Just checking on my method


 I have been baking sourdough for three years on a more or less weekly basis.

  1. I usually make two loves from around 500 grams of white  flour and about 500 ml of water. 

To begin I add around 250gms of flour  to my starter  with enough water to make a thick  paste. I  keep this sealed and  refrigerated for 24 hours.I also add at teaspoon of Digesic Malt at this stage

After 24 hours I  mix this with the remaining flour, salt and around 500 mls of water, and knead it into a dough. 

Despite what the literature seems to suggests I find that I get a much better result if I leave the dough to prove for another 24 hours -- more or less.I sometimes separate the dough into two loaves resting in baking paper  on two trays, but often they'll spill over the sides and taht's why I do n't always do this.

If not  already split I divide the dough after rising and bake in a 200 centergrade oven for 45 minutes give or take...

The long rising doesn't seem to exhaust the yeast and I get a better rise, more consistent crumb and texture by taking 2 whole days to make my bread.

Am I wasting my time?


dave riley




203 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 June 22

Hi Dave,

Your quantities suggest a hydration of about 100% which is very high for white flour.  I'm not surprised that they could 'spill over the sides'.  At that level of hydration (in my experience anyway) you would not be able to handle the dough as it would be more like a stiff batter.

Normally, for a good active starter and comfortable room temperatures, about seven hours from  go to whoa for dough preparation and loaf proving would be reasonable.

A common recipe for a 'wet' starter (100% hydration) is 1 part starter, 2 parts water and 3 parts flour.  Quantities that I use regularly are 180g starter, 320g water and 500g flour.

Hope I haven't misread something in your post and that my comment is helpful.

Keep on bakin'


ratbagradio 2011 June 22

 My hyrdation is fine so I must be over estimating my fluids. I do concoct a dough that is a dough that can be kneaded and stretched and folded or knocked back. I do that primarily by feel (I've been baking bread for 10 years plus) and thats' why my proportions are maybe confusing.


But I'll review it when next I bake. 

Jeff 2011 June 24

At what temperatures are you proofing and rising,

I use Blackstrap molasses which have very little sugar, how much sugar does yours have,

I suppose more sugar and lower temperatures may give a longer rising time...


HopesHope 2011 June 24

I'm not a professional, but I don't think you're wasting time at all.  In fact, I believe that the longer you leave it alone, the more flavour you get.   I have let dough sit in my fridge for 2 weeks before baking it off, and it's wonderful bread.


Do what works for you.


Insofar as using sugar, I don't use sugar.  Sometimes I will use honey, but I'm not consistent.   I bake bread without any sort of sweetener, sugar, honey, molasses, brown rice syrup etc.. It doesn't need it, in my perspective.  

ratbagradio 2011 June 24

 That's the irony. It does indeed work -- but my anxiety was that it's not supposed to. What happened to the spectre of 'exhausted yeast'? Of course all starters are going to be different -- eccentric -- and maybe I've just adapted to mine's quirks.


But it has taken me three years to get here and I know now that I get a more consistent loaf with better crumb and deeper flavour.


As for temperatures, I live in the sub tropics but it is Winter and I simply proof in the closed oven. Not turned on of course. No drafts. So that's between 13 and 19 Centregrade at the moment. In Summer of course I may have to cut back the time as temp moves into the twenties and beyond...

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