Blistery, Billowy, Salt Fermented Sourdough

I told you I was happy to be back home! I did not have such success with my loaves at the “other” houses. I believe in large part it may be because: I have an old used oven that works great for baking, I have a dedicated refrigerator set at 46F degrees for fermentation, I have my Fibrament baking stone, I finally got some Morebread flour, and well…. it’s my domain!

I have gone back to my favorite interest, “Salt Fermented Sourdough.” I have a board set up just for this experimentation on my Sourdough Forum. It was password protected, but since the release of my book, “Discovering Sourdough,” It has been opened to all members of the forum.

I have decided to take a new twist on this recipe. I not only added aged salt fermented starter  to the dough, I also added freshly bubbly ripe starter as well. I made up the dough and then after it fermented, I shaped three loaves and refrigerated them overnight in my dedicated fridge. So this wasn’t your long fermented dough, I didn’t expect them to be as sour as the longer fermented dough, but, well…. these loaves are fantastic! They almost look like two pound loaves(they were one pound and a few ounces each), they are light, airy and the crust is shattery. I couldn’t even remove the loaf from the oven without shattering the blisters.

First you need to make the “seed starter” you can find it here: Salt Fermented Sourdough

Please disregard the diastatic malt in the recipe and only make the seed starter, do not follow the rest of the direction for the Salt Fermented Sourdough, come back here and continue on…….

Follow the directions to make the seed starter(do not use the diastatic malt), using either the 166% starter formula or the 100% one. I used the 100% starter formula. I allowed the seed starter to set in my dedicated (46F degree) refrigerator for five days. It is that time of year where maybe you could find a place that is around that temperature. Maybe an enclosed outside porch, a garage or pantry, If you can get it up above 40F degrees but below 50, that would be perfect.

On day five at 2:00 pm I mixed together this dough:

Early in the morning, I fed my regular sourdough starter @ 100% hydration so it would be bubbly and active by the afternoon. Then using a dough trough or a mixer on low speed mix together:

Blistery Salt Sourdough:

In a dough trough mix together:

  • Water – 18 oz/510g
  • Bread flour – 20 oz/567g

Mix the water and flour together and autolyse for 30 minutes. Then add:

  • Seed Dough 5-6 days old @ 65.4% hydration- 12 oz/340g (see link for instructions)
  • Bubbly active regular starter @ 100% hydration – 10 oz/283g
  • Salt – .7 oz/19g
  • Bread flour – 10 oz/

Stir all ingredients together and then allow the dough to ferment for six hours. Do a dough folding once each hour or at least four times altogether.

Then divide the dough and shape. See secret below for getting an airy bubbly crumb.

Place the dough into bannetons or floured, lined baskets, then cover with plastic wrap and let set overnight in your refrigerator.

Next morning take out your loaves one by one staggering them by about 30 minutes. When your dough is proofed, slash, spray with water and bake in a preheated oven using and oven stone and the roasting pan method of baking except keep the oven at 450 throughout the bake. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes with a roasting lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes to brown.

Salt seed dough at five days old:

The seed dough is spongy:

After mixing ingredients together:

When the dough is done fermenting, after six hours and several folds, it will look like this:

Dough shaped and in a lined basket:

Dough scored and ready to bake. I just placed it on the baking stone, next I will spray the dough with water and cover it with a hot roasting lid.

pictures of the outcome:

And the crumb:

Airy, billowy, soft, custardy with moistness, this crumb is wonderful. I have a secret to obtaining the open holy structure. It is this:

After shaping your dough, allow the loaves to set at room temperature for about one hour. Then do a final shaping, shaping it gently as to not deflate all of the bubbles but pressing enough to degas somewhat.  Pinch to pop any large bubbles which form just under the crust. Then refrigerate the dough.

Your family will not believe their eyes or their mouths when you produce this bread from your oven, give it a go……..

….and have fun!

Me with my 1lb 4 oz loaves:

Happy Baking!

19 Responses to 'Blistery, Billowy, Salt Fermented Sourdough'

  1. elvira says:

    You are so…….BRAVISSIMA!!!
    I’ll try to make these fantastic loaves in the near future.
    Thank you very much,Teresa!
    Elvira

  2. susan says:

    What’s the make and model of your oven? Do you know approximately when it was purchased? Thanks

  3. northwestsourdough says:

    Hi Susan, it is an old clunker that I picked up on the side of the road with a “free” sign on it. The brand name is Roper. It has solid elements on the top. The elements do not work too good, taking forever to heat up and not really getting hot enough, but the oven does a terrific job baking my bread and it is large.

  4. elvira says:

    Teresa I did it! I did it!
    Mine is not so beautiful as yours,but the taste….Unbeliveable !!Fantastic,wonderful….I have no other words :-)
    Thank you very much for this recipe
    Elvira

  5. northwestsourdough says:

    Terrific Elvira! If you want to show pics, join the forum, you can post pictures there. I am happy it worked out for you!

  6. jacky brown says:

    I have been following your site for awhile now…
    It has been a few weeks since I last had a chance to “check in”.
    I have just started with my sourdough starter and am so enjoying it! You have
    been a huge help. I am looking forward to trying this method.
    I tried to open you e-book, several recipes, and a couple of other things,
    but got a blank screen or “page not found”….
    Are you OK?

    thank you, Theresa

    • northwestsourdough says:

      Hi Jacky, Thanks for asking. I had to take my book down because of legal problems I am having. I am hoping to get it back up soon. I checked the recipes on the site and they all opened. Do you remember what else didn’t open? I only took the book down.

      Teresa

  7. cranbo says:

    Hi Teresa,

    I just discovered your website through TFL, and this sourdough looks positively AMAZING. That level of blistering has been a holy grail I have been seeking for a long time.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your work and experience, especially in making “Discovering Sourdough” available to all…what a tremendous gift! I hope you’re able to post the book again soon.

    Regards,
    cranbo

    • northwestsourdough says:

      Thanks Cranbo, you won’t have to search any further than this recipe to get great taste and lots of blisters. Have fun!

  8. alyce says:

    Oh that bread looks fantastic.

  9. Lu says:

    I am still having a hard time understanding what you mean by making a “seed” dough…the Hydration thing…is this something you buy? I know how to make a regular starter…do I just do that and after storing in fridge for allotted time – add the salt? Sorry…just a bit confused on following. I can make starter in one day here at my place…but also find that it turns watery on top quickly if I do not feed a couple times a day and then does not rise well then. If time, any suggestions? Thanks

  10. RuthieG says:

    I have been trying to come up with a salt rising dough recipe for biscuits. My Aunt (long passed now) made what I believe to be salt rising biscuits. Needless to say, I loved them and have hoped to come up with a starter …ie seed dough….I’m going to try yours…

  11. Syd says:

    Teresa,
    Your bread looks superb. I haven’t studied your method closely, but at first glance it reminds me of how I first used to make sourdough when I started making it about 15 yea,rs ago. After I had added salt to my dough I would remove a portion of it which would then be the starter, for my next loaf. Often that salted starter would stay in the fridge for 3 days or even up to a week. It was slower than my 100% hydration, unsalted starter I use now, but it made wonderful bread with a rich blistered crust and complex flavour. Reading this post has inspired me to try it again.
    Just out of curiosity, why do you advise not to add the diastatic malt to the seed starter. I ask because I have excellent results when I add diastatic malt to my sourdoughs, although, admittedly, I never add it to the starter, only to the final dough.
    You have a fantastic site and are extremely generous to share all your work with everyone. Many thanks,
    Syd

    • northwestsourdough says:

      Hi Syd, thanks for the kudos. I only left the diastatic malt out of this iteration. The link in the post that is its source, has diastatic malt. I wanted to make a version for those that do not have diastatic malt.

      There ended up being several iterations of this formula and then I flipped completely with a no salt preferment with my Big Bear’s Bread.

      There are just so many possibilities and so little time….

  12. brian says:

    how do you get those blisters and do they represent somthing?

  13. Sarah says:

    Your enthusiasm for salt fermented sourdough inspired me to have a go a few months ago and I’ve been making it regularly ever since. My husband and I just love it. It’s everything you promised and more. We find it has an amazing juicy quality – it tastes moist even when it’s dry. I suspect that has to do with the hygroscopic qualities of salt. This is seriously juicy and deeply nutritious bread! I’ve recently taken to baking salt fermented buns (rolls), which are sublime. After making an initial seed starter, I used the pate fermente method, which I kept going for a while. The loaves were all delicious and rose well enough, but I found they were never quite as light as the first bake from the seed starter, which was exceptional – have you experienced this at all? One time, after leaving the pate fermente in the fridge for well over 7 days, I tried ‘feeding’ it. I threw away half of it, refreshed the rest with flour and salt (autolysed) and then refrigerated it for several days. It made a pretty good loaf. I’ve also tried an adaptation of your ‘Summer Sourdough’ morph method a few times – adding fresh 100% starter to old pate fermente (usually older than 7 days). I’ve tried it with rye starter and with wheat starter and both worked well.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for so generously sharing your love of baking and to let you know how much we’re enjoying saltdo’ in our house, daily. It’s the best thing since Russian Rye bread, which I’ve enjoyed baking for many years. Is there still a forum dedicated to experiments with salt fermentation? I couldn’t seem to find it.

    Happy baking,
    Sarah

  14. jessie says:

    Gorgeous! I’m crying reading this. Partly because these are the most beautiful loaves I have ever seen, and partly because mine are the ugliest, heaviest bricks ever made in a kitchen :(

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