Sourdough Chronicles

Glad it rose!

Question: what was the usual range of smells b/f your started turned stinky?

nice to sour to very sour but never vinegar sour or alcohol. some other microbes clearly got in there… whatever makes acetic acid is airborne

I just made cornbread maybe for the 2nd time ever. What does the think tank think about adding sour starter ?

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My starter can sometimes smell alcohol-y. If the starter is maturing as it normally does, I think (hope) it should be fine.

I like my cornbread to be a little sweet, so not sure if I would enjoy it w/ a sourdough starter…

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My go to cornbread recipe,, isn’t yeasted. If you are making a yeasted recipe using sourdough starter would be an interesting twist.


why so little corn meal vs flour?

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next effort shall have to be SS crumpets :england:

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I believe it’s a structural choice. Peter uses polenta rather than cornmeal, and also adds fresh corn kernels. He needs the gluten from the wheat to hold it all together.

I think every cornbread recipe I’ve ever read used baking soda.

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There are a lot of yeasted cornbread recipes, yeasted cornbread - Google Search. I haven’t made any of them yet, but they exist.
I am quite fond of the one I linked to; both because it is the best I have ever tried, and it is my friend’s, but I have tried others. This is a northern, sweetened, recipe and southern cornbread is not. I made a southern batch from “The Joy of Southern Cooking”. It was great crumbled into greens, but as a standalone with just butter and maybe honey or molasses no match to Peter’s recipe.
I eagerly await @Nemroz 's report on yeasted with SS cornbread.

First effort really worked out . Though I had to flip them so they look more like English muffins. So how do people make crumpets fully cooked through ?

Learning I have to add some soda and sugar


second effort with soda is better… way fluffier… soda aroma a bit strong… but still not cooking through 1 sided so i think i have to put a lot less batter


Maybe it’s like a cake where you only fill the tin half way?

I normally bake some sourdough for a friend’s holiday party, so I’m starting to practice again. I had mentioned an on-line recipe earlier (I’ll repost here: Homemade Sourdough Bread, Step by Step | Alexandra's Kitchen). That blog author does 4-5 folds, lets rise until it is 50% bigger, shapes, ferments in the fridge for 24 hrs, and then bakes. She says she has gotten the most consistent results this way.

This is the first time I’ve tried her instructions w/o alteration, and it works!!! One of the few times I’ve been truly happy w/ the appearance and texture of my loaf!!! Oven spring!!! The bread finally burst open where I scored it! It has a nice, airy crumb that is moist w/o being wet (almost sponge-y). The crust still remains (fairly) crisp.

Having said that, I really miss the more complex flavor of the Ken Forkish overnight country blonde recipe (which uses white, wheat, and rye). The taste of this all white loaf is very… inoffensive. But I think the wheat and esp the rye might make the loaf too dense and wet. Hmmm…

Edit: the blog recipe doesn’t mention water temp, and I was in a bit of a rush when I was starting the dough and didn’t warm the water. When I temped the leftover water after I initially mixed the dough, it was room temp (65 deg). So my starter apparently likes cold water…


Beautiful loaf!
Julia Child recommended turning the oven off and letting the loaf rest in the cooling oven for 10 or so minutes to dry the interior a bit so the crust would stay crisp. I assume you baked this in a Dutch oven so you would probably have to take the loaf out of the pan and slip it back in the oven if you wanted to try that.
At any rate excellent job!


I remember you mentioning that b/f! And so I did it (but I left in overnight, rather than just for 10 mins). And it stayed crisp. :slight_smile:

I shall try the Ken Forkish recipe, but I think I will try it w/ room temp (cold) water and w/o a specialized pre-ferment. Wish me luck. :slight_smile:



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incredible crumb