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Made a sourdough loaf- just have to boast

(12 Posts)
whataboutbob Wed 01-Jan-14 11:36:45

Have been trying on and off for a couple of months. had a few minor successes, and some loaves that could have been rejected by a medieval peasant for being too tough. Then on Sunday- real success!! I had been using the river cottage technique, which involves up to 4 rises. I started to wonder if this meant that the gluten structure was being over challenged and had finally collapsed. The worst one had been repeatedly risen and knocked back. So i looked for another method and found it on a french website. Anyway there are only 2 longish rises, and by the time i put it in the oven it didn't look too impressive (rather flat and compact) but boy did it rise in the oven. And the taste!
If you are still awake, my advice is only a couple of rises of up to a total of 6 hours, then 2 or 3 slashes and straight into a 240 C oven for 10 min, reduce to 200 and give it 30 minutes in total before checking it's done.

ControlGeek Wed 01-Jan-14 18:49:55

I loved having my own sourdough culture, your post has brought back some wonderful memories! Over-rising is more of a problem with sourdough than packet yeast so I'd say two rises maximum, too. I think I used to give my loaves about 4-5 hours in total then straight in the oven.

whataboutbob Thu 02-Jan-14 13:19:24

Thank control geek. Part of the charm ( and the frustration) for sourdough is it forces you to think, learn, and adjust what you do. Just got another one one the rise, it will only have 2 then into the oven.

anotetofollowso Thu 02-Jan-14 16:26:53

Well done on your loaf bob . Would love your recipe if you are willing.

whataboutbob Thu 02-Jan-14 19:53:59

The recipe is the River Cottage one for ingredients and measures, but I use a different technique thereafter . You make a sponge on the day prior to baking with a ladleful of starter, 500g strong flour, 600ml hot H2O. You leave the lot in a warmeish place overnight. The next day you mix that with 600g strong flour and 25g salt. Knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rise in an oiled bowl/ well floured bowl. It may not rise all that much, after it has risen by 50%, or after about 2-3 hours (whichever is soonest) deflate by pushing down on the dough, shape into a round, rise again.
When risen (or after a total of 5-6 hours from starting) heat oven to 240 C. quickly Plonk your ball of dough onto a baking sheet (trying to deflate as little as poiss in the process), slash the top 2-5 times (it helps it to rise) and get into oven as quick as poss. After 10 minutes lower heat to 200. Bake for a total of 30-45 minutes.
NB I use a third of those ingredients as that would make 3 loaves and I don't want that much. But I still use a ladleful of starter. I've been using a mix of white wheat flour and rye flour. Rye gives a nice sour taste. I use filtered water as some believe the natural yeasts prefer that. Good luck.

eyebrowsfurrowed Mon 03-Feb-14 09:03:07

Trying to research as much as I can before I delve into the bread making world... What praytell is 'starter'?

coffeeinbed Mon 03-Feb-14 09:05:33

I keep meaning to try my own starter.
I even had a sachet with dry one that I was supposed to start and then keep in fridge forever but let it expire.
Has anyone had success with fermenting their own?

mrsminiverscharlady Mon 03-Feb-14 11:03:20

I've got a sourdough starter called Bob which I 'grew' myself. It's pretty straightforward, mix a cup of flour flour (rye works well) with some water to make a paste and put it in a covered bowl in a warmish place for a few days until it starts to get some bubbles on the top.

Chuck half of it away and add an equal amount of flour and water. Again leave it until it gets bubbly then throw half away and re-feed. Keep doing this until you have a starter that will double in size in 6 hours or less. It's now ready to bake with.

Keep it healthy by feeding it every day or two (or keep it in the fridge and feed weekly) or whenever you've baked with it.

eyebrowsfurrowed Mon 03-Feb-14 11:09:34

ooooh thanks mrs. This is like the stuff people were passing around as one of those 'chain' cakes. I can't remember what it was called, that had a funny name like Bob or something too I think?

coffeeinbed Mon 03-Feb-14 12:06:56

I'll give it a try.

mrsminiverscharlady Mon 03-Feb-14 12:22:43

Herman the German you mean? Made a cake?

Some of Bob's descendents have been distributed to friends and colleagues. They always keep me up to date with how they're doing grin

coffeeinbed Mon 03-Feb-14 12:49:39

No, starter.

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