Hello Friends of Sourdough!
Each newsletter carries a permanent section at the bottom that has a Starter Quick Guide and a Resources section. Permanent but not static. Please let me know what can be added or subtracted to improve it!
I got a lot of good feedback about yesterday’s Resources guide so I’ve made that a permanent part of the newsletter for ease of access.
Eventually this section will become a link on the website, which as of now is a work in progress…
In step 12 of Sourdough Steps below there’s a link to Chad Robertson’s Hand crafted episode. Check it out and tell me you can’t listen to that man talk bread all day.
Our Singapore correspondent phoned in this warm bun yesterday :
“Home is where the yeast is”. Thank you Herbert Cornfield.
Meanwhile our Chief Pun Officer said the bakery delivery staff should be called the Yeasty Boys.
In today’s All Things Bread we find bread podcasts to listen to! and in Zoom Debrief you will find my 15 Steps to Sourdough.
All Things Bread
The joke on VC twitter goes like this : a group of crows is called a murder, a group of fish is called a school and two guys in Patagonia vests is called a podcast.
Here are some bread podcasts for you!
Sourdough Podcast They’re in season 2 already! AND they have an episode with Apollonia Poilane!! I just can’t.
Also their resources section is super legit, it has a section called bread quotes where I found this nugget: “Think of yeast as a time machine.”
I found Stella Culinary through reddit. Their podcast is about culinary skills in general but episodes 18 to 22 are on bread.
Here is what one redditor had to say about Stella’s podcast:
I just finished the BEST free 5 podcast series on Bread Making by Stella Culinary! Here’s the link. Start at SCS 18. Finish at SCS 22. If you are already close to pro (or pro) you might still want to listen to SCS 21 and SCS 22. I recommend taking notes as you go in notepad and liberally rewinding parts that take two listens to get straight.
SCS 18| The Four Pillars of Bread
SCS 19| The Twelve Steps of Bread
SCS 20| Bread Classifications
SCS 21| Sourdough Starters and Pre-Ferments
SCS 22| Let’s Bake Some Sourdough
Be sure to look at any notes and additional videos on each [scs18-scs22] page as/after you listen to each podcast.
You can listen to these podcasts via web pages with notes, or listen to the podcasts [scs18-scs22] like a typical podcast on your phone/tablet. Search for ‘Stella’ within your podcast app.
Modernist Bread also have a podcast they call Modernist Breadcrumbs I can’t wait to start listening to this one, but who has the time? Maybe once I retire (lol)
Well looks like we are all set with podcasts for our daily commute / walk / run! Would love to hear if you have any interesting bread or cooking podcasts to share!
Here are the steps to making sourdough:
1. Make a leaven : A leaven is just a faster starter. So keep the leaven at room temp (starter can go back into fridge after a feeding) and feed leaven every 12 hours or so. Your leaven’s name is “Young” followed by your starter’s name eg “Young Ginny”
2. Do an autolyse. A few hours before baking, take the flour (I recommend you start with All Purpose / Bread flour) and water called for in your recipe and mix them until no dry bits remain. Cover and keep in fridge or at room temp for 3-5 hours max.
3. Try to time it such that the autolyse is complete just when Young Ginny is at or just below her peak rise. If you miss the timing then skip or cut short the autolyse, don’t use a Leaven thats weak / on the way down.
4. Do a quick float test : a tablespoon of Young Ginny should float in water.
5. Incorporate all ingredients in the proportion called for in the recipe. A weighing scale can be key here. Make sure to mix well or else you’ll get salt lumps, flour lumps etc. Don’t ask me how I know.
6. Cover and leave to rest at room temp for 30 mins. Then begin your folds : Every 30 mins for the next 2 hours you want to stretch and fold the dough. Here is a good example.
7. After the 4th stretch and fold, you bulk ferment your dough. In other words, cover it and walk away! I can’t give you an exact time and temperature due to all the variables but I can say Try 6 hours on the counter top or 12 hours in the fridge as a starting point. Your learning curve is basically pointing straight up at this point so don’t worry 🙂
8. After the bulk ferment, turn the dough out gently onto the counter top and pre-shape it.
9. Prepare your baskets : place a towel in a bowl thats big enough to allow the dough expansion and dust with flour / rice flour.
10. Now Shape your dough and place in baskets. If you think shaping is easy on the first try I have sour news for you! Just enjoy it, relax your shoulders and arms, smile and relax your forehead. Breathe. Then shape 🙂
11. Now its time for the proofing. In other words, cover and walk away! Once again there are so many variables that I can’t prescribe an exact time. But the fingertip test is a great way to “Call Proof”
12. Get your oven nice and hot. As hot as it will go. If you are using a dutch oven, pre-heat that too.
13. Kinky Friedman once sang ‘get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in bed’ but now it’s time to get your loaf in the oven and start your timer instead.
Don’t forget to score with a blade or sharp knife. Once again, it takes practice so just relax and enjoy it.
14. Bake for 15 mins and then to bake evenly, rotate it 180 degrees and then continue baking until a nice golden to dark brown crust is formed. Keep a close eye on it in those last few minutes, it can burn quite suddenly.
If using a dutch oven, bake with lid closed for 15 mins for a small loaf and upto 30 mins for a large ‘un. Once lid comes off you’ll bake another 10mins or less to get the colour you want but keep a close eye to prevent burning.
A note on the baking game : If your internal temp is showing less than 95degC but the crust is already browned to perfection, reduce oven temp, (say 220degC or so?) cover the top with foil and bake until the internal temp is good.
And if your internal temp is 95degC or above and the crust isn’t there yet, increase temp / switch to grill mode and watch the loaf like a hawk.
15. Once out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack. Cover it in a towel during the cool down for best results (thank you Reshma!)
See you today at 4pm Dubai!