15 January 2010

Sourdough revival part 4

As mentioned in the previous post, last night I fed the starter again, it's been 3 days since the last feed. Again I added

100 g strong white flour
50 g water at room temperature

It looked a bit funny when I took the jar out of the fridge - it had a thin film of liquid, which apparently is called hooch. I found this out on a new web site I found last week - breadtopia. This site has a lot of interesting information and intriguing recipes, so it's definitely one I'll follow from now on.

So I poured out the hooch first. What remained looked a bit like sandy mud and was a bit grayish on top and it smelt a bit different from the original sourdough. However, once I fed it, the look, feel and smell returned.

I then put the jar near the window sill overnight, in order to get it at it's peak in the morning.

When I got up this morning, the sourdough had had its peak and was on its way down again, however it was still well above it's level immediately after feeding. So I skipped breakfast and started on my bread. I guessed that my starter would now weigh 500 g (original dry sourdough 100 g + 100 g water, then first feed 100 g flour + 50 g water, then second feed 100 g flour + 50 g water), so I scooped out 300 g of the starter, leaving me with 200 g for next time.

The consistency was more liquid than in the original run last year, but definitely had the bubbly honeycomb texture. It wasn't as malleable, but stuck to anything.

Next, I wanted to avoid ending up with loads of dough and also I wanted to make the dough a bit harder, so it wouldn't just spread out everywhere and went against what the book said on amounts of flour and water.

300 g sourdough starter
300 g strong white flour
100 g stone ground spelt flour
300 g water at room temperature
10 g salt

I put everything in the bowl of the Kitchen Assistent except the salt, fired it off at medium speed and let it churn for over 10 minutes. I made myself a cup of coffee in the mean time and towards the end, I added the salt.

As is now my habit, I dusted the work surface with flour, took out the dough and folded the edges to form a ball, then back into the mixing bowl for an hour's rest.

After that, I decided to make one boule and one loaf pan. So a third went into the loaf pan, the rest went into the basket. Both are now proofing near the window sill, I don't want to leave them for the 16 - 18 hours as it says in Richard Bertinet's book, I think it might be too long.

The dough was still quite sticky on my fingers, but came off nicely from the plastic scraper and felt like it had a bit more stamina to it.

For the loaf pan, I greased it with butter, then covered that with oat bran and I also sprinkled some on top of the dough. The boule is laid on and covered with a mixture of polenta, sesame and black onion seeds. I bought the onion seeds ages ago an keep forgetting to use them, yet they're so decorative.


I'll let them proof now and check them mid-afternoon, to see how much they've risen, if it looks sufficient, I'll bake them.

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