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
Chapters are divided into:
  • Batter bread
  • Everyday rye
  • Everyday wheat
  • Flavoured wheat
  • Sweet bread and buns
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
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
Publishing information:

ISBN 978-1-84543-650-6

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime November 15:


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