Sourdough Bread

If you have a week or two to get into making bread- this is the one for you.  Sourdough is a process- a long, long process.  I checked blogs for info and found conflicting instructions and recipes- but the first try, I had a worthy bread to share with neighbors and family.  Start with a starter- maybe the first weekend…..bake a loaf the second weekend, but here is the warning I wish I had seen- 12-18 hours to RISE on that second weekend- if you want that crispy, sour flavor….of course you can rush it, but it’s not the same.

For the starter, mix 2 cups warm water, .25 ounce (or pkg) yeast and let that sit (proof) for 5 minutes or so.  Add 2 cups flour, stir well, cover with plastic wrap, put in a warmish place and let it sit.   Stir a couple times a day.  After 48 hours- you may start to notice the fermentation- then you can refridgerate it.

The next weekend- take a cup of your starter, add a cup of warm water (potato water recommended in one recipe), add some sea salt- about a heaping teaspoon, and add your choice of flours until you form a nice soft dough.  I used a cup of whole wheat and about 6 cups of white flour on the first try.  Let that rise 12-18 hours until double.  Should be enough for 2 loaves- form into loaves about the 14 hour mark-  slash with sharpest knife you have in tic-tac-toe pattern on top and let the loaves sit 2-4 more hours.  Bake at 400 to 450 for about 45 minutes.

Be sure to spray your pan- you can use cast iron, teflon round bread pan, pyrex- but it will stick if you dont’ spray.  Put a pan of hot water in the oven with the baking bread to “steam” it while it bakes. 

Go back and refresh your starter- add a cup of liquid and whisk it in, add a cup of flour and whisk it in.  Let sit out for about 4 hours and then refridgerate until you are ready to use it again.  Some Saturday morning when you want bread for Sunday night works well!

Remove when tapping sounds hollow.  Let cool and rest on wire rack so all sides remain crisp.  Slice and serve with a nice bowl of soup or chowder or stew or toast slices for bruchetta, dips,  olive oil and balsamic.  You will think of something!

Leave a Reply