Monday, March 23, 2009
So here's the short cut to the end of the sourdough story. Above is the loaf as sourdough that was only slightly sour and needed to be spiked with active dry yeast. Gasp. I know, but I had to do it. Let me tell you why.
First of all, my starter just wasn't cutting it. The site I linked to below said that the starter should double in between feedings and mine was not doubling no matter how much I fed it over the last two or three weeks. But, I didn't want to abandon ship after all the time I'd spent researching this project. I decided that I would make a firm starter according to the directions in Bakers Apprentice, except that I would add one package of active dry yeast before the kneading. Other kinds of bread, even other sourdoughs spike a dough.
My first attempt at the loaf last week stripped the gears of my Kitchen Aid Mixer when I was using it to knead the dough. So this time around I hand kneaded for 15 minutes. Quite a workout. (Pictures by my nine year old daughter)
No pictured here is the initial proof lasting 4 hours. As a result of the spiking, I did see quite a rise in the dough this time. Following that there is a second proofing, this time in the bannetons. Again the loaf doubled in size.
After flipping the risen dough out of the bannetons onto a baking peel, you are supposed to score the loaves. I did not choose a sharp enough knife and ended up de-gassing the dough a little bit. You can see below the loaf is deflated.
I have since ordered a wet starter from King Arthur's Baking Co and am planning to try this again with a well known starter. I'll update after that development.