Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sourdough, Continued

For this bake, I mixed the directions up for both recipes.

I poured each starter into a clean bowl, added 1 cup of flour, and let rest for 1 hour. After washing the jars, I put about two tablespoons of starter back into each, then added another cup of flour and cup of blood warm water. The starters were starting to get kind of stinky, and there was a bit of mold growing around the top of 1 jar. After an hour the starters in the bowls were bubbling along nicely, I followed the Dawson instructions for all three, minus the egg and the oil.

I let them sit in the pancake stage for 4 hours, and they bubbled away beautifully.  I don't see any rise in this stage, just bubbles.  Again, I added 1 tsp old commercial yeast.  I let it prove in the pancake mix, then added the rest of the flour.

I let it rise about 6 hours.  When I went to bed it was close to doubling, but not quite.  I usually read/watch tv/toss and turn for a couple of hours, so I had planned to get back up and roll it out about midnight.  Wouldn't you know it, I fell asleep.

At 5am, they had all deflated somewhat.  I added flour and rolled them out anyway.  I let them rise in the bread pans about 4 hours, the commercial yeast starter looked like it was going to overflow, so I baked.

I was on the phone when the timer went off, so I asked #1 to pull them out of the oven.  Doh!!!  Which one is which?

This batch is good.  It's either the straight Dawson, or the potato mother.
This batch is ok.  It's a bit mushy in the middle, probably would have been good with a few more minutes in the oven.

And this is bird food.  This is the Dawson with commercial yeast in the starter.  It has that nose pinching stench of over risen bread, and the tops deflated during baking.

New plan:  Since it's taking too long to rise in my house, I'm going to start it late in the afternoon, let it do the second rise overnight, roll out and bake the next day.  I'm going to try it without any extra commercial yeast in the next batch.  I think it's ready.

Edit:    The yeast waters aren't doing anything.  None of them have bubbled.  I tossed the tea, as it was growing a thin layer of scum and mold on top.  The potato water stinks, although it almost looks like it has yeast floating on top.  The raisins are all floating.  I dumped them out and added fresh raisins and another tablespoon of sugar to the water.  The pine needles are still half floating, half sunk, and the water is clear.  If nothing happens this week, I'm tossing them all and calling it a fail.


  1. Wendy,
    I imagine the birds gather round when they smell bread in the oven. They are surely the best-fed birds around.

    1. The sad thing is, baking bread for them is cheaper than buying corn.

  2. Someday I will brave the sourdough frontier. I've been making Irish Soda bread lately just because it's so fast and easy. I buy baking soda in 12# bags in the pool department so I always have plenty of it around. Lately I've been baking it in a loaf pan and it's very soft and yummy.