Finally, I have made a sourdough that doesnt completely stink! Not to say it is even close to perfect, but definitely a good starting point. It has the destinctive sourdough taste, smell and chewiness, I only wish it would have risen a bit more. It seems a little dense. I think next time I will allow the starter to sit out at room temperature to “eat” before adding it to the “sponge” (all this sourdough lingo!).
When starting out on my sourdough adventure I did a lot of research. I found out that this was probably the first kind of levened bread waaay back when, and that it was most likely an accident that it was made. In ancient times – I’ve heard Egypt thrown around as the place of sourdough’s birth – someone most likely left out some flour and water, just like I did last week, and made a sourdough starter with naturally harvested yeast.
I also learned that, even though it is technically a white bread, sourdough is very good for you! This list of Top 10 reasons to eat real sourdough might convince you to try out this recipe.
If you missed the starter boat you’ll have to go back to my last post to get the recipe, and you’ll need about 3 days to harvest your yeast family. They will be your new pet that makes bread for you!
Basic Sourdough (two small loaves)
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups AP flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp water
First mix up your sponge. It will be a very very wet dough, almost putty-ish. Leave this out for 4 hours (or longer) then refrigerate it for 12. It will be kind of bubbly and smelly, yummm ;).
Now mix in the sugar, salt, bread flour and water. Knead until a smooth ball forms, adding AP flour as needed. This will take about 5 minutes in a mixer with a hook attachment and 8-10 minutes by hand.
Grease a large bowl and put the dough ball in, rolling it to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise 4-5 hours until doubled.
I forgot to take the post-rise POOF picture :(. But when it is poofed, cut the dough in two and form into balls. Place them on a lined baking sheet and preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a pan of water in the oven this creates steam, which is essential for sourdough success.
Allow the loaves to rise one more hour.
They also got a lot wider…
When the oven is preheated and the loaves have risen, take the pan of water out of the oven, then you have two options: 1) eggwash the loaves, cut a slit in the top then spray them with water. 2) skip everything but the water (the vegan option). You’ll need to spray the loaves every 10 minutes or so through the 30-40 minute baking process, so get your squirt bottle ready.
Bake and spray, bake and spray… Then take out the loaves when you knock on the bottom and they sound hollow.
Eat with…. Everything. Even cat food?! Only in their dreams…