Perfecting Sourdough, Jane Mason

Perfecting Sourdough

Perfecting Sourdough is all about mastering the art and science of baking with starters and wild yeast. I store my starter in the freezer during winter but I could just as well leave it in the fridge in an airtight container. Either in one that has clip down sides, or a Kilner jar. I know to refresh my starter before using it but until now I did not know how to test if it was ready to use. Jane lets us know to do so by gently dribbling a teaspoon of starter into a glass of water. If it floats it is good to use. You can also save over proved dough by adding a little more flour, gently kneading and reshaping and leaving to rise again. Just keep in mind that the second prove will take quicker.

Perfecting Sourdough
Perfecting Sourdough
Chapters are divided into:
  • Batter bread
  • Everyday rye
  • Everyday wheat
  • Flavoured wheat
  • Sweet bread and buns
Signs Of Over Proved Dough Perfecting Sourdough
Signs Of Over Proved Dough
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Yukon flapjacks (p29)
  • Batter bread with cranberry and blueberry (p30)
  • Pure rye (p45)
  • Peasant bread (p53)
  • Pumpernickel rye (p55)
  • Caraway spelt (p67)
  • San Francisco sourdough (p74)
  • French bread (p88)
  • Beijing Sesame buns (p93)
  • Mixed grain bread (p94)
  • Flax prairie bread (p97)
  • Rosemary bread (p114 )
  • Sunflower bread (p117)
  • Ploughman’s sourdough (p123)
  • Cinnamon rolls (p130)
  • Austrian Christmas bread (p139)
  • Jasmine tea buns (p142)
  • Chocolate sourdough cream cheese swirls (p 144)
What I am working on:

I have taken the recipe for French Bread and I am road testing a way to freeze the dough to use at a later stage. I have also make my own rye starter which is looking very good, and ready to use.

Rye Sourdough Starter
Rye Sourdough Starter
Notes from Perfecting Sourdough:
  • To test if your bread is baked use a digital thermometer. It should reach 98° Celsius when pushed into the bread. I much prefer this way of testing doneness, and have my one thermometer set to this temperature as standard.
  • I love the saying “everything is good toasted” which means that there are no failures.
  • It is important to remember that different flours and temperatures affect the dough and that heat kills yeast.
  • To replenish your rye starter, weigh it and add three times as much flour and six times as much water as starter. The replenishment ratio for wheat starter is 1:1:1.  Stir in the flour and water, cover and leave for 8-10 hours.
French Bread
French Bread
Publishing information:

ISBN 978-1-84543-650-6

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime November 15:

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19 thoughts on “Perfecting Sourdough, Jane Mason

  1. Hey Tandy I was just about to take a loaf of bread out the oven yesterday when your email arrived in my inbox. I am still baking from the starter you sent me almost two years ago! My results are not totally consistent, and I am wondering if high altitude baking differs from coastal and if you could point me in the right direction for adjustments? Would I need to decrease heat or add more water? Please help. Laura

    1. Wow, that is so amazing to hear your starter is still going strong. I will have to do some research on this. In the meantime, can you try and test your starter like suggested here. If the starter is perfect to use let me know what happens to the bread temperature wise once baked. That might give me something to go on 🙂

  2. The book looks very interesting, Tandy. Great post on sourdough which I don’t know much about.

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