Quick like a bunny

Quick like a bunny

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Sour Dough Starter and Bread Chapter One

I wanted to learn how to make a sour dough starter and learn to make bread from it. It was an impulse from reading others blogs. I also missed my home area of Southern California and the Frisco sour dough bread I adored so much.

I did some Internet research and found a lot of ways to make a starter and bread. I will give you some of the websites. Sourdough and sour dough starter by Richard Packham ( I used his starter recipe/instructions). Sour dough home.com ( I used the bread recipe from here).

There is tons of information out there, just pick a few and go with it. I also learned after starting my starter that using rye flour to make a sour dough starter is quicker and easier. FYI to look into to.

Also found a great website called Breadtopia and it has great info. on managing your Sourdough starter

I began making my starter and on the 3rd day I had bubbles. On the 7th day not so many bubbles, but a very mellow, tangy smell. (Note: My mistake with not having enough bubbles was that I used a metal spoon to stir.) No metal what so ever in dealing with a starter. I just used  a plastic 2 quart drink container with lid that could be partly opened for the starter.

So now to make some sour dough bread. Recipe online from Sour Dough Home had these ingredients
1/4 cup starter
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
5 1/2 cups White Bread flour
2 1/2 cups water
2 tsp. salt

I mixed as directed and it got tough to where the mixing and kneading became one on the counter.

At this point I am having a new appreciation for the labor to make bread by hand.

O.K. I kneaded for fifteen minutes, but I could of done five more. Now I let the dough rest for about 35 minutes. Put it in pans to rise. I let them rise for 2 days because after 12-15 hours there was no rise happening. Like I said earlier, no metal. My metal spoon stirring slowed down the bubbly/rising part of the starter. Ug.

After the 2 days, I just put them in the oven at a pre-heat of 375 and baked for 45 minutes. What did I have to lose at this point. I also, the day before  and after realizing my dough was not rising, took out my newly fed starter and let it sit on the counter with top off for the day. Hoping to regenerate more wild yeast back to bubble my starter more. It did get more bubbles.

With not much of a rise, I was concerned that rocks would be my out come.

The smaller round breads could have been taken out earlier from the oven. They stuck to the pan and I had to chisel them out.

But inside they are soft and have a beautiful tang that reminded me of home. Over cooked, a bit. More bubbly of a starter needed, maybe. This is the kind of bread you eat with a hot soup, stew or even some pork and beans. A hardy bread for working people on home steads through out history. The sour in the bread is perfect. Making it myself is priceless.

Updated note: Husband likes the bread. That means I can include my home made sour dough bread into both our meals. I also read that chefs' leave their starters on the counter instead of putting it in the fridge. So I have placed my starter on the counter. It appears to be happier their.