homemade sourdough starter-bread disaster

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by cackleberrys, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. cackleberrys

    cackleberrys

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    I'm learning! I want to learn - I'm a work in progress :) made a San Francisco sourdough starter with rye flour. After proofing overnight, I started in this morning making my bread. I added the proofed starter and 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tsp sugar, and satrted in on the flour ( unbleached white AP). I am using a kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook. I added in the flour until the dough grabbed onto and held the hook. I stop and checked the dough, not to sticky but not elastic at all. I returned it to kneeding, left the room, and returned 5 minutes later to stringy bubble gum dough - *** sigh - - A lesson learned....... was it over kneeded??? Is there any way to save this batch? I've got more starter on the counter fermenting so all isn't lost.

    thanks!


    Suzanne
     
  2. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Gosh, I'm so sorry. But I'm also at a total loss of what to answer.

    OTOH, the folks at The Baker's Dozen will undoubtedly be delighted to help. So I'm moving your tale of woe from Cooking to where it can have a happily-ever-after. :D
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Look at that! Sometimes we have the answer within ourselves. Still, talk to the bakers here -- especially KyleW. They will give you great advice.

    And Welcome!
     
  4. zukerig

    zukerig

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    cackleberrys : First of all, what type of water did you use in your starter? If your tap water is either very hard or very soft or contains chlorine, then by all means use bottles or filtered water. Hard water discourages fermentation; soft water makes a very sticky dough; chlorine can also interfere with the fermentation process.

    Better yet, use water left over from cooking potatoes. Potato water contains nutrients that any yeast will thrive on, and contributes enhanced flavour to the bread.

    To make a rye sour, stir 1½ cups of pumpernickel or rye flour into 1 cup warm water. Stir in 1 Tbsp of active dry yeast and submerge a slice of lemon into the mixture. Cover w/ plastic wrap and set aside at room temp. Let this mixture rise & fall back. After this point, stir it once a day for three consecutive days. Remove the onion and stir in another cup of water plus 1½ cups of rye flour. Cover, let rise and fall once more, stir & refrigerate.

    In order to make Pain de Seigle – a European-style country rye loaf – you need to make a malt or honey “levain” – French for leaven. This starter is composed most basically of flour & water, which grows & rises by cultivating wild yeasts that naturally occur in the air. Once prepared, you dissolve the malt or honey levain in water, add honey, unbleached flour, and stir until there are ong strands of stretching batter. Important, because you’re working to achieve good gluten development! Then you add pumpernickel flour & kosher salt. You’ll continue to add flour until the dough is smooth, tacky, springy, but not sticky. The dough may then take as long as 24 hrs to rise, depending on the weather & amount of airborne yeasts!

    When doubled, form dough into a round and place on a cornmeal-coated peel. Cover w/ damp cloth, let rise 4 to 8 hours. Then it’s ready to be baked.

    Incidentally, I have a recipe for Mennonite Sourdough Rye which you may prefer to the above instructions. Buzz me, and I’ll likely have the opportunity during the next few days to type up a copy of it for your e-mail inbox. (The starter for this bread is called a sauerteig and it’s really quite straightforward: you bake a loaf of wholemeal bread and use a portion of it to get underway. I personally recommend the recipe for someone learning the basic ritual of sourdoughs._
     
    passthegravy likes this.
  5. kylew

    kylew

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    Hi Suzanne#2 :)
    From your description it's hard to tell what happened to your dough. I need a little more information. First, how much of your starter is flour and how much is water? For instance is your starter made up of 8 oz. of flour and 8 oz. of water or is it 6 oz. of flour and to oz. of water. Also, how much starter did you use to being your dough?

    This stuff ain't rocket science, but does require a little attention. We should be able to get this figured out :)

    DO you have a scale or or are you using volume measure?
     
  6. cackleberrys

    cackleberrys

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    THanks for the help!!!


    Yes - I used Tap water ( filtered ) to make the starter. I used the one package of San francisco starter from Gold Rush, 1 cup unbleached white and 1 cup organic rye flour. I used the rye because I read somewhere that it made a better flavor to sourdough ( my whole outcome is to eventually use this to make my weekly pizza dough for my kids). Our water here is Extremely hard - so I will consider using bottled water, but then again which kind?? Spring, evian, "filtered" city not from here ( normal drinking water) ?


    The recipe called for 2 cups of starter ( after the inital rising period and 24 hours in the fridge, and then brought back to room temp), and 1 cup water ( filtered tap again), I added 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbs sugar, 2 tsp salt, and started in on the flour, probably adding in about 4 cups at this point. I have a kitchen aid small stand mixer with the bread hook in. I add the flour until the dough rises unto the hook, still sticky on the bottom and slightly tacky to touch ( very dry air here and 5,500 elevation). I went to check the dough and it felt the right consistency but when pulled it didn't stretch, just boke apart in a pinch ful. SO i decided it needed more kneeding on the hook. I left it go on medium speed and left the room. I came back in less then 5 min to check. The dough had crept up over the hook top and when pulled was like buble gum >> extremely stringy in long strands before breaking apart. I've never had this happen before when I've made bread with out a starter ( I make dough about once a week for home made pizza - still trying to achieve that chewy texture to the crust - gotta find that secret! )

    No i don't have a scale, nor using volume measure. Just by what "knowledge " I have ( could be bad knowledge here though - I'm learning :) ) and the same basic recipe usually without starter - 2 cups warm water, 2 TBS active dry yeast, 1 TBS salt, 1/4 cup olive oil 4 -5 cups flour until just not too sticky - In this case however - using 2 cups sourdough starter and an additional 1 cup water. I have found that stickier dough made better pizza but yet still not the right chewy texture. My dough is consistent on not being stretchable, like if you wanted to throw the crust it would hole up on you.

    Basic goal is to use a sourdough starter ( preferably the San Fran taste) on a weekly basis to make a chewy textured yummy pizza dough.
    LOL - I hear yah ..... is THAT all!!?!?!?!?

    Suzanne

    Thanks agagin!
     
  7. kylew

    kylew

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    The question remains how much water did you add to the two cups of flour? It's a lot easier to find, and fix, the problems if the make up of your starter is known. You also said the dough was climbing up and over the hook. Is it also clearing the sides and bottom of the bowl?
     
  8. cackleberrys

    cackleberrys

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    The recipe called for 2 cups of warm water to 2 cups of flour with the package of dry starter.

    At first yes, the dough cleaned the sides of the bowl. But as it continued to kneed ito the "bubble gum" phase, the dough climb up on top, and clung into the dough hook attachment spot on the mixer and underneath the mixing arm. At this moment, it changed texture completly and seemed to fill the bowl with its gooey mess.

    Science experiment here :)P and thanks again for the help!
     
  9. zukerig

    zukerig

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    I am certainly an advocate for the continuance of authenticity in the culinary arts. However, here is a quick method for creating a sourdough starter that will keep for weeks in the refrigerator:

    3 cups bread flour
    1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    ¼ ounce active dry yeast
    16 fl. oz. lukewarm water (105° to 115° F.)

    In a large nonmetallic bowl, combine the bread flour, sugar, and yeast. Gradually stir in the warm water. Using a whisk, beat until smooth. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 days.

    Ove the past 15 years, I've baked a good number of rye loaves using this shortcut starter. Heartily recommended for many bakers in various, adapted circumstances.