We typically have an ongoing sourdough starter that we feed at least once a day. We never throw out any of it because we have so many uses for it. It’s fermented dough.
We typically feed the starter based on the formula described below. If you are taking it out of the fridge where it has been stored for a while, you have to feed it at least 3 or four times before it will be active enough to raise your dough. That means at least 24 hours.
First, put the recently used starter into a clean jar and add the water. 75F degree water is best. Not hotter. Mix it very well. Then add the flour and mix. Cover tighly or not.
Keeping it at 72F to 85F is best unless you want to grow it more slowly. It typically takes about 3 hours to become active after each feeding. It should at least double in size. The most common failure to rise issue is that the starter is not active enough. Same with brewing.
- 40 grams sourdough starter from a recent previous batch
- 70 grams strong bread flour
- 70 grams water at 75F
After you have started the process of getting your starter active, mix the flour and water that you are going to use for the bread. We like to let it sit, covered, in a warm spot for at least three hours as well.
We highly recommend you do this step. If you want you can mix your flour and water then refrigerate and bring to room temperature the next day. Or even several days later. This is called autolyze, a part of starch hydrolization that is very similar to the process called gelatinization.
- 700 grams bread flour
- 450 grams water
- 640 grams corn biga with S. bayanus yeast
- 140 grams active starter
- 36 grams shio-koji (if omitted, use coarse sea salt as specified below)
A biga is made by mixing flour and water together with a small amount of yeast. It is then refrigerated overnight or longer. We used corn bran and rice bran for this biga.
The yeast we used was S.bayanus. This yeast is typically made for wine and beer brewing. You could use another yeast if you like.
We mix the biga and the sourdougb starter together very well, turning it onto itself in a bowl for several minutes.
We then took the mix of water and flour from several hours earlier and mixed that into the biga and sourdough starter mix. We did this while adding the shio koji.
We aimed for 2% salt in this bread, based on bakers percentages. That means that we added up all the flour we used including the flour that was used in the sourdough starter and the biga.
The total flour amount was 1100 grams. That means we needed 22 grams of salt or 170 grams of aged, salty shio-koji. We added 148 grams more of shio koji to the mix after we rested it for 30 minutes.
We kneaded dough, several times while letting it rise again. Finally, we put one half in the fridge to test the yeast – and the other half in a large loaf pan. It was lft to rise for 120 minutes.
Bake at 450 for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 2 hours.
We already have some great ideas for some other yeasts. All baked goods should have one form of filamentous fungus (Aspergillus, Rhizopus, etc.) or bacterial enzymes or both in them. We already have some great ideas for some other yeasts.