Whole Grain Sourdough

(Eric) #21

The whole grain sourdough recipe (http://breadtopia.com/whole-grain-sourdough/) is not a no-knead recipe.

(DavidN) #22

For the fermentation in the refrigerator would longer than 24 hours be a good or bad thing or just different. I have not tried but read some pizza doughs are best at 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Sometimes busy schedules being what they are 48 or 72 hours in the cold would be helpful.

(Eric) #23

Hi David,

I think “different” would be the most useful answer. I also know of bakers who retard their dough for more than a day. One in Des Moines, IA goes an entire week. With extended times, I would imagine even small differences in refrigerator temperatures could vary the results significantly. I don’t have enough experience with going much longer than 24 hours to be of any real help. If you go an extra 24 or more on this recipe, I’d love to hear about it and I’m sure others would too.

(dustan) #24

I tried this with great results this weekend. Is it my imagination but is the taste of this bread improved after 24 hrs. I found it quite sour a few hours after baking but much milder the next morning toasted.

(bonny) #25

Hi Eric,

First time user and first time baker - this is the very first bread I ever baked from sourdough culture - and the culture is also my first attempt. The resulting bread has awesome flavour but I have some ways to go to get to some of the finer looking samples on this site.

First, my result of which I’m very proud:


Now to the questions:

  1. The bread is very dense - almost what was described before as gummy, but not quite. Looks like a little
    more time in the oven could have sorted it out. However, the temperature in the oven was 250c or there about
    and when I checked the temperature inside the loaf, it was just over 99c (210f) so it should be fully baked, right?
    Also, the colour on the crust is a tad darker than I wanted it to (I think although I have no reference point for
    the type of flour I used).
    So - would reducing the temp in the oven a tad help here?

  2. The bread is not as tall (as it has not risen) as many of the finer samples here. This is probably due to the
    fact that I could not get as much rise out of the mixtures in any of the stages (unlike the video).
    Any idea what I can do to improve the activity level of the starter? Once out of the fridge for a couple
    of hours I can see lots of bubbles but I can not see the phenomenal growth that others can show.

As this is the first time I’m doing this, there are lots of things that I am not aware of, I’m sure, but I’d like some
pointers so I can check on my next attempt :slight_smile:

Thanks for a wonderful site and hopefully a long term hobby for me :slight_smile:



(Eric) #26

Not your imagination. Some breads, especially whole grain, morph for the better within a day or two or even 3 of baking.

(Eric) #27

Hi Bonny,

One quick question, did you let the bread cool thoroughly (about an hour or so) before slicing?

(bonny) #28

Hi Eric,

I waited somewhere around 45 minutes. I’ve since baked another one and let it cool
more than an hour. The bread is still dense…

My aim is to get a lighter version. I assume that since the dough does not rise as much as in your video, this
would be the reason, so I’ve tried to bake it on a slightly lower temperature to see if longer baking will achieve
this additional rise, but no luck.

Could it be that the rise does not happen due to the starter being a rye based starter?



(Eric) #29

That would make a difference but probably doesn’t account for all of it. The more white flour the better for lightness. 1/2 cup of white flour starter instead of rye would get you a bit closer anyway.

(mpr2101) #30

This is a beginner question (coming from a beginner), so my apologies if the answer is obvious – of if I should just experiment and figure this out myself – but any advice would be most welcome.

The question: I’ve tried this recipe a couple of times now and had great results! Very exciting; very tasty. But I was wondering: is it possible to split the large loaf into two smaller loaves? Presumably that would involve shortening the cooking time, but… by how much? Is there a rule of thumb? Or just cut-and-try? (I’m loathe to waste good dough on my own ignorance, otherwise I’d just try a few different times and temperatures)

Thank you!

(Jennifer) #31

I’m wondering…the recipe says 485F in the cloche…but I purchased the cloche from Breadtopia and it says do not exceed an oven temp of 450 degrees…I don’t want to crack it in the oven. What do you suggest?

(tcnaylor) #32

One thing that I’ve been a little concerned about is the temperature at which the dough ferments when out at “room temperature”. You had mentioned that it should be 69 degrees. We don’t have air conditioning to control the room temperature, but for example, today we will be doing day 3 for this recipe, so dough needs to sit out for 5 hours. Today it is 65 degrees out so how much longer would you suspect it should sit out? Thanks for your input

(Chilipez) #33

Hello Eric,

Thank you for your continued efforts in making us better bakers.
A few years ago, I thought I’d try my hand at baking a sourdough loaf. Despite my online research, I failed early on, at the starter stage. Too many opinions and vague directions, perhaps.
Your approach to educating us has obviously been crafted by your own frustrations, early in the years of your bread-making efforts. The result of those efforts, up until now, is what you present to us in Breadtopia: clear, step-by-step procedures, as well as a clear explanation why those steps exist…and why the ingredients respond the way they do.
Following your written instructions and videos, I nailed it on my first attempt! Thank you! The result? Perfect…in my opinion…a hearty, healthy, full-flavoured, European country-style bread…with a nice sourdough tang!!
All the best, Eric. Looking forward to what comes next down the Breadtopia pike! In the meantime, I’ll continue with your other recipes…while I enjoy a nice slice or two of my homemade sourdough bread!

(Paul) #34

Nice loaf @Chilipez! Welcome to sourdough. Between the superior flavor and the way it will make you feel, I predict you will never go back.

(Eric) #35

Hi Jennifer,

Sorry for the late reply. Baking at 485º is fine. Or you could bake at 450º for an extra minute. Either way will work.

(Jewell1) #36

This. This is the BEST bread I have ever made, and I had made lots of bread. Time consuming but worth it. The flavor is magnificent. I urge everyone to make it at least once.

(HillarySH) #37

This is my first attempt at making my own sourdough starter and baking this bread. I’m so excited about it!!
Do you think that I scored the dough too deeply and that’s why it has such pronounced ears?

(Eric) #38

That’s a great looking loaf, Hillary. I like the pronounced ears and would be careful discussing it around the loaf.

(Phyllis) #39

I have tried most of the variations of the no -knead bread so I decided to try the whole grain sourdough. After the 24 long fermentation the bread had not risen like it should. An ‘emergency bread email’ was sent and Eric quickly responded. Thinking the fridge was too cold, left it out for 4 hours before putting in the basket for proofing. And, success…fantastic loaf. Thanks Eric.

(Eric) #40

Glad it worked out. Gorgeous loaf!!!