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The business of baking sourdough bread

Sourdough bread that you bake yourself ruins your capacity to unconditionally eat most other breadstuff.

I currently use a three stage rise method. That may seem a complicated to-do but once routine sets in, it's a habit.
  1. I take my yeast creature -- my starter  -- from the refrigerator usually on a evening. Just imagine some flour mud -- as it's a living mix of air born yeasts, flour and water,  10 months old (I'm looking forward to growing old with it). And having separated out 1.25 kilograms of bakers flour I increase the starter's volume by adding flour and whey to the jar it lives in. You don't have to use whey but I have whey left over from yogurt making and whey is very much a food resource . Waste not whey / want not.

    Researchers at Lund University in Sweden discovered that whey appears to stimulate insulin release. Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,[6] they also discovered that whey supplements can help regulate and reduce spikes in blood sugar levels among people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin secretion....Commercial whey protein shakes are often consumed after workouts by people who are trying to gain muscle mass.
    The whey also enriches the biochemistry of the starter and  encourages the lactobacillus culture.
  2. I let the mix yeast up in the refrigerator over night. The following morning I add more flour and whey (or flour and water) to the starter and leave it for another few hours in the fridge.I guess I should point out that I  add diastatic malt to my flours as is it unlocks the potential of Australian white flours.Also salt, of course. For my working volumes -- 1.25 kgm -- I add 2 teaspoons of diastatic malt.
  3. After the second feed -- and yes I guess it's like breast feeding a baby -- I mix the starter flour blend with the remaining flour and knead it into dough. To do this I need to add more water or whey if I have any in reserve.as a rule of thumb,  I add 500 mls of water to the mix to get a soft dough.I then leave the dough to rise -- usually in the oven as there are no draughts within and I have the option of turning the oven light on if I want to increase the ambient temperature. If my dough mix was, in my opinion, too stiff or dry (and adding extra water during  a working knead is not a good idea) I  place a bowl of boiled water at the bottom of the oven to increase humidity. I let the dough rise for at least another 4 hours.
  4. By this time  I am 24 hours into the business of making the bread but the only hard work was kneading the dough (and cleaning up the mess! ). I can skip the second feed if I want to shortcut the process, but starters need to be spoiled and feed teased to give their scrumptious all.
  5. I bake at my highest oven temperature for 30 minutes. I then turn the loaves out of their bread baking trays, reduce oven temp  to 200 C and bake the bread for another 20 minutes. I like the crust slightly charred and exploded.
Note:Whey and sourdough
if you have any whey (and I'm not talking whey 'protein' supplement powders)it's useful as a means to increase the sourness of sourdough thus reducing the potential impact consumption of the bread will have on your meal's GI response. Think about the synergistic contribution of yogurt in that regard. And souring the bread more can be a gastronomical  preference. Whey is also an active ingredient in many traditional sourdoughs as it enriches the culture medium. Whey gives the bread a firm, crisp, but shallow, crust -- almost like a skin that is chewy in its own right.


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