Monday, July 2, 2012

Sourdough Bread

I did it!  I finally made good sourdough bread.  Last year when I tackled it, I was not thrilled with the outcome.  It seemed far too fussy and difficult and I made some loaves that resembled curling stones more closely than loaves of bread.  This year I decided it should not be difficult and I was going to make it without giving too much thought to it.  And, it worked!

I made the starter by mixing 2 cups of water with 1 T. of sugar, 1 T. of rapid rise yeast and 2 cups of flour.  I covered it with a kitchen towels and let it sit for about 3 days.  I stirred it a couple times each day.  If it forms a crust, just whisk it back in and it will liquify.

When I was ready to make the dough, I mixed 1 cup of the sourdough starter with 1  1/2 cup of water, 4 tsp. of rapid rise yeast, 1 T. honey, 1 T. melted butter, 2 eggs, 2  1/2 tsp. salt and 6 cups of bread flour.
 The dough is a bit sticky but place it in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours.

To replenish your starter, mix in 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water.  Let it sit our for about 8 hours then refrigerate. Do this each time you use it.

Look at how happy my dough was after 2 hours.

Form it into 3 tight balls and place it on parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour mixed with cornmeal.  Cover the balls with plastic and let them rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Slice across their tops with a sharp knife before baking. Bake them at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 400 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes longer.  They should read 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer and should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Sourdough bread is a breeze!

And it makes great sandwiches and toast!