Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mmmm...Sourdough!




 

My friend gave me sourdough starter last week, and I've been putting off trying it out.   Why?  I was afraid it would be a flop.  Also, I was frankly overwhelmed and confused by the directions I was reading about how to do it.  Thankfully, my friend told me all I needed to do was to watch how the New York Times easy sourdough is made, then transfer that idea to the directions and recipe on the Northwest Sourdough website.

I chose their "First Loaf" recipe.  The process started the night before baking, with me feeding the starter and setting it out on the counter.  Before this I had it in the refrigerator.  I was surprised by the large volume of starter I ended up having because of the hydration proportions the recipe calls for.  It means I'll be baking a lot of sourdough bread if I want to keep it going.  



In the morning, I mixed all the ingredients together for a loaf of bread, using my happily fed starter.  I shaped the dough, covered it for the day and left.  Early in the evening, I proofed the bread by shaping it, then covering it with a damp cloth and allowing it to rise.  Later on, I uncovered it and preheated the oven, putting a broiler pan in the oven to preheat as well.  Once the oven was preheated, I poured in a cup of water, allowing it to make steam, then put my shaped loaf in its dish into the oven.  

This is different from "real" sourdough, I realize, because I didn't put the dough onto a hot slab in the oven.  That's because this is a beginner recipe.  The dish helps the dough to keep its shape.  So i got a squarish, somewhat risen loaf of crusty sourdough bread!  I was in heaven.  It was sufficiently sour for me and SO delicious.  I realized I didn't knead the dough at all, and I wonder if that would have helped it rise better.  Or maybe my poor starter was too neglected and didn't have quite enough yeast in it.  Whatever happened, it was still good, and I think I might be hooked.  That is if the kids will eat it too...

3 comments:

  1. Looks terrific. We keep a sourdough starter as well. We use it to make sourdough pancakes and sourdough pizza crust too (links on my food blog).

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  2. I would love to get some sourdough starter someday that doesn't taste too sour. I heard they are all a little bit different tasting, depending on where you get it. I would just love to not have to use yeast anymore for bread, but the kids have a real hard time eating sourdough bread, and I'm not a huge fan either. Maybe I will scour the internet to see if anyone's offering some non-sour tasting sourdough starter, lol.

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  3. The kids ate it, even though they said they "didn't like" sourdough. Something about the smell of baking bread that makes it irresistible!

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