* Sorry this one is going to be photo heavy. But that's ok. It's BAKING DAY!
I woke up this morning so excited to bake. I had a busy day, but was easily able to work this bread in and out of my schedule. Now this is an old fashioned method of baking so it will take time. But the tasks are easily broken into your day. Alot of the time necessary for this bread is spent in waiting for the rising.
So how is your starter looking? This is what I found when I checked on mine this morning. Do you think my starter is healthy? Happy? It looks pretty happy to me.
The smell is still slightly sour, but only mildly so compared to a few days ago.
Put one to two cups of starter into a glass jar and seal. Place in the fridge for future use.
Here's what you'll need for your bread:
2-3 c. starter
2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 - 2 c. cold water
4-8 c. flour (I used 5 1/2)
Place remaining starter into bowl (I had 3 c.) and other ingredients.
Add 2 c. of flour at a time.
Now here's where I screwed up a little. We've been focusing on using glass bowls, but without thinking I threw mine into a metal kitchenaid mixer. From what I read, you want to avoid metal in the fermentation process as the starter can begin to taste metallic.
However, the mixing didn't seem to distaste the end product.
Cover with a clean cloth and allow the yeast to work.
My A/C was set on 75 degrees and it sat for about 6 hours.
Yeah! Look at how that yeast is working.
My reading said about 5 min,
but I only kneaded about 3 min.
Divide your dough into three parts.
Knead into 3 round balls.
Oops! There I am again with metal pans.
I'm sure you could use glass or even stone (Pampered Chef).
And I only had 2 pans,
so I divided the third ball into four
and made mini loaves.
Cover and allow to rise again.
This is what I had after 1 1/2 hours.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
I was very pleasantly surprised with this experiment. The bread came out wonderfully. The sour taste was just right for my taste. Not too sour, but definitely enough to know it was sourdough.
Now hang onto that starter. I'm going to be posting more sourdough experiments in the weeks to come. And in the meantime if you want to do some experimenting of your own, here's how to reactivate the starter. Remove 1 c. of starter the night before and feed it with 1 c. flour and 1 c. water. Cover with cheesecloth and place in a warm spot to rise overnight. If it's bubbling in the morning, your yeast has been activated and you're ready for baking. Just be sure to save some starter for the future.