Monday, October 12, 2009

LBB sourdough adapted #1

I started some starter for my dad in Florida last week. It was really warm in their house (room temp is probably 77 degrees), so in 2 days the starter was bubbly and "cheesy" smelling, just like my LBB starter was. In his case, I just used 3/4 c white flour with a 1/4 c cup rye, 1 cup water, and let it sit 2 days in a tupperware on the counter.

Now I need to send him the recipe. I don't think he has a scale, so I weighed the ingredients of the original recipe on my scale. Here is the adapted version:

For 2 loaves (original):

7.5 cups + 1.5 tbsp unbleached bread flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
1-1/4 c. starter
2-1/4 c. water
4.5 tsp. table salt

For 1 loaf:

3-3/4 cups + .75 tbsp unbleached bread flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
3/4 c. starter
1 c. + 2 tbsp. water
2-1/4 tsp. table salt

  1. Add flour + wheat germ to mixing bowl. Then add starter and water.
  2. Knead on lowest setting on mixer using dough hook for 5 minutes.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover and NOW ADD THE SALT.
  5. Knead on lowest setting on mixer for 5 more minutes (10 minutes total). You may need to clear the dough hook if it gets clogged up; however, dough will clear the sides of the mixing bowl.
  6. Remove from mixer.
  7. Form into ball: cup your hands together on the top of the loaf, over the sides and pinching to the bottom, like you are running your hands down both sides of a globe, starting at the Arctic Circle, down through Americas and Asia, pinching your pinkys together at Antarctica.
  8. Place in lightly oiled ceramic bowl. Cover with inflated plastic bag, and let rise 3.5-4 hours at 75 degrees. If your room is hotter (78 deg), you will need less rise time, maybe 2.5 hours. If your room is colder (72 deg) , you will need 4 hours.
  9. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter.
  10. Cut dough into two equal pieces. Slap each piece to deflate.
  11. Tuck all edges under, rough-shaping into a ball. Let rest for 15 min.
  12. Shape each into ball, and place into lightly oiled bowl or floured basket. Let rise for 1 hr.
  13. Cover rounds with inflated plastic bag, and put in fridge for about 8-12 hours, no more than 24 hours.
  14. Remove dough from fridge, cover with inflated plastic bag, and let rise on counter at room temp for ~3 hours. Dough should be doubled in size and at ~62F.
  15. Heat oven to 500. Set your baking rack 2nd from the bottom. Put a broiling pan at the bottom of your oven
  16. Slash the loaf 2 or 3 times across the top with a sharp knife or razor.
  17. Put loaf in, add 1 cup hot water to broiling pan, and bake for 45 minutes as follows:
  • first 5 minutes at 500
  • next 20 minutes at 450
  • rotate bread
  • 20 more minutes at 450 (total of 45 min).
Should hit 210F when fully baked, and sound a bit hollow.

Remove from oven.

Let bread cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting in!


  1. In mixer it came together correctly, definitely cleared bottom of bowl. 10 minutes total kneading in mixer, as listed.
  2. Initial rise was 3 hours in oiled bowl
  3. After punch down and basket, next rise was about 2 hours
  4. Fridge retardation time was approximately 13 hours; removed from fridge at 310pm.
  5. Rise time out of fridge in bag: 3 hours.
  6. Preheated oven for 45 minutes prior to baking.
  7. Baking on middle rack with stone.
  8. Single slash in middle of loaf.
  9. Flour + cornmeal on the peel
  10. Loaf in oven, then 2/3 cup near-boiling water in broiler pan.
  11. Bake for 5 minutes @ 500, 35 minutes @ 450, middle rack on baking stone.
  12. Let cool for 1 hour on rack.


  • Great chocolate mahogany exterior
  • Really good oven spring (perhaps best so far)
  • Good blistering but not huge
  • Good flavor
  • Texture was pretty good: cooked through, tender with nice chew. No real problems to speak of, I want bigger holes though.
  • Could be a slight bit more sour...maybe add a touch of rye flour?
  • Crust was a little thick, perhaps too much steam for too long?
  • 3 hours seemed like a good new final rise time; could even try 2.5?
For Next Time:
  • Less hot water in broiler pan (1/2 cup only); OR no steam but brush/mist crust with warm water right before the oven
  • More water in the dough, increase to 1-1/4 cup (add'l 2 tbsp) for each loaf.
  • Slightly longer fridge ferment - 15 hours? 18 hours? Grandma's bread had a nice crust at 24 hours.

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