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Sourdough #2: Preserved Spicy Mustard Green Sourdough

Updated: Jan 15, 2021


Hi all! As some of you may know that I am not a professional baker by trade but love experimenting with sourdough. In my post on Sourdough bread, I am simply sharing with you the different method and things I have done with my daily venture. You will see "#"s on my Sourdough description as it is a record on the experiment number for my loafs so I do not lose track. I may not be posting all my sourdough experiment since some of them are not worth posting, but I will share with you my experiences and what could have been done differently.

In this post, I am going with a more Asian palate sourdough by incorporating a spicy preserved mustard greens. The loaf is of 80% hydration and is soft and moist in texture in the interior.

What is Mustard Greens?

Mustard greens are widely used in the Asian Cuisine and not a lot of people actually realize that the it comes from the leafy part from the same plant that you get mustard seeds to make mustard. In Malaysia, we call it "Gai Choi" and are commonly used to make stir fries, spicy stew and often preserved. Preserved Mustard greens (called "suan chai") goes really well with Asian congee and is something my parents would very often make for a quick meal or when we are sick.

Can I buy premade preserved mustard greens?

Yes. In most Asian Grocery, pre made preserved mustard greens can easily be found in the jar food section. I personally like the spicy version but you can use anything really for this sourdough loaf and even have it plain.

Texture and taste of this sourdough loaf

This loaf has a really soft and tender interior. You can enjoy this bread as it is or pair with chicken broth, which is what I used it for. If you can't take spicy, opt for the non spicy preserved mustard greens.

Let's get Started!

I have divided the below recipe in to two smaller loaves but you can opt to make this whole recipe as one loaf and let it proof in a large banneton to make a large loaf.

Recipe makes 2 x 600 g final loafs

Total Hydration = 80%


50 g Ripe Rye Starter ( 100% hydration)

100 g Rye Flour

100 ml Water (21°C)

Dough Formula

500 g 83% Unbleached Baker's White Wheat Flour

100 g 16.6% Whole Grain Baker's Flour (not sifted)

470g 78% Water at 25°C (reserve 50 g for later incorporation)

150 g 25% Ripe Levain

12 g 2% Fine Salt


200 g Spicy Preserved Mustard Greens


Saturday, 9 pm Refresh Starter

I fed the starter the night before and left it at room temperature overnight.

Note that if you are a diligent feeder of your starter, you can refresh your starter the night before and use it straight into your final dough the next morning.

If you are someone like me who feedmy starter once a week with the starter is rested in the fridge, it is recommended that you feed it daily three days prior to making your sourdough.

In here, I have taken out my starter from the fridge 3 days prior and fed it twice a day. The next morning, we will do the feeding one more time and let it ripen again before using as a Levain in the final dough.

The feed ratio was as follow:

50 g 100% rye starter

130 g Rye Flour

70 ml Water at 21°C


Sunday 7:30 am Levain

10 hours 30 minutes later


50 g 50% Ripe Rye Starter ( 100% hydration)

100 g 100% Rye Flour

100 ml 100% Water (21°C)

At this point, the starter that you have 'refreshed' the night before will be quite lively with lots or air bubbles in it and have risen at least twice its volume but not sinking in the center.

Weight out the required ripen starter and mox with the rest of the Levain ingredients together and place in a clean jar. Tie a rubber band around the level of the Levain to monitor its rise and activity.

The rest of the starter can be thrown out. You will have some left over Levain from this mix for you to refeed to be used in your future loaf.

The maturing process took me 6 hours and 30 minutes at 23°C room temperature at 45% humidity. Different ambient in your kitchen will take different time.

Tips: To know if your levain is ready, it should increase by atleast twice if not three times its original volume with lots of air bubble and have slightly domed on the surface. When there is a dome, it means your Levain is at its prime and nearing deflation. You want to use the levain when its at its prime just before it starts to deflate or is exhausted. Before adding the levain to your final dough, test by gently scooping some levain and dropping it into a jug of water. If it floats, it means it is ready to use. If it sinks, you need more time. Be mindful that exhausted levain will sink in the water too. Just check to see that it has not sunk. An over ripe Levain will have a very sharp sour aroma that can almost stink your nose when you inhale!

Note: Alternative, if you have been actively feeding your starter, you can make the Levain the night before with lower water % in the Levain and leave it to ripen over night for up to 12 hours before using the next morning. The percentage is 1 : 2 : 3 ratio of starter : water : 50/50 plain bakers flour and whole wheat bakers flour


Sunday 11 am Autolyze

3 hours and 30 minutes later

I was meaning to autolyze my flour and water an hour before the Levain was ready. Not familiar with the new Levain, it actually took longer for the it to mature, 2 hours longer as estimated. So, I ended up autolyzing my flour+water mix for 3 hour in total instead of 1 hour. I am not too sure if that plays a factor, but my final dough came out really soft and pretty good compared to my first loaf that was only autolyzed for 1 hour. I think I might go for a longer autolyze from now on.

The dough and water ratio are as follow:

420 ml + 50 ml (reserved) Water at 25°C

500 g Unbleached Baker's White Wheat Flour

100 g Whole Grain Baker's Flour (not sifted)

The temperature contributors at this point in my pantry and kitchen are as follow:

Flour = 22°C

Room Temperature = 23°C

Levain = constantly maintained at 26°C

Friction = 0

Desired Dough Temperature = 26°C

Water Temperature = DDT x 4 - (contributors' temperature)

= 26 x 4 - (22+23+26+0)

Water temperature = 25°C


Mix all the ingredients together by hand until there are no big lumps of flour. This process took me 8- 10 minutes.

Cover and leave to autolyze ( I did mine for 3 hours) towards the readiness of the Levain.

The Final dough Temperature at this point is maintained at 26°C


Sunday 2 pm Mix in matured Levain, salt and the additional 50 ml of water.

6 hours 30 minutes later

The whole mixing process took me around 8 minutes or so by hand.


Start by transferring the autolyzed dough on to a work bench without dusting any flour at all. Because it was of a larger batch for my tiny hands, It is much easier than trying to work them in a bowl.

Gently press the dough flat, then smeared the matured Levain on the surface and sprinkled the fine sea salt on top.

Dap your hands with some of the extra 50 ml water, then rubbed it on to the salt . The water added helped the salt dissolved better when trying to incorporate it into the dough. I have seen baker whisking in the salt in the water and then just pour it into the dough and mix. I didn't do that because I am not quite sure yet if I actually wanted to add in all of the 50 ml of water or not but I do want all the quantity of the salt in the dough.

Pinch in the Levain and salt with my fingers and gradually pull and knead the dough until there are no longer patches of the Levain. (this is why using the rye Levain is great because they are darker in color, it was quite visible to gauge.)

At the end of the mixing in process I still had roughly around 15 - 20 ml of water left. I kept them for the stretch and fold process. (Keep in mind that you want to incorporate as much of the water required in the recipe as possible but refrain from adding any more if the dough starts to seems to get too slack to work with.)

Spray a container lightly with oil and let I the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with a lid.


Sunday 2:45 pm First Stretch and fold and incorporating inclusions -

30 minutes later

I did my first stretch and fold by adding the inclusions and let it rest covered for another 30 minutes.

Start by gently flattening the dough, spread half of the inclusions on top of the dough, then stretch the north end of the dough and fold it over to the center and repeat the same from the south end.

Spread the rest of the inclusions on top of the dough and repeat the above process with the east and west end of the dough.

Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.


Sunday 3:15 pm Second Coil Fold

30 minutes later

As the dough have formed some extensibility to it, instead of a second stretch and fold, I did the coil fold instead and let it rest for another 30 minutes in the container, lid on.

To do the coil fold, gently lift the dough with both of your hands from the bottom center of the dough, gradually lift the dough and as the both north and south ends starts to release from the container, both the ends will start to "coil"/fold under the center. Tuck both ends under.

Turn the container and repeat the above process with the other two ends. Close the lid and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.


Sunday 4 pm Third and last Coil Fold - Part of Bulk Fermentation

30 minutes later

Repeat the coil fold one and last time.

This time, I left the dough resting in the lidded container for another 2 hours. The dough at this point was maintained at 25°C