will slow the rate at which the yeast consumes food. Every time it stops bubbling, feed it again and if you find that your sourdough is getting too much either use some or reduce it's volume. If the jar looks a bit unsightly change it and your sourdough will stay alive for years.

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260722Post Chants Cottage
Thu May 17, 2012 12:22 pm

You have inspired me to have another go at this... I make my own bread usually and did have a bash at sourdough bread last year but the results were disappointing - very heavy loaves with no air bubbles at all. I must have done something wrong because I know how good sourdough bread can be. I love the idea of the starter lasting for years and years. Maybe my next one will last longer than a week... I'll let you know how it goes!

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260724Post Povester
Thu May 17, 2012 12:32 pm

I've had a go too as its something I've been meaning to try for ages. Do you have any recipes for making the sourdough bread once the starter is ready? Thanks, Cath

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260742Post Green Aura
Thu May 17, 2012 2:43 pm

2.5 cups sourdough starter
3.5 cups flour
1-1.5 water
1 tbsp salt

I only knead lightly then shape (makes 2 decent sized loaves), mist with water and cover overnight. Bake at about 180C for about 45mins - depending on your oven.
Maggie

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260750Post grahamhobbs
Thu May 17, 2012 5:00 pm

okra wrote:.......... Eventually, little bubbles will form throughout the mixture and your sourdough will be live......
Okra I hope you don't mind but perhaps your description skips over something that may have caused Chants Cottage to not succeed. Although your sourdough will be alive and on its way, it probably will not be strong enough to bake with. You need to repeat the refreshment process, discarding half of the sourdough and adding an equivalent quantity of mixture of fresh flour and water to bring it back to the same amount, several times before it is ready to bake with.

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260755Post Povester
Thu May 17, 2012 5:32 pm

Interesting, I'll bear that in mind, Graham. How do you know when it is ready?

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260780Post Chants Cottage
Thu May 17, 2012 9:35 pm

I have to say Graham, I did this and still no joy!! Not sure what happened really though I do remember the starter kept separating. I read at the time (last Summer) that this wasn't a problem but maybe this advice (from that all knowing and always truth speaking entity 'The Internet') was a lot of rot... Anyway will have another bash.

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260783Post Green Aura
Thu May 17, 2012 10:48 pm

Are you being a bit impatient, CC? I've only been making sourdough for the last few months and the first few batches were as you describe - dense and heavy. However they tasted fab and so we struggled through. :iconbiggrin:

I seem to have got into a better rhythm with it now and the last few batches have improved dramatically. Each batch takes about 3 days - bear in mind it's colder up here. I'm sure those in the south can do it quicker. I usually start it in the morning, while I'm waiting for the kettle to boil.

I get a couple of cups of starter out of the fridge and add equal weights of flour and water. That stays, covered, for about 24 hours. I presume it needs that long because it's coming up to temperature first. The next morning, for the second feed I just add a couple of cups of flour and its equal weight in water, by the evening it's usually ready for it's third feed, another couple of cups of flour and its equal weight in water.

The next morning I follow the recipe as above. But I don't throw any starter away, I put a couple of cups back into the starter in the fridge to refresh it and make cakes or pancakes with any left.

I'm probably breaking every sourdough rule in the book but it seems to be working. Nice texture and crumb and the taste is so good!
Maggie

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260835Post Chants Cottage
Fri May 18, 2012 11:07 am

Me? Impatient???! Er, yes, probably Maggie... I suppose I just abandoned it at the first hurdle because it DIDN'T taste nice and the texture was dreadful too - really heavy but not in a good way. I like a good heavy loaf of wholemeal bread but this just wasn't pleasant so I thought 'life's too short' and went back to the tinned yeast. So yes, no probably about it, I was impatient. But I will try again and not give up straight away if it doesn't go too well at first...

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260856Post Zech
Fri May 18, 2012 3:56 pm

I'm a bit nervous about catching wild yeast in case I get something completely different by mistake. Could I get a sourdough started with commercial yeast, then carry on in the same way?
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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260861Post Rosendula
Fri May 18, 2012 5:56 pm

Yes Rachel. I did that a few years ago and still have the same one on the go. I call it Cheat's Sourdough
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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260878Post julie_lanteri
Sat May 19, 2012 6:49 am

I tried it a few years ago, was keeping the starter in the fridge but the loaves always turned out very sour (not pleasant at all). I noticed your starter stays out for feeds/baking Maggie, maybe that's where I wasgoing wrong...
I might give it another go too. How do all keep your starter?

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260883Post Green Aura
Sat May 19, 2012 8:05 am

The finished article lives in the fridge but it was out on the side, fermenting (souring? :dontknow: ) for about a fortnight I think. But it is much slower up here as I said before.

Having said that the "friendship cake" starter my mother brought from her lunch club is going like the clappers :roll:
Maggie

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260887Post Gra
Sat May 19, 2012 10:12 am

Zech wrote:I'm a bit nervous about catching wild yeast in case I get something completely different by mistake. Could I get a sourdough started with commercial yeast, then carry on in the same way?
Zech don't worry you won't catch anything nasty, the yeasts come from the flour, not the air, so unless you are using rotten flour....

You can use commercial yeast, but you are missing out on an important part of a natural leaven, complexity and flavour, as commercial yeast has only one strain of yeast.

If your sourdough starter is seperating it probably means it is being left too long between refreshments. You need to refresh your starter once a week if kept in a fridge. Once it has separated you might be able to recover it but it will probably be too sour, so it will need several refreshments to get back to normal, probably easier to start again.

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Re: Make your own sourdough

Post: # 260899Post Saralexis
Sat May 19, 2012 4:32 pm

I feed mine 1/2 rye and 1/2 white bread flour. The rye makes all the difference- its like steroids for sourdough!

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