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Homemade Sourdough Bread

Discussion in 'Cooking' started by Juice, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Juice

    Juice
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    This has been a hobby of mine over the past few months. If you arent familiar, the key to a good loaf is the starter. The starter is the pre-fermentation of the yeast that occurs ahead of making the actual bread. Homemade starters are pretty tough. I would cheat a bit go this route:

    Starter

    -1 packet of active dry yeast
    -2 cups of warm water (around 110-120 degrees)
    -3 cups of bread flour (I prefer King Arthur, but its up to you)
    -2 pinches of sugar

    Gently mix it up, cover it lightly with a dish rag and put it in a warm dry place. If it worked correctly, the yeast should start going apeshit within about 30 minutes, that means it working well. Mine looked like this the first time:

    IMG_3372.JPG

    Leave it alone for about 5-7 days. You should start to smell it before you even have to check on it, it will have a strong sour smell. It may also have a brownish liquid on the top of it. Thats actually fermented alcohol called hooch. Just mix it back in. Once the 5-7 days is finished, you can store your starter in the fridge with the rag on it.

    One thing to keep in mind is that since its a living organism, you need to feed it. Once a week, I would dump out 1/4 - 1/3 of a cup and add in 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of flour. Otherwise, the starter will eat itself.

    Bread

    Once youre ready to bake, combine, the following ingredients in a bowl:

    -1 cup of starter
    -1 1/4 cups of water
    -4 cups of flour
    -1-2 tsp of salt

    Mix it up by hand. On a floured surface, kneed the shit out of that bitch for 20 minutes, minimum. Keep adding dustings of flour until its not sticky to the touch anymore. Form it into a ball, and put it in a floured bowl, cover it with a rag, and let it rest/rise for 12 hours. This next part is optional, but I recommend letting it do a second rise. Take it out of the bowl (gently, you savage) and lightly kneed again on a floured surface. It may be sticking to the bowl, but thats okay. Just keep the form as best as possible. Put it back into the floured bowl and let it rise again for another 4-6 hours.

    Once youre ready to bake, preheat the oven to 475 (F). Put the starter into a cast iron dutch oven thats been lightly oiled. Cover it, and let it bake for 30 minutes. After that, remove the cover and put it back in for 12-15 minutes so it gets a nice brown crust.

    Once its done, take it out and put it on a cooling rack. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Dont burn yourself, idiot. After it cools, pick it up and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it worked. Enjoy.

    Some optionals:

    1) Again, you dont need to do the second rise. Just dont kneed it a second time and be careful not to ruin the proofing once you remove it from the bowl and do some reshaping.

    2) You can choose to bake it on parchment paper in the dutch oven (check the temp rating of the paper), that may prevent slight burning on the bottom.

    3) If you dont have a dutch oven, a baking sheet will do. It may not keep a great shape and you will need to keep your eye on it more.
     
  2. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Great recipe... and I've done something very similar, based on this:

     
  3. Whatthe...

    Whatthe...
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    Wait, you used commercial yeast for a sourdough starter. Technically that's not a sourdough as commercial yeast is a different strain than the wild yeast that's present in the flour. It takes like 10-14 days to get a good starter going and you should use whole wheat flour or dark rye is even better. You need the whole grain so there's lots of wild yeast present. Some people add pineapple juice to their starter in the beginning to help the lactic acid bacteria along. I've heard this can shave a few days off getting the starter going. Also be aware time and temperature are your two biggest assets. A couple of tricks I use: The oven with the light on makes a great proofer, and start a log book. Keeping track of starting temp, ambient temp, rise times, proofing times, etc really help.

    Ken Forkish's book "Flour Water Salt Yeast" is a great book to get started into bread making. He's all about long fermentation periods to really allow the flavours to develop. His Levain recipes are pretty good, but be aware that he calls for a lot of waste when feeding his starter (start with 1000g throw away 900g every feed). Which is odd because he runs a bakery and if he scales up that starter for his commercial operation it would kill his business. I halved his starter recipe and I usually keep about 200g in the fridge. Haul it out every 4-6 weeks for a feed. If I'm not making bread, I'll do up some sourdough pancakes, and then throw it back into the fridge.
     
  4. Juice

    Juice
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    Yeah I know, but thats almost a technicality and why I said it was cheating. The process still takes place and tastes like sourdough. I doubt anyone is opening a traditional bakery here.
     
  5. Aetius

    Aetius
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    Reminds me of

    He's a professional baker and has another great video of him working in a commercial bakery that's a lot of fun, but not a specific recipe.
     
  6. Whatthe...

    Whatthe...
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    I made some Pain Au Bacon sourdough last week and it was not terrible.

    Bacon Bread.JPG