Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sourdough Rolls

These are by far not the best pictures. I am still trying to master the new camera. This is also not the best sourdough outcome. It's my first attempt to bake with the sourdough starter I made recently. I have another batch proofing right now and hopefully I will get better results.

This is what the sourdough starter looks like when it is ready to use. You can buy sourdough starter, you can make your own (just google a recipe) or you can get some from a friend that has one.

I named my sourdough starter Issac. He is alive after all and I intend to have a long relationship with him.

I measured out a cup of Issac.

I put him in the bowl of my mixer.

I added 1 1/2 c. of water.

Then 2 teaspoons of rapid rise yeast.

Add 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. If you bake bread and have never used this, do so soon. You can buy it in the grocery store near the flour. I just started using it a couple years ago and now I never bake bread without it. It extends the shelf life of your bread and greatly improves the texture.

Add 3 cups of flour.

After it is all mixed together, place it in a bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

Allow it to sit in a 70 degree area for 24 hours. It will look like this.

Scrape the mixture into the bowl of your mixer and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Add 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Gradually add in 3- 4 cups of flour. The amount of flour will vary depending on how wet your starter is, so you will have to figure that into the equation. You should end up with a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is subtle and silky smooth. Allow this dough to rise in an oiled bowl from 2-12 hours to develop the taste you want. The longer it sits, the sourer the flavor.

This is what the dough looks like after it has risen.

I was trying to make sourdough bread bowls for soup.

My dough was too wet and they came out more like sourdough bread saucers.

I defrosted some of the ham I made a while ago and spread Dijon mustard and mango chutney on the rolls. Then I melted some Gouda cheese on them. These are really good sandwich rolls.

I coated the outside of each dough ball with oil to give them the shiny, bubbly crust that I love in sourdough.

I have always been intimidated by sourdough but not any more. It is like so much else in cooking. You just have to have the courage to dive in and give it a try. I'll let you know how the next ones turn out.