This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:
The longer-ferment, 2 day in fridge, 2TBs of starter, makes an awesome loaf of sourdough. The bread of my dreams is that longer-ferment sourdough with cranberries and walnuts, but I thought probably I shouldn’t leave cranberries and walnuts in a moist dough in the fridge for two days, so instead I covered the flattened oblong after the first long rise and then when I folded it together, the stuffs was folded in. I’ve done this three times now and it’s extremely successful. The other day I tried to actually mix in the cranberries and nuts and see what happens to them in the fridge for two days - I think I’m not going to bake that. So now I want to bake that parmesan olive bread. I’m wondering if I should do the fold-in-after-rise method? Or can those things withstand two days in the fridge? I don’t want to lose the cheese-everywhere splendor of the bread. Seems like a more expensive and annoying experiment to do it the wrong way.
I don’t think anything would be worse off by sitting in the fridge that long. The only thing of note that I’ve found is that minimal handling of the dough after the olives are folded in keep them from getting too mashed up.
I had the Seeded Sourdough and that was quite something… i did wonder as to how the yogurt fits into the recipe, i just blindly followed it and it was amazing, i am however not sure if this is something i should strictly only restrict to the seeded bread or i can try it for a regular sourdough.
Go for it. No reason not to try it in other recipes given your success with the seeded sourdough recipe.
I love the Cranberry Pecan bread, and today I baked a loaf using dried cherries and chopped walnuts. I think I am going to have fun trying all the combos of fruit and nuts using this recipe!
Your photo makes me hungry again and I just ate.
Made the cranberry pecan variation, although I used dried cherries that I cut up just a bit because my husband doesn’t care for cranberries. Came out fantastic! This is a wonderful website - thanks for all you do to get us baking our own bread! Here is my picture:
I’ve made the parmesan-olive bread once before for a potluck and it was a huge success. Now I’ve been asked to make it again for a potluck tomorrow. But I need my husband to help with the heavy lifting and he won’t be home till about 3 tomorrow. I’ll mix it up and put in the fridge later today. I wonder what time I should take it out in the morning so it will be ready to bake by about 3. It’s finally warm here in the kitchen.
I’d take it out as early as possible. You can always refrigerate during the proof stage, but you can’t so much make the bulk go faster…well, maybe in oven with light on.
I’ve found when I bulk in the fridge very little fermentation happens, so I need hours and hours the next day for the dough to warm up to finish that stage.
Thanks Melissa, I’ll mix it up now and stick in the fridge. Will take it out about 7 am tomorrow then; that should work.
I hope everything goes well today!
The Sour Seeded recipe looks wonderful.
I have a vegan in the family… is there something I can use in place of the yogurt?
I have used 1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar successfully in place of the yogurt in the Sour Seeded both using yeast and using sourdough starter. I figured it would provide the acid that the yogurt would without using dairy. It may have even increased the rise of the bread.
Good day Eric.
I just made the steel cut oats bread, see pic. I believe this will be a great one.
I wanted to thank you for all your great recipes and tutorials.
I have prepared the whole spelt sourdough bread this morning, it is resting in the fridge, I will take it out the fridge tonight before bed and bake it tomorrow morning (following your cool tip).
Good morning, Eric!
I love your website. I have been making your no knead sourdough bread with great success using the 10 hour rule for the first rise. Tomorrow I am going to make the Parmesan olive bread. Can I assume I can use the same 10 hour rise procedure in lieu of the 18 hours as stated in the recipe?
I am new to sourdough bread making and to this forum. This is the second time I have made your Steel Cut Oats recipe, and both times it has not risen as much as I thought it would. The bulk ferment rising seemed to be ok, but when turning the dough out onto a cutting board for the folding, it was so wet that part of it oozed off the board. It seemed to be quite a bit wetter than in the video of this bread. It did not really rise that much in the proofing stage. I am not sure what to modify in the recipe to get it to rise more in the proofing stage. Could the problem be that the dough is just too wet? If so, should I reduce the amount of water or increase the flour? If so, by what percentage? If I increase the flour, do I need to increase the amount of starter used?
Looking forward to your feedback.
You can either increase the amount of flour (if you want a bigger loaf) or decrease the amount of water (if you want the same size loaf) to make your dough dryer. Hard to say what percentage without actually seeing what you mean by too wet, but try it in 10% steps and see how that works. You can use the same amount of starter.
Be aware also that if you overproof your dough (bulk ferment for too long) that can also result in a dough that is kind of flaccid and prone to spreading out and not holding its shape… which might seem like dough that is too wet, but actually it’s just overproofed. This is the kind of thing (among many in sourdough bread baking) that you learn by experience over baking many loaves. There are a lot interdependent variables in sourdough bread baking and your learning is served by changing one thing at a time and noting the result. So, another thing you could try besides making your dough dryer (AKA “lowering your hydration”) is reducing the bulk fermentation time.
Thank you for your suggestions. I will follow your guidance to only change one variable at at time, starting with lessening the bulk fermentation time.
Re: your comment that it is not necessary to increase the amount of starter used if one increases the amount of flour - i have noticed some variation in how much starter is recommended in different bread recipes; how is the amount of starter to be used determined? What kinds of problems can result from using too much starter?
In my opinion, people have a lot of misconceptions about what starter actually is, and how it works in sourdough bread baking.
Here’s how I think of it: starter is bread dough that has been inoculated with a beneficial population of microbes that includes certain yeasts and certain bacteria. That also exactly describes your bread dough after you mix your starter into it. What happens to your dough after you mix your starter in is that the microbes, suddenly having access to a huge new food supply, start to rapidly reproduce and spread throughout your dough. As they do so, they eat and eat and one of the side effects of all that eating is that they produce carbon dioxide as an end product of their metabolism. That carbon dioxide is a gas that is forming inside your dough and if it is extensible and elastic (thank you gluten!), then the C02 will form many small and large bubbles in the dough. That process of bubble formation is otherwise known as “rising”. That’s all that is happening - microbes eat and produce C02 which makes bubbles in your dough and fluffs it up.
So my first advice with respect to all sourdough bread baking is rather than taking a recipe as some kind of formula for getting a very specific result, is to instead treat it as a general guideline that has to be modified for your own conditions. A lot of variables will affect how a sourdough loaf develops, and you have to develop a sense of which ones affect what and how and also how they interact with each other.
In reality there is a lot more nuance than this, but in simple terms, the amount (percent really, relative to the amount of flour you are using to build your dough) of starter you use is mostly going to affect how long your bulk proofing period should last. Because the bulk proof is the time during which the microbes are spreading through your dough, the more starter you mix in (i.e. the more microbes you are putting in at the beginning), the faster they are going to spread through the dough and the shorter your bulk proof should be (in order to not end up over-proofing which roughly corresponds with the microbes running out of food and slowing down their metabolism and not producing enough C02 to keep lifting the dough). The less starter you put in, the longer the bulk proof needs to be.
Again, there is a lot more going on than that, but if you look at the amount of starter used in isolation from everything else (which is never the case in reality), it’s generally just a way of affecting how long your bulk proof is going to take and you may want to change that for reasons like your schedule, or for the sake of developing certain flavor profiles in your dough that are more time dependent.
I personally favor very long, slow proofing so I use small amounts of starter as I wrote about here: