Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let's Talk Bread: Sourdough

To start things off, let's talk about bread.

Sourdough bread, to be exact.

To me, sourdough is one of those things I crave when I want something a little more substantial than just regular white bread.

It adds a little zing to whatever accompaniment.

And also, its simple.

If you already have a starter (if you don't, some Google research should get you started) then  making this bread is only a matter of time.


Its just about waiting.

All bread comes from patience. You need to just let it be. Don't rush good bread. I start this sourdough the day before I want to bake it. That might sound tedious and like one of those things you have to plan, but it isn't. Take your starter out of the fridge, let it get nice and fresh (you can autolyse your flour and water while you wait), and then get started.

I do not have a recipe for this bread: I use a ratio. Basically, take whatever your weight is of flour and decide what percentage of the flour weight you want the starter to be. The higher the percentage, the more sour the taste. Please keep in  mind, that a little goes a long way. Don't jump from 50% to 70%. I used a 50% weight of sourdough to the weight of my flour. For the salt, a good rule of thumb is 25 grams of salt per kilo of flour. (Sorry no cup measurements here, people.)

I don't measure water (usually). Feel your dough and decide when you think it is ready. The dough should be a little sticky and should pass the window-pane test.

Once you have mixed your dough, put in a sprayed bowl, cover, and let it do its thing overnight. Take it out first thing in the morning, portion it, round it, and let it rest on the counter for one to two hours. Basically, you are just wanting to relax the dough. Eat breakfast or watch T.V while you are waiting. I then shape the dough into the final shape that I want, let it relax again in this form for about another hour, and then bake at 450, with some steam, until it is nice and dark.

So go forth, bake some bread, and enjoy your fresh-sour creation.
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