APF Sourdough Take One

How did the bread turn out? It didn’t.

I did not feed my starter before doing this because I didn’t intend to make bread today and it was a last minute whim yesterday. As my last post stated, it was fed the day before yesterday at 6:45 pm and I started this batch of bread at 2 pm yesterday. Because it requires time to rise and such.

After the first fold set.

After mixing up the ingredients as indicated, I let it rest for fifteen minutes before doing the first round of fold sets. There are four to five of these during the bulk fermentation phase that lasts approximately 3.5 hours.

Alas I never invested in bread making supplies and only have my plastic mixing bowls to use. The dough really sticks to it, sadly, making it harder to manage. I plan on investing in a decent metal bowl as well as a pastry scraper and such. Perhaps even a proofing basket.

I make DH a few bologna (ewww) sammiches everyday for lunch and we go through bread so fast that I buy it in bulk. The $0.87 loafs do not last long on the counter so I freeze them up. It only takes five minutes or so for slices of bread to defrost. Plus I also buy the $1 fresh bread that they will toss that day and freeze it up as well – you never know what you’ll find.

These days we try to be as thrifty as possible. In fact those bottles you see are recycled Powerade bottles that I refill with homemade sweet tea (made with Stevia!) and powered drink mix (also sugar free). Why toss out perfectly good bottles that are cleansed well in my dishwasher and durable enough for multiple uses? No reason.

It was said that the fifth fold set may not be necessary unless the dough is slack, weak, and/or without defined edges. Mine wasn’t necessarily those things but it wasn’t optimal either so I went ahead and did the fifth and then let it continue bulk fermenting for another hour and a half.

After fifth fold set.

After the fifth fold set I set the oven timer to 90 minutes; however with 20 left to go I decided to take a trip to Little Caesars as it was dinner time and I wasn’t prepared to cook anything. It took about 45 minutes for that and another 15 or so to eat so it sat out for a bit longer but meh, it’s sourdough.

In hindsight I shouldn’t have used such a big bowl but as they say it is 20/20. It didn’t get a chance to expand up, just out. I set it on the counter to rest for the required 20 minutes and cursed as I tried to scrape it back up to then flour said surface and my hands after. I so need a bench knife.

A blob of sticky dough after resting 20 minutes.

The shaping part wasn’t so bad once I managed to flour the surface under my dough and do the deed. Looking at it though, I’m certain it will not have the rise that is typical of sourdough but honestly to be expected and not an issue for me. It’ll go great with that plum jam I made yesterday regardless.

Homemade proofing basket with a floured towel

I wanted to seed the top but all I had were chia seeds or rolled oats. I opted for the chia seeds and you can see the few that made it to the bottom of the loaf when I transferred it to the homemade proofing container. I plan on letting it set out until bed tonight or at least until 11 pm as that will mark four hours and then put it in the fridge overnight for a bake first thing in the am.

Because my starter wasn’t recently fed and somewhat new I figured that I’d have to extend out the proofing time to ensure it gets the max time necessary. Let’s just say it never really rose after the last fold set. I popped it into the oven regardless the next day and while the loaf did cook it didn’t really do much more than that. DS loved the flavor as did DH; however it was far from an optimal loaf.

One thing I learned this time, I just don’t have the patience for sourdough. It takes a lot of work and honestly it doesn’t work, flavor-wise, for my daily needs so I tossed the starter and will just make yeast bread going forward. I mostly did the entire project for DS so that he could learn a bit about it and be involved – busy work one could say.

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