On my latest flying visit home, it was time to resuscitate Monty, my sourdough starter. However, from the last time I did that, I had loads of starter already, I'd even frozen some of it and still the jar where it lives was two-thirds full.
So I decided to do something drastic and not feed the starter in preparation of making bread. Instead I measured up 360 g, leaving a little for next time. Then I added 260 g of strong white flour and 140 g of granary flour (in effect what was left in the packets) and ran it in the Kitchen Assistent. This resulted in something very crumbly, since the starter itself was pretty stiff for some reason.
I didn't really fancy adding water, so had a look in the fridge for something else and spotted half a tub of creamy yoghurt. That was about 225 g, which I added to the dough and it came together pretty well.
I mixed it for 5 minutes, then gave it 30 minutes of autolysing, then another 5 minutes of mixing before adding 15 g salt.
I then let it rise for 2.5 h with folds at 50 and 100 minutes. During this time I didn't notice it rising much. It also seemed a fairly soft dough, but felt more like cold modelling clay or putty rather than elastic dough.
I shaped it into one big loaf, placed it in the loaf tin and put it in a very cold room (about 15 degrees C) and went out for the evening. When we got home, I had a peek at it and it hadn't changed noticeably, so I returned it to the kitchen where it was a little warmer (about 18 degrees C). When I got up the next morning, it had doubled in size and looked very nice.
I pre-heated the oven to 230 degrees and slashed the loaf. This is the first time it slashed well, without sticking and dragging along with the razor blade. Then quickly into the oven before it changed its mind and collapsed. I baked it for 50 minutes, turning down the heat to 200 after 25 minutes.
I got great oven spring and when it had cooled, I sliced it to discover a brilliant crumb texture and a strong sour smell. It tasted very nice too, strongly sour, despite the yogurt really not being sour at all, but perhaps keeping it out of the fridge while the dough was developing increased the sourness. I hope Lundulph likes it too, but certainly this was a very interesting dough, easy to handle and rather tasty too. When I've baked previously, my breads haven't really been very sour at all. This also is a new way of resolving starter surplus. I think next time I do this, I'll add anise or perhaps lingonberry jam to enhance the flavours.