Sep 20, 2010

263- Homemade Sourdough Bread

Last Thursday was a Relief Society activity at friend-Vicki's house. She demonstrated how to home bottle meat and then friend-Kelli, her daughter (yeah, and why do I cry every time I talk to Kelli? That's what I'd like to know!), demonstrated how to make sourdough bread! Yum! Sourdough bread has got to be Gordon's most favorite bread in the whole world!

Can't you just smell it?  It just came out of the oven.  Don't you wish you were here?

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I've played around with sourdough starters and recipes before, but there is something special about this one! I got my starter from friend-Karen (if you live locally and would like a starter just shout it out!) but you can also make your own (directions at the end).

The first step is to make a *sponge*  (batter) with your starter.  You always want to use pottery, glass or plastic with your start, NEVER METAL!  I just happened to have this darling old bean pot that belonged to my Mom.  It made me happy to pull it out and give it a job... I think it made my mom happy too.

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So I mixed up 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups hot water and then stirred in the starter, put on the lid and let it do its thing over night. Then this morning I had a crock of bubbling sour goodness! (my photo was too blurry to post)  Can you guess what decade my canisters were purchased?  Yup, 1970... gotta love that burnt orange and avocado green!

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Always measure out 1 cup of starter and store in the refrigerator for next time.

Now mix up the bread dough. Watch out... this is the hard part! Add 1 cup of warm water to the remaining sponge.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and then stir in 4-5 cups of flour until it is a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 2-3 hours. This is what it looks like after the rising. Turn it onto a heavily floured board or counter top.

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Sprinkle the top with flour, flatten out dough and fold over in half. Repeat 3 more times. Shape into a round loaf and place it on parchment paper.

I am a little bit controlling with my dough and didn't want it to spread all across the counter top so I put mine in a pie dish. Sprinkle the top with flour and cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until nearly double about 1-2 hours. (Or, if you are like me... forget about it, come back in 3 hours, reshape it into a round loaf and start the rising time over again... just sayin'.)

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Ah, look at that fluffiness. Doesn't it make you want to poke your finger into it?

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Now, enter the hero! This is where the magic happens. This little beauty... a Dutch oven. Put it into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Yep, the empty Dutch oven.  (I got mine at Sam's Club it is a Member's Mark 6.5 quart Dutch Oven.  I couldn't find a link online so if you want one you'll have to go to Sam's)

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When the oven has reached 450 degrees remove the Dutch oven and carefully transfer the dough into the hot Dutch oven. Just grab two opposing corners of the parchment paper and lift. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return to the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid, lower the oven temperature to 400 and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.

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Behold the beauty! Remove bread from Dutch oven, remove parchment paper and cool on rack... or be like me and cool it on the cutting board because I NEED to have a slice of hot sourdough bread with butter... right now!

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TO MAKE SOURDOUGH STARTER

For best results, use glass or pottery containers. Never use a metal container or leave a metal spoon in the starter. A good starter contains only flour, water and yeast. It has a clean sour mild order. The liquid will separate from the batter when it stand several days, but this does not matter. If replenished every few days with flour and more water, the starter keeps fresh. If the starter is not to be used for several weeks, freeze or dry it to keep it from spoiling. To carry it to camp, add enough flour to shape it into a ball and place it in a sack of flour. In the dried form, the yeast goes into the spore stage which will keep inert for a long time. Water and warmth bring the yeast back to the active state.

Mix well in a large bowl:
2 cups flour
1 package of yeast (1 Tablespoon)
2 cups warm water

Place in warm place or closed cupboard overnight. In the morning, put 1 cup of the starter in a pint jar with a tight cover and store in the refrigerator or a cool place for future use. This is the sourdough starter. The remaining batter can be used to start a sponge.

BASIC SOURDOUGH SPONGE (batter)

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups hot water
1 cup sourdough starter

Use a wooden spoon or plastic whisk to mix flour and water until smooth. Add starter. Mix well and cover. Set in a warm place overnight or 10-13 hours. before using.

Always remember to take out 1 cup from the sponge to use for your next starter. Keep in covered jar or crock in the refrigerator until needed for next basic sourdough sponge.

SOURDOUGH BREAD

1 recipe of basic sourdough sponge minus 1 cup
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
4-5 cups flour  (maybe a smidge more)

  • Stir warm water and salt into basic sourdough sponge.  Using a wooden spoon mix in enough flour to make a soft dough. 
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 2-3 hours.
  • Sprinkle the top with flour, flatten out dough and fold over in half. Repeat 3 more times. Shape into a round loaf and place it on parchment paper. Allow to rise in warm place until almost double.
  • Preheat oven and empty Dutch oven to 450 degrees.
  • When the oven reaches 450 degrees remove the Dutch oven and carefully transfer the dough into the hot Dutch oven. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return to the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes then remove the lid, lower the oven temperature to 400 and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.
I have more recipes that I'll share in the next few weeks.

    2 comments:

    rfamilyfun said...

    Can I have a start? Thanks for the clear instructions, I left RS a little confused....

    Oh and I've got a Dutch oven just like yours, isn't it a beauty? I cooked a turkey breast in mine Saturday, and I think it's a keeper!

    Dean and Sheri said...

    I always enjoy your "kitchen posts", Joanie. I'm going to try this!
    And, I love your diaper project. Those are some lucky Hatian moms and babies. A young friend of mine (son-in-law Tannon's sister) has made these for her baby, Lyla, that was born in August.
    I admire your love of serving others.