Getting the Sour in Sourdough – Salt Fermentation

In many parts of the world, a very sour sourdough is considered a fault in the bread baking. However, here in the USA, it is usually considered a virtue.  At the sourdough forum, we are having fun with a new board set up just for experimenting with “getting the sour” in sourdough. Anyone can join, you just have to ask for a password. The password will be removed when my book, “Discovering Sourdough” is posted. That is because the formula is part of the book, kind of like a preview.

I say posted because I am going to offer it as a free download sometime this month. I have divided it into three parts, because it is so large, and will offer it as a .pdf download from my site: http://www.northwestsourdough.com .  The publishers I submitted it to all liked it and it got to the aquisition stage at each publisher’s (that is supposed to be hard to do).

However, they said it was either too technical for what is in demand today or that there are too many bread books on the market right now (which is true). I don’t know Oprah personally or I might have had some success getting this book published 🙂

I have promised this book to you for years, so I decided  you should have it. It has been five years in the making and two years being submitted to publishers. I will post here to let you know when it is available. So check back often this month. I thank those of you who have encouraged me along the way, especially Peter Reinhart who has been very supportive and Ray Glaze, whose help with programming has been invaluable to me.

Now back to the “sour” in sourdough. The formula I have been experimenting with this week has yielded these results:

The batch of dough was divided into three and baked on subsequent days, each loaf was more sour each day and the dough did not turn into glue.

That is because it is the Salt Fermented Technique I have been teasing you with for over a year. Yes, if you join the board, you can participate in experimenting with the Salt Fermented Sourdough Formula(or just follow it).

The loaf above was baked first and it was a 0 out of 10 for sour flavor.  0/10

The next loaf was from the same batch but fermented an additional day and this is the result:

It received a 3/10 for sour flavor.

The last loaf was the most sour at about 6/10 a few hours after baking (I expect the sour flavor to develop futher until tomorrow) It was fermented even one more day from the same initial batch.

So you see the technique is great because you can have several loaves of bread over several days from the same batch of sourdough and the dough does not turn into glue. The salt fermented technique has been the most fun of any of the experimenting that I have done with the whole book. I think you will find it to be a lot of fun. So go see what is going on at the Sourdough Forum and get baking! You will find the formula there for Salt Fermented Sourdough.

Don’t forget to check back and see where and when you can download my book, Discovering Sourdough.

Have fun baking everyone.

Submitted to Yeastspotting

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14 Responses

  1. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK, SALT FERMENTATION, AND WILL DOWNLOAD IT WHEN YOU POST IT — I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A PASSWORD AS WELL —

    THANKS,

    TONYK

  2. Ciao ! I’m sorry for you not finding publishers I’m sure it is a very worth book !! Thanks for all your information I’ll go and check in the forum !

  3. It took me a long time and a lot of loaves to realize this but getting a more sour loaf is the easiest thing in the world, there’s no mystery and no special technique required: use less starter.

    The less starter you use the longer the fermentation takes and the more sour the bread.

    The reason it took me so long is that it’s counter intuitive, it just seems like the more starter you add the more sour the bread but that’s exactly wrong.

    I first started baking sourdough using almost 50% starter of the total formula, I’m down to about a teaspoon of starter in a loaf nowadays and it’s extremely sour which I like.

  4. […] Salt Fermented Sourdough […]

  5. I’ve been anxiously awaiting your book for several years and can’t wait to download it. Sorry you couldn’t get it published, but I am very glad you are offering it here. I am sure your hard work will be appreciated by your loyal followers!

    Please send me the password to the new “sour” forum and thanks so much for all the hard work and effort you’ve put in over the years and the great information you’ve shared with us here.

  6. Darn! I wanted you to find a publisher so badly! Sorry it hasn’t happened for you yet. I hope you won’t give up, you deserve success!

  7. Can I ask you not to give up or give in (pushing it out in thirds because the files are so large) but re-frame your project?
    Cooking and baking books are hard to place. For me, the prospect of investing in a complete book is daunting, especially when the retail price is high (and these books have high pre-press and production costs).
    Yet, I would like to bake a loaf of bread every week–and possibly get some meal ideas that could show-case that bread.
    What I need is a new life in delicious, but healthy food. Could you preconceive the package for your project?
    Tim
    P.S. I’ve posted a link to your blog in my free resources.

    • Posting my book on a weekly basis is the same as blogging it, and would make it hard to look up what you need.

      You won’t have to invest anything, the downloads will be free.

      Thank you for your suggestion though!

  8. I’m intrigued by the salt fermented technique and would love the opportunity to give it a shot… would you please send me the password to the forum?

    One thing I’m sure you”ve come across in trying to get your book published is self publishing through a company like Amazon. I just wanted to throw that idea out there just in case you hadn’t heard of it.

    • Thanks Adam, I sent the password to your email.

      I did look into self publishing. Self publishing is great for a novel. But a book with lots of color pictures and tables is prohibitively expensive to publish that way. Thanks though…

  9. AFTER MAKING THE DOUGH FOR THIS SOURDOUGH — THE REMAINING SEED MOTHERDOUGH CAN BE KEPT IN THE FRIG. FOR HOW LONG BEFORE USING? — I ALSO POSTED THIS QUESTION ON THE FORUM BUT WANTED TO BE SURE YOU WOULD GET IT —

    TONYK

  10. Need a password for the forum board. can’t wait for the book

  11. I, too, have been looking forward to your book. I know it is hard to publish a book – but I hope that something somewhere works out for you!

    I know I would be glad to purchase your book in ebook format. And places like Lula can print on demand (just one book at a time).

    I’m new at sourdough. I’ve found a little success but still have so much to learn. The photos on your blog are inspiring. I hope to attain to the sourdough success that you have!
    Thanks, Gina

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