Making bread using natural starter
20 entries
First: Nov 25, 2020
1 contributor
looks delicious as always
Pretty neat. I was talking to some frien...
This is really neat, one of the cool thi...
Two technically, but really just one wor...
This is so amazing lol
Oh my lol

Same method as last week, same result. Feeling good about this process.


Perfect outcome in this one. The key is adding an extra 30 mins or so to the bulk fermentation so the dough pulls away cleanly from the container. All other steps were the same.


Ok result. Not super pleased with the relative lack of oven spring. I think I’ve got to focus on the bulk rise more. When I extended it by half an hour before I got a better result. Something to try for the next one.

Good texture and flavor though.

I felt like I needed to recenter and return to the basics after the last couple of batches, so I’m doing a standard 90/10 white/whole wheat blend today.

This is also a 75% hydration rather than the 85% hydration of the other batches, so it should be much easier to work with.


Unexpected flavor with this one; it has a sort of sweetness to it. The interior is quite dark from the buckwheat flour and it didn’t have a great rise.

The buckwheat groats were a nice addition as they lend a nutty kind of flavor, which I’m guessing is mostly because I toasted them before adding to the dough. Eaten raw they taste like pretty much nothing. They ended up absorbing a lot of water and becoming much softer than I thought they would so the texture of the bread stayed pretty normal.

Might have to come back to this one and try it again with a lower water content as the buckwheat flour didn’t absorb as much as normal wheat flour, resulting in an overly wet dough that stayed pretty flat.

The project for today is made from white, whole wheat, and buckwheat flours. I got some buckwheat groats which I’ll add in later too.


Turned out pretty well—much more wheaty than I had imagined it would be. I think it’s actually the most whole wheat I’ve used before at 40%. The sesame flavor is a nice compliment to it.

Next up will be something with buckwheat I think.


Shaping complete. Each loaf got folded into a little package, rolled in sesame, then put in these baskets lined with cloth and rice flour.

Now there’s 3 hours of final rising, then time to bake.

About 3 hours later and the bulk fermentation is complete.

Over the course of the bulk fermentation I gave the dough a series of turns to develop its structure. An hour or so in I also added some sesame seeds. Over the course of the three hours it got about 30% larger and much softer. I pulled it out and shaped it into these two loaves. In about half an hour I’ll do the final shaping.

Added the salt. Now on to the bulk fermentation, where I’ll give the dough a few turns every 30 minutes for the next 2.5 hours.


About 12 hours later and the leaven is ready. Just mixed the dough, which is a combination of the leaven, water, white and whole wheat flours. It will sit to hydrate for 30 mins or so.

Going to make some bread tomorrow. I’m thinking it’s gonna be sesame-wheat.

The process starts with mixing the leaven, which is a mixture of natural starter, water, and flour. The starter is basically the same mixture, just kept with a lower ratio of flour and water to the previous day’s starter.

This will sit overnight and ferment until it’s grown and become very active. The test is if the mixture can float in water, then it’s ready.


Rye and whole wheat mix. Surprisingly nice crumb, also very moist. Can’t really taste the rye though. Will probably try the 20% rye next time.

Very pleased with this batch— it’s pretty much got everything I was looking to improve—nice open interior, light texture, great oven spring. Last time I said I’d change just one variable at a time but I ended up completely ignoring that and changing many things. In particular:

- Longer time for the leaven to ferment +4hrs overnight
- No whole wheat flour
- One additional turn and +30mins in the bulk fermentation
- New technique to build tension before the bench rest where I slide the dough along the surface of the board a few times until it’s taught
- Repeat the tension building movement again after shaping and before the final rise

One final change was that the power went out right as I was going to put the bread in the oven so I had to throw it in the fridge for about 3 more hours before I could bake it. Maybe the longer final rise helped things too.

Now I’m going to move on to more interesting breads. Thinking about doing something with buckwheat later this week perhaps.

Turned out ok. Lots to improve here; the main thing is the oven spring. It’s a bit on the dense side and not as open as I’d like. Crust is good and flavor is great.

I had this problem before and I’m trying to remember how I fixed it. I think I ended up increasing the time the leaven had to ferment and then also doing a longer bench rest. Unsure which change contributed, or maybe both did. Regardless, I think I’ll start by giving the leaven longer to ferment next time and seeing where that gets me.

The first loaf has begun. Got a late start today because it was cold last night so the leaven took much longer to reach the stage needed continue mixing the dough. We shall see how this evolves over the course of the day.


Made some pizza using the new starter. Turned out well. I think it'll be ready to make some bread maybe Monday or Tuesday.

Starter was bubbling and overflowing the container. Discarded most of it and added equal parts water and flour to feed it. It appears the yeast have found a home.

Gonna try to get back into bread making while I’m in California for a couple of months.

First step is making the starter with flour and water. This will sit out for two to three days and collect natural yeast from the air.

christian Breadmaking