Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our daily bread: my second batch of sourdough

The happy little loaves.  I was not too hungry, and planned to wait til morning to take a picture of the inside of the bread.  

Today I had my second try at sourdough.  I made the basic white sourdough recipe on the Northwest Sourdough website.  This time, I left the starter on top of our pellet stove, which doesn't really get hot, but instead makes the air around it warm.  In the morning I smelled the smell of sour when I woke up.  I peeked under the lid and it was very bubbly, so I got very encouraged, and decided to try another loaf. 

I mixed in the necessary ingredients, then kneaded it gently for about 2 minutes.  Then I let it rest for 15 minutes and kneaded it again for a minute.  After that, i put it in a bowl, covered the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise all day.  It did!  It was like magic!  After about six hours, I didn't have time to do any baking, so I shaped the loaves and put them on a baking stone on some cornmeal that had been sprinkled there, then covered that with a damp cloth and went away for about 3 hours.  Oops!  The cloth stuck to the bread.  

The kids had a different plan.  I had been in my room editing pictures and came out to find half a loaf gone!  

I guess I don't know what I should have done differently, but anyway, I reshaped the loaves, stuck them on some new cornmeal, then put another baking stone, as well as a broiling pan in the preheating 450 degree oven.   I sliced three slits in the tops of the loaves.  

Once the oven was preheated, i poured one cup of water into the hot broiler pan, making instant steam.  I closed the door quickly and got ready to throw the loaves onto the hot baking stone.  I opened the door and slid them on the stone, baking the loaves at 450 for 5 minutes, then reducing the heat to 425 for the remaining 30 or so minutes.  

The kids claimed they didn't like sourdough, but the first loaf I made is gone, and they are working on this one!

I kept tapping the bread to see if it sounded hollow, and waited for the tops to get that golden brown sourdough look, then finally got brave enough to take the bread out.  It looked beautiful!  I was sneaky and turned it over, cutting into the middle of the bottom of the bread, checking to be sure it had baked through.  Indeed it had, and it was light inside.  I love when things work out.  This makes me happy, and willing to try new things, as well as encourage others to try too! 

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