First Sour Dough

Discussion in 'Breads' started by hog warden, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Have been wanting to try my hand at sour dough breads and biscuits and was ready to send off for a start from Carls, when I remembered an old bread book we got some 35 years ago. It has a sour dough process in it. Three of them to be exact. They said you could do your own starter, so I took a whack at it and here is what happened.

    Basic wild yeast starter starts with 1 part whole or skim milk (I used whole). This is put in a non metal container and left out at for 24 hours or so at room temperature or slightly warmer (70 degrees plus) covered with two layers of cheese cloth only. No lid. I take it this is the inoculation period where the wild yeast in the air is moving in. Milk differing from water in that it has lactose sugar and other stuff in it. A good place for yeast to grow.

    After 24 hours, you add an equal part of regular unbleached white flour. Again, cover with two layers of cheese cloth. Within 1 to 3 days, depending on temperature, it should start working. Mine was going good after 48 hours. After it's doubling in size, it's considered good to go.

    Feeding is always equal parts of milk and flour. Feed it in the morning or evening, give it about 8 hours or so to work, then into the fridge with a loose lid. It's supposed to store for up to a week or so with little attention beyond an occasional stir.

    I've never seen it written anywhere, but I'm going with trying not to add much more than double my starter at any given time. Never leaving more than one cup of starter....preferably two cups. I don't make full recipes. More like half or 1/4 even.

    Have done a few runs of sour dough biscuits. This was my first try at a sour dough french loaf:

    Not real "sour", but the starter had just been fed that day, so hadn't had a chance to work much. All things considered, it's off to a good "start".

    I think I may still send off for a start from the Carl's group, just to compare. I noticed in the history of Carl's 150 year old starter that his ancestors left for Oregon from Missouri in the 1840's and that's as far back as they know it goes. I live in Missouri, so I assume there must be something good in the air around these parts. Who knows, maybe 150 years from now folks will lining up to get a start from the "Warden". [​IMG]

    The point being, I suppose, if you have a notion to try this (it's fun and easy to do), don't get all wrapped around the axel thinking you have to use one of those old starters. Fine if you can get em, but I'm proof you don't have to.
  2. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great warden.I need to post more bread as well.

    [​IMG]Looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Smoke Blower

    That right there is a great looking loaf of bread... especially for your first one! Nice job.
  4. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking loaf, more fancy than I ever do.

    I have used a number of different starters over the years including the one from the Yukon and the one from the california gold rush and quite frankly I cannot tell them apart. Its just an interesting part of the sour dough hobby.

    We had one at our house when I was growing up that was over 15 years old that my mom started from one that my grandma had. My sister found it in its spot one day and without asking tossed it down the sink. My mom paddled the tar out of her. Much to my delight.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]Man I too start posting more bread or I really such start making some bread to post first Ha. Man that looks awesome and I bet it tasted as good as it looks too. [​IMG] Oh yea points just have to be awarded for the great looking sour dough and you say it's your first time too.
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great...[​IMG]
  7. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Have been making yeast breads for a several years now. Tried a bread machine and found I still like the hand made stuff better. Not that much work, one just needs to block out some time to be around to tend to it when it needs tending.

    Sour dough is not much different of a process, so the techniques port over pretty easy. Taking good care of my new "pet" is my main concern these days.

    Yup, it's highly edible. Had a big slab of it this morning, lightly toasted with olive oil and slathered pretty deep with apricot jam. That would make a puppy pull a freight train. [​IMG]
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks fantastic HW, Thanks for sharing.
  9. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's about as pretty a loaf as I've ever seen! I really do like my sourdough. I make six loaves at a time and freeze some. Don't want to run out. Thanks for the pics.
  10. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WOW!! Ive not done bread before...I bet that is so much better with some PP and slaw......OHHHH YeaHH

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