The natural starter rose to more than doubled it’s original volume but I still have balance bread. What to do when the bread baking schedule cannot catch up with the starter’s feeding schedule?
i. The easiest way is to skip a day of baking.
Discard starter to leave just 1/3 of the weight that you normally need (mine is 150g, so I discard to leave 50g of starter in the container) for baking, feed it with equal amount of flour and water (mine will be 50g of flour and 50g of water) and leave it in the fridge. By the time I need it for the next day or the day after, I simply return it to room temperature on the counter and once it rises to double or pass the float test, I will use it to mix the dough. If the baking break is too long, and the starter does not appear to be active or doubling its volume, 1 or 2 more feedings might be required to reactivate its strength. To do so, discard to leave 1/3 of the weight of the fed starter required by the bread recipe and feed with flour and water. Repeat this once or twice a day until the starter regains back its strength.
ii. Make sourdough pizza dough like this.
iv. I chose to bake a sourdough that requires 2-3 days of long fermentation time so that my bread consumption can catch up with my productive baking timetable. After using 125g of my 150g fed starter for a Tartine’s walnut sourdough recipe, I feed it with another 20g flour and 20g of water to maintain a 60g starter. This can then be kept in the fridge or leave it on the counter for next day to be fed for a different bread dough.
For this Tartine’s sourdough, I adapted from here, (I like the timetable he puts up) halved the recipe and added dried longans for sweetness. Just like my previous Tartine recipe attempt, the dough was too wet to be shaped or handled at my 30C room temperature, so I let it final proof and ferment in its shaggy state in the container without shaping, only to gently gluten stretch it into a boule just before baking and it worked out fine.
TARTINE WALNUT DRIED LONGAN SOURDOUGH
adapted from the perfect loaf 125g fed starter 350g water 500g of plain flour (original used 50g wholewheat 450g white flour) 10g sea salt 25g water 1 cup toasted walnuts 1/2 cup dried longans **
** In a small bowl, rehydrate the dried longans by covering them with just enough water. Gently squeeze out excess liquid before adding them to the dough.
In a large mixing bowl, add fed starter to 350g of water and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Next, add plain flour, turn on mixer to knead with a dough hook to form a wet dough. Cover the bowl and leave this aside for 40 minutes (I left mine to autolyse for 60 minutes.)
Sprinkle sea salt over the dough and pour the remaining 25g water, start the mixer and knead on its lowest speed setting. The dough by now will appear very stretchable and doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl while the mixer is running. Stop once the salt and water has appeared to be mixed well into the dough. Remove bowl from mixer and transfer this to a covered container. Leave this in the fridge for 1st fermentation. The original recipe did its bulk rise and turns immediately after this. I wasn’t in any rush, so I gave the dough a whole day in the fridge.
Next morning, take out the dough from the fridge and do a series of turns 6 times at 30 minutes interval. No need to bring the dough to room temperature.
Turn 1 : Reach of the dough from the bottom of the bowl and pull up to tuck it to the opposite side of the bowl. Turn the bowl and repeat for another pull-stretch-tuck action for about 3 more times till one round is completed. Leave this aside for 30 minutes.
Turn 2 : Repeat the same pull-stretch-tuck action, when completed, add the walnuts and rehydrated longans and roughly mix them into the dough with few folding actions. Leave aside for 30 minutes.
Turn 3 – 6 : Repeat as above. By the end of the 6th turn, cover the container and put the dough back into the fridge for another overnight retardation.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 250C. Take out the dough from the fridge and shape the cold dough gently into a ball, careful not to break up too much of the air pockets that has built up inside the dough. Place the dough inside a floured dutch oven pot. Sprinkle flour on surface and score, cover the pot and put it into the preheated oven bake for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove the cover, reduce the oven temperature to 220C and bake for another 30 minutes.
Cook on rack completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.