Pandemic sourdough: the bread just gets better

For tips on making your own sourdough starter, start here!

My new pandemic starter has had a couple of weeks to settle down and it is performing pretty much how I would expect.

Feeding your starter every day really helps it out. I've been feeding this blob since 3/16. I have reduced the amount I keep going on my counter and only feed 1/4 cup of flour and slightly less than 1/4 cup of water per feeding. This saves me ½ cup a day of precious flour.

Feeding the starter twice on bread baking day really increases my chances of turning out a good loaf. I've learned that unlike my former, trusty Muir Beach starter this new Dog Town starter has an hour shorter cycle after feeding for when it is truly ready to be used, but I am figuring it out.

You will find many related posts on Sourdough and baking here! Read the rest

Pandemic sourdough: baking this loaf of bread made me so happy

Read the first post in our series on making your own sourdough starter and bread.

The third loaf of bread with my new-to-the-pandemic sourdough starter was a pleasure to bake.

Putting this loaf of bread together for its bulk rise was done in a pleasant couple minutes pause while preparing dinner for my parents. I have been pretty aggressively on my One Meal A Day diet and enjoying 20-24 hour fasts during the pandemic and thus tend to prepare dinner for the family most nights.

I decided to bake an all King Arthur bread flour loaf of bread this time, but I continued to go with 2 cup sized loaves instead of 4. The starter is behaving like it is on something like a 4-6 hour cycle, so I fed it around 1:30 pm and mixed up the dough around 6:30 pm.

I time it like this so that a) the yeast should be in a place where there are many fresh, new and hungry cells banging about the starter and b) the 12-ish hour bulk rise I give my bread will not need me to wake up earlier than usual. If the dough looks like it needs more time, I give it more time. 18+ hours were not unusual in my old home. I would forget to change the thermostat and at night my kitchen would get too cold. Here I put the rising dough on the closed lid of an indoor bbq, with a potholder as insulation.

The dough was sticky and needed a bit of flour to let me work it. Read the rest