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Winging it with Two Night Sourdough

Last night I started a Two Night Sourdough which is my San Francisco Style Sourdough recipe. However, when I took the sponge out this morning, I decided to wing my way into something different. I have some ground whole wheat flour that I sifted to take out the coarsest bran and I added a cup of the sifted flour. I set aside the branish flour to use for the proofing basket and the shaping. After adding the sifted flour, I also added more bread flour. Then I let the sponge proof again. In the afternoon, I added the rest of the ingredients, and let it proof again. This recipe is built up over time with more flour and ingredients added as you go along. In the end, the result is a nice sour bread with plenty of rise because the whole thing was never overproofed but built up.

This evening after the proofing was done, I took out the branish flour and poured out the dough. Then I kneaded it a little, shaped the loaves with a coating of the branny stuff and put the loaves to bed in the fridge. We will see how they come out tomorrow. With the added wheat flour, I think the bread will have a nice punch to it.

I am making two bread pan loaves and a boule. To be continued…. 

Eating Crow instead:

Well today I am eating crow…so to speak. My addition of the whole wheat in such a long fermented dough was my downfall or I should say the dough’s. After I built up the dough throughout the day, I smelled alcohol, and began to suspect that the dough was overfermenting. However, it was too late to fire up the oven and bake, so I went ahead and put the bread in the fridge overnight. I think if I would have baked that night instead of waiting until next morning, the bread may have come out better. Anyway, the dough was a pale color and had little oven spring, evidence of overfermenting during bulk fermentation, or so I have been learning. Here are the pictures of the bread:

 First loaf out of the oven:

first loaf

Notice the flat, whitish look.

Here are the second and third loaf:

second and third loaves

The third loaf was the boule and I baked it at a higher temperature longer just to get it to color up.

Here is a picture of the crumb:


This is such a great lesson for me because it drove home how overfermentation during the first proofing affects the dough. I have baked using this same recipe (except without the whole wheat) and schedule several times and never had this happen, so I am assuming the addition of the whole wheat sped up the fermentation too much. There is a plus to the whole flop, and that is the bread tastes super delicious. I had several members of my family ignore how the bread looks and say, this is so good you HAVE to make it again. It has a tangy, full bodied, wheaty flavor and wonderful smell. So…..I will make this recipe again, and still use the addition of the whole wheat, however, I will do this as a one night sourdough instead of a two night and see what happens!

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  1. Matthew Caldwell Matthew Caldwell
    July 18, 2006    

    Teresa, hi, Im so glad you are taking pics and recording your results, i myself are trying to make sourdough starters, and found out how fun it is, could you please tell me how to capture native yeast? If you have what did you use and how many times it took to get one you liked? I just started reading up on it and put a jar in my back yard with 1 cup rye flour and 1 cup bottled water, I live in Seattle, so any tips you have greatly appreciated, hey I thought your bread looks great!

  2. July 18, 2006    

    Teresa, you may find that you can still do this loaf as a two night recipe and retain the good flavour. Try adding a smaller amount of your ingredients in the early stages and a greater amount in the latter stages. This will emulate some of the long European recipe methods. Any overproofing in a small amount of ingredients will be overcome by the addition of a larger proportion later which does not overproof.

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