Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sourdough Bread

So, my computer has been acting reaaaally funny. Which was all leading up to a big break down! AH! I had taken and edited and was attempting to publish the images to finish up the little elephant and my computer died. Halting all blogging, photo editing and well doing much of anything. I felt like I wasn't wearing my underwear. It was really a bad feeling. It is like leaving your cell phone at home. You dont really NEED it per se but you feel very naked with out it!

So Friday I was going to re-take the pictures so that I could re-edit them and type in all the instructions and lo an behold my crochet hooks are GONE! I am positive the babes have hidden them somewhere. I vaguely remember them giving me a "present" of crochet hooks (a birthday bag with random things from around the house, sweet and thoughtful) but not they are gone. SO I am headed to Joann today to purchase the hook I need to finish the elephant and attempt for like the hundredth time to finish this sweet little elephant! I may also be purchasing some faux leather (vinyl) for a project. That I'm not entirely sure you all would be interested in?! hmm....we'll have to see.

I thought I'd leave you today with a little recipe or tweaked recipe of mine for sourdough bread.

Let me start by saying I LOVE sourdough bread. I LOVE it even more when I know exactly what is in it and where it came from. I recently came across this recipe from Our Seven Dwarfs via Ucreate Food. I had all of the stuff on hand except potato flakes because I am firm believer that mashed potatoes should NOT come from flakes rather real potatoes. I ran out and grabbed some and made up a starter.

Dont mind the saran wrap "seal". This is a vintage Atlas jar
that I dont have a seal for. Nor do I know where to get one.
Basically just a rubber gasket. But the saran wrap does the trick!
Five days later I made my first loaves of bread. They were good. They had good flavor but they were WAY too dense. Not flaky and sort of crusty like sourdough should be more like a quick bread like banana bread or zucchini bread. I made one HUGE mistake and I will share it with you so you don't do the same!

I'm impatient, I didn't want to let the dough rise over night. See, I started the dough process in the morning (first mistake, not reading the directions entirely through). The recipe clearly says start your dough the night before. Which means take your starter out the morning before.

Five days later, I added my "feed" to the starter (3 tbsp potato flakes, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup warm water) in the MORNING! Then let it sit on the counter all day long. About halfway through the day you can see it start to foam up, just like yeast would! This is good, very good! Before going to bed I added the rest of the ingredients to make the dough.

This time I changed a couple other things. I used extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil, I reduced the sugar to to 1/4 cup. I added 1/2 cup of vital wheat gluten, and upped the starter to 1 1/2 cups.

My resulting ingredients list looks something like this:
1 1/2 cups starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or just virgin, this is what I had on hand)
6 cups bread flour (you could do half wheat if you wanted)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten flour
4 tablespoons of butter melted for the tops of the loaves when baking

Then I let them sit on the stove and rise ALL day long. You need them to double in size and my kitchen was sort of cool that day. I could have stuck them in a warm oven and let them "proof" for a little while. That would have sped up the process. But we were out and about having fun so really it was downtime anyway. Before dinner I put them in the oven. Then we had some with jam and butter, and some with cinnamon sugar and butter for dessert. BOTH were heavenly! It is also really great for sandwiches, just as long as you cut it thin enough. 

So head on over to Our Seven Dwarfs and check it out! 

I dont think I'll ever buy bread again. This is so easy to make and even though it is somewhat time consuming. Most of it is downtime. Alot of rising, sitting, and fermenting. The result is a really delicious bread that I feel good about feeding to my family. The starter will get more and more sour the more you use it, or the more times you "feed" it. 

If you aren't going to use your starter for bread that week you could either gift the excess to a friend to use or make sourdough pancakes. A friend of mine suggested them to me and the first attempt was just ok. If I make some that are any good I will let you all know. 

So, do you make your own bread? What are some of your favorite bread recipes?

Love and Hugs, 

PS. I'm not entirely sure why the font is funny at the end of this post. Blogger says it is the same as the rest of the text but obviously it isn't. It is also adding extra page breaks where I dont want them...whatever, it's still readable!


Karrie Wheeler said...

Ok friend! You have inspired me yet again, I'm gonna make the bread! I think I will try it regular the first time then do the half whole wheat way, wait.... I gave YOU my whole wheat flour I think! Hahahahaha! Guess I'll have to go buy some more- but I'll use it this time and not let it be in my freezer for a year. Miss ya, K

Our Seven Dwarfs said...

Jessica-I am so happy that you like the sourdough bread recipe. Way to go for making it your own as well. It can get addicting making this! I think I made 5-6 batches before I had to start giving it away or doing away with it for awhile. I too love Sourdough and this is great. Thanks again for featuring my recipe!

Jill of