I am baking sourdough for my family of seven, and we easily consume one loaf a day.
I am in need of ideas/tips/how tos to always have a loaf ready to bake each day! It has been hard for me to figure this out due to the varied and long fermenting/rising times to always have dough ready to be baked.
For instance, I made two loaves yesterday. They are almost gone, but my starter is only on the first day with six more days left til it's done!
Thank you kindly for your ideas.
Take some of your starter and feed it up to provide a stock of seed material. Then each day take some of that and feed it up to the mass that you want to use for baking and replace the amount used with the same quantity of feed material.
So, you have a stock container with (say) 200g of stock. You need 200g of starter for baking. Take 100g from your stock and feed it with 50g flour and 50g water. Add 50g flour and 50g flour to your stock and leave until you need to prepare your next loaf starter.
Adjust the quantities to match the amount that you use and the hydration of your starter.
Good luck with your projects.
Why keep a separate starter? Just add it to your recipes and then take it out before shaping into loaves
I feed a family of seven with my sourdough. Have been doing this since August:
- add 200g 80% hydration sourdough to a recipe for two loaves (50% of recipe flour and 60% of recipe water)
-allow dough to rise overnight
-in the morning I add the rest of the water and flour
-pinch out 200g starter which I place in the fridge to be used for the next recipe (usually I give it to one of my kids who wants to knead along with an extra 50g of flour so that it's easy for them to knead and it's got plenty of food in case it's 2 or 3 days before I bake again).
-add salt to the dough and continue with the recipe
I even forgot to take out the starter before adding the salt twice but this had no effect on my sourdough.
I try to keep it very simple that way I have time for everything else
For example: mix together 300g 7grain flour and 200g white bread flour
place 500g water in a bowl, add 200g starter, if it floats (mine always does as I bake nearly every day) I add the flour mix from above allow it to rise overnight.
Then I add the rest of the water and flour from the recipe (300g water and 500g more flour 7 grain and white in same proportions).
Cut out the 200g starter and place it in the fridge (this way I have skipped plenty of steps. Why feed the dough and the starter separately when you can feed them at the same time)
Flatten the dough adding 18g salt and knead for 5 minutes letting it test for 5 or 10 and kneading for 5 again as its a pretty wet doughard to knead without adding too much flour, the resting helps.
Then another bulk ferment of 3 hours until it rises to double its size
shape into two 900g loaves
let rise for 3 to 4 hours more in a basket
Score the loaves (I usually bake them 1 at a time)
bake at 450 for 40 minutes on a stone ( with a Corningware dish full of boiling water to keep the dough moist for that all important toug crust)
Trust me, this works. I used to keep a separate starter but I was just wasting fridge space and time not to mention throwing out flour and water every time I refreshed it. What a waste! Now I just keep a small bowl that slowly rises in the fridge until I bake with it again.
Oh yeah, sometimes I use 100g starter for a sweet bun recipe that takes 200g milk but no water ... I usually just use the 100 that's left for my next 2 loaf recipe of 'normal' bread and it doesn't seem to make any difference in flavour or speed of rising. I have never added anything except flour and water to my starter and I'm not about to sully it now.
I'm not sure how 'right' my method or routine is, but it works for me.
My baking routine starts in the evening - I take my reserved starter out of the fridge and feed it with equal weight flour and water.
I leave it out to mature overnight and in the morning (after about 12 hours) make my bread with it.
I measure out what I need (about 320g) and put the rest back into the fridge to use that evening.
I mix the 320g of starter with about 330g water and 610g flour and leave it for half an hour. Then I add 16g salt and mix it in well (just with my hands). I then do the method I found on here (can't find it now) of 3 short 10 second kneads, 10 minutes apart, then a stretch and fold every hour for 3 hours. I then form 2 loaves (they are quite small), put them in floured bannetons and then put them in a big plastic bag and pop them in the fridge until the next day.
The next day I bake one of the loaves, leaving the second in the fridge for the day after. I find the dough lasts in the fridge like this for 2 days - it has slightly less oven spring on the second day, but it's still quite acceptable (for me). I have left it for three days once and while it tasted ok, I didn't get any oven spring at all.
I refresh my starter every evening, regardless of whether I am going to use it the next day or not. I save up the excess and use it for pancakes on the weekend.
So my routine is pretty much, feed starter each night, bake a loaf every day, every second day mix up the dough, form and pop in fridge. I used to mix and form a loaf every day, and bake the loaf from the day before - but just found it easier to do two at once.
Hope this makes sense, and I hope not too many people cringe when they read my methods!!
No, I'm not cringing, that is quite a system you have going there!
However, I don't think you need to feed the starter EVERY night. It will remain quiescent in the fridge (for weeks even) until you get it out and activate it.
On the other hand, you may want an excuse to make pancakes?
Hehehe, well, yes, any excuse to make pancakes I say!! I usually have a large pyrex jug full of starter by Sunday morning, and earn brownie points with the family by making pancakes for breakfast every Sunday!
Then I cook up the rest as pikelets and they go to school for recess for the first few days of the week.
Interestingly we went away for 2 weeks in the middle of the year. I left the starter in the fridge and fed it as soon as we got home - it kicked off from the first feed no problems at all! I thought it might need a few feeds to build it back up, but it was like we'd never even been away!
Thank you, everyone. I am so happy to learn that it's not as complicated as I thought.
I'll give your methods a try and hopefully my family will be happy to be eating sourdough as much as they want! :)
Occasionally I'll turn my routine on its head, and refresh the starter first thing in the morning, then make the loaves in the evening ready for the next day.