Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Follow the Sourdough - Day 7: We Knead Bread

I wanted to upload this video as soon as it was ready, so I will add more info to this post as needed.

The photo you see here is me testing whether the dough had received enough kneading. Some refer to this as the "window pane test," but I call it the "stretching dough over a flashlight test." Enjoy!




My sourdough bread recipe:

2 cups sponge

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

between 2 1/2 and 3 cups flour

*let rise until doubled in size - between 6 and 12 hours


43 comments:

Jewels said...

It says your video is no longer available... ??

Chef John said...

seems fine now, sometimes Youtube's network burps.

Video Recipes said...

Great video, I especially liked your patented kneading technique!

Anonymous said...

You may want to add to your day 7 video description that there "was no day 6", so to speak.

Jeff said...

What a great job demystifying sourdough-Thanks!!

You said the leftover sponge can be kept in the fridge-how long will it keep? I'm sure I'll have to feed it from time to time-when? Then I can just start at the sponge step say next month when I want to make another loaf right?

Thanks again!

Jeena said...

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Chef John said...

I just added a note about the leftover sponge in the new post. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I like seeing the half-turn palm push technique.

All of us don't have ripped arms:)

So inquiring minds want to know how to use a dough hook to do most of the kneading. I know you still need to finish kneading the last bit by hand...but how do you know when to take it out of the mixer.

Love the step by step directions.

Chef John said...

wish i knew! never used a dough hook :(

tonic said...

I'm sad to report that my dough just did not rise. After 24 hours it still looks like it did when it went into the bowl. Perhaps I had a kneading issue, I followed all the directions to a T until you got the the kneading. I used a dough hook on my stand mixer!! I have huge pipes but I'm just lazy. ;-)

Chef John said...

Kneading would have nothing to do with rising. Was the sponge bubbly? If the sponge was OK, then the dough not rising would be a real mystery!

tonic said...

Yes, the sponge was nice and bubbly, just like yours!! :-(

Chef John said...

Well, then that's a mystry to me...if the sponge was really active the dough should rise. 2 cups sponge and 3 cups flour should rise within 18 hours. I stumped as to why it didn't!

Chef John said...

Well, then that's a mystry to me...if the sponge was really active the dough should rise. 2 cups sponge and 3 cups flour should rise within 18 hours. I stumped as to why it didn't!

Perry Family said...

What were you supposed to do on day 6?

Chef John said...

Just wait... did you read the day 6 post? here is the link http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2008/03/follow-sourdough-day-6-and-then-he.html

Perry Family said...

Chef John your hyperlink runs off of the page so I can't copy the complete link and paste it into a browser.

Thanks

Chef John said...

not sure what u are referring too. I don't see any links in the post.

Perry Family said...

I'm referring to the link you gave me for day six.

Chef John said...

oh, well I can't change the format, so I wont paste again. Just go to the March archive in the sidebar, and click on day 6.

By the way, it was just a brief post as there was nothing to do that day except wait for the sponge.

Juli said...

Hello Chef John,

thanks for this amazing blog, I'm doing a research for my Graduation project on Sourdough (I live in London, UK), and as I have never baked one before, your blog is saving my life, I was going nuts to understand the amount of the information I gathered, but visualizing it is much easier.

I'm not getting the spong right, I've been trying it for few times and it doesnt seem to want to bubble, I get all the foam on top, but no sponge, would you give me some inspiration please?

Thanks,
Juliana

Chef John said...

I'm not sure what is wrong. I would start again and add a couple grains of dry yeast, just a tiny pinch to get it started. It may be the location you're in.

Juli said...

Hi chef, thanks for replying. I made it, even tho I didnt get big bubbles in the "sponge" step I moved fwd and made the dough last Thursday, and then baked it on Friday morning. It looked fine and the result was amazing! I got a beautiful loaf of bread in the end, and it tasted very nice. My friends approved! ;-) Anyway, now is the science bit, and already froze half of the loaf for future studies in the lab. I'll let you know the results. Thanks for all the help.

Juli

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the information. It has really helped me in my quest of baking a "good" loaf of sourdough. One question, though. When I make the "slashes" on my loaf, before baking, it deflated a little. Did I possibly make the slashes too deep? Thanks in advance, NanaDeb

Chef John said...

maybe, but it does always deflate a bit. Did it bake OK?

Swanky Mommy said...

I had the same problem with my dough not rising. I followed everything step by step and waiting until my starter was nice and super bubbly. Then I made the recipe and . . . nothin'. Even after 24 hours. I will try again, but I'm not sure what happened.

Chef John said...

not sure, its mysterious stuff, you can cheat a little and add a tiny pinch of yeast for the next batch.

Swanky Mommy said...

I just made pizza with my unrisen dough today like you suggested and it was AWESOME!

Todd said...

Thanks for an awesome blog! A quick question--on the second day, my starter rose up and got really bubbly like how I imagine the sponge should do. However, since there were not lots of tiny bubbles I kept "feeding" the starter for a couple more days. I never got that same reaction again, but finally got a fair amount of tiny bubbles a couple days later.
The next day I finally made the sponge, but got no reaction from it, other than the typical starter activity(tiny bubbles and a the liquid separating from the rest).
Any suggestions? Thanks.

Chef John said...

sorry, there is no way for me to tell what happened. You can try again, or maybe your area just doesn;t do sour dough, or cheat and use a tiny pinch of yeast in the starter

Penumbra said...

Oh yes, you've inspired me! Will this sour dough process work with rye flour as well?

Chef John said...

not sure, never tried

Kay said...

Hello! I am on day 5 of my sourdough, since day 3 (after feeding my starter for the first time) my starter has looked more like a sponge big and bubbly after 24 hours, I started to barely see the frothy bubbles on day 4 a few hours after feeding it, so I put it in the fridge and made my sponge today. I think I may have done it too early.
It has only been 5.5 hours but it is looking frothy like it should have before the sponge.
I plan on waiting a few more hours and trying to make my bread anyway, to see how it turns out. but do you have any idea if and what I may have done wrong? so I can do it right next time.
did I make my sponge too early?

Chef John said...

i'm thinking about taking this post down, since the only way I could know what was up is if I was there with people!

I truly have no idea. It's such an inexact science! Good luck!

angel said...

What would happen if I leave the ready sponge longer. Since, I don't feel like kneading dough at ungodly hours.

angel said...

What would happen if I leave my ready sponge few more hours outside. Thanks

Chef John said...

nothing, just leave it

angel said...

After the first rise, can I put the dough back in the frig over night and continue next day.

Chef John said...

not sure. I'm not very experienced with this stuff. I've only done it the way shown.

Teresa said...

Hi Chef John, Thanks for this sourdough starter recipe! I am on day three and my starter looks ready but, I will wait. (We really want the sour.) Thanks again! :)

Juan Blanco said...

I'm wanting to make a sourdough cheese bread. I can't seem to find any good recipes. Do you have any suggestions?

BeachGirl said...

Chef John,
My first loaf, using your technique and recipe is in hour two of it's first rise :) My last few attempts using other methods produced wonderful, heavy door stops. Or bricks lol
I am so hopeful this will finally be the attempt that produces a fine loaf of delicious sourdough. Thank you so much for the posts and the videos! I'll let you know how it turns out!
Suze

Carmel said...

Hi chef John...can I use wholemeal flour and if so are the ingredients the same quantities..