Wednesday, February 13, 2008
sourdough, round 01.
Our experiments with bread baking have of course led us to sourdough. We tried a few times to create our own wild starter in the fall, but it didn't work out for us (we plan to try again in spring). So, we bought a sourdough starter and baked our first loaves.
We were encouraged to take our sourdough slowly. It was recommended that when first using it, bakers start with a sourdough recipe which includes yeast. This will help introduce you to the sourdough process, doesn't take quite as long, gives a lighter loaf, and yet still has that good sourdough flavor. This is our beginners loaf. It turned out great - good flavor, not too dense!
Sourdough Bread with Yeast
1 cup (9oz) "fed"sourdough starter (meaning ready to go starter)
1½ cup (12oz) lukewarm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp (or packet) active dry yeast
5½ cup (to 6 cups) flour (I used organic whole wheat--you can also use bread flour)
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
cornmeal to sprinkle on baking pans
Combine all of the ingredients, using only 5 cups of the flour. Using your hands or a bread machine (dough cycle), knead until you form a smooth soft dough. Add additional flour as needed while you knead. Put dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Divide the dough and shape into two loaves. I did one oval loaf and one loaf in a bread pan. Put the loaves into an oiled, cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet or bread pan. Cover again, and let rise another hour - until doubled. Pre-heat oven to 450ºF.
Slash the top of the loaves and bake in your pre-heated oven at 450ºF for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.
Sourdough doesn't brown much, so to make the loaf have that nice golden color, brush the loaves lightly with vegetable oil (I used coconut oil) about half way into the baking time.
If you would like to make your own wild starter, then read this or this.
Prefer buying one? Here is the one we are using...or see here...or here...
Beyond using yeast with the starter and want a good sourdough recipe? Try here.
This is our first round - I'll be posting on this topic again when we move on to the classic sourdough recipe.