Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sourdough 101

I finally reached a point in my life... Where I feel responsible enough to care for a sourdough starter. It's easy: 1C water, 1C flour, 1 tsp sugar. I put it in the food processor and gave it a whirl, then poured it into a bowl. It sat on my counter, covered in a tea towel for a week. Then, I poured it all into a mason jar, and added another 1 C flour, 1 C water and 1 tsp sugar, and I keep it loosely covered on the counter for a couple days, then put it in the fridge until another week has passed. Each week, I remove a cup of the mixture and use it to make bread, and replace what I removed with the flour/water/sugar mixture above, leaving it out for a couple of days and then returning it to the fridge for the rest of the week.

To make the bread: take 1 C of the starter and bring it to room temperature. Pour it into a large mixing bowl and add 1/2 C warm water, 1 pkg of dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar or honey, 2 Tbs melted butter and mix. Add enough flour (5-6 C) to make a stiff dough, mixing it in 1 C at a time. Knead the dough thoroughly. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rise until doubled, punch it down and shape it into loaves, allow it to raise again, and bake it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. If you want to be fancy, use a sharp knife to slash the top of each loaf before allowing it to rise the second time.