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Easy Morphed Sourdough

This formula is easy to follow and bakes up terrific bread. I used a morphing technique that really brings out the taste in the bread. Morphing sourdough is when you use two different starters to improve the quality of the bread. When I want to morph, I usually will use a white starter and a whole grain starter, either a rye or whole wheat starter. Today I used white and wheat together.

Make sure you have a vigorous white and wheat starter @ 100% hydration. You will need 5 oz of each one. Start around 2:00 pm in the afternoon.

Morphed Sourdough Bread

To a mixing bowl or dough trough add:

  • 5 oz/141g – whole wheat sourdough starter @ 100% hydration
  • 5 oz/141g – white sourdough starter @ 100% hydration
  • 21 oz/595g – water
  • .5 oz/14g – oil
  • 24 oz/680g – bread flour

Incorporate all the above ingredients together and then allow the sticky thick dough to autolyse (rest) for 20 minutes. After autolyse add the following ingredients to the sticky dough:

  • .8 oz/22g salt
  • 11 oz/311g bread flour

You need to get your hands into the dough and work it until all of the flour/salt is mixed in well. Allow the dough to ferment for six hours at room temperature, folding it four times during the fermentation.

After the dough is done fermenting. Divide the dough, shape it and place the dough into bannetons or baskets. Cover the bannetons with plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning take out your dough, staggering your loaves by 30 minutes each so that all loaves are not ready to bake at the same time. I placed each loaf into the microwave which was heated and kept warm by microwaving a coffee cup of water and leaving the cup in the microwave. The microwave becomes a mini- proofing cabinet that way. Don’t ever microwave your dough, just put it into the microwave with a cup of hot water, banneton and all, taking off the plastic bag.

Allow your dough to proof until it is ready. You can take out the dough and reheat the cup of water as necessary to keep the microwave warm. It took two hours for  my dough to proof and I still underproofed both loaves. The loaves popped like crazy when I baked and both loaves had torn crusts. When you warm the dough this way, you sometimes have to wait a little longer when you think they are done proofing because the outside of the dough is warmed but the inside can still be cold and that is when you can get a major unexpected oven spring.

Make sure to preheat your oven, baking stone and roasting lid to a really hot 450F temperature (you can place the roasting lid into the oven about 5 minutes before baking).

When your first loaf is ready to bake, slash the dough and place onto a hot preheated baking stone in your oven which has been preheated to 450 degrees for about an hour. Quickly spray the dough once all over and place your roasting lid over the dough.

Bake this way for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take off the roasting lid and place it on top of your oven. Bake the loaf uncovered for 12 – 15 more minutes or until it looks crispy crunchy browned and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf.  This bread smells heavenly, stays fresh longer and you will get raves about the flavor.

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  1. FranzFranz
    March 31, 2011    

    I mostly bake two types of bread.
    1) Has a mixture of 48% bread flour, 42% home made whole wheat flour, and 10% rye flour.
    2) Has a mixture of 80% bread flour, 15% whole wheat flour, and 5% rye flour.
    I keep my starters in small quantities, which makes it easy to maintain one starter with each flour combination of which I keep an adequate supply.
    I like to mention that I have had excellent results with a starter that is clamed to be the best for whole wheat flour. It is called “South Africa Sourdough Culture” from Sourdoughs International, Inc. at http://www.soudo.com.
    I agree with you on the incorporation in the starter of all flours in the recipe.
    Franz (not the baker in Seattle)

  2. Maribel BellendirMaribel Bellendir
    March 24, 2011    

    What makes your sourdough rise so well and have big holes in the dough. Lately I can’t seem to accomplish this without adding yeast to my starter but I think this compromises the flavor. It still tastes good, but probably much better if I did not add the yeast. I feed my starter pretty much on a daily basis but it is not as bubbly as it used to be. I would like to “revive” it if I can rather than start over.

    • Maribel BellendirMaribel Bellendir
      March 24, 2011    

      Just found some good tips to try at this site – http://www.northwestsourdough.com/index.php?cID=99

      • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
        March 25, 2011    

        Hi Maribel, I would suggest trying another starter, either make another of your own, obtain one from a friend or purchase a new one that is already tested as a good strong starter. If you haven’t been happy with the one you have, you may as well go for a new one.

  3. PattyPatty
    March 14, 2011    

    Hi Teresa! How does this bread compare in flavor to the “Salt Sourdough”? I like the whole wheat flour being in there, just because, and wonder if it impacts the flavor favorably as well. I used the microwave proofing technique but found my loaves didn’t proof evenly. Maybe my microwave is too small to pull it off effectively. So just leaving the loaves out (I found all this out on your wonderful Mill Grain Loaf) worked better. I’ve tried the “Salt Sourdough” twice now with less than spectacular results. The crust was distintively crisper & saltier than your regular sourdough, but the crumb wasn’t much more sour. (I baked both breads on the same day so was able to do a side-by-side taste comparison.) I also didn’t achieve the radical blistering you do. I suspect the “designated refrigerator” issue–I just have my regular fridge I’m leaving the dough in. I’m asking because the people in my neighborhood I sell bread to really want that “San Francisco” sour (I live too close to the Bay Area to get away with less!). Any ideas to help me achieve that w/o a seperate refrigerator? As usual, you are an artist! Thank you.

    • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
      March 14, 2011    

      Hi Patty, well something is wrong because it should not be saltier than regular bread. Yes the dedicated refrigerator is a big part of getting the sour because temperature control is important here. If you follow the formula the salt is never higher than 2%, it would not cause a salty flavor. If you are making the salt motherdough and then using it to add to your own recipe, you would have a saltier dough, which also would inhibit the sour flavor. I cut down the salt in the second part of the formula to take into account the salt added to the preferment.

      I think you might prefer the morphed sourdough, the flavor is out of this world and if you add a little evaporated milk, you will have an easier time getting the sour in this bread. The lactic acid in the milk can cause a boost in the bread’s sour flavor.

      When you try morphing, it actually does better if you use two distinctly different starters and not one that is fed with whole wheat to turn it into a whole wheat starter. When they are two completely different starters, the enzymes get really active and can cause a lighter fluffier crumb and a great oven spring. It is very difficult to get a consistant sour flavor in sourdough breads. The bakeries often use flavor additives to accomplish that.

      To obtain the blisters, you need a good baking stone, and oven and stone that is very hot, so heating for an hour is a must, and a roasting lid, to hold the steam right next to the loaf as it bakes.

      • PattyPatty
        March 14, 2011    

        Thanks for the feedback, Teresa! I’ll give this bread a try. I do have a HOT oven, great stones, & use the roasting pan lid. I shall try again… 🙂

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