This week I made Sourdough Pancakes, Sourdough bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, White Sandwich Bread (I tried the Cooks Country version this time, which is our new favorite), Rhubarb Breakfast Cake (this should not be called breakfast cake, it should just be called cake), Rhubarb Crisp, and lots of Banana Bread.
I’ve gotten a few questions on how I bake sourdough bread, so I thought I would share how I usually bake it. I’ve been baking with sourdough on and off for about 10 years. I’ve had my current starter for about 18 months. You can make your own starter, which I have done before. You can also buy a starter from King Arthur Flour. I did that last time, and will do it again if I’m ever without a starter. Starters can be finicky, and I would rather get to the fun part.
When I first started baking sourdough I used recipes from King Arthur Flour and The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I enjoyed baking with sourdough, but I didn’t love it. Last year I got a copy of Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa, and that is when I fell in love with sourdough. She has a blog with tons of advice on sourdough baking and some great recipes too. The sourdough I made is from her book.
Step 1: Make sure your starter is fed and happy. My starter was bubbling away, so I knew I was ready to start.
Step 2: Mix the starter and the water together with a fork.
Step 3: use a dough whisk (if you have one) to mix in the flour and the salt. The dough whisk is one of my favorite kitchen tools.
Use your hand to get the last bits of flour worked in. You are not kneading. All you want to do is make sure it is mixed together.
Step 4: Throw a damp towel over the bowl and wait 20-30 minutes. Some recipes would have you use plastic wrap. I think a damp towel works better, and I don’t throw away plastic at the end.
Step 5: pinch some dough and pull it to the top of the ball. Turn the bowl about 90 degrees and do it again. And again. Over and over until your dough looks like a ball.
Step 6: Throw the towel back over it and go to bed. It will rise for 8-10 hours.
Step 7: In the morning, ease the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and let it relax for about 10 minutes.
Step 8: Shape the dough into a ball.
Step 9: Take the tea towel you had over the dough for the first rise and put it in a bowl. Flour the tea towel. Put the dough into the bowl seam side down. Flour the bottom of the dough and fold the towel over it for the second rise.
Step 10: Cut a circle of parchment paper that fits in the bottom of your Dutch oven (or whatever you are baking your bread in). I find it much easier to cut a circle if I fold the paper before I cut it.
After 30 minutes – 60 minutes the dough will look puffy. Put the parchment on top of the dough.
Then flip the dough onto the counter.
Step 11: score the dough. Pick a design and slice it into the dough. I need work in this area. I think my lame might be dull (how lame, right?).
Step 12: Move the loaf into the Dutch oven by lifting the parchment paper.
Step 13: Put the lid on the pot. Put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Step 14; Take the lid off. Continue to bake until loaf is done.
Step 15: Make your husband look at the bread and tell him you made it. This step must always be completed, even if it is your 200th loaf of sourdough.
Step 16: Hope no one reading your blog notices that you inadvertantly made rib cage bread.
We love sourdough as toast in the mornings. We also love grilled cheese made on sourdough. It is great for French Toast too.
Do you bake sourdough? What is your favorite bread to make?