Kitchen projects: Sourdough bread from start(er) to finish

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Marketing at Eight Degrees Brewing. Secretary of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island).

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12 Responses

  1. taylor says:

    hello from Diva! we love sourdough, our starter is nearing its third birthday down in ballinspittle! love your recipe, its written so clearly. the salt is so essential, forgotten it before and left with a bubbly mess. oops! haha. we’ll be posting a no-knead sourdough loaf on the blog soon, its been in the works for AGES. your post has reinspired writing it! thanks, caroline

  2. Mary says:

    Love the clarity of your recipe. There has never been a better time for experimenting with sourdough, an upside of this social isolation – slow bread and so delicious bread!
    Please help a novice?
    When you say you use a Kilner jar and cover not seal, do you mean hook the loop over the clip but don’t click closed or should I take the lid off and cover with a cloth?
    Why the wheat germ and rye flour, not easy to access at the moment, can I omit or are they like the salt – essential?
    Can I use the same starter and/or bread recipe with other flours e.g. Wholemeal, Spelt, Rye etc.?
    Any guidance on baking times and temperatures if making smaller loaves or rolls?
    Thank you for the inspiration Caroline.

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Mary
      Thanks for your lovely comments! So glad to get your questions – will answer them all below:

      When you say you use a Kilner jar and cover not seal, do you mean hook the loop over the clip but don’t click closed or should I take the lid off and cover with a cloth?
      Don’t click the jar closed – you’re trying to capture the wild yeasts in your kitchen and if you seal the jar nothing can happen. I normally put a napkin or other small cloth on top – to keep out flies – leaving the clip totally disconnected.
      Why the wheat germ and rye flour, not easy to access at the moment, can I omit or are they like the salt – essential?
      The salt is essential. The wheat germ is to add extra nutrition to the bread, but it’s not necessary. The rye flour is good for flavour but, like the wheat germ, is not essential. Don’t forget the salt, though!
      Can I use the same starter and/or bread recipe with other flours e.g. Wholemeal, Spelt, Rye etc.?
      When your starter is bubbling and lively, you can play around with the flours. Wholemeal makes a much denser loaf and may take longer to rise. There is not as much gluten in spelt and rye so they will be much denser. Rather than switching out the entire amount of flour, it’s good to play with using a portion of these flours in the overall measurement ie overall flour measurement is 700g strong white flour: try 200g spelt flour + 500g strong white flour and see how you get on, gradually increasing it if you’re happy with how it turns out. We’ve got a lot of time to play around at the moment!
      Any guidance on baking times and temperatures if making smaller loaves or rolls?
      Love the idea of making sourdough rolls! I’d bake them at 200C for 20-25 minutes. Like the bigger loaves, tap them underneath when they look done – if they sound hollow, cool them on a wire cooling rack.

  3. Emma says:

    Can I ask, how much of the starter do you ‘hold back’ and keep to work into your next round of sourdough? I see you had kept yours going for 5 years and I just wondered what the process is for that?

  4. Emma says:

    Can I ask, how much of the starter do you ‘hold back’ and put into your next round of sourdough? I see you had kept yours going for 5 years and I just wondered what the process is for that?

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Emma…at the day 2: morning stage, I weigh out 850g of the starter to make my loaves and hold back the remainder for the next round of baking. If I’m not using it in the next few days, it gets put into the fridge. If you really don’t want it for a while, put it into the freezer and give it a few feeds to liven it up when it has defrosted.

  5. Debora Sousa says:

    Hello, thank tou for sharing your recipe with us, im very excited as im baking my bread today for 1st time ever. Now im left with the remainder of the starter to put in the fridge but say now that I’ll only bake more in a week’s time, how many times do i feed my starter that i will keep in the fridge and is it still 50ml water and 50g flour?
    Thank you so much again.

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Debora…hope your baking went well! I put the remainder straight into the fridge. Next time that I want to use it, I move straight to Step 2: Making Sourdough Bread, taking the starter out of the fridge the night before I want to start the process. After just a week, it should be fine – you’ll know if it’s active when it gets to room temp. If it’s just sitting there, give it a few feeds (50ml water: 50g flour) and watch it come back to life.

  1. March 2, 2018

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