Easy Sour Dough II


Followed a similar method as before using 1 cup of beer, teaspoon of bread improver and straight from fridge to proving basket. Tastes great.
Kneading time was about 30sec. There was a nice improvement in the crumb but not in the oven spring.
Most bread recipes call for 8min kneading, I only kneaded for 30sec and the crumb is great what is happening there?

222 users have voted.


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2007 May 25

Try kneading for about 10 min, with a couple of stretch and folds during the first proof, and then come back and tell me the above crumb is great.
Unless you are using really crap flour you shouldn't need bread improver.

Barry 2007 May 25

Still very much in an experimental learning stage. So the bread improver is not necessary but what does it actually do?
By kneading the dough it would develope the gluten more and the folding would allow for a more open crumb?
So after mixing Kneading for 10 min and allow to prove for 3 hours? then stretch and fold and place in basket for the final proof or would you stretch and fold again
What are your thoughts on overnight fermentation.How would you incorporate it in the process?
Would the beer help the flavour.
Thanks Barry

SourDom 2007 May 25


bread improver I think of as providing a shortcut for loaves
sourdough loaves are in some ways about taking the long road (the road less travelled?)

I never use the stuff, but the little that I know:
often it contains ascorbic acid (vitamin c), which will compensate for poor quality flour to some extent, but also accelerate some of the natural enzmye reactions that occur when flour and water are mixed
also may contain agents to improve the longevity of loaves - sourdough loaves naturally keep for longer, so don't need it

Bill and I disagree about kneading, but there is more than one way to do things
There is no need to knead for 10 minutes in my books
An alternative approach is to do as you have done, to give the dough a short knead, then to let it rest for say 10 minutes, then to repeat the short knead.
After the 10 minutes rest the dough will already have changed dramatically in its extensibility - much as it would have done if you had been manhandling it continuously, but with much less effort on your part.
I usually repeat 2 or three short kneads at 10 minute intervals

Resting the dough in the fridge has a number of benefits - both in terms of flavour and convenience.
Try giving the dough a couple of kneads at 10 minute intervals. Then if you have time leave it to rest for an hour. Fold the dough, then put it in the fridge.
In the morning, shape it and let it warm and rise before baking


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2007 May 26

Basically Dom and I differ on choice of hydration levels. However, as far as kneading goes I generally do a 10 minute knead for loaves under 65% hydration and the short knead method that Dom favours for loaves over 65% hyd. I find no difference in the result between kneading methods for the higher hydration loaves, and the short knead method is easier. For the lower hydration loaves I find the long knead method essential. It helps if you do a stretch and fold each hour of the first proofing.

Barry 2007 May 26

Cheers ,I'll give it the 2 -3 short kneads at 10 min intervals then overnight in the fridge and see how it improves.

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