I have been making sourdough bread for a while now. Here is a recipe and some tips that have been helpful and I would like to share them with you. I am also going to do several other recipes from some of the terrific bakers who have been working their recipes out!
Don't forget to save some starter for the next batch - add another 2 cups of flour and 1-1/2 cups of warm water to feed it.
1 cup starter
6 cups flour**
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sweetner
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cups warm water
These are approximate measurements.
** Currently I am using:
- 2 cups organic, fresh ground whole wheat flour.
- 2 cups organic, fresh ground barley flour.
- 2 cups organic white flour
This makes a somewhat sticky dough that I just bring together in my Kitchenaid. I add flour later if necessary to firm it up. I dump the sticky dough into a glass or ceramic bowl.
Cover with a dishtowel (you can flour it up heavily so the bread does not stick to it) and leave to rise for several hours. The cute one is from Evelyn Fields. She has done a lot on the whole bread thing.... look at her site. I'll list her recipe also as a different post.
When your dough has doubled in size, pour or scrape onto a counter that has some flour sprinkled on it. Knead it to a nice consistency. Add more flour here if necessary. Shape into round loafs put on parchment paper or your baking pan and recover with the towel.I have been trying a damp towel also (trying to replace the plastic wrap I used to use). I have to re-dampen it a couple of times while it is rising. If I forget or it is overnight, I end up with a dry towel and a crust on my dough. I just pat some water on the towel and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then the towel comes right off. I then knead the crusty part right into the dough and it rehydrates it nicely.
So far, if you have the ingredients, this just takes a few minutes, twice.
Let your dough rise again - it usually takes about an hour. Heat the oven. I keep messing with the temperature and time and right now am doing a long, slow bake (unless I am in a hurry - then I do 400 degrees for 25 minutes) ...so I usually go with 325 degrees for about 40 minutes.... I also like to put a pan of water on the bottom of the oven for moisture.
When I think it is done, I pull it out, turn it over and tap the bottom. A hollow sound indicates that it is done!
A couple of final tips.... I like to put butter on the top when I pull it out - this makes it easier to cut later. Alternatively, you can run your hot bread under water very quickly and it should do the same thing. I like the butter better :) Here is my butter experiment - it was yummy - organic, raw, cultured, grass-fed butter and buttermilk. (coming soon)
Also, I am trying to avoid plastic and am getting some cloth bread bags from a friend. You can see her bags here: Evelyn Fields
Be patient... if it doesn't work out at first, keep trying. It really just is a skill you need to develop.... Everyone seems to come up with their own recipe and way of doing things that works for them. If you just keep at it, you will know how YOUR family likes it.