Category Archives for "Sourdough Baking"

Slashing Dough Video Pictures

Closeup of crumb

When I made the video in the last post, the video about slashing dough, I used the basic white sourdough recipe from but I left out the oil and substituted a cup of evaporated milk instead of one of the cups of water. I used the Northwest Sourdough starter. I made a 63% dough hydration. The loaves came out magnificently and I wanted to show you the loaves up close because they didn’t show up that well in the video.

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Shaping and Slashing Dough Videos

At the request of one of my sourdough buddies(Thankyou Carolyn), I made a video for showing shaping of batard and boule style loaves and another for showing a few kinds of dough slashing. If they help you that is great, sorry about the fuzziness, the videos were clearer on my computer but lost quality when I uploaded it to YouTube.

Here is the shaping video, it is about 10 minutes long:


 Here is the dough slashing video, it is about three minutes long:


If I get a chance I will work on a baking video too, any more suggestions? Have a great baking day, Teresa

Italian Sourdough

Luca's Oven

I have been corresponding with a man from the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy whose name is Luca. He has his own wood fired oven in his backyard (jealousy here) which was built by his grandfather.  Luca has graciously given me permission to share pictures of his bread and has provided us with a recipe for Focaccia.  He has also send me some of his own Italian sourdough starter which I have been trying out.

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Super White Sourdough

Super White Sourdough

Following a hint from Mariana-Aga’s Bread journal, (which you really should see, it’s one of the best bread baking journals I’ve visited)  (it’s not all in a foreign language) about making a slurry of boiling water and a small amount of flour so you can have a mixture with some of the starch already gelatinized, I was hoping to come up with a white sourdough that would keep a moist crumb longer.

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Killer Sourdough Sourcream Waffles

Sourddough Sourcream Waffles

I was going to make up some sourdough waffles using the recipe available on my website , but my son asked me to add more eggs to the batter. So I decided to not only add an extra egg, but to add some sourcream as well. When I baked (waffled, griddled?) up the waffles, my son was really happy (how can you NOT make a 16 year old boy happy with waffles?) but my daughter said, “These are KILLER waffles, mom!” So I will pass on the changes to the recipe to you and see what you think.

First bowl – whisk together:

  • 2 cups vigorous sourdough starter at 166% hydration
  • 1.5 cups warm water (80-90 degrees)

Second bowl – add each following ingredient and then beat with whisk after each addition:

  • A stick of melted butter (4 oz) (real butter, no substitutes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Malt Syrup (I did not level off the Tablespoon)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2  cup of sour cream (no low fat or no fat stuff!)

Third bowl – Add following ingredients and mix thoroughly:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

Now add the contents of  bowl one and bowl two together and using your whisk, mix thoroughly. Then add the contents of bowl three to the bowl of wet ingredients and whisk all together until blended. Let the mixture set for ten minutes while your waffle iron is heating to a high heat. The batter is a bit thin, but if it is too thick the waffles will be heavy, not light and crispy with a fluffy, soft interior. I spray my waffle iron when it is heated, with pan spray, and then I use one ladle of batter for my waffle iron and cook on high until it is as brown as I like. These waffles are so good that the taste of smooth, rich butter continues as you swallow each bite. The outside is crisp, but not crunchy, the interior like I mentioned, is soft, rich, smooth and really awesome. Try some and see if you don’t think so as well! This recipe makes enough for my large family, I think it made 12 – 15 eight inch waffles. So cut down on the amounts if you want less, don’t be afraid to put in three eggs if you are halving the recipe. Enjoy!

Sourdough Sourcream Waffles

Sourdough Sourdcream Waffles

Raisin Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread

Walnut Raisin Cranberry Sourdough

On the Sourdough Forum, Ice, the Co Administrator, converted a Craisin Walnut Sourdough bread from a recipe, Raisin, Walnut and Honey, that Aussie Bill came up with. Ice used metric, so I converted the recipe into standard US measurements and made a few tweaks of my own.So now here is Raisin Walnut Cranberry Sourdough :

  • 2 cups starter at 166% hydration – 18 oz
  • 1 & 1/4  cup water – 10 oz
  • 1 cup milk (scalded, cooled) – 8 oz
  • 2 large eggs – 3.4 oz
  • 3 Tablespoons oil – 1.5 oz
  • 3 Tablespoons honey 2.1 oz
  • 1 Tablespoon salt – .7 oz
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat flour – 8.4 oz
  • 4 cups Bread flour – 18 oz
  • 4 cups All Purpose flour – 16.8 oz
  • 1 -1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon or Mixed Pumpkin Pie spice

I put all of these ingredients together in my mixer and mixed just until incorporated(adjust water/flour if too dry or wet). Then I let the dough rest for 15 minutes (autolyse). I then mixed the dough for one more minute and let it bulk ferment for seven hours, the dough was very sluggish because of the spice in it, which tends to slow down the yeast. I then put the dough into the refrigerator overnight. Next morning I took out the dough and let it warm up for four hours. I shaped the dough by dividing it into three pieces, and then rolling out each piece into a 20 x 8 inch rectangle. After I rolled out the dough , I spread evaporated milk over the surface and sprinkled a cinnamon sugar mixture over the whole surface ( I like the cinnamon mixture heavy on the cinnamon and light on the sugar). I then sprinkled walnuts and raisins on the first dough, I used only raisins on the second one,

roll out the dough

and on the third one I put raisins, walnuts and chopped, frozen cranberries.

sprinkle on fruit and nuts

Then, roll up the dough…

roll it up

three loaves ready to go

Here are the three loaves ready to proof. They took two hours to proof. When ready, bake at 375 degrees  for about 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean(I baked all three together and did not use a baking stone). I had to put aluminum foil over them towards the end of the bake to keep them from getting too dark.

 This recipe makes 5 lbs 7 oz of dough.Here are some pictures of the finished bread:

Walnut Raisin Bread

Iced loaf

All three loaves


Walnut Raisin Sourdough

A lady named Kris was one of the winners on the recent forum contest. She very kindly sent me a beautiful Linen Proofing Cloth embellished with her own artwork. I am very pleased! Thankyou Kris! Here is a picture of my bread with her cloth and business card. If you are interested in buying some of these cloths for a gift, give her a call, her number is on the card below (707-839-8379) or email her at : still_kris2004″at”  A better picture of her cloth is at the beginning of this blog entry.

Kris' cloth

This bread is so delicious, my daughter described it as “Killer Good”. However, you haven’t tasted it until you toast a thick slice and slather it with real butter…..MMMMMMM! All three loaves were almost gone the first day. I hid two pieces for myself and hubby to have with coffee this morning. Weren’t we the lucky ones!

Sourdough Millet Loaf

Sourdough Millet Loaf

I decided to use some Millet grain that I had bought for experimenting with. I ground up a cup of Millet into a meal type consistancy, which I used in the dough and outside of the crust when making this bread. The texture of the crumb was really great, I had wondered if a whole cup of ground Millet would affect the crumb and how, but it turned out nice and the smell was terrific. The crust was crunchy, crispy and making toast out of this bread was a treat. For the first two loaves I brushed the crust with egg glaze and sprinkled the ground Millet on the outside. For the third loaf, I also brushed on the egg glaze but I sprinkled whole Millet seed on the outside. Here are some pictures of the loaves:

Here are the loaves proofing in their couche:

loaves proofing

Here are the first two loaves:

First two loaves

Here is a closeup of the crust with the ground Millet on it:

Crust closeup

Another crust closeup

Here is the loaf with the whole Millet seed on the crust:

Whole Millet on the crust

More Millet loaves

Here is the crumb:


Millet is an interesting addition to sourdough bread. The grain baked on the outside of the crust was not crunchy hard like cracked wheat, but was softer and more biteable, yet still crunchy.

From the site , I found the following information about Millet:

Millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous and like buckwheat and quinoa, is not an acid forming food so is soothing and easy to digest. In fact, it is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available and it is a warming grain so will help to heat the body in cold or rainy seasons and climates.

Millet is tasty, with a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor and contains a myriad of beneficial nutrients. It is nearly 15% protein, contains high amounts of fiber, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, the essential amino acid methionine, lecithin, and some vitamin E. It is particularly high in the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium

MIllet seems to go really well with sourdough baking, so you might want to pick up some Millet next time you are in town, and try it out.

Sourdough Spelt

Spelt Sourdough

I have been doing some of my experiements with Spelt flour and decided to do up a Spelt Bread which was mainly from Spelt instead of just adding Spelt to other recipes. I made up a preferment in the evening and left it out at room temperature:

  • 4 cups Whole Spelt Flour – 14 oz
  • 2 cups Spring Whole Wheat flour – 8.4 oz
  • 3 cups water- 24 oz
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt –  .3 oz  (to control fermentation)
  • 1 cup vigorous Desem or Whole Wheat starter at 100% hydration – 9 oz

I put this into a large covered container and next morning it was very bubbly. I then poured the premix into my mixer and added:

  • 3 Tablespoon Oil – 1.5 oz
  • 2.5 teaspoons Sea Salt – .7 oz
  • 1 Tablespoon Non-Diastatic Malt syrup – .85 oz
  • 4 cups of bread flour – 18 oz

I mixed the dough for about 2 minutes, but had to take the dough out of the mixer and knead some by hand as the batch wasn’t as large as my usual batches and the dough was wandering around the bowl and not mixing as well as it should. I put the dough back into the mixing bowl and allowed the dough to autolyse for 20 minutes. I then mixed again for another minute. The dough, with the malt included as part of the liquid, was at 65% hydration. The dough felt nice, but I think I would make it at 67% hydration next time, adding a small amount more of water (about 1 oz or 1/8 cup water). I let the dough double, which it did in about 3.5 hours, and then I shaped the loaves. After proofing the loaves for about 2 hours, I baked them at 450 degrees in my usual way, by slashing the loaf, placing it on the hot oven stone,spraying the dough once, covering it with a preheated large roaster lid for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, I take off the lid and turn down the oven to 425 degrees and let the bread bake for 15 more minutes, turning once during that time to allow for even browning. The bread is quite delicious. It has a chewy crust and a soft, moist crumb. Here are some pictures:

Spelt Sourdough

Spelt Sourdough

The slashes on the long loaf reminded me that it was time to change the blade!

Here is a picture of the crumb, no nice outside picture, as by the time the bread cooled, the sun had fled:

Spelt Crumb

This recipe made 4 lb 11 ounces of dough, just enough to make two large loaves and give a little piece of dough to smallest daughter to shape into her own loaf, which was cut into and eaten faster than the camera could be whipped out! Spelt has a wonderful mild flavor, which would come to mind if someone said “Old World Flavor”. It is also a soft flour and weighs only 3.5 ounces per cup right after grinding. The flour feels very soft and fluffy. When added to white flours, to bring up the ash content, it seems to make the bread crumb lighter and fluffier. Give it a try, it can be found in most health food and bulk food stores.

Bulk Ferment…again…using San Francisco Starter…

Sourdough bread

Before I get started with the starter experiment in bulk fermentation, I wanted to let you see a really terrific first Desem loaf by Jeremy Shapiro, an extraordinary baker and chef at : . Spend some time perusing his website, it has much of interest to those who love sourdough and fine cooking.

In an earlier post, I worked with Austrian Starter and tried a seven hour bulk ferment in a controlled environment, the dough fell apart and was a loss. Then I tried it again and fermented the dough in the same manner for five hours and the bread was not only a success but had a nice mild sour (which was the purpose of this experiment anyway). Then the next logical experiment was to see if I could push the San Francisco Starter further because it is a longer proofing starter and could potentially take the longer bulk ferment with heat. So I made the same Basic White Recipe but substituted a cup of Spelt flour (which I also did with the other experiments) and 1/4 cup of milk powder for a more tender crumb. I then put the dough into a large container with a lid and popped it into my oven which had the baking stone in it to preserve the warmth, and was warmed by keeping the oven light on. I had a thermometer in the oven and kept the door propped open a couple of inches. The heat was just at 80 degrees the whole time. I would have liked to try it at 75 – 78 degrees, because I think that would be better, but I have no way of doing that at this time. Anyway, I had the dough in the warmed oven for seven hours and then took it out and left it at room temperature 70 degrees for another two hours. The dough felt wonderful, was light and full of air foamy bubbles. Here are the pictures of the this batch of bread:

Basic Sourdough with San Francisco Starter

Basic White/Spelt SF

Basic White Sourdough with SF

Basic White with SF

Crumb for the SF White

Crumb picture

Basic White with SF

The bread smells heavenly! The crust was crisp and shattery, and it was sour, but not enough sour! So guess what? I am going to repeat the experiment again and push the San Francisco Starter nine hours in a controlled warm environment. That is the real potential of the San Francisco Starter, its ability to last when other starters begin to break down. I am hoping for a consistantly sour bread with  a dependable  technique. I get breads sour all of the time, but often it is a hit and miss kind of thing. I would like some consistancy. Whole grain breads or breads with a higher ratio of whole grain flours are easy to get a great sour with, the white breads are more difficult to get it with consistancy. When I want a sour loaf, I want it sour! I think adding a little bit of Rye flour would also help that, but I want to push the timing thing first. If you have any suggestions, please offer them, otherwise…stay tuned…

Spelt…I Certainly Do Like It!

 Basic White/Spelt Sourdough

I have been a bit busy and have not posted lately, but that does not mean that I have not been baking sourdough! I did some experiments with bulk fermentation and heat which came out pretty interesting. I also have been working with Spelt flour and have found it to be a terrific addition to my pantry of flours. First off the bulk fermentation. I tried a batch of bulk ferment dough in a controlled 80 degree environment. I had used the Austrian sourdough starter so I had hoped I could push the ferment for at least seven hours….wrong….! I had some dough that was falling apart sticky and the gluten was broken down. It made some pretty flat bread…but it tasted great with a wonderful sour. So I made the same recipe again and kept it at 80 degrees for five hours and the dough turned out wonderful, was very nicely sour and had the rustic, wheaty, dusky flavor of Spelt. I don’t have pictures of the ruined bread because I only baked one loaf, the rest I turned into stretched bread (delightfully sour though, see earlier post below for stretched bread).

Here are some pictures of the bread with Spelt flour, this is just the Basic White Sourdough with some Spelt flour substituted:

Dough ready for slashing 

  Dough Slashed

  Basic White/Spelt Sourdough

Basic White/Spelt Sourdough  

 Basic White/Spelt Sourdough

Basic White/Spelt Sourdough 

  Basic White/Spelt Crumb

This sourdough was mixed, fermented at 80 degrees F for five hours, shaped, refrigerated overnight and not baked until the afternoon of the following day, so it had a long cool proof also. I think it would do better below 80 degrees by a couple of degrees, like around 76 – 78 degrees. I didn’t have much of a way of lowering the temperature though as I had my stone in the oven to keep the warmth even and had the lightbulb on with the door cracked open to acheive the 80 degrees. I need a proofing box. By the way, I am finished moving my site to a new server, so if you see any broken links email me and let me know. Hopefully my site won’t have so much down time now! Tomorrow Feb 20 is the last day to submit your idea for naming my sourdough book. There are a couple of prizes offered, see what is going on at:
Northwest Sourdough Message Board