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Baking At Home Series – Sourdough

Sourdough Starter

On Monday (11/16/2020), I started my sourdough seed culture. I had so much fun learning how to make instagram reels and getting more comfortable doing videos! Follow the steps on Instagram! Thank you for all the love and support!

In culinary school, we get taught from a variety of cookbooks and knowledge from our Chef instructors. I love making and baking bread and various other types of dough. Learning to make sourdough and growing my own culture was one of my favorite things I learned in Artisan Bread Class!

“What we call sourdough bread should more correctly be called wild yeast bread, as it is natural wild yeast that leavens the dough and not all wild yeast tastes sour. Most importantly, as explained in the fermentation process (page 65), it is not even the wild yeast that makes the bread sour, but the acids produced by the various bacteria that inhabit the dough.” Page 227 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

 


Day 1:

Setting up for a successful culture and flavor.

What you need:

Pineapple Juice – .5 cup

Whole wheat, Rye or Pumpernickel Flour – 1 cup

Measuring cups

Small to Medium Bowl with lid

Rubber spatula

In bowl, mix together flour of choice and pineapple juice until combined and all flour is hydrated.

Cover and leave at room temperature.

*I used Stone Ground Whole Wheat*

 


Day 2:

Time to start the feeding process to cultivate natural yeast growth.

What you need:

Pineapple Juice – .25 cup

Unbleached Bread Flour – .5 cup

Measuring cups

Small Bowl

Rubber spatula

In seperate bowl, mix bread flour and pineapple juice. Then, mix both doughs together till combined. Cover and leave at room temperature.

 


Day 3:

Growth is happening! Starting to smell the flavors from the yeast and pineapple.

What you need:

Warm/ Room temp Water – .5 cup

Unbleached Bread Flour – 1 cup

Measuring cups

Rubber spatula

Mix in flour and water to the starter culture. *I do it in two parts 1/2 flour and 1/2 water. Repeat.* Move to larger bowl if necessary.

Once combined, cover and leave at room temp.

 


Day 4:

Completing the seed culture cycle and growth with happen quickly.

What you need:

Warm/ Room temp Water – .5 cup

Unbleached Bread Flour – 1 cup

Measuring cups

Rubber spatula

Mix in flour and water to the starter culture. *I do it in two parts 1/2 flour and 1/2 water. Repeat.* Once combined, cover and leave at room temp.

Now it’s time to really measure growth it should double in size in 24 hours or less.

Once you see this, split into smaller portions and make barm for sourdough bread recipe or share it with friends

 


day 5 starter
day 5 starter

Day 5:

Checking growth and deciding next steps!

Splitting to make barm or to freeze- you will need 1 cup of seed culture, so split it into as make cups as you can.

Reserve for 1 for barm and 1 for backup (freeze seed culture just in case starter dies)

Package in containers and print out a recipe for barm and sourdough and give as gifts to friends and family

 

Barm:

What you need:

Medium to Large bowl

Unbleached Bread Flour – 3.5 cups

Warm/ Room Temp Water – 2 cups

Seed Culture (previous recipe) – 1 cup

Mixing together all ingredients until dough is hydrated and formed. It will grow rapidly so make sure your bowl is about double the size.

Leave at room temp for 6 to 8 hours. Remove lid and release any trapped gases (don’t breathe them in). Refrigerate overnight for next day.

Refreshing/ Feeding Barm Culture:

If you don’t use all you barm for your bread then you have to feed it every 2 to 3 days. You do so by adding 1 cup of bread flour and water to continue the growth process and bacteria development. Keep refrigerated to prolong and slow development. If it gets too large, then discard half and continue feeding schedule.

*NOTE* If you go more than 4 days without feeding the acids and protease enzymes break down the gluten and the yeast will start to die off.

Freezing it will keep you from having to start over when you want more bread. When you thaw it out follow the above steps to refresh the barm before use! Stays good frozen for 6 months.

If you are interested in making this or would like some aged barm! Leave a comment and share your story!

 

Q&A

Sourdough Vs. Regular Yeast Bread

Wild yeast is only part of the equation. During the culture growing phase, where the wild yeast starts to develop so does natural bacteria. As it grows it creates lactic and acetic acids which feed off of the enzyme-released sugars in the dough and are what create the sour flavor.

Wild yeast Vs Commercial Yeast

Commercial yeast that is used in most breads and beer making does not like acidity and dies of if acid is too high which create an ammonia tasting bread and weaker crumb structure. Commercial yeast breads tend to be lighter and more mild in flavor where the add ins usually are the main flavor point.

Wild yeast thrives in the acidic environment and survives much longer so that the bacterias can create the sour flavors to give the bread a more flavorful taste. It leavens the dough as the flavor gets developed. These breads tend to have deeper hearty flavors.

Growing wild yeast

Wild yeast lives around us everywhere, the goal of the starter is to capture and cultivate it in a specific environment. This is why the process is essential to creating and maintaining the growth. Keeping it alive and healthy takes love and care, the longer it lives the more rich the flavor. It grows faster at room temperature and will need more consistent feeding. You can slow down growth by refrigerating it (still have to feed it just less often) or pausing it through freezing it.

Feeding the starter

Feeding is the process of adding flour and water to the dough. This is IMPORTANT because feeding provides the nutrients and sugars to keep the yeast and bacteria alive. In doing this on regular schedule you keep the culture alive and can use it and replenish it as needed.

Using Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice has the right acidity to help start the starter off on the best note. to provide good bacteria and minimize bad bacteria. As well as help the fermentation process move faster. If you can’t use it, you can try orange or lemon juice and watch for growth changes (schedule might change if the yeast and bacteria take longer to cultivate.)

 

I want to develop more flavor and yeast in mine so I will feed it for a few weeks before using it to make bread! Tell me your favorite bread flavors!

Until next time with love and positivity,

Alexia

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