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Sourdough Bread

In today’s episode of “As the chef turns” we find that Linda is filled with remorse, believing that she accidentally killed Chuck with a meat grinder. Chuck, not aware of the confusion he left behind has run off to study at a secret Chinese culinary monastery to become worthy of Alice’s love.

Christian’s secret plan for world sourdough domination is beginning to take shape in the recipe for loaves of a particular bread…

Prepare the starter

Software (ingredients)

  • 1 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached or all purpose flour. Do not use self-rising flour.
  • 2 cups warm (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit) water

Hardware

  • One large glass mixing bowl. I strongly suggest that you don’t use a metal bowl. If you must, then only use a stainless steel one.
  • Wooden, glass, or plastic spoon. Metal is bad. Yeasts don’t work well with metal.
  • A cloth to cover the bowl with.

We are going to freshen up the starter for the bread. If you just made the starter, then simply grab 1 cup from your mixture before putting it into the fridge for storage instead of doing all the steps below.

See the Sourdough Starter for hints on the starter.

Put all the ingredients in the bowl and stir until smooth.

Cover it with a cloth and leave it in a warm draft-free place for 8 hours.

Take out 1 cup of the mixture for your bread, then put the rest in the refrigerator, mixing it in with the rest of your starter.

The Dough

Software (ingredients)

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour. Again, do not use self-rising flour.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons salad oil

Hardware

  • One large glass mixing bowl. I strongly suggest that you don’t use a metal bowl. If you must, then only use a stainless steel one.
  • Wooden, glass, or plastic spoon. Metal is bad. Yeasts don’t work well with metal.
  • A second glass bowl, which will need to be greased.
  • A cloth to cover the bowl with.

Add about half of the flour with all the rest of the ingredients into the bowl. Mix them until it’s smooth and there aren’t flour lumps.

Add more of the flour, bit by bit, until it starts to become dough-like enough to gather into a ball. You should have added about 4 of the cups four total, though more or less may be needed.

Flour a surface with … uhm … flour. Put the dough onto the surface and start kneading. The idea is to make the dough smooth and elastic. It’ll take about 10 minutes of hard work. But it’s worth it!

Once you’re done kneading the dough, put it into the greased bowl. Once it’s put in, turn it upside down so the greased side is up.

Cover it and we’ll let it rise in a nice warm place for at least 2 and half hours.

You can tell it’s ready when you touch it and the dent remains.

Bake the bread

Software

  • water

Hardware

  • a greased baking sheet

  • a food-grade brush

  • Punch the dough down and carefully divide the dough in half.

  • Shape each half into the traditional sourdough bread shape; round and slightly flat. Do not tear or rip the dough while shaping it.

  • Place the loaves in opposite corners of the baking sheet. Make three 1/4 inch slashes in the top of each loaf.

  • Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Brush the loaves with cold water

  • Place them in the middle of your oven.

  • Bake about 50 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. You need to brush the bread with water every so often, when it dries.

  • When you remove them from the oven, remove it from the baking sheet and let it cool on wire cooling racks.

Enjoy! :-D

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The personal blog of Christian Höltje.
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