The challenging sourdough

This is Lawrence, my sourdough.. Yep, same costume as Lawrence of Arabia.

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

More about it here.

Well, I’m not super satisfied of Lawrence’s work so far. LOL.

Day 10. Yes, not day 4. DAY 10 And I have “cheated” as I used a starter (a small bit of semi-sourdough dough and honey) and Lawrence eats water, flour… and honey sometimes.
First I tried the recipe… and I never got the bubbles in 8 days.
The problem is Lawrence never doubles of volume. It bubbles up and get 50% higher in the jar, at the very best.

I made a first white flour sponge, which was very sticky. Then the dough with a little Graham flour in it. It raised after 3 hours at 38 degrees (in the oven) plus 12 hours.

And the dough won’t do better in expansion as its master as you see here :

It raised in 12 hours.

It’s a flat bread.

I like the crust.

I am not crazy about the texture and taste. It is not bad…

… for toasts.
Honestly, it’s not the worst loaf I ever baked (I’ve got real bricks), but it’s not as good as my average breads with yeast. I have eaten good 100% sourdough breads, so something can be done.

It’s dry. There are a few huge holes, but the dough is heavy. That was expected as before baking the dough didn’t really raise.
Well, I’m glad I tried. But… remember that with the same ingredients and the home-bakery machine, with minimum effort I was getting :

Pain de campagne (click here)

Well the dry and heavy dough would not be problematic at all in a Stollen…

See next post

RECIPE (source)

French Country Bread
Servings: 1 large loaf plus extra wheat starter for further baking

Wheat Starter – Day 1:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
Total scant ½ cup (115 ml) (3 oz/85 gm)

1. In a Tupperware or plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.
2. Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!
3. Set somewhere warm (around 86 F if possible). I sometimes put mine on a windowsill near a radiator, but even if it’s not that warm, you’ll still get a starter going – it might just take longer.

Wheat Starter – Day 2:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
scant 1/2 cup (115 ml) (3 oz/85 gm) starter from Day 1
Total scant cup (230 ml) (6 oz/170 gm)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.

Wheat Starter – Day 3:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
4 teaspoons (20 ml) water
scant 1 cup (230 ml) (6 oz/170 gm) starter from Day 2
Total 1⅓ cup (320 ml) (230 gm/8-1/10 oz)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place.

Wheat Starter – Day 4:
3/4 cup plus 1½ tablespoons (205 ml) (120 gm/4 ¼ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup less 4 teaspoons (100 ml) water
1⅓ cup (320 ml) (230 gm/8 oz) starter from Day 3
Total scant 2⅔ cup (625 ml) (440 gm/15½ oz)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

French Country Bread
Stage 1: Refreshing the leaven
1 cup less 1 tablespoon (225 ml) (160 gm/5 ⅔ oz) wheat Leaven Starter
6 tablespoons less 1 teaspoon (85 ml) (50 gm/1¾ oz) stoneground bread making whole-wheat or graham flour
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (250 ml) (150 gm/5 ⅓ oz) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
Production Leaven Total 2¾ cups plus 4 teaspoons (680 ml) (480 gm /1 lb 1 oz)

1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. It may be fairly stiff at this stage. Cover and set aside for 4 hours, until bubbling and expanded slightly.

French Country Bread
Stage 2: Making the final dough
3/4 cup less 1 teaspoon (175 ml) (100 gm/3 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (510 ml) (300gm/10 ½ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons (7½ ml) (7 gm/¼ oz) sea salt or ⅔ teaspoon (3⅓ ml) (3 gm/⅛ oz) table salt
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
1 ¾ cups (425 ml) (300 gm/10 ½ oz) production leaven – this should leave some (1 cup) for your next loaf.
Total 6 cups less 2 tablespoons 1415 ml (1007 gm/35 ½ oz/2 lb 3½ oz)

1. Mix the dough with all the ingredients except the production leaven. It will be a soft dough.
2. Knead on an UNFLOURED surface for about 8-10 minutes, getting the tips of your fingers wet if you need to. You can use dough scrapers to stretch and fold the dough at this stage, or air knead if you prefer. Basically, you want to stretch the dough and fold it over itself repeatedly until you have a smoother, more elastic dough.
See my demonstration here:
3. Smooth your dough into a circle, then scoop your production leaven into the centre. You want to fold the edges of the dough up to incorporate the leaven, but this might be a messy process. Knead for a couple minutes until the leaven is fully incorporated in the dough. See my demonstration here:
4. Spread some water on a clean bit of your work surface and lay the dough on top. Cover with an upturned bowl, lining the rim of the bowl with a bit of water. Leave for an hour, so that the gluten can develop and the yeasts can begin to aerate the dough.
5. Once your dough has rested, you can begin to stretch and fold it. Using wet hands and a dough scraper, stretch the dough away from you as far as you can without breaking it and fold it back in on itself. Repeat this in each direction, to the right, towards you, and to the left. This will help create a more ‘vertical’ dough, ready for proofing. See my demonstration here:
6. Heavily flour a banneton/proofing basket with whole wheat flour and rest your dough, seam side up, in the basket. Put the basket in a large plastic bag, inflate it, and seal it. Set aside somewhere warm for 3-5 hours, or until it has expanded a fair bit. It is ready to bake when the dough responds to a gently poke by slowly pressing back to shape.
7. Preheat the oven to hot 425°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then carefully invert the dough onto the sheet. I like to put the baking sheet on top of the basket, then gently flip it over so as to disturb the dough as little as possible. Make 2-3 cuts on top of the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after 10 minutes.
8. Cool on a cooling rack.

Bretzelling… (via GiO)


I wanted to eat a few moricettes…
So I baked a whole batch of assorted bretzels.

really many :

Bread dough, with surdough (from the day before). For the malty touch, I add roast wheat …

Read more.

Twice the program. Advanced bread witchcraft.

Thankies again Kiki.
Old Kiki is a witch. She is my home-bakery, a simple model, 10 yr old, hard-working. Do you have a home-bakery ?

Kiki the witch bakes cherry bagels.

I understood she was brave the other day. Why ? Well, I’m supposed to use sourdough or yeast. The problem is the yeast and baking powder have both the same type of yellow package. So, I was surprise my *yeast* was not bubbling much and attributed that to the cold. I added a little more and va va boom, launched the machine.
The bread was thicker than usual, but not bad in toasts. I was a little disappointed.
Next day, I find my package of yeast unopened, brand new from the shop… you’ve got it. The bread was made with baking powder.

Yesterday I fed her yeast ! Super bubbly.
She made this good crispy outside, tender inside French loaf last night.

During my dreams…
Sourdough bread from the machine. Improved recipe : It went through the program, rested a days, started again. It’s quicker than to go down and buy some industrial bread. Bakers are even further away. Some are great, but so expensive.

When Kiki was young, she was not making very good pain bread. Well, in French bread brain, we have a zone for pains (just flour bread) and brioches (with egg, butter, milk, cream, whatever…). That was easy to get a sweet loaf, not to obtain a tasty and well textured unflavored bread. So I tried yeasts and flours, experimented. Now, it’s a mix of bread flour and AP flour, and always pro yeast (either directly or via sourdough). I add either roast wheat germs or a fancy flour or nuts or nuka rice bran.

Color is due to nuka rice bran and sesame seeds.


I wanted to eat a few moricettes…

Dinner with Moricette

So I baked a whole batch.

Bread dough, with surdough (from the day before). For the malty touch, I add roast wheat germs.


Bath in soda water…

They get out yellow. Add more yellow from egg yolk diluted in water. And bake till they turn brown.

Moricette au sel. I give the French names… I don’t know others. They are also called malicettes, minicettes or spelled mauricettes. I think a company registered the “moricette” brand so other shops had to change. That’s not fair.

Moricette au sesame.

Batons au sesame et pavot.

Noeud au sesame.

I also made balls, a bretzel, a bagel…

This last one is dessert, sweetened with yellow cane sugar. It’s a singer. Yeah, with anise seeds. It’s moricette a l’anis . I wonder if her parents (or her management) gave her the name on purpose.