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rollin’ in the dough Moscow Food Co-op Baking Series Spring 2012


Moscow Food Co-op Class 2: Sourdough Welcome to the bread bakery at the Moscow Food Co-op. We’re happy to have you! We are a natural foods bakery specializing in everyday breads that are full of healthful ingredients. While we have many great bakeries in the community, the Co-op Bakery fills a special niche of creating delicious family- friendly sandwich breads, specialty breads, and other gourmet items not found elsewhere in town. We use some of the highest quality ingredients and never preservatives. Bread bakers have the special challenge of working with a product that is alive and has many variables, as well as being able to withstand high temperatures when working the ovens. But it is an extremely rewarding skill to know and is definitely considered an art form. The Moscow Food Co-op wants you to enjoy your time here as well as create beautiful product, and this takes attention to detail and lots of love. So welcome, get ready to get your hands dirty and have some fun!


liquid/dry measure equivalents 1 gallon 4 quarts 8 pints 16 cups 128 ounces 3.8 liters

1 cup 8 ounces 240 milliliters

1 tablespoon 3 teaspoons 1/2 fluid ounce 15 milliliters

1/4 cup 4 tablespoons 12 teaspoons 2 ounces 60 milliliters

1 pint 2 cups 16 ounces 480 milliliters For other baking conversions, visit the following websites:

1. http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_volume_cooking.htm 2. http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm


sourdough:it’s alive! Sourdough is a product not oly of its ingredients, but of its surroundings. Sourdough is tempermental and it reacts to its environment because it is alive. A starter needs to be fed a steady diet of flour and water to stay alive. When experiementing with the sourdough, it is important to consider all of the variables involved. If you are tolerent and understanding of the doughs wants and needs, sourdough creates amazing results. “It takes time. It takes patience. But the rewards are great. Every loaf you bake is slightly different, but most of all, it is uniquely your own. Nothing you can buy at a store will give you as much satisfaction.” -Nancy Silverston, La Brea Bakery Sourdough breads are leavened naturally with sourdough starter - a simple combination of flour and water left out where it can “catch” the wild yeasts that occur naturally in the flour, in the air and even on your hands. It’s a way of baking bread that goes back thousands of years. The strans of yeast in a sourdough starter are slower acting, more sluggish than those found in commercial baker’s yeast. But what they lack in speed they make up for in the flavor, texture, and good looks they give to a loaf of bread.

the starter The starter is the essential element of sourdough bread making. It takes fourteen days to raise this starter from scratch. The starter culture only needs to be made once. After that, as long as you feed and maintain it, your starter will be ready to use over and over again, anytime you feel like baking. The yeasts cause the bread to rise; this is a complex chemical reaction that plays a vital role in the flavor development, structure and keeping qualities of the bread.


Sourdough starters are colonies with three distinct populations: lactic-acid-forming bacteria, lactic-and-acetic-acid-forming bacteria, and sourdough yeasts. Learning to artfully balance the requirements of these three groups will empower your bread making. Starter is a batter or a dough that has been colonized by sourdough yeasts and bacteria, collectively called microflora. Its pH is considerably lower than that of a yeast-raised batter or dough because of the bacteria found there. The acetic acid/lactic acid ratio plus the overall concentration of acidity determines the fundamental flavor of the sourdough product. The true sourdough flavor is achieved only when the two acids are present and balanced in the bread. Different conditions favor the production of different acids. Temperatures in the range of 95* F to 104* F and wet batterlike starters favor the Lactobacilli that excrete lactic acid. Bakers looking for a mild effect should use this method and avoid using a retarder. Temperatures around 68* F and stiff doughlike starters favor the Lactobacilli that excrete both acetic and lactic acids. Bakers aiming for a more pronounced sour flavor, will refrigerate their doughs overnight. Because yeast organisms grow on the outside of a fruit or grain, whole-grain flours containing the bran (the outside of the wheat) have microflora. Starters made with white flour will be slower to develop than would one made with whole-grain flour.

14 days one: growing the culture (fermentation begins) you will need:

cheesecloth scale one 1-gallon plastic, ceramic or glass container rubber spatula, optional plastic wrap long-stemmed, intant-read cooking thermometer room thermometer 1 pound red or black grapes (organic) 2 pounds lukewarm water, 78* F. 1 pound 3 ounces unbleached white bread flour


Clean and sanitize everything that will come in contact with the ingredients of the start culture. In the early stages of development, a starter is a fragile living thing. Lay the grapes on a double layer of cheesecloth. Tie together the opposite corners to form a bag around the grapes. Set aside. Place the flour and 78* F water in the 1-gallon container and stir. Hold the bagged grapes over the container and mash them with your hands, squeezing the juice into the flour mixture. Swish the grapes through the mixture a few times, then push them to the bottom. Cover the container to trap the fermentation gases over the next few days. Leave the culture at room temperature, ideally at 70* F to 75* F.

two and three: fermentation continues During this time, the culture evolves into something alive and growing. You will notice a few tiny bubbles in the mixture. On the third day, feel free to remove the lid and smell the mixture. You should notice a fruity or yeasty aroma. Replace the lid as before.

four: refreshing the culture The mixture may begin to turn a brownish purple color. A distinct, unpleasant, alcohol-like smell should be present and the culture will taste sharp and acidic. To refresh this culture you will need to feed it. Without food, the acidic bacteria will overwhelm the wild yeasts. These yeasts get their nourishment from the sugars that naturally occur in flour. Uncover the culture, add water and flour, mix everything with your hands or a rubber spatula. Swish the grape bag and push it back to the bottom. Cover the culture as before.

five through nine: fermentation continues Check the culture once a day to see how it’s changing. The mixture will naturally separate, forming a yellowish liquid top layer. If mold appears, promptly remove it and add a cup of flour and a cup of water. The unpleasant smell of a young culture will eventually be replaced by the yeasty aroma you notice on previous days.


ten: regular feeding On day 10, the culture becomes a starter. Uncover the culture and remove the bag of grapes, squeezing any remaining liquid into the culture. Discard the grapes. Poor off and freeze (or give to a friend!) all but about 1 pound 2 ounces of the culture. Transfer the remaining culture to a clean, sealable but not airtight container. The culture is now ready to be fed. Time and regular feeding are what distinguish a starter from a culture. Starter is still essentially a mixture of growing yeast and bacteria but now it needs regular nourishment to keep it healthy and strong.

ten through fourteen: building the starter To get the starter into shape for baking, you will feed it three times a day. The yeast in the starter lives off the sugar from the starch in the flour. It is critical that you watch over your starter during this phase. The important part is to pick a schedule and try to stick with it. To determine how much to include in the first feeding, match the amount of the starter base with equal amounts of flour and water. For the second feeding, double that amount. For the third feeding, double the amount again. At the end of the day you will have a little more than 7 pounds of starter.

fifteen: maintaining the starter By day 15, the starter is ready to bake. The starter is really alive. You can hear bubbles popping, bulging and pulsing. You should also be able to smell a slightly nutty aroma and taste a pleasant, yeasty flavor. These are all signs of a healthy starter. Now that the starter is strong, you may want to maintain a smaller amount by matching the starter with flour and water rather than doubling it. No matter what method you use, keep the starter on a regular feeding schedule. If the starter has been dormant up to a week, let it come to room temperature for 2 hours, then give it a full day of feeding. The next day it will be ready to use. If the starter has been dormant more than one week, put it on a regular feeding schedule for three days before using. If there is no activity after three days, it is likely your starter is no longer alive.


starter feeding build: white starter bread flour water sourdough starter total weight

44% 56% 100% 200%

rye starter rye flour water sourdough starter total weight

33% 33% 33% 100%

Sourdough starters must be fed every day or they will die a slow painful death. Make sure that the containers are switched out on a daily basis as they will ferment too much if left in the same container.


sourdough recipes:

seedy sourdough

A plethora of seeds help make this sourdough loaf filling and hearty. Using the rye sourdough starter gives the loaf abundant flavor and complexity with great rise.


pre-ferment: vinnie rye flour water rye sourdough starter total weight

.1 lb .1 lb .1 lb .9 lb

2.5 lb 2.08 lb .2 lb 4.78 lb

Combine all ingredients. Cover the poolish and let sit at ~70* F for 12-16 hours.

pre-ferment: hot soaker flaxseeds cracked wheat sunflower seeds oats salt water total weight

.7 lb .46 lb 1 pinch .02 lb 1.18 lb

.9 lb .9 lb .75 lb .75 lb .22 lb 4.13 lb 7.65 lb

Disperse the instant yeast in water. Add flour and mix until smooth and fully incorporated. Cover the poolish and let sit at ~70* F for 12-16 hours.

final dough hygluten flour water yeast honey pre-ferment: hot soaker pre-ferment: vinnie total weight yield

1.3 lb .6 lb .04 lb 1 pinch .1 lb 1.18 lb 4.12 lb 2 loaves

8.3 lb 3.7 lb .18 lb .15 lb 7.65 lb 4.78 lb 24.55 lb 12 loaves


mix: place all ingredients into the mixing bowl. speed 1 for 3 min. speed 3 for 4 min. DDT: 78* F

bulk ferment: 1 hour, no folds. shape: rolls: 4 oz. rounds

loaves: 1 lb. 8 oz. logs top with oil before final proof. Make 5 deep slashes perpendicular to the loaf before baking.

bake: 460* F, steam 2x; 15 min.

375* F for 25 min.


moscow sour Created from the wild yeast of Moscow, Idaho, this bread has it’s own subtle flavor from right here in the Palouse. The tangy sourdough taste adds great flavor to sandwiches, soups and salads.


pre-ferment: vinnie whole wheat flour water sourdough starter total weight

.4 lb .5 lb .1 lb 1 lb

1.6 lb 2 lb .32 lb 3.92 lb

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and fully incorporated. Cover the poolish and let sit at ~70* F for 12-16 hours.

final dough bread flour rye flour water pre-ferment: vinnie sea salt total weight yield

1.75 lb .375 lb 1.16 lb 1 lb .05 lb 4.31 lb 2 loaves

7 lb 1.5 lb 4.62 lb 3.92 lb .19 lb 17.23 lb 8 loaves

mix: add all ingredients except the salt to the mixing bowl. speed 2 for 3 min. speed 3 for 5 min. DDT: 76* F

bulk ferment: 2 hours, fold after 45 min. and 1.5 hour. shape: rolls: 4 oz. rounds

loaves: 2 lb. logs dust with flour and slash with a cross-hatch checkerboard pattern before baking.

bake: 480* F, steam 2x

450* F for 30 min.


sour english muffins An english muffin is a small, round, flat type of leavened bread. Usually english muffins are sliced, toasted and finished with butter or another topping.


dough bread flour sourdough starter sea salt yeast honey unsalted butter 2% milk total weight yield

1.1 lb .32 lb .03 lb .01 lb .04 lb .07 lb .65 lb 2.22 lb 1 dozen muffins

4.4 lb 1.28 lb .12 lb .04 lb .16 lb .28 2.6 lb 8.88 lb 48 muffins

mix: add all ingredients except the salt to the mixing bowl. speed 2 for 8 min. dough should be smooth and a little tacky.

bulk ferment: 4 hours (can be placed in a refridgerator overnight; allow the dough to return to room temperature before shaping)

shape: muffins: 3 oz. rounds

Place rounds on a parchment paper lined pan with cornmeal. Oil the tops and sprinkle with cornmeal flour.

bake: heat a griddle to 350* F as well as an oven to 350* F. Brush the griddle with oil. Carefully transfer the english muffins to the griddle. Cook each side for 5 min. Bake immediately after removing from the griddle. 350* F for 6 min.

rollin' in the dough part 2  

This resouce was given to the participants of my sourdough baking class.