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15 January 2015

Sourdough!

Last week, we were reading about the health benefits of sourdough. Which are cool. The cultures in the sourdough are supposed to neutralize phytase, as well as make a bunch of vitamins in the wheat much more readily available for the body to use. It's good stuff, and it an be pretty tasty, too, if it's not too sour.

Only problem is, I have tried several times to make the stuff, but never could get the hang of it. 

Enter Facebook. A while back I joined a group called Wild Fermentation, so this time, rather than just randomly trying recipes, I asked the group, figuring it'd be right up their alley. And it was. And they gave me a number of useful tips. I'd been trying to treat it like Amish Friendship Bread, and of course that didn't work very well. Made a real mess of my bread, actually. But my new friends taught me some things, like sourdough wants to be a fair amount more moist than white bread, and how much start to put into a batch. And it worked! I made some, and it had a very mild tang to it, a great crust, and it was easy! 

So here's my recipe. It's almost the same as this one that I started with, only I don't have fancy flour like she does. 




2c whole wheat flour
1.5c all-purpose flour
1.5-ish cups water
1/4c sourdough start, grown and bubbly
1t salt

When you feed your start, it gets happy and grows. You'll also see air pockets if ifit's in a clear container. That means it's ready. Add 1/4c to all the other ingredients. You can use a dough hook, or, if like mine, yours is broken, you can also get away with using the paddle on your stand mixer. Mix thoroughly. You should get a moist, shaggy ball of dough. Adjust you water and flours until it's just a touch too sticky to handle with ungreased hands. Oil your hands, and move it to a glass bowl that's been greased or sprayed well with pam. Leave in a warm place 6-8 hours or overnight. I turn my oven just barely on, not even to where it says "warm," since my kitchen is chilly in the winter. When you are ready, preheat your oven with your cast iron Dutch oven inside. Move your dough, carefully, to the hot pan, shaping a bit before you put it in. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes in a pan with a lid, then uncover and cook another 10 - it will smell divine when it's done. Oh, and the lid is pretty important: I did another batch without the lid, and the crust was thick and over done. The bread itself was still pretty good, but the crust wasn't at all. With the lid, it's great.



1 comment:

Angelic Scalliwags said...

We made a batch of sour dough bread and the smell from the fermenting yeast was revolting!! The bread was good though and it lasted all of about three seconds!

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