Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

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lazzbo
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by lazzbo »

All of these pictures look so good, but I don't know if I can be arsed with the responsibility of looking after a starter - it's Tamagotchi-esque in its need for care and I'm not one for that. :mrgreen:

Is a Dutch oven just a large lidded casserole dish, or have I misunderstood?

Mountain Goat
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Mountain Goat »

Didn't you used to do sourdough? I thought you were a past master at this. Am I dreaming about bread again?

Yes, it's just American for a cast iron lidded casserole.

Thanks PD! I am also on 100% hydration but am a bit slapdash about quantities.

Oh, today I threw some discard in a pan with the intention of being a flatbread/pancake thing. I added salt and sugar a la crumpet but not the bicarb, and also some grated cheese and a spice mix I had left over. It was just an idle experiment in carbs really. But what happened was a surprise - it turned right into a crumpet, bubbled up, open texture. What?! Anyway it was disgusting because the starter mings, but I wonder if it only did the crumpet action because it was so acidic or if you can just manage without the bicarb and don't have to risk getting that taste to it? I've been wondering for a while why on earth my recipe said bicarb rather than baking powder because the starter's so acidic that surely baking powder is plenty, but perhaps all it needs is a bit of encouraging sugar.
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overthehill
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by overthehill »

purple_dress wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:05 pm
Yeah mine was like that last week a bit. The smell was not so good. You definitely need to be feeding it at the right ratio. I do 100% hydration so if my starter is 100g, I feed with 50g flour and 50g water. If you do less than that it'll be hungry. It should get back on track pretty quickly though with a couple of decent feeds.
Mine too! My current loaf does taste really sour and didn't seem to have such a nice bubbly texture as the last. I put it down to having let it rise too much before knocking back and proving. I put it in the hot press, meaning to deal with it when I got in from work, but got delayed so the dough looked like a small nuclear mushroom by the time I got around to it! :look: I left it to prove overnight in the fridge, but it didn't seem too enthusiastic. Still a nice loaf, but a bit strong and not quite the texture I was hoping for.
11feb-loaf.jpg
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lazzbo
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by lazzbo »

Mountain Goat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:06 pm
Didn't you used to do sourdough? I thought you were a past master at this. Am I dreaming about bread again?
:mrgreen: You actually just have an excellent memory - I did used to be all over it. I feel like I had more free time back then. But perhaps I'll give it a go, I've still got all the equipment after all (although no crumpet rings: must remedy this). Or I could just come to yours for some sourdough, innit.

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Cosmopolitan
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Cosmopolitan »

I used to be slapdash about feedings and stuff but now I religiously weigh water and flour out, I also relentlessly discard starter, sometimes just leaving a tablespoon or so in the jar before feeding it. Both of which have meant better bread. I'm annoyed because it feels like amazing bread should be a matter of feel and emotions but no, science wins again. :ella:

I'm going to Shipton Mill on Saturday to do a little tour and I'm planning on stocking up on all the flours.

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Mountain Goat »

I have learnt my lesson and will be weighing now.

Ooh, is it tragic that I'm really excited about your mill trip? :lol: Also, I've not used their flour, do you recommend it? The book I'm using for my dairy stuff is is big fan of milling your own flour ( he says you can get a decent mill for 50 quid) but I think that's a few steps away and I'll focus on not murdering my starter first.

Lazz, make giant crumpets. Now I've gone giant, normal ones look disappointing. And come for sourdough please, when my starter has recovered.
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Cosmopolitan
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Cosmopolitan »

It's only in Tetbury and very easy to get too so seems like a good idea. I do like their flour a lot, we use that or Wessex mill usually.

Bread in proving baskets for baking tomorrow and I've just found a bag of wholemeal spelt that has a best before of Dec 2018 so I'm making a trial loaf. I don't really believe flour can expire?? Anyone got an opinion on whether it's worth it or not?

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

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I will take lots of pictures of the mill and put them on Instagram if you want to nosy at it. :mog:

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

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Oh yes please! I never look at Instagram so please let me know when they're there.

I wouldn't take the blindest bit of notice of that. I think it loses nutrients but it won't harm. Some of mine is decanted so I bet the more obscure types are older than ideal but I've not noticed anything amiss.
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Duophonic
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Duophonic »

I made a loaf but it was like a brick. I didn't prove it long enough so I'm going to attempt another this weekend. I've bought a dutch oven in prep.
BRING ON THE TRUMPETS!

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purple_dress
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by purple_dress »

It is science but it's also magic! Even if you follow all the rules and do everything the same, I find it's still quite unpredictable and you have to go a lot by how the dough feels. I've just put one in the oven where I did everything the same as the last one but the dough is much stickier so I don't think it'll be the same.

Enjoy the mill visit!

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Mountain Goat »

Yes, particularly when it comes to how much time it needs to prove as it's so temperature dependent. At the moment it takes forever to finish my bulk prove; if I haven't at least started autolyse around lunch, I'm going to be up and down turning and stretching in the evening still. If I went by time I'd be screwed.
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purple_dress
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by purple_dress »

Today's is ready!
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Edith Bacon
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Edith Bacon »

That looks amazing! :ready:

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Mountain Goat »

Oh that looks glorious.
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Arrietty
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

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Cor!

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

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Wow!

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purple_dress
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by purple_dress »

Thanks. It's weird how it seems much easier this time than when I've had a starter and made sourdough in the past. I keep thinking it's just luck and the next one won't work our so well.

I'm really liking the sesame crust.

lazzbo
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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by lazzbo »

Lads, what's happened to your sourdough?

I've made a starter and called him Oswald. We shall see how things go. I also need to find a big ole pot for the whole Dutch oven thing.

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Re: Talk to me about sourdough - The Fermentation Club!

Post by Mountain Goat »

Mine went too ...a word I've forgotten beginning with p that meant it was a weakling and couldn't form enough gluten to hold itself up - and although I spent two weeks trying to nurse it back to health it wasn't having it so I had to chuck it. I have a decent amount of flour but am wary of using it all trying to get a new starter going so I made a biga (yeasted starter) the other day so I could keep that going without the flour heavy early stages. But I didn't make enough and had to use it all for ciabatta yesterday, so will start a new one tomorrow. :)) And will make enough.
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