I just got back into making Sourdough after a 10 year hiatus. I started by making my own sourdough starter. The first time I got into making sourdough I got a starter from Carl. An 1847 Starter that came west from Missouri with some Basque sheep ranchers. Good stuff but I haven't been able to find the dried starter I saved. Ah well. Anyway to my problem...
The starter is just a Rye Flour & water starter, and it picked up some tasty wild yeast spores. It rises fairly quickly without warming. I can get a nice bubbly sponge after ~6 - 8 hours. Smells delicious!
Here's the recipe I've been working with:
1 c.starter @ 100% hydration
4 c. AP or bread flour
3 c. 100 degree F. filtered water
1 Tbsp Salt
2 tsp. Citric Acid
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
~4 1/2 c. AP or Bread Flour
Mix first 3 ingredients with 1 c. flour. Add to sponge.
Add Olive Oil
Start adding flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a Danish Dough Whisk until the dough can't be mixed with the whisk.
Turn out on a floured surface and continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time. This can take a half hour easy to get all the flour incorporated. Sometimes I use 4 cups, sometimes a little more or less depending on the starter and sponge. When I just can't get any more flour integrated I drop the doughboy in a Olive Oil coated glass bowl, cover with damp cloth not touching the dough and let it rise to double. First rise I punch down every half hour for the first 2 hours. Then let it double. This can take a while.
Plop it back on the floured surface and cut into 2 loaves (these are ~2 lb loafs each, shape and put in either my Chicago Metallic Nonstick Perforated French Bread Pan (makes 2 bagettes), 2 lb loaf pans or just a bowl for a round loaf.
Baking: I bake at 550 degrees F. That's as hot as my oven gets.
Bake until thumping the bottom sounds hollow. I have tried longer baking times, like 10 minutes after I think it is ready. Times vary between the types of loaves I am making, which is as to be expected.
No matter what, the bread is heavy and dampish. I do not cut it before it is completely cooled.
I hadn't thought to take photos, but the bread has tiny bubble holes. Not like the huge 1/4 inch holes some sourdough has.
This last bake was my 4th attempt, and I even (gasp) used a Tbsp of Commercial Yeast to see if that would help. It rose bigger but still heavy and damp.
I realize this is a lot of data to take in. Sorry! I'm willing to try other recipes or make whatever changes I need to. If I use my sponge to make Sourdough Flapjacks (pancakes) they are fantastic and taste so so good!
Thank you all for your time!