Loaf 12

White sourdough (*)

Onwards.

Let’s try changing more than one thing at a time. Again.

~Midday – refresh starter with added ~50g water and ~50g rye flour, but …

Put the jar in the machine. It’s a bit wobbly because it doesn’t fit. But the lid closes. On at Menu 30 – i.e. rest at 30℃ for a while

Seven hours later and a nice fruity looking starter …

Ingredients

  • 110g rye starter (meant to make it 100g but sloppy)
  • 460g strong white flour (mostly a new packet of M&S organic)
  • 340g water
  • 15g EVOO
  • 8g salt

Around about this time I discovered the Facebook Group Panasonic Bread Maker Recipe Group UK & Ireland, and it’s full of good stuff, including a few people who’ve done sourdough. There’s a bit to investigate in there. I like that it’s UK based so the ingredients are available and it’s mostly metric.

One thing people seem to do is use the pizza dough option for preparing sourdough, so I’m giving that a try.

Method (setup)

  1. 1920 – Menu 32 (Pizza Dough!)
  2. 2020 – Menu 30 (overnight)
  3. 0900 – around 12 hours overnight on menu 30. Looks like it has risen a fair amount overnight then sunk back.
  4. 0910 – bake only for an hour

Notes

Not good. One of the worst. Usual story. Good taste, poor dense texture. Pretty unappealing.

So that’s loaf no. 12. Out of 12 so far I’d say there’s only been one I’d describe as good. The remained split between fair and poor. Wasting quite a bit of ingredients too. Things to try:

  1. reduce amount of starter
  2. menu 29 (sourdough) for only an hour
  3. rest on menu 30 until well risen – but not indefinitely
  4. bake only – menu 18 when it looks ready

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 8

White sourdough (**)

Ingredients

  • 100g wheat starter
  • 5g salt
  • 460g strong white flour (Tesco organic)
  • 335g water
  • squeeze syrup

Method (setup)

  1. 1515 – Menu 29 (rustic sourdough) (full cycle)
  2. ~1800 – Menu 30 (sourdough starter)
  3. 2200 – looking good. rising well. will leave overnight
  4. ~0900 – not looking so good. a bit of a slump. Bake Only

Notes

Looked very promising last night, and during the night it must’ve stopped rising and gone into reverse. Perhaps I should’ve baked last night. Or possibly put on a bake program overnight but then I reckon that’d have overworked the dough with even more kneading.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Bread machine Sourdough

I’d like to bake sourdough loaves in my bread machine. I don’t mind if it takes a while, as long as it’s easy and I don’t get my hands dirty. I want to use my own starter. I don’t want to use dried yeast.

My approach is going to be iterative. Experimental. Test, note, observe, adjust, repeat. Ideally I’d like to bake overnight on the timer.

Although a web search throws up a lot of tantalising number of hits they soon dwindle. Most suggest using dried yeast or using the machine just to make the dough, finishing the loaf in the oven. I found one useful website, and it has been very useful. It is www.mygreekdish.com and it has a nice breakdown of the steps. Even better, the steps are for the same bread machine as the one I have, the now discontinued Panasonic SD-ZX2522. This is pretty handy.

As for the starters I’m using the method outlined by Andrew Whitley in his book Bread Matters. I’ve created two starters as outlined early in his book; a rye starter and a wheat starter.

As I say, what happens now will be based mostly on experimentation, iteration, observation and tweaking. There will occasional attempts at understanding but, on the whole, I will be trying to change just one things at a time, then seeing what happens.

So let’s see what happens.

Bread Machine Sourdough reference notes

Equipment

Menus I use (from page 11 of the manual)

For the dough, I use menu 11 (rustic sourdough) and menu 30 (sourdough starter). Menu 30 is really for using the machine to create a cup or two of starter over a 24 hour period (using a tiny amount of dried yeast) but it’s handy for leaving the dough in a controlled environment for the rise at 30℃.

I’ve often found the 6 hour French menu quite tolerant. It also has a short knead period which might be relevant if dough is being overworked.

  • Timer can be set for max 9 hours
  • There’s a period of rest during the knead (45-55 min) period.

Abbreviations I sometimes use

  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sometimes with the brand. I find it easier to manage than butter, and since reading about UPF I tend to stick with extra virgin olive oil from a single source if possible.
  • s.w.f – Strong White Flour. Brand sometimes in brackets.

Other Resources

  • The book Bread Matters: Why and How to Make Your Own by Andrew Whitley
  • www.mygreekdish.com. The only website I’ve found that explains how to produce sourdough bread entirely using a breadmachine and without using any dried yeast.
  • The private Facebook group Panasonic Bread Maker Recipe Group UK & Ireland is a goldmine of information. Mostly UK based so lots of good advice about quantities and availability of ingredients.
  • I’ve a tendency to stay clear of YouTube, but Elly’s Everyday Wholegrain Sourdough channel is great, and her video on maintaining a sourdough starter really appeals. As she says 3:27 in, If that approach appeals to you, give it a try.

Haylodge parkrun

River Tweed

I’m a big fan of parkrun. Not that you’d know it given how infrequently I do them nowadays. Especially in the North East where we’re spoilt for choice. Probably something about Saturday mornings and 9AM, and running something short and fast and early. But whenever I’m away on holiday or for a short break, it’s the first thing I look for. There’s something great about parkrun tourism; turning up in a park, looking for the flags, and having a run with a bunch of others in a new place.

We were up in Peebles for the Tour of the Borders, a nicely sized closed-road sportive with great routes that’s become a favourite of mine. Although I grew up in Edinburgh I was born in Peebles and spent tons of weekends exploring Hay Lodge park as my grandparents lived in the cottage over the road. It’s a great park and it was inevitable that one day it’d have a parkrun. The parkrun wasn’t there in 2018 when I was up for the Tour of the Borders, but when I checked the parkrun website for nearby parkruns this time I was thrilled to see that it was going strong and on its 40th week while we were there.

In Scotland it’s a 0930AM start, and the park was only a short walk from the hotel. It was a misty morning but the rain was holding off and the start area was pleasantly atmospheric. Like many parkruns it suffered from lack of space, so the route had to do 3 laps of the park to get the distance in. It was also a bit hilly, both up and a pleasantly iffy descent on wet, autumnal paths that suited my sense of fun though perhaps not for everyone.

The quirkiness of parkruns always appeals to me. From the 2500 parkrunners in the Durban parkrun, to the 80 we had here today. Different crowds, different weather, different routes. It’s all good. I’ve never met a parkrun I didn’t like.

Despite the small field I was intrigued to see some seeding suggestions at the start. Sub 28 sounded fine with me and I slotted in to the huddle waiting to go. And away we went. The usual unavoidably tortuous route to string people out. Along a bit. Round a bit. Back a bit. Then three laps. Quite interesting ones. I liked especially running alongside the wall at the top of the path, then the fast descent to return close to the river.

My time, as I expected, was continuing its inexorably journey towards the thirties, but I wasn’t worried. I find it very hard to race parkruns, so to enjoy them I need to treat them as a threshold run or a exploratory jog. It shapes the day and the weekend to come.

HayLodge parkrun

Mad Dog 10K – Live and Let Drool

Mad Dog 10K – Best viewed over a cuppa

I did the first ever Mad Dog and it was great. The thought of being a Mad Dog Ever Present appealed and for a few years it was all good, but holidays and diary clashes intervened, so now I have to settle for being a Nearly Ever Present. Still, it’s been great watching this fledgling event grow from nothing to one of the UK’s most popular 10Ks in just seven years.

My training lately has been lots of long and slow as trying to do the short and fast thing doesn’t really agree with me. It’s too much like hard work. So as I stood in the Dalmatian pen (not as fast as a Greyhound, but faster than a Husky) I knew running 10km wasn’t going to be a big problem. It was running it fast that would be the hard bit.

Mad Dog 10K – Live and Let Drool

Away we went into the fine morning. Conditions were good. Congestion was as expected and not too bad, and it thinned out pretty quickly anyway. I was in no rush and settled down into a comfortable groove. This is a good race for spectators with opportunities to catch the race in more than one place if you do your homework. I spied Roberta standing on the pier where she, along with many other spectators, were spellbound by the entertainer high-fiving runners as they past underneath. It was Elvis. Possibly the same Elvis you see at the bus-shelter towards the end of the GNR. Or a close relation. And my word, what a talent! A performance never to be forgotten. Music was a big theme this year. It always is for the Mad Dog but this year the performances were exceptional. You get to see the fantastic steel band twice, once on the way out, and again in the last few kms.

Mad Dog 10K – Live and Let Drool

At the half-way point I was feeling pretty comfy and stepped up the pace a little. The route now meandered around to pass back under the pier at a different point where the Merseyside Rock Choir brought some real class to the party. I was feeling pretty good and bounded on although I was tempted to stop, look and listen.

With about 3km to go I kept nudging the needle careful not to blow it and throttling back gently when I felt I was overdoing it. Passing runners steadily to the line I gave a well-judged push in the last few hundred metres, slightly alarmed that the Finish banner said Start, and hoping that the Finish wasn’t round the corner back at the school. It wasn’t and I was pretty pleased with running a text-book negative split. The last time I did this race I was pretty dismayed to be well over 50 minutes, and not having run a sub-25 parkrun for as long as I can remember I wasn’t expecting miracles today. So when the text came though of a chip-time of 48:35 I was a very happy dalmatian.

Mad Dog 10K – Merseyside Rock Choir

my route