Sunday, August 21, 2011

BBA #30: Basic Sourdough Bread

The thirtieth bread of the Bread Baker's Apprentice is basic sourdough bread. This bread has make a bread baker out of me!

I made my first starter and sourdough bread months ago. The bread turned out quite well (rising and baking), but it wasn't very sour. I love sourdough bread and was feeling a little annoyed mine had not turned out the way I had hoped. I was preparing for the next bread but this basic sourdough kept nagging at me. I wanted to bake a real sourdough. The biggest problem was that I didn't know what to do to make it better.

Good thing I know some experienced bread bakers! I send a "help me!" email to Phyl. I followed his advice and ended up creating a new starter based on his Sourdough 101 Tutorial. (My old starter worked but the flavor never developed.)
I've been baking sourdough about every week for the past two months and I can now say that I know how to bake sourdough! My last two breads have been very nice! Chunky crusts and dense sour bread!

Now, how do I get it super sour? I see "extra sour" on breads in the store. How do they get the extra flavor? Developing my starter longer? Letting it ferment on counter longer? Or altering part of the bread making process to let it rise or proof longer?

My brother-in-law was telling me how much he loved sourdough bread. He said he once stayed the night with friends and in the morning decided to make pancakes with the leftover pancake batter on the counter. He made them and they were the best pancakes he'd ever had, although they were not very fluffy. Turns out it wasn't pancake batter. He used their sourdough starter. I thought this was both hilarious and interesting. I bet those were fantastic pancakes!


  1. I think the extra sour might be a longer pre-ferment (but I'm not sure; I'm basing that on a comment in Tartine Bread where he says his pre-ferment is briefer so as to be less sour). Anyway, hooray for your sourdough! It's a beautiful loaf!


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