Beautiful Sourdough Bread

>> Monday, January 14, 2013


Where did we leave off?

Oh, that's right!


My sourdough bread baking experiment was a complete and total success. But it wasn't without its head-scratching moments. Before I get into some tips that helped me along, I thought I'd give you the recipe I used for this loaf. I had tried a no-knead recipe I found on the web, but it flopped.

So, I searched high and low for another, and ended up getting frustrated. So, I created my own, using a ton of starter because I thought it would help. I have always had the best success with no-knead recipes, but this loaf didn't mix together so easily. Still, I let it rise for 18 hours.

Whatever I ended up doing worked.


CRUSTY SOURDOUGH LOAF
based on this recipe

What you'll need . . .

  • 1 cup sourdough starter 
  • 3 cups white bread flour 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt 
  • 1 cup warm filtered water

Method . . . 

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Then pour in the starter and warm water. Mix with your hands until it forms an elastic dough. It shouldn't be too terribly sticky.
  2. Be sure to feed your starter with equal parts water + flour (so 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup) and return it to the refrigerator.
  3. Keep in the bowl and drizzle a bit of olive oil over top + cover with plastic wrap for at least 18 hours.
  4. Then divide into however many loaves you want to make***, knead for just a second or two. Then shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 2 hours.
  5. About an hour before you begin baking, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F with a dutch oven inside on the middle rack. (I imagine this process can also work with a baking stone, but the crust may be slightly different.)
  6. Then carefully remove the super hot dutch oven, put a to-be loaf inside it, cover it, and return to oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on loaf size.
  7. Seriously. Try your best to remember that the dutch oven is really hot. A couple years ago, I reached to remove the cover with my bare hands. Ouch!
  8. Then lower oven heat to 450 degrees F, take the cover off the dutch oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Until golden brown.
  9. Repeat the baking process with the remaining loaves. Let cool a bit before slicing.
*** I made three loaves total because I used  this small 2 quart dutch oven. I am considering trying to justify buying a larger, possibly 5+ quart dutch oven. We'll see.


There's a ton of other things I want to make with my sourdough starter. Pancakes, waffles, salted bagels, etc. So, expect more recipes to come. Yeah. That means you should consider making your own starter. It only takes 5 days!

Once it is ready to use, you can store it in the refrigerator. Then, if you don't plan to use it one week, just "refresh" it by removing a cup of starter and replacing it with 1/2 cup fresh filtered water and flour.

I have also been asked whether or not I used yeast to kick off the whole process. I did indeed take The Kitchn's suggestion and put in a small pinch of yeast. I think it helped ensure my starter would be usable.

CATCH UP

The Sourdough Experiment
Day 2 + Feeding the Beast
Stage 2: Baking Prep
Sneak Peek at the Results

Tomorrow I'll be changing gears with a RUNNING post. Get read for it. And if you'd like to see our latest mommy-daughter photo shoot, head over to Writing Chapter Three.

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