Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sourdough Bread

Special thanks go out to Brenda Reynolds, who shared this recipe with me. I took her class through Meet Up, with my husband and my mom. It was a lot of fun. Thanks Brenda!
 This bread is a multi-day process, but it actually requires very little active time. Most importantly, do NOT used metal bowls, and if possible, metal utensils, when making this bread. The miners used to use sourdough to clean their metal implements. Also, having damo hands when handling the dough makes life easier.

You will need a sourdough starter for this recipe. If you don't have one, you can make your own.

2/3 or 5 ounces of Sourdough Starter
2 1/2 cups OR 12 ounces of Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups OR 8 ounces Whole Grain Flour (wheat, spelt, rye, kamut, barely....)
2 teaspoons salt (I use kosher)
12 ounces water
3/4 cup OR 6 ounces of Add-Ins (sprouted seeds, grains, porridge, nuts, sauteed onions, roasted garlic, sliced olives....)
2 tablespoons soaked soaked chia seeds, optional
2 tablespoons soaked flax seeds, optional

Day 1: Time to Proof
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a non-metalic bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Choose either Step 2 OR Step 3.
  2. Turn dough every half hour, punching down each time.  Do this for a total of 4 times. OR
  3. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of bread flour on a clean surface. Dump the dough onto the flour and knead until elastic, 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Cover, and let sit out on the counter 4-6 hours. If you chose Step #3, add 2 hours. You should choose a draft-free location.
  5. Shape the dough into a loaf or rolls. Line metal pans with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. (if you are making rolls, I've found 4 oz of dough makes a good sized roll.)
Day 2: Time to Bake
  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you want to bake it.
  2. Preheat over to 400 for dinner rolls, bake for 20-30 minutes. 
  3.  Place a metal pan with water in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack as low as possible, just above the water.
  4. Make slits in top of the bread with a very sharp knife or a razor blade.
  5. Bake bread for 40-60 minutes, depending on loaf size. Use an instant read thermometer (200  degrees)  to test for doneness. Check the water pan half way through, tossing in a few ice cubes in if needed.
  6. Cool bread on a rack for an hour before slicing. Do not let it sit in pan for more than an hour after baking, or the bottom will get mushy.

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