Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Sourdough Haul - Recipe

When you have a "viable Mother" you need to do something with her.

In my case, Mother was the first ever sourdough starter that I made that "worked".

Since it takes between 2 and 5 days to get Mom out of that bowl and ready to be added to the bread dough, it gave me time to find a recipe.

Of course I procrastinated.  The recipe I found was very good, and I did learn from my mistakes.

You see there are some tricks to this.

Sourdough bread does not typically have added yeast.  You use the Starter as "yeast".  Those starters are also very slow acting.   Commercial yeast, like the stuff I buy in 1 pound bricks at the warehouse stores, are vigorously active.  You can add yeast and a little sugar to some warm water, stir, and step back.  You will have a bowl of froth in short order.

Sourdough starter looks like wallpaper paste that separated out and spoiled.

My recipe said between 12 and 24 hour rise time and that is why the rolls all look "Lumpy". 

What happened was the outside of the rolls got dried out and when Mom got busy with the dough, she had to break through the crust. 

The solution is to make sure you rise your dough in an enclosed space with a pan of hot water in the bottom.  This is what I will do next time I have to bake.

Since the recipe was so large, I won't bother baking for a while.

Another wrinkle is that Mother is Wet.   Mom is 1/2 water and 1/2 flour.  So if you add 1 cup of Starter, you have to reduce your normal recipe by 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour to get the "Hydration levels" right.

Fancy talk for watch your dough or it will be too wet or dry.

So here's the big recipe.  Next time I do this, I'll increase my water since my High Gluten Flour is thirsty and my dough was too dry to start out with.  It made a great pizza crust, but the rolls were on the small size since they didn't rise quite enough.


  • 1/4 cup starter
  • 6 1/2 cups White bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp Salt


  • Stir your starter to knock the bubbles out for a correct measure of starter.
  • In the mixer, add starter, water, and salt and mix until smooth.
  • Add flour 1 cup at a time to the mixer with the dough hook and continue until the dough has formed.
  • Separate the dough into two loaves or individual rolls.
  • Allow to rise in a moist area until double in size - this will take between 12 and 24 hours. 
  • For decoration, slash the tops of the loaves at the beginning of the rise time with a sharp knife.
  • To bake, place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 375.
  • Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until it thumps hollow - Internal Temperature will be 190F when done.

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