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Slow Dough, Stretch Bread and Morphing Sourdough!

I started out baking last weekend with Northwest Sourdough Starter. It didn’t behave as usual, it was extremely slow, although I had it out at room temperature and had been feeding it daily for some time. The difference was in how cold it has been. I know I am sluggish when I am colder. The house has been harder to keep warm. We have iced over ponds and puddles outside and have had all week. There is talk of snow here on the coast! Anyway, I made up a batch of Basic White Sourdough with milk partially substituted. It took a full nine hours to bulk ferment. I let it take it’s time as I was interested in what was happening. I finally shaped the dough into loaves and put them to bed in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, the dough took a full three hours to proof. I baked up two two pound loaves and two one pound loaves. They came out great. Here are some pics:

Northwest Sourdough

Northwest Starter Bread

Three of the loaves


Made some sandwiches too:

Sourdough Sandwiches

The Crumb

Crumb closeup

So on Tuesday, I made up a morph batch of Northwest and Desem starters. I have used the morphing technique before and have had some interesting bread result. This time was no different. The morphed batch also took a long time to proof, but not to bulk ferment. Bulk ferment was about five hours but then next day it took another five hours for the dough to be ready to bake! I think that was the longest warm up proof I have yet had (not counting retarded proofs). It didn’t seem to matter to the dough, as it just wouln’t seem to overproof. Earlier in the morning though , I had taken out a bowl of the dough from the same batch which I had reserved to griddle up some Sourdough Stretch Bread. Betcha have’t heard about that yet! (Well some of you have because I have made it before but I think I called in fry bread or something like that). I decided to call it stretch bread because it really isn’t fried but stretched out and griddled. I took about 3 oz of dough and gently streched it apart, so that some of it was thinner in spots and some thicker. Overall about 1/2 inches thick. I then threw the dough onto a 350 degree greased griddle and turned it a couple of times, trying not to burn it. I think I turned it at three minute intervals twice on each side for a total of 10 – 12 minutes. Then you take off the stretchers, split them in half, partly with a knife partly pulling it apart, butter it good and eat. The outside is crispy and the inside is soft and sour! Yumm! It is also good with jams, jellies, honey, or powdered sugar.

Stretch Bread:


Stretch Bread

Sourdough Stretch Bread

Sourdough Stretch Bread

You can take any bread dough and do this, it is a terrific treat with hot coffee in the morning.

Later I baked up my morph bread, it was about 1/3 whole wheat flour, including the Desem and extra whole wheat added during the mixing.

Here it is:

Morph Bread

Morph Sourdough Bread with Desem

This bread was very delicious with a very nice sour tang. You can see the crumb was light and open and no signs of overproofing even after five hours! This was a fun and interesting week for my baking with my sourdough starters.

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  1. March 15, 2008    

    Now when you morph, do you mix the two starters together when you perpetuate or build the ferment? I mixed a piece of two starters including your desem in a mix, seemed to work fine?

  2. February 18, 2008    

    Hi Teresa, Wow more sourdough! Very nice pictures and explanations of process. I must try desem, I first heard of it when I read Laurel’s Kitchen book and have always wanted to give it a shot. I love whole wheat breads, naturally fermented or otherwise.
    Happy bacon!
    Best, David Aplin

  3. January 25, 2008    

    I’ll have to make a new rule for myself. Don’t come to your blog when I am hungry! Everything looks sooooooo yummy!

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