A Sourdough Saga or Spooky Sourdough

Spooky Sourdough 

I bet you are wondering about the above picture. Well….

I started last Sunday with a sourdough preferment. I was making up the Two Day Super Sour recipe which is in the Special Recipes collection. Anyway, like I was saying, I started the preferment and had it setting out overnight at room temperature. I had it in  a large plastic container :


I left it overnight and on Monday I took it out and built up the next level of the recipe by stirring in the flour  and left it ferment for a few more hours. However there was a problem. Over Sunday night there was a wicked storm with sustained winds of 65 mph and gusts up to 85 mph with the winds probably being stronger right here on the coast. We lost power early Monday morning around 4:00 a.m. So the problem was … no power! Gee, I had to do it all by hand! I know Aussie Bill is probably laughing at this ! So I went ahead and stirred in the rest of the ingredients and had a dough which looked like this:

finished dough

I covered the container with the lid and let it ferment all the rest of the day until the evening. Then I had to shape up the loaves by candlelight. I poured out the dough and shaped up the ball which looked like this: 

dough ball

Then I shaped up the dough into loaves and put them into bannetons. The above pictures were taken with flash. Then I tried to take some pictures by candlelight. Here are a few spooky pictures that resulted. My camera didn’t like to focus on the dough so it was blurry and I guess I moved the camera because I came out with this:

Spooky sourdough

I tried again to focus and got this:

spooky 2

Here is what I actually had with the flash:

Spooky 3

Not too spooky that way huh? Well that skull candle holder was made by my 13 year old son, the same one who makes the paddles. We were using it on the table because of the power outage and I thought it looked spooky when I tried to take pictures with no flash. Now I had another problem because the refrigerator was not cold enough to keep the dough from raising too quickly and I would not be around in the morning on Tuesday to bake because of an appointment in town. Sooooooo I put the dough in the freezer which had a lot of frozen stuff and although it wasn’t a hard freeze, it would for sure be cold enough to keep the dough from raising too fast. On Tuesday morning, still no power, so I did not bring the dough out of the freezer but went to town. I was in town all day until dinnertime and when I got home I found out the power had been on for several hours. So I checked the dough and it felt frozen on the outside but not frozen hard all the way through. I took out the dough and put it into the refrigerator to thaw overnight so I wouldn’t have to wait too long for the dough to raise next morning. Now on Wednesday, I finally took out the loaves one by one and the dough was sluggish to raise. I was a bit worried that it was just fermenting too long and I might end up with ghostly overfermented dough. Three hours later I began to bake. Just think, I started this on Sunday evening and it was Wednesday morning! The bread came out REALLY TERRIFIC ! My daughter said it went to the top of her list. Here are the loaves which turned out to be not so spooky after all:

Super sour loaf

The crust was crip and crunchy and shattered into flakes when you bit into it.

Super sour loaf

Super sour loaf

The crumb was fantastic too:


The bread has a great flavor with lots of comlex taste, it is tangy, but not as sour as it it supposed to be. I was worried that it would turn out too sour because of how long it was fermenting. It resembles a motherdough sour though. I think that after the dough was finished, most of it’s fermentation time was actually in the freezer or refrigerator and it developed into a long cool ferment, like a motherdough.

I am relieved it turned out and was such a success! I hoped that the power outage wouldn’t turn my loaves into a casualty. We did have a casualty from the storm though:

Son's Saratoga

Son's Saratoga

We lost this one tree over my son’s 1951 Saratoga, which he had parked in the back acreage of our property. Several other trees broke off large pieces of their branches or snapped off the top part of the trunk. I also had my server down which inconvenienced several customers who were trying to use the Special Recipes. Sorry about that. We lose power many times every Fall/Winter here on the coast of Washington. There are so many trees that break the lines when they go down. The winds are so much stronger because we are facing the Bay/Ocean. So if my site goes down, be patient, I will get it up and running as soon as I can. I just wish I had that clay or brick oven built outdoors so I can bake sourdough uninterrupted!!!


Teresa L Greenway - Sourdough bread baker, author, teacher, entrepreneur. Join my baking classes at: https://tinyurl.com/nbe3ejd

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: