SOURDOUGH
DO IT YOURSELF

What is sourdough?

Sourdough is a symbiotic culture, that is, a kind of community of bacteria & yeast that are naturally found on grain. The sugar contained in the gluten in the grain is their source of nutrition.

Why sourdough instead of yeast / yeast?

Both are driving agents. However, while the added yeast only provides volume, the sourdough makes more. It breaks down gluten, loosens the dough, ensures aroma and shelf life. The bread has a longer shelf life and tastes more aromatic. Since the process is more complex and time-consuming, it is less interesting for industrial bread production.

How do I use sourdough?

Think of sourdough as a concentrate. Therefore, only a small amount of so-called. Anstellgut is used. In principle, a pre-dough is always prepared 12 hours before the actual baking process.

Pilzmagie

RECIPES WITH SOURDOUGH

WHEAT DOUGH - LOAF ​

Equipment:

  • 1 tall mug at least 0.5L

  • 1 wide bowl / proofing basket

Ingredients generic

  • Wheat flour 700 smooth  

  • Sourdough starter

  • salt

  • Germ, fresh

The night before:

Wheat sour

  • 100 g wheat flour 700, smooth

  • 100 g lukewarm water

  • 10 g sourdough topping

Mix wheat flour, water and sourdough and 

Let rise overnight in a tall mug at room temperature.

Autolysis dough

  • 550 g wheat flour 700 smooth

  • 350 g of water

Mix lump-free and close the bowl (foil, lid or tip: shower cap). Let stand overnight.

On the baking day :

Main dough

  • Wheat sourdough (after 12h from above)

  • Autolysis dough (after 12h from above)

  • 30 g wheat flour 700 smooth

  • 16 g salt

  • 70 g of water

  • 5 g fresh yeast

 

Knead all ingredients well for at least 6 minutes. Now the dough rests for 3 hours at room temperature in a lightly oiled bowl covered with foil. After the first 30 minutes, you should fold the dough, that is, grab under the dough in the bowl with wet hands and pull it towards you at chest level. Let the dough hang out a little and drop it back into the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly & repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl again.

After another 60 minutes, repeat the process of folding. After the 3h dough rest, your dough can be shaped. The folding made it more robust. Now shape it into a loaf.

When shaping, make sure not to knead or press the dough any more, but rather push it together. The volume should be retained.

Now the dough is placed in a floured bowl. The smooth surface looks up and is just as lightly floured. Cover the bowl with a cloth & let it rest for 1 hour.

Now preheat the oven to 240 degrees, top-bottom heat. A pizza stone will help make the bread crispy on the underside as well. Alternatively, you can also preheat a baking sheet. It is important that the pizza stone or baking sheet is preheated for at least 40 minutes. Also place a small stainless steel pot on the bottom of the oven.

The dough in the bowl has now rested for 1 hour at room temperature. Prepare a small glass of water / water syringe and place it next to the oven. This is how we create the steam that gives the bread its crispy crust.

Open the oven, pull out the pizza stone / baking tray and turn the bread upside down from the bowl. 

Pour the glass of water / contents of the water syringe as quickly as possible into the small stainless steel pot at the bottom of your oven and close it quickly. The steam should stay in the oven as much as possible and not escape immediately.  

The bread bakes for about 50 minutes. After 30 minutes, open the oven for 10 seconds so that the steam can escape.  Reduce the temperature to 220.

Cast iron pot variant:

Wheat dough is softer than rye dough. As a result, they tend to run wide in the oven. A good method is to use a cast iron pot as a baking pan. This is also preheated for 40 minutes. The only difficulty with this method is to let the bread "flop" out of the proofing basket exactly into the pot. Put the lid on and put it in the oven. After about 30 minutes, remove the lid and finish baking.

After a total of 50 minutes, your bread should have risen, nicely crusted and sounded hollow on the underside (tapping test). If you have a roast thermometer at hand - the desired internal temperature is 95 degrees.

Even if it is tempting to cut the bread now, let your bread cool down, the residual heat in the bread bakes it to the end outside of the oven.

TIPS & TRICKS WHEN BAKING BREAD WITH SOUR DOUGH

How do I care for sourdough? Feed sourdough.

Their sourdough is a living culture that feeds on grain. Whole wheat flour or plain flour is not essential. As a guideline, the dough needs to be "fed" every 7 days. That is, he gets new flour for food.

To do this, you take

  • 50 g wheat flour 700 smooth / rye flour smooth or whole grain

  • 50 g lukewarm water

  • 5 g sourdough starter (10% of the amount of flour)

Mix the ingredients and let the mixture rise in a sealable glass for 8-12 hours at room temperature. The dough will double in size, so use a large enough container.

After the dough has risen, put the jar in the refrigerator. Your sourdough now has enough food for 7 days. Repeat the procedure after 7 days.

Prepare sourdough yourself or get it from someone?

Sourdough is easy to make yourself and the process is wonderful  here  explained. Doing it yourself once makes sense because it gives a lot of insight into how the process works. Acquiring a sourdough that has been in use for a while still makes sense. These already carry more complex bacterial strains and are therefore more stable and interesting.

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By the way ... you often read that people treat their sourdoughs like animals because they too want to be fed regularly. Some even have names for their sourdough. In one respect, the sourdough behavior is definitely like that of a pet. When he moves in with you for the first time, he is a stranger. He has to get used to his new home first. It makes sense to treat him like the new family member, especially in this phase. Feed him daily so he can get used to the new diet and surroundings.

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Wheat sourdough, rye sourdough ... do I really need a separate sourdough for each flour?

Yes and no!  

Anyone who already has a rye sourdough and would like to bake a trip to wheat bread can do so with confidence. However, if you intend to bake baguettes or pure wheat bread more often, it is worth buying a wheat sourdough. The whole thing also applies the other way round, of course. If you only have wheat sourdough, you can also use it to tickle your rye dough.  

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There are several ways to get the best results:

- Growing wheat <-> rye

- Acquisition of the desired sourdough

- Use of yeast water

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Growing sourdough

In the end, the items to be put on are used to the new starting material over a few feeding cycles. In other words, to make wheat sour out of rye sour, simply take wheat flour and water when feeding and mix it with your rye sourdough. Re-feed every day, always using wheat flour, water and the approach of the previous day. After a few cycles you will see that the greyish rye disappears and a white, leavenable wheat sour has arisen.

Works the other way around.  

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What do I do with the leftover sourdough after freshening up?

The quick answer is you dispose of it. In any case, don't make the mistake of processing all of that sourdough over and over again.At the latest with the 4th refreshment you would have 10kg of sourdough.

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Your old sourdough is usually gnawed off, that's why it is freshened up.

Nevertheless, here are a few variants that make it possible to make something with your old sourdough:

- mix it with enough water and pour it over plants (a real enzyme cocktail)

- Mix old sourdough with flour (without adding water) and dry it (as an emergency nail, if something could be with your sourdough, the dry mixture can be brought back to life with a little water)

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There are other suggestions on the Internet, but I haven't tried them myself. But if it helps, yes, they will throw away sourdough well, but if you bake your own bread you will probably never throw away bread again. I grind every crumb of stale bread into crumbs, which then find their way back into the bread.

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I only bake bread every now and then. Is it worth keeping a sourdough for this? Yeast water!

Once a week your sourdough craves fresh food. It is therefore less demanding than domestic animals and many house plants. Still, it's easy to forget about it when you don't need it. And understandably, when you feel like baking bread and the thing in the refrigerator is covered with a black layer of streaks, the joy of baking is already extinguished again.

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In these cases it is better to keep some yeast water in the refrigerator. The process is simple and effective.

Take a handful of raisins (unsulphurized is better) and put them in a 0.5 L PET bottle. Fill up with water, screw on, shake well and let stand in a warm place. Shake it once a day. After a few days, the bottle becomes really bulging. It is fermenting. Do not open! When you can't make dents in the bottle, put it in the refrigerator. Your instant items are ready.  

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When baking, you now use yeast water instead of water for the pre-dough. Anstellgut is already included in the water.  

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Warning: even if it is meant well, never use a glass bottle. The PET bottle, i.e. plastic, is a safety measure. Fermentation creates high pressure that can cause the bottle to explode. When a glass explodes, more than just a few raisins fly through the air.

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Help! My sourdough smells like glue & is covered in a watery, grayish layer.

They neglected their ferment. But keep your head up - with a little attention you can rebuild a relationship with him / her. Just follow the refresher guide. Repeat the procedure every day until it produces nice bubbles again.

How do I know if my sourdough is still good?

In my many years of baking bread, I have not yet succeeded in completely destroying a sourdough. But of course it is possible. Sourdough's greatest enemy is not deprivation of love or diet, but heat. If you heat your sourdough above 40 degrees, it is very likely part of the history of your baking career.  

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Freshen up your sourdough, if it has doubled in volume after 12 hours, it is "in perfect shape". If not, try refreshing it again. If there is no increase in volume, call the sourdough funeral home. If so, continue to ventilate or feed in this case.  

A tough one! My bread didn't rise. What I have done wrong?

In my early days I baked a lot of hard chunks of bread and with the best of my will I can't tell you what I would have done wrong, because I absolutely stuck to the recipe.

At the end of the day, it's a matter of repetition, and I recommend taking a course with an expert for one reason: you must have seen and felt the right consistency of the dough, smell, and feel. No blog, video or book can convey that to you.

Common mistakes, however, are:

  • Too hot - yeast and sourdough cannot tolerate direct heat above 40 degrees

  • Too cold - if you let your dough rise in the refrigerator, it will take longer and it will rise, but you have to factor this in

  • Too wet - if you have a slippery, mushy texture in your hands, something has gone wrong. Yes, you can then add enough flour to make bread consistency, but then you also have to adapt the amount of salt and sourdough ... or you can leave it and start over

  • Too hard - no matter what bread you have - it must have a certain elasticity before baking. If you have to dig your finger into it hard, something is wrong.

  • Too impatient - probably the biggest problem, but one that can only be solved with the necessary experience

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What is the best way to store bread?

Good bread doesn't go moldy, it dries up. Unless you choke on it. I always put my bread with the cut on a wooden board. I never give it in plastic and I am not a fan of lunch boxes, as they soften the crust much faster than necessary.

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I am gluten intolerant? What bread can i eat?

If you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you know that anything gluten containing must be avoided. However, if you want to limit your gluten intake and still don't want to go without bread, then try very well leavened rye breads. Rye contains less gluten than wheat or spelled. If it is then acidified even more, i.e. the dough simply rises longer, even more of the gluten structure is broken down. The bread tastes more sour than usual, but contains less gluten.

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