Your Questions About Making Sourdough More Sour

Donna asks…

How do I make a sour dough starter?

I love a very sour, sour dough bread, so I want to start baking my own. How do I do that?

sourdough answers:

The instructions as followed are basically taken from the book “The Bread Bakers Apprentice” by Peter Rinehart, and I cannot speak highly enough about this book. If you are interested in taking your bread baking skills to the next level, you should buy this book.

Sourdough starter culture

This will take a few days, but is not at all difficult. It’s quite amazing that with the repeated additions of only wheat and water, you will develop an active and living sourdough starter!

Day 1

Mix together 1 cup of whole wheat or rye flour with ¾ cup of water. Make sure that all the dough is wet into a ball. It will be stiff, but don’t worry about it. Keep in a clean container covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.

Day 2

Mix together 1 cup bread flour with ½ cup of water. Add this mixture to the mixture from yesterday, and mix it all together. Yesterday’s dough will likely be a little bit softer than it was, but there will not likely have occurred any rise. Cover with plastic wrap as before, and leave at room temperature.

Day 3

Mix together 1 cup of bread flour with ½ cup of water. Take the dough from the day before, and discard half of it. Mix the new and old dough’s together. It will be getting wetter, and there will probably be some rise by now. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature.

Day 4

Repeat the procedure exactly as from Day 3. A few hours after you have mixed the dough’s together, your starter should have doubled in size. It is now ready for use.

Take 1 cup of your active sourdough starter, and, mix with 3 ½ cups of bread flour and 2 cups of water. Mix together well and cover with plastic wrap. After about 6 hours, the dough should have doubled in size, and become quite bubbly. It is now ready to use in a sourdough bread recipe!

You can use this starter right away, or it can be held in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I keep it in a clean large covered Tupperware container in the fridge, and take it as needed.

The starter is a living thing, and as such it needs to be fed periodically or it will die. You should feed you culture every 3 days, and after every time you use it. To feed it, take away half of the culture, and mix in an equal amount of flour and water in about a 3/2 ratio.

You can much more than double it if you wish. Doubling the starter will make the sourest bread, and adding 4 or 6 times the amount of the starter while feeding the starter, will make a starter that will produce less sour bread.

Your sourdough starter will last indefinitely, as long as you remember to feed it regularly, and it will get better with age. There are some bakeries in SF that claim to be using a starter that is over 100 years old!

It sounds a little complicated, but there is really very little effort involved in making and maintaining a sourdough starter…and your bread will taste better than ever after you start baking delicious, flavorful, crusty, sourdough loaves!

Laura asks…

why i failed to make leaven at home?

i use empty plastic bottle and fill lots of fruits in it.
open lid everyday to let the gas out
after a month
these things smells souring and stinking.
why i failed?

sourdough answers:

Are you trying to make wine or bread? The procedures are different: wine is made from fruit and bread is made from grains. The fruits and grains naturally host the yeasts that you need, so you only provide nice growing conditions. You can find full instructions on the internet by searching. Use the “Search” box at the top of any YA page. Type “wine making” or “sourdough bread yeast” or whatever you need to know about and see what you find.

Ken asks…

We are having a couple for a weekend visit and I need some ideas for some really good meals and snacks-?

that are quick to make but delicious. We don’t want to have to be in the kitchen very much as we have lots of visiting and catching up to do. We will do a big country breakfast, but need ideas for lunches and dinners and some luscious snacks. Even the kind I can make ahead would be good. Salads too. Thanks!

sourdough answers:

There are lots of meals you could make ahead.
Homemade soups, stews, once they are made you can throw them in the fridge or freezer, bring them out when needed, serve them with a loaf of french bread and everyone is happy.

This is an easy dish that my family enjoys! I use dark meat just because i prefer it, but you can use white, dark, or mix white and dark!
Cut your chicken into small pieces. Brown in a small amount of olive oil.
Remove chicken from pan,drain any excess oil off, but don’t wipe pan.
Mix a can of cream of chicken soup with a half cup of sour cream. Whisk this into the pan, once smooth, add chicken, making sure chicken is covered with sauce.
Put into oven at 350′ and cook til chicken is done. In the meantime make up a pack of stove top stuffing, top the chicken and sauce mixture with stuffing and pop back in oven til stuffing is hot.
Serve with rice, and a loaf of sourdough bread!
at a party last year and had this pasta salad, it was really very good.
Little “O” Salad
1 box of small o-shaped pasta
1 cucumber
2 large sticks celery
real mayonaisse [not miracle whip]
hy’s seasoning salt

cook pasta til tender – only takes a few minutes as pasta is very tiny. Drain and cool.

Peel cucumber, split into quarters length-wise and remove seeds.
Remove strings on the celery sticks.
Dice the celery and cucumber into pieces about the same size as the pasta.
Mix all together and add real mayo. Add seasoning salt to taste and you’ve got a great salad!
also you can take a small box of strawberry jello, a half pint of fresh whipping cream. A small tub of frozen strawberries in juice, and a store bought angel food cake and make

strawberry delight
take the angel food cake and rip into small pieces.
Mix the jello with one cup of boiling water, make sure you mix til its all dissolved, add the thawed tub of berries and juice, mix well.
Whip the whipping cream ’til its ready to form soft peaks, and mix in. Now fold in the pieces of angel food cake and put in a pretty glass bowl. Into the fridge, let it set, and its ready to go!
also go to the safeway website and get the recipe for the 2 hour turkey! Its fast, its easy and its so tasty!
If you can’t find it, email me and i’ll send it to you!
Hope you have a really great time with your guests!
Good luck!

Linda asks…

How long can dough sit before cooking?

I’m planning on making some Naan bread, and the recipe tells me to let it sit for two hours before rolling out and baking… Will there be any negative consequences if I leave it for a couple more hours?

sourdough answers:

If you are not going to use dough right away, then why don’t you make it the night before and allow it to raise in the refrigerator? This method is called “coolrise” and can be adapted to your recipe.
If you let your bread raise for 4 hours it will raise too much and will need to be punched down, formed, and rise only about 30 minutes before baking IF it hasn’t deflated by then. Bread can deflate if it has been left to rise too long. It can also turn out more dense and chewy and not have that light and “airy” structure.
You also risk having your bread turn “sour”, which will change the taste somewhat. You may get some of that “sour” taste in your coolrise bread, too. This is not a true sourdough, but it will have a bit of a sour taste. I would wait and make bread when I had time to work with it.

Mandy asks…

How i make yogurt for my scince fair project?

Im in 8th grade and i wnna know if making yogurt is suitable for my grade. And how do u make it? I tryed seaarching on google the recipe and it said i need commercial, unflavored, cultured yogurt? what is that ? please hellp! asap

sourdough answers:

You can make yogurt- but in order to have the proper sterilization to make it safe, you really need to use a yogurt maker-maybe not something you want to invest in as an 8th grader, unless your family eats lots of yogurt! And yes, you need a “starter” of already made yogurt, just plain yogurt bought from the store would do.

Why not try sourdough bread instead? No special equipment needed and you can make the starter from scratch-

2 cups whole milk
2 cups flour
Let the milk set in a warm place such as sunny window uncovered to sour. Add the sour milk to the flour (instant potato flakes can be used) preferably in a crock or clay bowl. It is OK to mix the fresh milk and flour but it might take a day or so longer to get a good starter. Cover with cheesecloth and let stand in a warm place stirring occasionally and the rest is similar to the yeast type.
To replenish, add 1 cup of milk and one cup of flour, cover with cloth and let stand until bubbly. Refrigerate if not to be used for some time.

A bit of honey can be added to “feed” it and give a slightly less sour starter but it really is not required for the effectiveness if the starter.

Mix these ingredients well and add to the starter. Let stand in warm place for 8 to 12 hours. Will be very bubbly. Take out 1 cup to make bread and refrigerate remaining starter for 3 to 5 days and feed again.

To make bread, make a stiff dough of the following:

1/3 c. Sugar
1 tbsp. Salt
1/2 c. Corn oil
1 c. Starter
1 1/2 c. Warm water
6 c. Bread flour

Put dough in large oiled bowl. Pat top of dough with oil. Cover lightly with foil and let stand for 12 to 14 hours. Do not refrigerate. Punch dough down and knead a little and divide in 3 parts. Knead each part on a floured board 8 to 10 times. Put into loaf pans, brush with oil, cover lightly with wax paper, and let rise 5 to 6 hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Brush top with butter and cool on rack.

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