Sourdough bread

13 04 2010

I love sourdough bread.  Lucky enough to grew up in California, sourdough was my go-to bread.  And I have now “caught” some live yeasts from the air in my backyard.  Mmmmmm…live yeasts.

Anyway – some friends and I decided to start a food club and making bread was our first project.  We looked up how to make a starter and I found this guy online.

Having tweaked this recipe for my own area and tastes, and after successfully keeping my starter alive for over a month now and making a few different loaves, here is my interpretation, starting with a bit of starter pulled out of the fridge.

Pour the starter into a large glass bowl and add in 1 cup each warm water (warm to the touch but not hot) and flour (I go back and forth between whole wheat and all purpose flour.  When it starts to look bubbly and smell sour, scoop out 1/2 cup and put it in a jar with wax paper as a lid with a little hole in it (or if you have some fancy crock thing that would contain the starter and give it some air, by all means use that).  Pop that puppy in the fridge because that’s your starter for next time!

Now mix in:

  • 2 Tbs olive oil or softened butter
  • 4 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Once the mixture is coming together start kneading it with your hands.  Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour (w/w or a/p, your choice) or more, depending on your climate, until you get a nice smooth dough.

Put in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel to rest in a warm place until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and put into a lightly greased loaf pan for the its second rise (doubling again).

And then place into a cool oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (my oven runs hot so potentially 45 minutes) or until your bread is golden brown and, if not in a loaf pan but on a cookie sheet, thumps when you tap the bottom.  Allow to cool – for a neat trick to remove your loaf have part of that time be on its side – and enjoy!

A word on timing – I put the starter out to proof as soon as I get home from work, mix the dough right before I go to bed, and move on to the next step in the morning, allowing the bread to rise in loaf form all day before baking at night.  I’ve also had success completely disregarding those times.  The longer the proofing stage sits, the more sour your dough, which is a good thing.  So don’t stress out about time.  And feel free to add things like rosemary or whatever your favorite herb is.  Just change it up to suit your life and enjoy fresh, cheap, ho-made bread.

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One response

16 04 2010
Miss Hammar

I can vouch for how yummy this bread is and although I *try* to be gluten free I will eat the whole damn loaf if left unwatched……mmmmm grilled cheese Thanks Erl!

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