shiao-ping
My idea of home bread is about simplicity.   I used to treat home sourdough baking with the vigorous attention you would give to an academic project.  The centre of my method, and my arithmetic prowess, was the calculation of dough hydration.  It was as if everything else flowed from there.  But a calculator is really not necessary for a simple home bread unless you are aiming for a particular style of bread.  The bit about simplicity is -    Firstly, I use a liquid starter - one part flour to one part water.  Secondly, I dilute whatever starter there is by adding two times its weight in water.  And, Thirdly, I add three times the starter weight in flour.

One such bread using this idea is pictured below.

Essentially this is Flo Makanai's 1.2.3 method, a very practical and easy to follow method.  The overall dough hydration works out to be around 71.4%.  Depending on the hydration of your starter and the type of flour you use, this level of dough hydration may be a little too high or low for what you like.  You can fine tune it to suit your taste and your flour.

For the bread immediately below, I used 1/2 organic plain flour by Australia's Kialla brand and 1/2 the French Cérès T110 flour (hence, the very light brown crumb color below). My flour is quite thirsty (Kialla’s protein level is quite high at 13.6%), so the level of hydration is right for me.

If your starter is a stiff starter at, say, 65% hydration, your dough made using this method will have an overall hydration of 66.4%.

## The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
Flour 420 grams 14.83 oz 100.00%
Water 280 grams 9.88 oz 66.67%
White Starter @100% hydration 140 grams 4.94 oz 33.33%
Salt 10 grams 0.35 oz 2.38%
Total Flour Weight:
420 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.

Method:

Here is the fomula for this second bread: ·      100 grams white liquid starter·      200 grams water·      300 grams flour (all T110 flour)  ·      7 grams salt Total dough weight was roughly 600 grams.   And here are the crumb shots:     Today at lunch, my daughter and I enjoyed the homemade bread with avocado and lemon juice drizzled over it, while my son was in Ipswich playing soccer.   Yep, the soccer season has started. Shiao-Ping

## Replies

rossnroller 2010 April 21

Hi Shiao-Ping.

Like you, I have tried all sorts of bread styles and different techniques (many of them adapted from your posts!), and I have also come full circle and reverted to a simple bread - along much the same lines as yours here.

I have always maintained a 100% hydration starter, as well as another that provides the starting point for builds of lower hydration. The 100% one is my favourite, because it's easier to mix and so simple to maintain without having to do any calculations.

For some time, I've been intending to do a post on my new favourite bread using a back to basics approach - this post of yours has motivated me to do it at last.Coming up.

Oh, and may I say - what beautiful looking bread!

Cheers
Ross

Cobusr 2010 April 21

Looks like real bread to me! Thank you for the photographs it is a great help for beginners. In the east of South Africa there is not much happening in the "bread world". I am really batteling with the high hydration recipes -

Thank you for the great post

Cobus

shiao-ping 2010 April 21

... syncronicity.  It's cool.

You know what, in the old days when I was using bread machine to do yeasted bread, I used to mix a dish for dinner into my bread mix ... and tried to make it work and create new combinations for bread.   I too am going back to my basics approach.   One such sourdough bread is coming up, if I can get my brand new starter going....   After I did the two breads in this post, I chucked my starter into the bin (it was technically only a starter culture because I took my only, real, starter to Singapore over the Easter holidays and finished it up over there, not realising that it was my only starter).

Shiao-Ping

Karniecoops 2010 April 22

As always .......... beautiful Shiao-Ping! Great looking crust, fab gringe, and beautiful crumb, and I bet it tastes as good as it looks - the perfect loaf.

I'm not very consistent with my gringes, sometimes great, other times not so, thanks for the underproofing tip!

K.

ehanner 2010 April 22

Very nice looking in every way Shiao-Ping. I take it this is your new and now healthy starter?

Eric

shiao-ping 2010 April 23

There was a strange smell developing immediately after I made those two breads.   It is amazing to me that I was able to make breads with it.  I have another one going right now - today it is day 6 and the starter culture is looking good.

Starter culture after 5 days, just before feeding on the morning of day 6

Something just can't be hurried.

Yesterday I drove 25 Km to visit Uncle Bob's Bakery .  The baker owner, Brett Noy, was the Australian Team Captain for the 2009 Sigep International Bread Cup in Riminni, Italy.  I saw a beautiful  Sigep vase in a very typical Italian design sitting right on the counter.  The date on it was 2010, so he must have been to that one as well.   The bakery is in a somewhat old part of Brisbane.  Sourdough must be a trendy thing because there was only one plain sourdough on display when I was there.   Can't imagine there would be a lot of sourdough demands in that neighbourhood.   He should move to my suburb.    Bought one to try.  That one sourdough was delightfully light.  It is shaped like a batard but tastes like baguette crumb to me with lovely open holes and a hint of sweetness to it, beautifully fermented.   The girl says if I want other type of sourdough, I have to order ... but 25 Km?    Okay, I might.

Have you been baking much lately?

Shiao-Ping

ehanner 2010 April 23

Hi Shiao-Ping,

I baked a couple loaves of Country SD with 15% fresh ground WW yesterday. I'm dying to try the Romano with Celery that Grahm makes.  Hopefully he will share the numbers on that one. We are in the season change going to warm days and I'm having to adjust everything for the warmer temps. I know it's coming but every year I'm surprised at how much better things work in Spring.

Today I made a batch of Coffee-Toffee bars that were to die for. I better stay away from these or I'll be gaining weight.

Eric

shiao-ping 2010 April 23

Sounds delectable but dangerous.

How did you grind your WW?  I  bought the hand grain mill that Gerard Rubaud recommended on MC's website.   But the thought of using it tires me out.  As it is my kitchen is already needing a clean constantly; I just can't see me adding another piece of equipment to the kitchen.

SP

ceejay 2010 April 23

I'm another who is loving the basics of sourdough baking.

Beautiful breads there shiao-ping.  I find my children aren't as happy with the chewy crust so I'm aiming for very light crumb in mine for now.

I also use the Kialla organic flour and love it... often with a bit of freshly milled ww or sometimes seeds (linseed etc).  I grind mine in my Thermomix and also use it to knead the sourdough mix when required.

My starter is the San Francisco one and has quite a tang with a long proof.. particularly over 10 hrs.

This week I have baked 3 plain loaves in a loaf tin and two lots of cinnamon rolls for the children... time to tweak thre recipe I think.

Carmen

shiao-ping 2010 April 23

Hi Carmen

I don't like chewy crust myself.  I find with sourdough that is more than one day old, I get the best result by toasting just one side under the griller, then I use a bread knife to press on the hard crust to loosen it.  This way, I get cruchiness on one side and softness on the other side in one bite.   My son likes to spread butter before grilling.  That works really well too.  When a slice is only been toasted on one side, the heat will re-geletinize the crumb on the other side and so when you bite into it, it is like having a freshly baked bread, warm and soft.

Johnny 2010 April 25

Great post Shiao-Ping ,

I think you have hit upon the thing that happens to all artisan bakers over time ... the move back to simplicity and repetition to master the making of a consistently good home bread that everyone in the family likes.

I call mine Saturday bread, because every Saturday morning I bake 2 loaves for the week. I have simplified my formula and make a nice wholemeal with multi-grains based on my Ciabatta Integrale recipe . Us older folk needs our fibre!

I stopped using a soaker and any dried yeast at all for this simple bread and found I could get a nice consistently good loaf with a 60/40 mix of white and wholemeal flour and some farmer's mix (Dijon foods-Farmers Grain Mix) and a 75% hydration.

My method is pretty much the same as always with bulk fermentation and retarding the final proofing in the fridge.

### Ingredients

• 500 g Flour (300g BF, 200g WM)
• 50g -Farmer's mix -multi-grains
• 390 g Water
• 200 g (60BF/40WM Starter @100% hydration)
• 10 g Salt

shiao-ping 2010 April 25

Very nice looking bread as always.   Interesting that you seem to always incorporate some wholemeal flour and mixed grains into your bread.  Very nice combination!   You struck a balance in your ingredients every time!   As for me, I am the greedy type - I seem to go all wholemeal or all white most of the time.

Looking at your crumb color, it seems to me that our Australian wholemeal flour is quite "white."  Or, put another way, the bran is very coarsely ground such that the white part is still quite white.  I am looking into the home grain mill options at the moment and hope one day to explore more whole grains bread ideas.

Someone at The Fresh Loaf asks me about retarding at bulk and what it does to our dough, I thought the easiest answer is to refer him to your bread:

Thanks for commenting and very nice pictures as always.

Shiao-Ping

loafalot 2010 April 26

G'day Shiao-Ping,

Beautiful explanation.  I'll do this soon as I can.  Thanks to all posters for further insight.

Rob surf 2010 April 28

Today i think Thorueau would approve of using a bread starter

Ausie Sourdough 2010 April 29

Hi all

I am new here but I have searched the site extensivly and have enjoyed reading lots of your threads.

I followed your recipe and instructions for your bread as my first go at baking and I have had two goes at it. I am still doing something wrong and would like some help from someone. I think maybe my dough is to wet but I am not sure.

Both loaves were very moist on the inside. The first loaf I think I over proofed as it did not raise very much in the cooking process and had a very hard crust. the second loaf rose well during cooking but inside is still very moist. the flavour was fantastic on both loaves. the first loaf I achieved in the top half large air bubbles but the bottom half was close and conpact.

the second loaf is filled with small air pockets even distributed throughout.

Can anyone help this beginner with some suggestions as to where i have gone wrong so I can improve.

Side note does the type of salt you use matter? I have been using celtic sea salt which is high in minerals.

The other thing is I have a cheap poor quality electric oven, i read that using a large heavy pot to bake in fixes this problem. I have an old cast iron pot that I have used. This I heat up with the oven and place the loaf in to cook. Putting the lid on for 25mins as suggested and then taking the lid of for 15 mins.

Craig

shiao-ping 2010 April 29

Hi

From what you described, I wondered if your loaves had been baked enough.   If you are saying inside of the loaves was very moist, but the flavour was "fantastic," that sounds like a simple baking issue.    The baking time is really only a guide.  Try putting the lid on for an extra 10 minutes; ie. for a total 35 minutes, and see if that improves.

With regard to the dense crumb on the bottom half of your first loaf, what I would do is really make sure that my starter is very active and robust before I use it to make my dough.   A healthy starter gives you the leavening power you want in a dough.

Shiao-Ping

Ausie Sourdough 2010 May 8

Hi Everyone

My next results were not so good either, the bread is till very wet inside and I have cooked it for a longer time.

I have now reached the point where the bread is burning on the bottom.

Should I try lowering the temperature and increasing the time? My thinking is that this might help.

Craig

trentmaier 2010 May 19

Gday Craig

As I am a little new also, I may be shooting in the dark here, but how long are you proofing your loaf for? I have found in the past that if you allow the dough to overproof, it goes very liquidy again. I am not too sure what part of Oz you are in, but maybe the temps are too warm for your proofing regime? The fact that the lower half of the loaf has dense compact air bubbles probably means it had expended most of it's CO2 before it went into the oven, then had nothing left to give, and hence buckled under the weight of the dough above it. Or that is my take. I am in the mid north coast of NSW, so not too cold, not too warm.

Really like this thread, and I LOVE simple bread. This is a recipe I gave to all my friends last year (as their xmas present was a starter and instructions!)

FYI, my starter is 166% hydration, all Demeter Mills rye flour. Any lower that this hydration, the starter gets very thick and difficult to mix. Lovely sourness, though.

Weekend Warrior Loaf (makes 2 x 1kg loafs)

Friday morning before work

Take 40g starter (15g flour, 25g water = 166% hydration)

Mix in 220g water

Add 140g Demeter Mill White flour, and 80g Demeter Wholewheat.

480g total for sponge (or whatever it is called).

Friday evening when you get home

Sponge should be bubbling and risen.

Add 600g white flour, 325g wholemeal, and 20g celtic sea salt. Total hydration about 75%.

Mix into a dough, then leave to autolyse for 20 mins or so.

Scrape out onto an OILED surface. Knead for 10 - 15 seconds.

Put back into a bowl, cover with clingwrap, and put in fridge.

SAT MORNING.

Get up at say, 8am. Pull dough from fridge, stretch and fold (double letter style)

9am, stretch and fold.

10am Cut dough in half, shape 2 loafs, cover with towel.

15 mins later, re-shape the loafs, transfer to a floured banneton.

12pm - the loaves should have risen enough. Cook on a pizza stone in a pre-heated oven (about 230C) for 26 minutes (I find it starts to burn after 30).

I am just shaping a few loaves now, so I will try and get some pics later to put up. I will also try the stainless bowl over the top of at least one of the loafs, thanks for the great tip, siaho-ping.

trentmaier 2010 May 21

Gday Shiao-ping

Yeah, I called it the weekend warrior, cause I, and most of my mates, are surfers. Obviously in a perfect world, we would surf every day, but work takes up alot of time, and it can be very easy (especially in winter) to only surf on weekends, and those kinds of people are known as "weekend warriors". Or they were when I was younger, hence the name. I am glad that you liked it.

I cannot find the camera cord right now, but when I do I will put up a few pics. I tried your bowl over the loaf technique, and am very impressed with the oven spring, and colour achieved. It takes about an extra 15-20 mins cooking time, but it looks more rustic. With the other method I use, the bread rises, but still stays a little narrower than the loaf cooked with the lid on part of the time. You will see what I mean when I post the pics.

Anyway, I have to go and take the lid off todays loaf. Thanks again for the tip, and I will find the cord over the weekend.

All the best

Trent

Rob surf 2010 May 25

Shiao Ping

my bread starter has been thoroughly neglected due to a few weeks of traveling and now studying for finals, but im craving for some home cooked pizza--i think i should go refresh it.

yozzause 2010 June 9

Hi Shiao-Ping

yozza here, did you not take the opportunity to get some of Brett's award winning sour dough culture?

I have been using and nurturing his culture for 18 months now! it works very well. regards Yozza

mondomama 2010 June 9

Tweaking this could be fun!

I haven't posted for ages, however have been baking solidly and experimenting with different starters, flours and baking methods. Sometimes simple is just what the doctor ordered.

Last night I had some ripe 100% rye starter (65 % hyd.) ready to go, so mixed up a large 'home bread' incorporating wholemeal & white flour also. I baked it in the le creuset this morning after retarding in the fridge overnight. Very pleased with the result; it looks like a very friendly bread!

As always, thank you Shiao-Ping.

I will endeavour to post more often!

Oh, and as an aside, has anyone seen 'Good to the Grain'? I think it is just lovely, for those of us also into other types of baking! *shock*

shiao-ping 2010 June 9

No, Brett wasn't there.  Where his bakery is, I am not sure that sourdough is popular.  There was only one sourdough (white) displayed.   The girl said if I want something else, I need to put in an order.

Shiao-Ping

shiao-ping 2010 June 9

No, Brett wasn't there.  I am not sure if sourdough is popular where his bakery is because there was only one sourdough (white) displayed on the shelf.  The girl said I need to put in an order if I want something else.

Shiao-Ping

shiao-ping 2010 June 9

Very nice bread, and thanks for sharing the photo.  I love seeing home bread photos, always inspirational.

Can you point me to 'Good to the Grain'?  I searched but couldn't find it.  Thanks.

Shiao-Ping

benmorgan 2010 June 13

Hi shiao ping

i'm trying your recipe for the first time with my first succesful (doubled) starter.

i halved the ingredients. ie 210g flour, 140g water, 70g starter & 5g salt.

looking at it in the mixing bowl it is quite runny and sticky.

my question is, should it stick to your fingers/spoons/bowls?

or should it be quite dry and pliable, not runny and sticky?

in other words, do i need to add more flour? or stick exactly to your proportions?

Thanks

Ben

shiao-ping 2010 June 14

Sorry I might not have replied in time to be of any use to you.   No, it should not be runny and sticky.  I have a feeling that your starter might have "over-ripen" when you used it.   I would add more flour if this had happened to me, and not stick to the formula.  I cannot be certain; it is only a suspicion.  But I find whenever my dough is very sticky and runny it is always because my starter is over-ripe.   Instead of 3:1 (flour to starter) ratio, I would increade it to 4:1 (flour to starter) at least.  Then, if I found that it is too dry, I would add just a little more water.  The important thing is that the starter needs more food.

Shiao-Ping

trentmaier 2010 June 18

Um, having a little trouble posting pics. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have the pics saved on my desktop, but I cannot find the "attach" button anywhere here.

Trent

shiao-ping 2010 June 18

Hi Trent

There are two ways of posting pictures at Sourdough.com, but very quiclkly at comments section the way I do is via www.photobucket.com.   You upload your pictures onto photobucket.com (you will need to set up an account with them).   Once the pictures are saved there, you move your cursor to a picture, you will see some links come up(eg.  HTML code, IMG code, etc.).  Copy the [b]IMG code[/b] and paste it in your comment, then click on [b]Preview[/b] to see if the picture is showing up okay before you hit [b]Save[/b].

Shiao-Ping

trentmaier 2010 June 18

Thanks for the heads up Shiao-Ping

First pic is of the first 2 loaves I did. The one on the right I did for 25 mins, no cover. The one on the left had 15 mins under cover, and about 20 mins uncovered.

Hey, every time I try and paste the IMG code, it comes up for a split second, then disappears, and doesnt put the pics in.

I'll try again another time.

All the best

Trent the computer illiterate home baker

shiao-ping 2010 June 18

I can't figure out where the problem might be.  Did you actually -

(1) point your cursor at the picture, then

(2) move your cursor to where [b]IMG Code[/b] is and click to [b]high-light[/b] the entire IMG Code, then

(3) right-click on your mouse and select [b]copy[/b], then

(4) go to the Comments section on Sourdough.com, move your cursor to the exact spot where you want your picture to appear, and right-click your mouse again to select [b]paste[/b].  If all this is done in order, then, [color=blue]the full IMG Code should appear on your screen[/color];

(5) continue to edit or write your comment, when you finish, then hit [b]Preview[/b] to see if your comment with the picture is showing up; then [b]Save[/b] to publish it.

I'll be interested to see if this works for you, if not, we'll need someone else to help.

robin 2010 October 15

I've been trying different recipes for the last couple of months (about once a week), out of Bourke Street Bakery book, Artisan Breads from Culinary Institue of America and a few from this website. My starter was ok, not great.  I was getting good flavour, but wasn't getting a lot of rise.  I ordered some starter from Sourdough Com, was much more careful about feeding proportions, (I think my first attempt was much too wet).

I also read Jeffrey Hamelman on Ingredients and Techniques.  I think I've been overmixing, using a Kitchenaid mixer, so even though the bread rises before it goes in the oven, it hasn't got much left by the time it gets there.

I tried Shiao-Ping's simplicity bread approach last night.  My starter looked ready for the job, so last night I used my grandmother's big bread baking bowl, mixed it by hand using Shiao-Ping's 3:2:1 and timings.  I put in the fridge overnight and this morning have produced the best looking loaf to date.

I was ready to give up, but I think I might just have another go!  So thank you.

BTW the dough was very sticky, but not runny.  I used a little bit more flour, but not up to 4:1.

Keep trying and good luck!

shiao-ping 2010 October 15

Good to hear you are finally getting the results you want and thanks for your feedback.  If you want big holes and good volume, use a healthy starter (meaning not too mature) and build your dough strength SLOWLY [b]during the whole course of the bulk fermentation[/b] by folding the dough .  Over-mixing and kneading and over folding will reduce the large holes and dough volume.  It is amazing how the dough springs in the oven with so little "working" of it.

tsati 2011 January 19

Hi Shiao Ping,

I am a newbie to bread making and was wondering if you can simplify the ingredients.  I would like to make 2 loaves, if you can tell me in cups, not wieght as I dont have a scale.

I do like this simple method better.

Thanks

Angela

sourdoughmama 2011 May 19

Thank you so much for this recipe.  I tried it for the first time a week ago with all whole meal flour, but the results were heavy.  This time I only added a handful of wholemeal keeping the total flour weight per the method.  Right now, I am having a new experience of listening to the crust crackling.  Can't wait to have for breakfast tomorrow.  I am fueling my desire to cut into it right now into posting this comment instead.  Thanks for this method. With a baby to take care of, my daily schedule is unpredictable, but this method fits my schedule (I fudged the times a little here and there and it seemed to work) and can be made to fit whatever quantity of starter I have.  Today, I did 300 grams of starter and in the end have two loaves. Oh and I figured out a way to use metal mesh colanders as bennetons with tea towels.  It worked perfect and got me over my fear of inverting a loaf.  You were correct about the amazing oven spring when baked straight from the refrigerator.  Thanks so much for another terrific recipe.

margie 2011 September 11

Hi,

Do you always use a 100% starter?

I am trying to decide about starters, am going to try 85x3, which is stiff, & also have had rave reviews using Chad Robertson's 50/50 100%.

I am fairly new to all of this.

Any insight is appreciated.

Margie

farinam 2011 September 11

Hello Margie,

Fundamentally, I am not sure that it matters.  The main thing would be to adjust the water addition to the dough to get the dough hydration right.  There is some suggestion that flavours vary with the starter hydration but given that the starter is generally a relatively small proportion of the dough mix, I am not sure how important it really is in the final product.

Your best bet is to try it and see what happens.  I have never heard of an inedible loaf.

Let us know how you go.

Farinam

margie 2011 September 12

Thanks for the answer, takes some pressure off.

However :), what did you use for your levain in the 85x3?

Margie

Alexander 2011 November 5

This Shiao-ping recipe was the first that's worked for me with brazilian white flour. The 1.2.3 method has worked very well too.

Thank you.

But I've made some modifications: In order to soften the crumb I began putting a TS of butter, but it got too sticky. So I decrease the water to 150g (so it became 1.1/2. 3 method) and kept the butter. It worked fantastic. Another modification I did was always adding two TS of sugar to suit our regional taste (1).

Yesterday I tried to increase the amount of sugar to 3 TS. The final loaf turned out yummy, but the crub holes and the oven spring weren't as expected and the dough was too sticky to handle (2).

Does anybody think it happened due too much sugar?

This was the loaf (1). sourdough.com/forum/hello-brazil