For some time our "Introduction to Sourdough" booklet was our hottest download. The book was, and still is, an integral part of our "Introduction to Sourdough" class, and the recipes have been student tested. However, we pulled it off the web page about a year ago because we wanted to make it better. And now, it's better than before, and it's ready for you to purchase on the Mike's Bread Shoppe page.
The free sampler is our way of letting you take a look at parts of the book to see if you want to spend money on the book. The sampler is actually part of the previous version of the book... we plan on updating the sampler "real soon now." In any case, we hope you'll like the sampler enough, so that you'll want to buy the new book. The sampler is available here. We feel the sampler is enough to get you started, to help you a lot, and to whet your appetite for our full book with more recipes, more pictures, and more hints.
Our spreadsheets - I have this nightmare where I'm in front of a group and I'm saying, "Hi, I'm
Mike and I'm a nerd." Then they say, "Hi Mike!" and we get down to some serious nerding. Believe me, it's a very minor symptom, but when I do something that involves measurement, it's not long before I create a spreadsheet to help me do it better. So, here is an archive that has a number of files I hope you'll find useful. One is a starter calculator that allows you to select how you feed your starters, when you need the starter, and how much starter you need. It will tell you when to feed your starter and how much. Need 5,234 grams of starter by next Tuesday? No problem! I also included two spreadsheets that I use to scale recipes. I suggest you enter your recipe information and then save the spreadsheet with the recipe's name. There's also a help file and two of my Mike's Sourdough Conversion Worksheets. In case you missed it above, here's the download link for our spreadsheets.
Speaking of sourdough conversion, I used to have a spreadsheet that tried to convert from yeasted bread to sourdough. It really didn't work well. It's not an easy problem to solve. Especially in a context of trying convert from measure to weight measurements, which I have given up on. If you want to convert, just use a rule of thumb and then refine the results. The rule of thumb is that you can replace each packet of yeast (about 6 grams) with a cup (about 280 grams) of starter. Adjust the flour and liquid in the recipe accordingly (maybe 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour less). It's not an answer, it's just a starting point. Anyway, the sharing caring nerd in me hopes that the spreadsheets will help you. If they do, please let me know.
Our three stage converter spreadsheet let's you convert the three stage French Pain au Levain process outlined in "The Bread Builders" to manageable quantities. There is a write up about this recipe here.
The spreadsheet has been re-designed to allow you to change the amount of dough you want to produce at each of the three stages of the recipe, and to change the hydration of each step. This will let you play with the recipe and create the bread you want to make more easily.
Mike's Breads Worksheet For some time, we've worked on recipes scribbling notes on any sheet of paper that was handy. After a while, it got old, so now we use this handy worksheet we created. Each sheet lets you track 5 trials of a recipe, with up to 10 ingredients. It's a good, old fashioned kitchen-friendly printed paper solution. Just download our pdf files, print 'em, and enjoy 'em. All we ask is that you not remove our nifty logo. We have also made available a sample worksheet used to work out a recipe for our sourdough bohemian rye bread. Just right click on the link to download the worksheet or the sample worksheet.
If you have suggestions, just drop us a note from our "Contact Us" page.