Sourdough Chronicles

Think we should document our adventures with wild yeast. I’ve been trying much more than bread lately and it’s really worth your whole to try.

Side topic, there are some very serious people claiming that these longer fermented breads are significantly easier to digest and even allow people with perceived gluten sensitivities to eat breads without issues.

I’ll start with my only 3rd round pizza bake from last night.

Blend of 00 and AP and Red Fife flour. 3 day cold ferment. Super hot baking steel



I believe this to be 100% true. When I explain to people what is going on in the dough when you are allowing it to sit and rise, I break the processes into two categories: fermentation and maturation. On a very basic level, the fermentation process is the work that the yeast does, while maturation is the work done by enzymes that are naturally present in flour breaking down the gluten proteins formed when you make a dough.

The warmer the dough, the faster the fermentation occurs. The maturation process, on the other hand, occurs at the same rate no matter the temperature. So when you cold ferment, you slow down the work of the yeast to give the maturation process more time to occur. A more mature dough means more breaking down of the gluten proteins, which means a less dense crumb, and less work for our digestive systems when we eat it. It also affects how the dough cooks, ensuring that your dough gets cooked throughout during the baking process, and you don’t have a gum line :face_vomiting:. Again, this is a fairly high level explanation, but I think it helps one understand much better the reason for cold fermenting


these look REALLY great. I have a very stable starter that yields some pretty great, quite tangy batards. I keep wanting to try it in pizza crust but I haven’t gotten around to it.

What’s your proportion of starter for a typical overnight-24 hour cold ferment?

i do 2 night minimum… 3 is what i’m going to keep doing after the last effort.

i start with 60g of starter 90 water 90 flour the night before the mix. Final mass is 950 for 3 pies so the refreshed starter is 25% of that total

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It’s really fascinating how those little microbes work. My starter was incredible and now it’s lagging and there isn’t a good reason I can think of. Organic flour, regular feedings etc.

This last bake last weekend was done with 1 dough, later divided. All the steps were done the same way, the only difference was cold fermenting in a differnt part of the fridge and 1 proofed much more than the other, it collapsed when i scored it. The one on the right didn’t rise as much and had a good oven spring ,though I did a much shorter score when i saw the first one collapse. 1 decent spring and shape, 1 pancake… though still delicious.


Made these with yeast water and a bit of dry yeast over 90% hydration based off a pan de cristal formula I got from the fresh loaf


looks great. yeast water???

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so i’ve come to realize that my friend is right that the controlled temp is the whole game with proofing so i’m going to have to get one of those Bolt & Taylor joints unless someone else has a more cost friendly option.

pizza’ed last night for parents.
happy to post my failures as well as my successes

unfortunately dried porchini and chantrelles this time… ran out of frozen.



Brod . People swear by it.

When I do sourdough loaves, my ‘proofer’ is the bottom oven (NOT the one I preheat), turned off, with the light on. That gets up to appox 85-90 degrees, keeps things nice an active without getting too hot and limits exposure to dust, curious felines, etc. If things get too warm (if it’s a REALLY long proof), just turn the light off.

(note: oven lights, so far as I know, are still ALWAYS old school incandescent bulbs, which is why this works. If you have some super modern oven with LED lighting, you’re out of luck)

Cold proofing is ALWAYS in the same spot in the fridge, which (thankfully) maintains a very steady 38-40F for consistency.

yea i decided to test the oven before ordering anything… not only do i have the light button, i have a bread proof button but i believe its’ too warm.

on the plus side, with that proofer box, you can also make black garlic:

I think I might try that even before I made bread in it.

is 90 the ideal temp for bulk fermentation? i think i’m there with the bread proofing button

caveat: I am by no means a master baker, or even a particularly good baker.

My oven, after an hour or so, sits around 85deg F. That seems to be ideal for my bread recipe, which takes about 4 hours of bulk fermentation, followed by preshaping, rest, shaping, and 15 or so hours cold proof. 90deg may mean things will ferment a bit faster, and that’s probably close to the upper limit on how warm you want things to be. Yeast starts to die off around 105F, so staying under that is the most important.

generally: lower temps = longer fermentation times, which can lead to a deeper flavor as the non-yeast bacteria have more time build up. What you want out of your final product can mean you should have longer or shorter ferment and proof times, depending on your desired results.

I learned a LOT from this particular youtube channel:

He also runs experiments concerning hydration, levain percentage, flour type, etc. to try and suss out what they ACTUALLY do to the final bread.

We look forward to many crumb pictures. :slight_smile:

– Home is where you wear your hat.

Right i’m fairly far along into the baking by now and just trying to get the temps down now. been coming out good not great so far with occasional great when i get lucky with temps.

no luck on proofing button… it got up to 100 consistently… too hot… next test is the lightbulb only.

just watched his review of the Brod & Taylor unit and it’s pretty convincing. if lightbulb can’t keep the stove at 90 i’m going to likely buy this or a seedling mat and controller since i’ll need a matt for seedlings soon anyway

so i think i just figured it all out. after a couple of really lackluster bakes with inconsistent breads… and really never ever achieving what i would accept as proper oven spring i’ve been playing with temp control of our stove and considering the B&T proofer

what i did this time is just do the starter refreshment and entire bulk fermentation with all the steps in the oven with light turned on. this kept it at a consistent 80 degrees (i can easily bump it up to 85 or 90 if i go to the kitchen and turn the stove on and off for a minute or insert a warm dutch oven)

what it lead to is a very nicely bulked/proofed dough which sprung the hell up in the oven this morning.

also really pleased with how the 9 grain mix i got at King’s roost felt while working with the dough and how it looks. can’t wait to try!

so i dont think i need any proofing box

pics after 2nd boule is done baking.