Pandemic sourdough baking: my second loaf and some more pretzels

Click here to see the first post in this series on baking sourdough started from nothing but flour and water

After starting a new sourdough starter not long after sheltering-in-place at my parent's place about 12 days ago, I have baked my second loaf of bread!

I've been baking with sourdough for well over a decade. My aged OG sourdough starter is currently in hibernation, however, at my brother's house in Northern California while I am in Southern California. I wanted to bake, but did not have a starter. I decided to make one.

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10 seconds of steam coming out of a fresh loaf of #sourdough from my 12 day old #sourdoughstarter #boingboing

A post shared by Jason Weisberger (@jlw) on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:58am PDT

The first loaf I tried with the starter showed that it was almost but not quite mature enough for me really enjoy what I was baking. It reminded me of a prior experience baking with my OG starter when it had not been treated well. Care of a starter is pretty easy, just feed it every day.

I gave the starter another 5 days or so of daily feedings.

I made some more sourdough pretzels while I waited.

Last night I put up a smaller sized loaf of bread. I want to conserve flour as it has been the only thing I've had a hard time finding. Hell, I am using some aged whole wheat...

I combined 1 ¼ cup of bread flour and ¾ cup of 2015 expired Gold Medal whole wheat in the big blue bowl. Read the rest

Pandemic sourdough: the first loaf with my new starter

Click here to see the first post in this series on baking sourdough started from nothing but flour and water

Yesterday I fed my sourdough starter a bit later in the morning that I have been with the intent of putting up my first loaf of bread later in the afternoon.

The go-to loaf of bread that I like to bake is based very closely on the Breadtopia no-knead sourdough recipe. Yes, they based theirs on the NY Times.

When I sensed my starter was at the right stage in the yeast feeding cycle for me to most effectively kick off a loaf of bread, I did.

I measured ¼ cup of starter and mixed it into 1 cup of warm water and let it sit.

Deep in the back of my mother's refrigerator are 3 bags of whole wheat. About 2lbs of King Arthur that expired in 2017, about 2 lbs of 365 Organic that expired in 2019, and about 4lbs of Gold Medal that I bought last summer and is good for a year or so. I took the 2017 and measured out 2 cups into my favorite big blue bowl.

I had a bag of King Arthur Bread Flour at my new home, which is several miles away from my parents' home, where I grew up and am currently staying with them, as they are in their mid-70s. I ventured out to get this bag of flour, as I was freaking out with it less than a 5k road race away for some reason. Read the rest

Honey whole wheat sourdough pizza dough

Last night I made honey whole wheat sourdough pizza crust. It was quite good.

As a kid, there was a pizza place in my hometown that made a deep-dish pizza with a whole wheat crust. It was great, I tried and I couldn't replicate it. Then I substituted honey instead of sugar.

This simple crust is good.

Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza Dough

1 cup bread flour 1 cup whole wheat flour ½ cup sourdough starter 1 ½ tsp salt 3 tbs honey 1 ½ tbs olive oil ½ cup water

First: Mix ½ cup water, ½ cup starter, oil and the honey. Let sit while you measure out the dry goods and combine them all. Depending on your flour, and your starter, you may need to add a little flour to the mix to get a good consistency. Stop when it feels like the dough that you want to roll out.

Second: Leave it alone, probably covered, for 45-60 minutes. Refrigerate to store or use right away.

Bake at 475F or higher for 20 min, deep-dish. Probably the same for thin crust.

I have been using this dough for the crust of my deep-dish pizza, but you can easily roll it out for super-thin, Neapolitan stuff too.

Unless you do roll it super thin, I doubt this crust is going to get super cracker crisp, as it is sourdough and will retain more chew the longer you let it rise. Read the rest