Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My 1st Sourdough Bread and naming my sourdough starter...

Sourdough bread’s history is long and interesting, I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the many ways to start, grow and use it in my daily baking and cooking.  So far, I’ve been more than impressed with the results.   I love seeing how I can make “something” out of practically nothing more than basic ingredients most people – even if their kitchen isn’t “stocked” have – as well as the fact that it’s….dare I say… EASY.   I’m LOVING the fact that I can produce fancy “bakery” style loaves to compliment a simple homemade soup, or produce an Artisan Looking loaf for when we have friends over for dinner.  OH – and let’s not forget to mention… it tastes awesome.
It started with the *NO-KNEAD BREAD Where after searching the web, I fell in love with sites like Breadtopia and Yeastspotting  I’ve also learned that there are some “secret” starters / recipes, that people are more than willing to share their starter… just not their actual recipe.  Now, playing with flour, and yeast (whether naturally leavened or store bought active quick rise) has become an addiction of mine!
This is the latest update from my new Sourdough ventures… as it’s the first loaf I made using a starter that was simple…as long as you remember to feed and water it.  It’s a growing, “living” (kinda weird eh?!) THING that resembles something like “THE BLOB”, I really do think I should name THE BLOB…  as I’ve grown kinda fond of it…. Hmmmmm.
Step One – Sourdough Starter (recipe adapted from Breadtopia)
I used one of Breadtopia’s recipes, and followed along with his basic method for managing the starter.
  • 3 ½ tablespoon  whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice (I used a “no-sugar added” one)
-  Whisk flour/juice in small plastic (clear) container until well combined
-  Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature
-  Stir/whisk well  2 to 3 times a day
48 hours later….
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- Whisk flour/juice into starter mixture
- Cover, and set aside at room temperature for another 48 hours – stirring 2 to 3 times a day
- At this point, you should see the start of some fermentation activity (BUBBLES).  If you don’t you may want to toss starter and try again
48 hours later….
  • 5 ¼ tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
- whisk flour/water into starter, cover and set aside for 24hours. (Mixture should have bubbles/show signs of fermentation)
24 hours later....
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup water
- Add flour/water to starter mixture and stir well, at this point you should have a very healthy starter.  (if not, you may want to toss, and start again)
At this point do a little bit of research on how to maintain your starter.  Me, I’ve been “feeding” it on a weekly basis, and before I baked with it, I made sure I fed it twice prior to baking, to make sure it was as strong and as “healthy” as I could get it.  (still… haven’t figured out a name for my growing BLOB)
It was just over a week and a bit before I tried out my starter, decided to play a little with the fermentation / proofing a bit, the end result… a delicious loaf of Sourdough Bread, and one of the coolest parts – it’s STILL a NO-KNEAD bread!! Woot Woot!

Sour Dough Bread (No-Knead)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup starter
    *For this recipe, when it came time to actually bake the bread, I used a round heavy 3 QT Ceramic pot with lid, which is safe to use in a 500F oven. * (Winner’s had one for $15)

    - Mix whole wheat flour, bread flour and salt into a large (non-metal) mixing bowl
    - Mix water and the ¼ cup of starter into a separate bowl (I just used my 2 cup measuring cup)
    - combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients  with a plastic (or wooden) spoon.  Dough should be sticky, however, pull away from sides of bowl when done.  *remember this is no-knead so you should be able to mix it well enough with just a spoon!*   If required, add a bit more water, or flour until dough looks like this:
    Here’s the “tough” part….
    - Cover with plastic wrap tightly (so dough doesn’t dry out) and put into fridge for 2 days (up to 4 days) Just leave it,  alone in the fridge to slowly rise/ferment further
    2 days later…
    - Remove dough from fridge, and let sit on counter for 1-2 hours until dough doubles in bulk
    -Take dough out of bowl and turn onto a generously floured countertop
    -carefully “push” out dough to form a rectangular shape.  (be careful not to play with the dough so much that it deflates)
    -fold dough one side of dough into the middle, repeat with other side, then fold in half again
    - Place in a proofing bowl (or I used a lightly oiled ceramic mixing bowl), cover and let rise again for an hour.
    - After an hour, place the ceramic pot with lid (one that’s safe to withstand temp of 500F) into your oven, and preheat oven to 500F, let your dough continue to rest for another 30-40 minutes.
    - Carefully and quickly remove hot pot from the heated oven, and using both hands, take resting dough and “flip” bowl upside down, so that the dough drops neatly into the hot pot.  Place lid back on pot, and put back in oven for 30 minutes at 500F
    - Remove lid and reduce oven temperature to 450F, bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped.
    - Remove finished bread from hot pot, and place on cooling rack.  You should be able to hear the crust crackling!
    This bread was YUMMY with a little herbed butter (Italian seasoning, and 1 gloved garlic minced, and mixed into softened butter)   
    Making this style of bread is teaching me patience; however, the reward is well worth it!  It also helps to know that TIME is really the “one” who’s doing all the work here….This makes it that much easier to wait!  From everything I’ve read, there are a billion variations.. I’m just getting started!
    Then there’s this ongoing small issue I have… I STILL haven’t named my starter.  It’s alive..and healthy… in my fridge, happy to be taken out and feed once or twice a week…  hmmm…  Mr. Blob?? Bob the Blob?  I’ll need to work on that one….maybe over a piece of freshly toasted sourdough….


    1. Great job!!! I am looking forward to bake something like that as soon as my starter is ready!!!

      By the way, what kind of ceramic pot did you use?


      1. Thanks! It was a "SWISS" Ceramic pot w/ lid - 3 QT. Right on the tag with the "SWISS" name it said oven safe for 500F. I shopped Winner's and got this one for $15... super cheap, as La Cloche/ Dutch Ovens can be pricy. So far.. I'm getting great results!

    2. Haha! It Must be a living thing, I know a couple people who named them! I think Bob is the most common name I've heard so far... Depending on the sex of your blob, there's Adam or Eve.. I like Brewster & Babette! Lol. I've heard of 'Starchibald', 'Starchie' for short! :D

      1. oooo love the names! Starchie! hmmm haha thanks!

      2. leaning towards Uncle Fester now! such fun names! haha

    3. That bread looks awesome. Welcome to the world of Sourdough Addicts and OBD* sufferers.


      Peter (cottagecraftsnz.blogspot.co.nz)
      *OBD = Obsessive Baking Disorder

      1. *OBD ... love it.... I knew SOMETHING was up... but just didn't put a name to it...

    4. Mine's called Ferdinand, but my hubby calls him Scooby Dough. I'm just starting out and can't wait!

      1. Love it! "Uncle Fester" has stuck in our household...and he's quite productive too! haha I'll be posting an update this week for Sourdough Starter Cinnamon Buns, as Fester had an "incident" all over my counter one morning, and I just couldn't stand to waste it! Thanks for dropping by!

    5. I think I'm gonna try a starter, but before I get started I should let you know I know nothing about sourdough bread....so when you say that you feed him once a week I am wondering what and how much you feed him??

      1. "they" say you want to double the amount that's currently there. Typically I keep about a cup of starter going at all times.... so I'd feed it a cup of flour & just under a cup of water. (equal weights)
        www.breadtopia.com has excellent... almost TOO MUCH info on managing your starter. Just remember... it's not a precise "thing",I like keeping my starter the constistency of a thick pancake batter.... Hope this helps! (let me know how it goes!!)

    6. Hi bread lovers,

      I’ve recently started working with Sourdoughs International and I’m learning the difference between using authentic wild yeast and commercial yeast (bakers yeast) the taste and appearance is so different it is absolutely amazing! I totally recommend that you check it out at www.sourdo.com, EnJoY!!

    7. Nicely done, I just took a bread making course and loved it. I haven't made sour dough bread yet, yours looks very good.

      1. Thanks! I've been addicted to bread making... and now... pizza dough :) A bread making course is def on my "to-do" list!

    8. Hey! just a little tip from baker to baker, id go check out sourdoughs international for some bada** sourdough starter. i got the san francisco and OMG way good, came out great.