All Things Bread No.11

Hello Friends of Sourdough!
Today’s All Things Bread has a section on some powerful sources of bread baking knowledge and techniques, then in Zoom Debrief we discuss when to call proof and take a quick look at food safety guidelines vis a vis sourdough.   

All Things Bread
I love how this newsletter, the whatsapp group, and the zoom calls have evolved over the last 2 weeks. I hope they are of value to you and if you know anyone who’d like to join any of the 3, please do send them the links!

With that said, here are some of my go-to websites and books for sourdough and bread baking!

The Fresh Loaf : I was lucky to find TFL early in my journey and they have been a source of knowledge and inspiration ever since. Their baker’s handbook is beyond.

r/Sourdough and other such subreddits : Absolutely Encyclopaedic. Breadcyclopaedic I tell you. You have a question about sourdough? It’s already been asked and answered on reddit!  

King Arthur Flour : I mean their website is an absolute gold mine for all things bread. They have a collection of zoom backgrounds for bakers, an excellent blog (including this post on how not to be a bread hostage, and they even have a hotline you can call for any bread related emergencies!
“Bread-one-one state your emergency”
“Um, I uh… I over proofed my dough…”

There are lots of sourdough blogs out there but I really like TrueSourdough by some legend called Aysha Tai. A great resource for all things SD.

Books :
I started baking seriously only after a friend saw me messing up my baking, took pity on me and gifted me Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

The book that I’d recommend for sourdough fans has got to be Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. My copy is extra special because it was signed and gifted to me by Sharmin 🙂 If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of Tartine and I’ve flown back a LOT of Chad’s god-level bread over the years from his bakeries in SF. 

I’m a lucky man because Saher recently gifted me the Modernist Bread book set and I’m yet to even scratch the surface. That thing is a beast! MB also has a cool blog with some great resources

So tell me : What are your favourite SD books, blogs and websites?

Zoom Debrief
Calling Proof!
How do you know your dough is ready for the oven? Try this rule of thumb, the finger tip test!
Poke the dough with your finger tip, about one centimetre deep.
If the indentation springs back fully, the dough is not ready
If the indentation springs back about by about half, the dough is ready
If the indentation stays, the dough is over-proofed!
(Photo stolen from former CTO of Microsoft. Sorry Nathan)

The more you bake, the better you’ll get at speaking the language of sourdough and knowing what your starter, leaven, dough and loaf are doing at each stage.
Until then, use the whatsapp group, the zoom calls or just reply to this email 🙂

Food safety and you!
When it comes to Sourdough here are a few things to keep in mind from a food safety standpoint:
1. To avoid any live culture remaining in your loaf, bake them until the center registers about 95 degC. This temp is also important to get a good crumb structure.

2. The part of your starter that you discard when doing a feeding is called..well.. discard 🙂 There are lots of delish discard recipes out there ranging from pancakes to waffles. However be careful not to use discard from a starter that’s still establishing itself ie, less than 5 days old because there still might be some ‘not so nice’ microbes in there that are yet to leave the building.
In the same vein, be careful not to use discard from a starter that’s developed any unpleasant odour etc.

Remember Ayesha Tai’s incredible website I linked to above? Here’s her detailed advice on SD safety.

See you today at 4pm Dubai!