OK... True confession time. This is the third time I started a "Sourdough Starter", the base of true sourdough bread. In the past, for various reasons, the starter just didn't seem right. From mold to bugs to just a bad funky smell.
Sourdough bread is time consuming to make. This version makes it just a little easier with a bread machine doing all the kneading. But it takes a week or more to get a "Starter" going (the sour base for the bread). But once starter, I have heard rumors of 100 year old Starters being used to bake. The starter is replenished each week and can become a treasured family gem.
This one worked for me!
The smell was just the right amount of fermentation, sour and yeasty. I made my starter a month ago. I have replenished several times, made a loaf every week and the starter now lives comfortably in a shelf on my fridge door. Every couple of days I give it a shake, every week I plan on making a loaf of this.
The taste is superb. About the most powerful sourdough bread I have ever had! I am slightly disappointed in the crust. Not smooth enough, not "Artisan" looking enough. I will be playing around with the formula, adding more fat, a little more sugar, etc and may come up with a better look. Will keep you informed. But for now... THIS WORKS JUST RIGHT!
If this is your first attempt at Sourdough, I recommend you take a look around the internet (Start with the Wikipedia Entry. It has lots of history, stories and hints to inspire.
I am sure I will do an update sometime in the future. But for now, this is more than good enough and deserves a spot on the Blog... And in your fridge door.
SAN FRANCISCO STYLE
SAN FRANCISCO STYLE
- FOR THE SOURDOUGH STARTER
- 1 Pre-measured Packet Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Cup Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees)
- Plus an additional 4 Cups Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- ONE WEEK TO 10 DAYS LATER FOR THE BREAD
- 1-3/4 Cup Sourdough Starter
- 4 TBS Butter
- 4 Cups BREAD Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Pre-measured Packet Bread Machine Yeast
- FIRST, TO MAKE THE SOURDOUGH STARTER - Dissolve the yeast in 1 Cup Warm Water (Be careful not too hot or you kill the bacteria). Allow the yeast to "Bloom" (bubbles start to appear). Then add additional 4 Cups of warm water, Flour and Sugar and stir to mix.
- Cover with a cloth and set aside, room temperature for 1 week to 10 days, until the mix has a sour fermented smell. Be sure to stir three times a day.
- Once the mix has fermented, achieved the sour smell, store in a two quart or larger plastic container and refrigerate until needed.
- TO MAKE THE SAN FRANCISCO STYLE SOURDOUGH BREAD - Add all of the ingredients (Sourdough Starter, Butter, Bread Flour, Sugar, Salt and Yeast to the bowl of the bread machine. Set the machine to the "Dough" Setting and allow to whirl.
- When the machine has finished, remove dough from bread machine and allow to rise for 2 hours. Put dough in large bowl, rub with a little Olive Oil and let rise room temperature until nearly doubled in size.
- Punch down dough and divide in half. Form two HALF DOME shaped loafs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush with additional Olive Oil, make slashes in the bread with a sharp knife. Cover and allow to rise a second time (about 30 minutes this time).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is dark golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.
- Serve Warm with Butter and ENJOY!
- To replenish your SOURDOUGH STARTER - add 3/4 Cup Flour and 3/4 Cup Water and 1 tsp additional Sugar to the remaining SOURDOUGH STARTER. Let stand at room temperature for 1 day and return to the refrigerator until ready to use.
- If you have not used the starter in 10 days, mix in 1 tsp Sugar. Repeat every 10 days until starter is replenished. Using this method, your starter will last a lifetime and will become a treasure to be passed down in your will.
- ENJOY indeed!
Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!
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