Posted by Skud in Sustainable Living on 2013-06-11 08:30:17 UTCPermalink
Looks like we're going to start making sourdough bread when I get back from my upcoming trip. I've been baking other kinds of yeast bread for a while now, and have good sources of organic flour, etc. Does anyone have any recommended guides/tips/advice for sourdough baking?
I learned from this tutorial and also have this guy's book which is by a chemist who sells freeze dried cultures from all over the world, including one from the Pyramids at Giza and another from the Red Sea, which he believes are the oldest cultures in the world. He also has the San Francisco one.
Ooh, thanks! That tutorial looks good, and he's even local -- as I noticed when I found he's using the same brand of organic flour that I use.
Hi Skud! I'm new here and like the concept. A bit late, but Maco's suggestion is the goto source. He is a couple of hours south of me. I'd also recommend the Fresh Loaf site as the best baking info around, both professional and hobbyist (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/). I bake sourdough (wild yeast) pretty much all the time now. Dry yeast just seems like cheating :). Be aware though that any starter you buy will eventually be over come by your local yeasts, so that SF sourdough starter you bought and started won't stay that way forever. I just started my own with flour and water (see the site above for directions) and have had it for years.
I'll try to post some pics soon of the garden and wood oven I use. Good luck on the baking.
I have also read that if you have grapes with a fine white powder on, as many do, that can b used as a sour dough starter that makes for a unique culture.
I always wanted to make a sour dough culture for bread but the Scottish part of me rebels at the amount of flour used to feed the culture but is thrown away
What is your experience of the end results. Is it worth the cost? I really want you to say yes. It might silence the Scottish part of me. But tell me the actual experience.
@Pdiff: thanks! I wound up developing my own method, which I blogged about recently: my sourdough technique
@Michelle: I find that we have very little waste using the technique described above. In the month or so I've been making it, I've thrown out maybe a cup or so of starter, and that's in a 2-person household where one person is out a lot and the other doesn't eat a lot of bread. I bake 1-2 loaves a week, usually a plain-ish one and sometimes an unusual/flavoured one (see choc-orange-fruit-nut bread recipe on the link above).
I think the tricks to low wastage are:
That's all I've got, but hopefully it's helpful :)
ETA: I didn't answer your actual question, "is it worth it?" For me, I find it is worth it for the following reasons:
The flavour is good, of course, but not miles above homebaked bread IMHO. To me, the "homebaked" step is where the real difference comes in over bought bread, and sourdough is just a variant on that.
Wow. Thank you kindly for the detailed answer. You have made me want to try it :)
My current recipe for bread only uses a quarter teaspoon of yeast each time
I must look round Napier for a starter when we get there.
Thank you so.
Skud, Ha! Looks like you are a natural baker anyway:) I second the compost idea too. My methods are similar, although I've started raising the formed loaves in the fridge over night (and as long as 24 hrs). It makes things a two day process, but it enhances the sour flavor and gives me more control on baking times/schedules, especially in the hot summer months. Like you, I bake at high temps (500-550* F), so starting with cold dough is not really an issue.
I also keep my starter in the fridge all the time and only feed it when I need it. I'll revive it the night before I want to start the dough (roughly 2:2:1, that is 2 parts water, 2 parts flour, and 1 part starter). For 4 loaves, I'll shoot for 500g total, which gives me 400 for dough and 100 left over to go back into the fridge. I have kept starter in the fridge successfully for a couple of months without touching it, although I'll revive it a couple of times in a row after something like that.
Hope you try it Michelle. Baking and gardening! What more could one need :)
No, just dogs and cats :) Have thought about it, but neighbors have some and keep us supplied. did have bees for a while, but I had to let them go due to bad reactions on my part. That was sad, but necessary. After a visit to Scotland and Ireland this summer, I am curious about sheep, though :)
With how cold I kept the house through winter, my starter didn't really want to wake up and bake, so after a couple days I gave up and just stuck it back in the fridge. Consequently it went from about July to April (I was kind of busy with the new house and didn't bake much last summer) inside the fridge with very little activity. It took about 3-4 days to wake up at spring temperatures after all that hibernation, but it's happy now!