"Recipes are meant to be shared"...Ann Thibeault

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sourdough Baking

I'd been neglecting my sourdough "Mother" and hadn't fed it in a month. It should be fed at least once a week, even when I'm not using it. But it is very forgiving. Before I could use it again I needed to feed it, which I did on Sunday and again on Monday. By then it was really active. Tuesday morning I fed it again and used two ounces of the starter to make a biga and two ounces to make a levain. Tuesday night I kneaded up two different batches of bread dough, one with the biga and the other with the levain. I added just a pinch of yeast, maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon, to the levain batch but none to the dough made with the biga. Both were allowed to rise for about an hour and then went in to the fridge for a slow overnight rise. The dough made with the biga was in a 3 quart pail and by 5:00 AM it had blown the lid off and was still rising. The other batch which had about 1 1/2 cups more flour was in a 6 quart pail and had risen to the top but the lid was still in place. The biga batch was taken out of the fridge at 5:00 and left to rise at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours, then shaped, and left to rise again. The other batch came out of the fridge at 7:00. It was ready to shape about the time the first loaves were ready to go in to the oven. I ended up with 3 large loaves from the first batch and 4 loaves using the levain batch.

If anyone is interested in growing a starter I can highly recommend Amy Scherber (Amy's Bread) recipe. It is a pure sourdough starter, using only organic rye flour and spring water. No other additives.


  1. Look at your basket!! You deserve that!

    Gorgeous Ann.

  2. You really inspire me, Ann, to learn how to bake bread. I know it must be a wonderful feeling to bake a beautiful loaf of bread. But then I would eat it with way too much butter. Oh dear.

  3. I've always wanted to try my hand at making sourdough bread but am worried I could never keep up with it LOL Your bread is positively gorgeous!! I'm going to check out your suggested link anyway. Never know...

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  5. Ann your bread inspires me to break into song...
    It is always a work of art!

  6. aha, i will definitely try out this starter - thanks Ann. i've wanted to get one going for some time and now that I have almost 2 weeks off i'm going to dedicate some time to learning how to care for a mother and hopefully bake a few loaves!


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