Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Sourdough Bread Class

Today's Recipe

So... anyone that knows me knows that I am constantly messing with recipes.  I just can't help myself.  After getting so many good recipes from friends, the old recipe underwent some changes.

It started with a cousin's old family recipe (not listed yet... still to come) which starts with a "sponge", made the dough less stiff (thanks Melissa), added flax meal (thanks Bobbi Jo), added kefir  and a longer "rise" (thanks Jamie).  Still to be added to my routine is an egg wash (the egg whites are sitting there from making mayonnaise).  So, from the class today, here is the bread that I am pretty sure we made.

Community Sourdough Bread

The Sponge
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups barley flour
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup flax meal
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 cup kefir
Water to make it a slurry

Just bring this together, it is not necessary to knead it.  Put it into a bowl, cover with a wet towel and let rise until double in volumne (probably about 10-12 hours)

The Dough
The sponge from before
2 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. sweetner (I used Palm Sugar today)
Flour to make a slightly sticky dough

Form into your loaf and let rise again.  I put my loaf on parchment paper, then onto a plate.  This makes it easier to move around.  The dough should double in volume.  It often takes several hours, but this morning my loaf took only 1-1/2 hours to rise.  I had to knead it down and try again since I wanted to bake it at the class.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  
I like to either spritz water in or put a small pan of water in.
It gives your crust a nice feel.  
A stone is nice, but it is not necessary.
Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, then turn down the over to 325 degrees for approximately 15-25 minutes.  The times will vary depending on your loaf size and density.
There are two ways to check and see if it done....
a thermometer inserted - 210 degrees
.... or turn the loaf over and tap the bottom...
if it sounds hollow, it is done.
When I take it out I either immediately run the loaf under water or put butter on the top.  
This makes it a lot easier to cut.

Serving Suggestions

Two of our favorite ways to eat fresh sourdough bread
1)  Spread with butter and lemon curd (recipe to follow)
2)  Spread with butter and sauerkraut


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