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Stayed Too Long

Sourdough bread

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I made a sourdough starter a number of years ago and have enjoyed the pancakes it makes. They have a distinct flavor and texture not in any other pancakes I’ve eaten. Keeping the starter going is not much trouble at all. However, when making bread it is a different beast entirely. Apparently the starter has to be at it’s optimal rising. I have tried many ways to determine that state without much Success. The bread always turns out very flavorful, but it is hard and extremely compacted. Somehow it needs to rise better....I have added yeast to get the rise, but the yeast also diminishes the wonderful sourdough taste.

Any suggestions on how to get this rise?

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I thought you were going to give us a recipe!   

Ok, let's see....

The rising of dough can be accomplished 3 ways I know of:

1)  carbonated water and high pressure

2) adding yeast in the usual fashion

3) baking powder + baking soda = a rising dough.

We were just explaining this to Wordpup earlier today.   The yeast is a biological reaction, which means it's a SLOW chemical reaction.  The baking powder plus baking soda is a chemical reaction that runs in seconds to minutes, rather than the hours yeast takes.  So, you can add those 2 ingredients.  

4) Use self-rising flour.

That's the same as method 3, since it's flour that has the baking powder and baking soda already added.    Mrs Wolf prefers using that to using all-purpose flour in general.  When she makes oatbread or cornbread, she adds some self-rising flour to the mix to get it to rise somewhat.

 

There will be some differences in flavor between the yeast/leaven and the self-rising flour/ baking soda and baking powder, but that's because the yeast eats some of the starches to produce what it produces, and the other process leaves the starches where they are.   It's not a drastic change, but it exists.

(We never use yeast, so I can't give specifics from experience I don't have.)

 

That's all I've got, I hope it helps.

 

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Adding baking soda and baking powder to the pancakes does make them rise, and the sourdough flavor is maintained. Should have thought of adding to the bread receipt. Tell Mrs. Wolf thank you. 

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I've wondered (for a long time) if one can make whole grain sourdough bread. What do you think about that?

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5 hours ago, Rocky said:

I've wondered (for a long time) if one can make whole grain sourdough bread. What do you think about that?

I have never attempted whole grain, but apparently you can. Here is a website with a recipe you can look at. Are you a fan of the bubble substance?

https://breadtopia.com/whole-grain-sourdough/

 

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WW your wife uses baking powder and baking soda to get the bread to rise, which makes sense to me. What does Mrs WW think about using seltzer water instead of regular water? The carbonation  action should get the bread to rise, I would think.

Edited by Stayed Too Long
I just reread your first post a see you had mentioned seltzer water. My bad.

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7 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

I have never attempted whole grain, but apparently you can. Here is a website with a recipe you can look at. Are you a fan of the bubble substance?

https://breadtopia.com/whole-grain-sourdough/

 

Bubble substance? Haven't seen that expression before that I can recall, but I used to enjoy a chewy sourdough bread. But now I stay away from white flour products as much as possible. :wave:

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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

Bubble substance? Haven't seen that expression before that I can recall, but I used to enjoy a chewy sourdough bread. But now I stay away from white flour products as much as possible. :wave:

The bubbly substance is the sourdough starter needed as the base to all sourdough products. It sits dormant in the back of the refrigerator until it is needed to make a batch of cookies, loaf of bread, or a stack breakfast pancakes. When the starter is taken out of the refrigerator, some flour and water or milk is added, and it magically begins to bubble like a boiling pot. This is activating the yeasts to make the bread rise, that way you don’t have to add commercial yeast. The starter is what gives sourdough its unique taste.

As the sourdough starter sits in back of the refrigerator undisturbed, a watery substance will form on top of the starter. This is alcohol and called hooch. I simply stir it back in; others poor it off. Supposedly stirring it back in gives it a more sour taste.

A starter is easily made with lots of recipes on the internet to get you going. After you asked about whole grain bread, I started researching it on line. There are plenty of recipes out there so you can keep away from white bread. 

If you sitting at home with nothing to do because of the caronavirus, you might get some starter going.


 

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1 hour ago, Stayed Too Long said:

The bubbly substance is the sourdough starter needed as the base to all sourdough products. It sits dormant in the back of the refrigerator until it is needed to make a batch of cookies, loaf of bread, or a stack breakfast pancakes. When the starter is taken out of the refrigerator, some flour and water or milk is added, and it magically begins to bubble like a boiling pot. This is activating the yeasts to make the bread rise, that way you don’t have to add commercial yeast. The starter is what gives sourdough its unique taste.

As the sourdough starter sits in back of the refrigerator undisturbed, a watery substance will form on top of the starter. This is alcohol and called hooch. I simply stir it back in; others poor it off. Supposedly stirring it back in gives it a more sour taste.

A starter is easily made with lots of recipes on the internet to get you going. After you asked about whole grain bread, I started researching it on line. There are plenty of recipes out there so you can keep away from white bread. 

If you sitting at home with nothing to do because of the caronavirus, you might get some starter going.


 

Thanks. I knew what sourdough starter is. And I figured that might be what you meant by the bubble substance. But couldn't find anything doing an internet search.

:wave:  :confused:

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On 4/23/2020 at 1:13 AM, Stayed Too Long said:

Adding baking soda and baking powder to the pancakes does make them rise, and the sourdough flavor is maintained. Should have thought of adding to the bread receipt. Tell Mrs. Wolf thank you. 

Mrs Wolf uses self-rising flour instead for pancakes, with the same results.  :)  I'll pass along your thanks.

 

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15 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

WW your wife uses baking powder and baking soda to get the bread to rise, which makes sense to me. What does Mrs WW think about using seltzer water instead of regular water? The carbonation  action should get the bread to rise, I would think.

Actually, she uses self-rising flour, which has both mixed in already.   

We were watching a TV miniseries the other week that had someone demonstrate something like what you proposed.  In England during the Victorian period (2nd 1/2 of the 1800s), they started to learn about germs and so on, and some people became obsessed with cleaning (while others were jammed together in squalor because the citizens all rushed into the cities all at once, overpopulating them until a LOT more housing could be built.)   When they also learned about how yeast worked,  part of the population was squicked at the idea of eating a baked product that relied on some kind of germ.  So, someone invented a bread that didn't use yeast (before the baking soda/powder type was invented.) 

We saw a scientist demonstrate how it worked. He needed the carbonated water and something similar to a pressure cooker that forced the gas to remain dissolved.  So, if all of that was correct- and I believe it was-  then simply carbonated water shouldn't be enough to get the bread to rise significantly. 

Of course, you may just want it not to rise. Unleavened bread is still eaten to this day, and you can make pizza at home using all-purpose flour with nothing to make it rise. (I know because I ate some this week.)

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The problem I have had is the sourdough bread not rising. It tastes delicious, but is so compacted the loaf is about half the height of a regular slice. This doesn’t make for good sandwiches. I will use the baking soda and powder the next time and see how it goes.

i saw a recipe for beer bread-haven’t tried it- but the only ingredients were beer, flour, and sugar. Just looking at the picture of the loaf, it appeared to rise to normal height. The top of the loaf was not smooth, but quite lumpy looking. The recipe did not call for self rising flour, but that may have been what was used.

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3 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

The problem I have had is the sourdough bread not rising. It tastes delicious, but is so compacted the loaf is about half the height of a regular slice. This doesn’t make for good sandwiches. I will use the baking soda and powder the next time and see how it goes.

i saw a recipe for beer bread-haven’t tried it- but the only ingredients were beer, flour, and sugar. Just looking at the picture of the loaf, it appeared to rise to normal height. The top of the loaf was not smooth, but quite lumpy looking. The recipe did not call for self rising flour, but that may have been what was used.

Hi - just saw this. I'm into my second year of making sourdough bread at home. I have been humbled more times than I want to say, so take this with a grain of alkalinity seltzer. Still learning and re learning things I've learned, and I'm a complete novice/amateur/beginner, but getting more consistent results as time goes on. I think. Maybe. 

i've encountered exactly what you're describing, mostly in whole grain but occasionally with white flours. I've tried adding yeast - self defeating and doesn't help much. Baking powder or soda, not great results. I've used carbonated water and it basically adds more air bubbles for the starter to bubble in but it won't contribute to the actual "rise".  May add some flavor too though, which isn't bad

It starts with the Starter - I have to work with it until it's super active - that means the starter will increase noticeably as I feed it and wait - say within 8 hours a really active starter will increase 50% in size and ideally "double". When it's doing that, make your loaves as soon as possible, using the starter. 

I use a "1,2,3" rule for mixing dough - 1 part starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour. No more than a teaspoon of salt although you don't have to add that. They say to use weight instead of measuring - I've done both, either, whatever. I may add more water as I go, or flour, but having a good amount of starter in to begin with helps it to rise. The resulting dough ball will hold it's shape without immediately sagging or falling. 

If the starter was lively to begin with the proofing should see rising within 4- 6 hours, I'm ready at about 8, but can take longer. 

I've gotten good results going right from that first proof to a quick shaping and then second proof of maybe 1-2 hours or so and then onto my pan. I put a small tray of water in the back of my oven, to moisturize the bake - supposedly that gives it the thin crunch crust which is what I want and it seems to work. Then I bake at 390 for about 30 minutes. I don't back at higher temps as my oven seems to run hotter over longer times and I've ended up with bricks at higher temps. 

Here's a few rolls I got, below. They started as about half that size, and rose. I don't think I did a second proof with them, they ballooned right up.  don't have a pic of the slice, but they were airy and "bubbly" inside. 

Having said that, I too am a batch away from my next set of bricks. Its' an elusive sport, this. BUT MAN THEY TASTE GREAT WHEN I GET IT RIGHT. 

Let us know how you do! 

 

 

 

sourdoughrolls.jpg

 

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20 minutes ago, socks said:

Hi - just saw this. I'm into my second year of making sourdough bread at home. I have been humbled more times than I want to say, so take this with a grain of alkalinity seltzer. Still learning and re learning things I've learned, and I'm a complete novice/amateur/beginner, but getting more consistent results as time goes on. I think. Maybe. 

i've encountered exactly what you're describing, mostly in whole grain but occasionally with white flours. I've tried adding yeast - self defeating and doesn't help much. Baking powder or soda, not great results. I've used carbonated water and it basically adds more air bubbles for the starter to bubble in but it won't contribute to the actual "rise".  May add some flavor too though, which isn't bad

It starts with the Starter - I have to work with it until it's super active - that means the starter will increase noticeably as I feed it and wait - say within 8 hours a really active starter will increase 50% in size and ideally "double". When it's doing that, make your loaves as soon as possible, using the starter. 

I use a "1,2,3" rule for mixing dough - 1 part starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour. No more than a teaspoon of salt although you don't have to add that. They say to use weight instead of measuring - I've done both, either, whatever. I may add more water as I go, or flour, but having a good amount of starter in to begin with helps it to rise. The resulting dough ball will hold it's shape without immediately sagging or falling. 

If the starter was lively to begin with the proofing should see rising within 4- 6 hours, I'm ready at about 8, but can take longer. 

I've gotten good results going right from that first proof to a quick shaping and then second proof of maybe 1-2 hours or so and then onto my pan. I put a small tray of water in the back of my oven, to moisturize the bake - supposedly that gives it the thin crunch crust which is what I want and it seems to work. Then I bake at 390 for about 30 minutes. I don't back at higher temps as my oven seems to run hotter over longer times and I've ended up with bricks at higher temps. 

Here's a few rolls I got, below. They started as about half that size, and rose. I don't think I did a second proof with them, they ballooned right up.  don't have a pic of the slice, but they were airy and "bubbly" inside. 

Having said that, I too am a batch away from my next set of bricks. Its' an elusive sport, this. BUT MAN THEY TASTE GREAT WHEN I GET IT RIGHT. 

Let us know how you do! 

 

 

 

sourdoughrolls.jpg

 

Socks, what do you use to season it on top? Those look great. 

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4 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

The problem I have had is the sourdough bread not rising. It tastes delicious, but is so compacted the loaf is about half the height of a regular slice. This doesn’t make for good sandwiches. I will use the baking soda and powder the next time and see how it goes.

i saw a recipe for beer bread-haven’t tried it- but the only ingredients were beer, flour, and sugar. Just looking at the picture of the loaf, it appeared to rise to normal height. The top of the loaf was not smooth, but quite lumpy looking. The recipe did not call for self rising flour, but that may have been what was used.

I would think it's important to use a beer that you like. There are some that can taste pretty bad. :beer: I remember a bad one my mother's second husband used to buy that I've heard referred to as weasel p i s s. (Carling's Black Label). 

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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

I would think it's important to use a beer that you like. There are some that can taste pretty bad. :beer: I remember a bad one my mother's second husband used to buy that I've heard referred to as weasel p i s s. (Carling's Black Label). 

Never use Oly or Schlitz. Uggggg

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5 hours ago, Rocky said:

Socks, what do you use to season it on top? Those look great. 

Thanks. I brush lightly with butter or oil, and sprinkle kosher salt, pepper, and a spray of sesame and flax seeds. 

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On 4/22/2020 at 1:14 PM, Stayed Too Long said:

I made a sourdough starter a number of years ago and have enjoyed the pancakes it makes. They have a distinct flavor and texture not in any other pancakes I’ve eaten. Keeping the starter going is not much trouble at all. However, when making bread it is a different beast entirely. Apparently the starter has to be at it’s optimal rising. I have tried many ways to determine that state without much Success. The bread always turns out very flavorful, but it is hard and extremely compacted. Somehow it needs to rise better....I have added yeast to get the rise, but the yeast also diminishes the wonderful sourdough taste.

Any suggestions on how to get this rise?

So I’ve been dinking with my starter which had gotten pretty blah. For about 3 days I added a 1/4 cup of flour and water and gave it 12 hours or so, so I fed it about 5-6 times before it got lively last night, almost doubled in size and visible bubbles on top. I’m making a loaf today, so we’ll see what happens.... ....I put a photo of how it looks

a few times I removed about a 1/4 cup of the ongoing starter before feeding, which I’ve read can help it along. I made a roll out of one instead of tossing and it was surprisingly edible, considering the starter was still in waking up mode. I put some photos of how it looks sliced, not as airy as I’d like but the taste was good and it was soft and squishy. 
 

everyone I know who’s made sourdough bread sort of shrugs and says keep feeding it and it’ll bubble up at some point so the newest thing I learned was to be sure to refrigerate it if I’m not baking a load for a couple days. .... and then allow 2-3 days feeding to bring it back.....? 
 

 

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That is a nice looking bun...no pun intended. I'll give your advise a try and see how it works. It is fun playing with the starter. Rocky was asking about whole grain so I have been looking into making a whole grain starter also. I found a recipe that uses multiple types of whole grain flour, so think it may be on the next list to attempt. On thing about sourdough, it keeps you on your toes.

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32 minutes ago, Stayed Too Long said:

That is a nice looking bun...no pun intended. I'll give your advise a try and see how it works. It is fun playing with the starter. Rocky was asking about whole grain so I have been looking into making a whole grain starter also. I found a recipe that uses multiple types of whole grain flour, so think it may be on the next list to attempt. On thing about sourdough, it keeps you on your toes.

Thanks! Yes, it does. 

I've tried to kinda fold over a starter into whole wheat. I've got a batch of 1/4 whole wheat and 3/4 white rising now. I've been able to get a 3/4 ww to 1/4 white with results, but I'm still working at it. I had to restart after I had a batch in the fridge for too long without a feeding and it didn't come back - well, there's a very small part of it in the current one so I guess it did sort of.

When you get a nice batch of starter, dry some out on a sheet and then freeze it. I do that every few months and use that to refresh the starter after a period of inactivity. I think it works or helps, or something. I don't think it hurts it. :beer:

It's fun! Interested in what you share here. 

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Nice Four grain loaf. 
1. Whole Wheat 2. Dark Rye, 3. Spelt, 4. White.

This recipe, from http://Breadtopia.com/ is a three day process. 
Day 1: Mix whole wheat flour and starter for 12 hours.

Day 2: Blend in the Dark Rye, Spelt, and White flour from Day 1. Let rise in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Day 3: Knead and let rise 4 - 6 hours. Bake 475 degrees for 45 minutes.

Some recipes call for mixing all the flour and water, and let set 30 - 60 minutes, to allow all the flour to completely absorb the water.. This process  is called autolyse. https://bakerpedia.com/processes/autolyse/

B3168C9D-D2B3-4AFD-94BB-1882D92DC1B3.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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On 5/1/2020 at 8:12 AM, Stayed Too Long said:

Nice Four grain loaf. 
1. Whole Wheat 2. Dark Rye, 3. Spelt, 4. White.

This recipe, from http://Breadtopia.com/ is a three day process. 
Day 1: Mix whole wheat flour and starter for 12 hours.

Day 2: Blend in the Dark Rye, Spelt, and White flour from Day 1. Let rise in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Day 3: Knead and let rise 4 - 6 hours. Bake 475 degrees for 45 minutes.

Some recipes call for mixing all the flour and water, and let set 30 - 60 minutes, to allow all the flour to completely absorb the water.. This process  is called autolyse. https://bakerpedia.com/processes/autolyse/

B3168C9D-D2B3-4AFD-94BB-1882D92DC1B3.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful! 

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I read somewhere bread dough could be frozen and unthawed at a later time to be baked. Cleaning out the freezer I found some dough, which could have been in there for months. It did not rise after being unthawed, and did not rise while baking either. It came out of the oven a solid brick. After cooling off, with much effort, I was able to cut into small pieces and save for the ducks. 

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