NFR Sourdough bread

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Strawfish, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Strawfish

    Strawfish Member

    I'm not bragging about anything, but I did surprise myself a little bit. In 2012 I collected some wild yeast here in Edmonds, and after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get a good loaf I gave up and stuck the starter in the back of the freezer. A couple of days ago I decided to give it another chance, or toss it out. I mixed up a batch of dough, and to my surprise it was doubled after just 4 and 1/2 hours. This is with just the wild yeast, no help from store yeast, that's the surprising part. Most sourdough recipes call for extra help from commercial yeast.
    The "sour" taste isn't quit there, but I believe that as I keep using it, that will come. I've been baking no-knead Dutch oven bread for sometime, and the Dutch oven worked well for this. Anyone know a good way to sour the dough?

    Attached Files:

  2. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

    Add ascorbic acid which you can find in cheese making supply areas.
  3. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    The only way I know is to feed the starter with small amounts of water and flour and keep it out of the frig but covered with a paper towel to keep out the fruit flies etc. Over time it will mature and get a lot more tart. You'll need to remove a bit of starter and replenish once a week. Then, when you are ready to make bread, make a sponge or even two in a cool environment (not the frig) before you make the dough.

    MT_Flyfisher likes this.
  4. Strawfish

    Strawfish Member

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I've got a couple of ideas too. This is kind of like tying new fly patterns, fun to see what works. Meanwhile, it's time to make more bread, that loaf is almost gone.
  5. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    I think baking sourdough bread in a cast iron Dutchie somehow makes the tang pop just a bit more. I typically make a 2-loaf recipe in a 12" deep.

    That way you won't run out so quickly . . .

  6. cwlinkem

    cwlinkem New Member

    I've found I can control the level of sour by using the starter at different stages. For more sour flavor, after feeding your starter (I use a 1:2:2 ratio of starter, flour and water by weight) let it rise completely to double size and then fall back. Basically over proofing the starter. The bacteria that provide the sour take longer to get going, so you can bring more of them out by over proofing the starter. Another way is at the point when your starter has doubled in size, put it in the refrigerator overnight, up to 3 days. This will slow the yeast and let the bacteria catch up, improving the sour flavor. When you want to make bread let the starter warm to room temp and add to whatever recipe you use. Using a starter as soon as it has doubled will result in a less sour dough. Controlling temperature and feeding frequency will change your yeast/bacteria balance and give you the flavor you are looking for.
  7. Strawfish

    Strawfish Member

    Thanks Trapper and cwlinkem,
    I also tried something different with my last batch, I added a couple tablespoons of sour cream to the dough. That seemed to add about the level of sourness that the family likes. But, I'm still experimenting, I have three different starters that I'm messing with.
  8. riseform

    riseform Active Member

    I apologize if I'm preaching to the choir here, but the sour flavor in sourdough bread comes from the lactobacilli bacteria in your culture. The leavening comes from the yeast.

    You'll get more sour flavor proofing your dough at a higher temperature to favor the lactobacilli (85-90 degrees). The acidity (sourness) produced by the lactobacilli, however, inhibits the yeast (which does best at 65-75 degrees) thereby reducing the leavening.

    The trick to sourdough is getting that right balance of sourness without inhibiting the yeast so much that your bread comes out like a pancake. I use an upside down styrofoam ice chest with a light bulb on a dimmer switch to vary the temperatures during the proofing process. I've made some really good breads, but I can never compete with the balance between flavor and leavening I find at the local supermarket. Pisses me off.

    I will add that the trick to getting good air bubbles in your bread (crumb) comes down to adding more water and keeping your dough on the moist side.
  9. rotato

    rotato Active Member

    Try retarding the dough in the fridge a day before baking
    When I make a dough I bake off a few rolls but save the majority
    The flavor is more complex the next day
  10. rory

    rory Go Outside

    Anyone have a starter they want to mail to me? I will pay postage!
  11. cwlinkem

    cwlinkem New Member

    I live in your area, a little north, and could meet up to hand you some starter. It would be easier than drying it down and mailing it.
  12. Strawfish

    Strawfish Member

    If your previous offer doesn't work out, I would also be willing to share some starter. I also would rather just meet, rather than drying and mailing.
  13. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Trapper, you really are bad for posting that loaf here... I try, and I try, and the best I can say is that the term "biohazard" would describe my attempts. It's a good excuse for me to go on a gluten-free diet, so I don't have any use for great bread like that loaf in your shot. I'm going to light my pipe and sulk for awhile now....:(
  14. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Here's a bit of confession on my part -- I suck at making bread in a bread machine. I've tried and tried and used different recipes and even got frustrated enough to follow the recipe that came with the damn machine! All my loaves came out looking and tasting like chunks of firewood. I gave the machine away.

    I can bake bread in a Dutch Oven over coals with no electricity, running water, etc out of a wall tent in the wilderness, but I can't make bread in a modern bread machine.

    Maybe it's because I have done it for a long time. By long time I mean I made my first loaf of bread around 1962.

    Here's some Ciabatta bread I made in a conventional oven.


  15. Strawfish

    Strawfish Member

    Trapper, your bread looks awesome! I've never tried a bread machine, I actually enjoy the kneading process, kind of retro, I guess. Besides the kneading action actually feels good on my broken back. Just curious, do you steam your bread in the conventional oven? I usually put pan of boiling water in first, then during the baking time I'll mist with a spray bottle two or three times, gives the bread a bit more crust. I learned the hard way to stand aside when you open the oven door, a shot of steam in the face taught me real quick. I don't do that when using the Dutch oven, as you know, it holds it's own steam.
  16. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    I don't typically steam bread to get a nice crust. For this Ciabatta bread I use a perforated loaf pan.


    I roll the dough in coarse ground semolina before I put it in the pan for the final rise. It makes a really nice crunchy crust without the hassle of steaming.

  17. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    I'm not through sulking....
  18. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    However, when Her Ladyship and I used to spend a week in the Broken Group, kayaking among the islets, my 17-foot boat would be almost awash with all the niceties we carried. We had a great camp, comfy chairs, dutch ovens, even a case of champagne with which we'd toast the passing yachts-poor bastards! There were steaks, fresh salmon, you name it. We'd do an "Italian night", "Mexican night", "French night", maybe a "Thai night", and in the mornings we'd suffer through mamosas, fresh blueberry, white chocolate and almond scones in one of the dutchies (package mixes I couldn't screw up!), crepes, omlettes, that sort of thing. Oh, and the freshly ground coffee. Life's tough! Then we'd go out and paddle 10 miles or so, sticking our boats' bows into all sorts of pristine little coves where there was no sign we weren't the very first humans to get there. My only regret was that we couldn't eat the oysters-wrong season!
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