Samantha Dougherty is a professional baker and sourdough enthusiast with over 15 years of experience. She has traveled the world to learn about different sourdough techniques and has a passion for sharing her knowledge with others. Samantha is also the author of the bestselling cookbook, 'Sourdough Delights: A World of Flavorful Breads and Treats'.
When it comes to baking with sourdough, properly portioning your dough is key to achieving the full benefits of sourdough in your recipes. Here are some tips to help you get it right:
1. Understand the hydration level: The hydration level of your sourdough starter and dough will affect how it behaves during the baking process. Higher hydration doughs are more sticky and require different handling techniques compared to lower hydration doughs. It's important to understand the hydration level of your dough to properly portion it.
2. Use a kitchen scale: To ensure accuracy and consistency in your sourdough baking, it's highly recommended to use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients. This will help you achieve the desired texture and structure in your final baked goods.
3. Follow the recipe: When it comes to portioning your sourdough dough, it's best to follow the recipe you're using. Recipes often provide specific instructions on how to divide and shape the dough for different types of baked goods, such as bread loaves, buns, or pancakes. Following the recipe will help you achieve the intended results.
4. Consider the final product: The type of baked goods you're making will also influence how you portion your sourdough dough. For example, if you're making sandwich bread, you may want to divide the dough into equal portions to fit your bread pans. If you're making sourdough pancakes, you may want to portion the batter into smaller rounds.
5. Allow for fermentation: Sourdough dough requires fermentation time to develop its unique flavor and texture. When portioning your dough, it's important to consider the fermentation process. Allow enough space for the dough to rise and expand during fermentation, especially if you're using a high hydration dough.
6. Practice and adjust: Portioning sourdough dough can be a bit of an art, and it may take some practice to get it just right. Don't be discouraged if your first attempts don't turn out perfectly. Take note of the results and adjust your portioning technique as needed for future bakes.
Remember, the benefits of sourdough in baking come from the fermentation process, which creates a more digestible and flavorful final product. Properly portioning your dough ensures that each baked good has the right balance of texture and taste. So, take your time, follow the recipe, and enjoy the delicious results of your sourdough baking adventures!