Sourdough Fail

My lovely sister in law (Aunt BB) doesn’t believe I’ve ever cooked something I had to throw out, so here’s another example just from yesterday.

I posted last week that we were going to try homemade sourdough and that I had the starter bubbling on the counter.  I fed the starter for a week, stirring and nurturing it (although I did fudge a little in the beginning and added real not “wild” yeast).  Yesterday, I decided it was time to give a loaf of bread a try. 

My first goof was that I forgot to make the sponge the night before.  The recipe I was using said to leave it in the oven overnight, but the two cups of milk…overnight….just didn’t sound appealing. So I did it right before work and put it in the oven (with the light on) for a couple of hours.  At lunch, I added the rest of the ingredients.  Now since I don’t really like homemade bread that’s all whole wheat, I decided to go half and half with regular white flour.  I mixed it all up, wet and gloppy as advertised, and popped it back in the oven to rise.

It didn’t quite reach the top of the bowl (so not even close to doubled) but I had plenty to pour into my large 1 1/2 lb loaf pan about 2-3 hours later.  I lost track of time in the afternoon so I’m not sure how long exactly.  I popped it back in the oven to rise for a while, and when it reached the top of the loaf pan, I started baking.

Now I’ve had problems with this new loaf pan before.  It’s a commercial one and supposed to be great, but I’ve never been able to get the loaf DONE.  I thought my mistake was taking it out at the same time I took out my 1-lb loaf pan (forgetting it was bigger), but I made a mental note this time to watch the bread carefully.  After 35 min. the top was definitely hard and dark and I didn’t dare leave it in much longer.  The bread had bubbled up over the side and some burned onto my oven.  Grrr.  Talk about adding insult to injury!  I cut around the edges and turned the pan out over my rack…

and the loaf fell into half, with the middle still a gooey nasty mess.

So here we are with half the cooked loaf in the pan, half out on the rack way too gooey to eat (this dough had eggs too), with the top burned, and the inside of my oven nasty to boot.  To top it off, I broke off a corner of the cooked loaf and about tossed my cookies into the trash along with the nasty bread.  It was sooooo sour.  Gah.  Not even close to tasty despite the 1/4 c. honey.

Total fail.  I almost chucked the starter into the trash too, but I’ve been taking care of it a WEEK.  So I’m going to try again, but this time, I’m trusting Suzanne McMinn’s recipe.  Yeah, it’s white flour, and so not as healthy, but right now, I’m shooting for EDIBLE.

13 thoughts on “Sourdough Fail

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Joely Sue Burkhart » Sourdough Fail -- Topsy.com

  2. The only bread pans I use anymore are stoneware ones from Pampered Chef. Totally freaking awesome pans that have never – knock on wood – failed for me, whether yeast bread or quick bread.

    I haven’t tried a sourdough since I was first married and it was a total FAIL too. Maybe there’s some trick to it?

  3. Eek, I ahte bread fails. My worst bread fails were in a stoneware loaf pan that was supposedly the best thing ever… I hated it. Give me a standard, boring glass loaf pan, and edible bread over the new “cool” pans any day.

  4. Thanks, Kait – your recipe will be my back-up backup!

    Sherri, I hope my desire for sourdough comes back – right now I still remember that YUCK taste.

  5. Tammy, I have that same loaf pan! I do really like it but I only have one and most of my recipes either need two smaller pans — or I thought I’d do one BIG pan (which is why I bought this commercial one).

    Nicole, I have glass pans too, and cheap Wal-Mart ones — all of them worked better than this expensive commercial pan! I keep hoping I’ll just get the trick figured out…but there’s only so many loaves I’m willing to toss.

  6. Somewhere along the way, the starter got contaminated.

    Alternatively, it might be that your starter has too much of the type wild yeast that is particularly sour — this could be because your starter didn’t ‘breathe’ enough.

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