Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sourdough Bread

I've got a jar of sourdough hooch in the back of my frig. I don't bake my own bread often, and I figured I needed to use and feed the hooch before it went much longer. I've had this one going for long enough that it's got a really nice tang to it now. That takes a while to really develop. The bread always tastes delicious, but it's more dense than I like. If I baked bread more often maybe I'd play around more with the first and second rising times - more or less on one or the other might produce a lighter loaf? Refrigerating the dough between risings is also a method in some recipes. And spraying the loaf with water periodically during baking is supposed to help produce a crisp, golden crust. I don't always do either of those things, but feel free to experiment...

Sourdough Bread
1 pkg yeast
1/2 C water
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/3 C sourdough starter
1/2 C vinegar
2 Tbls oil
3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl; let stand until bubbly. Blend in starter, vinegar and oil. Add flour, salt and soda until well blended. Let rise until double -- about 1 hour. Knead 3 minutes. Grease pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Put in/on pan; let rise 1 hour. Bake (400°) 30-40 minutes until dark golden in color.

Sourdough Starter
1 C milk
3 Tbls plain yogurt
1 C flour

Heat milk to 90-100°
Pour into a clean jar or bowl. Stir in 3 Tbls yogurt; let stand in a warm place at least 24 hours. After a curd has formed, gradually stir in flour. Cover and let stand 3-5 days in a warm place. Cover and store in the frig until ready to use. NOTE: if hooch turns pink, discard and start over with fresh ingredients.

After baking bread, feed leftover starter with:
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 C milk
1 C flour
Leave in a warm place for 24 hours before refrigerating again for future use.

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