Friday, April 17, 2009

Sourdough Bread

I became OBSESSED with sourdough bread after a visit to San Francisco last fall. I would weigh 900 lbs if I lived anywhere near Boudin Bakery. Their chocolate chip raisin sourdough bread is to die for.This recipe is one of my favorites. I am not much of a bread-maker typically, but this one is pretty hard to mess up, so I'm all about it. The hardest part is waiting for the starter to do its thing those first few days. But just WAIT until you smell your house after baking this. Oh man, is it great! (They should make a candle that smells like this.)

Here is my version of San Fran Sourdough:

Ingredients for Starter

1 TBSP fresh active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees, no more)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 TBSP sugar

In a non-metal bowl (think rubbermaid or tupperware), dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in the flour and sugar. Loosely cover the bowl and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 2-3 days. When ready, the mixture will be bubbly, frothy, and have a sour yeasty smell. If bubbles don’t form after 24 hours, start again, as your water may have been too hot or your yeast not fresh and active. Makes about 1.5 cups of starter.

Maintaining starter:

Once you have successfully prepared your starter, store it loosely covered in the refrigerator in a non-metal container. Most recipes call for 1 cup of starter, so you can replenish what you’ve used by adding ½ cup of flour and ½ cup warm water to the remaining starter. Return it to the refrigerator. Should you need more starter in a hurry, add the flour and water, then let it ferment on the counter for 12-24 hours.

Bread Ingredients

1 cup sourdough starter

1 ½ cups warm water

1 ½ tsp salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup oil

6 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease the dough lightly once you’ve formed it into a ball.

Cover with a towel and let it rise overnight. ( "Night, night, doughboy.")

The next day, uncover the bread. "Good morning!"

Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Divide it in half and place in two greased 4 x 8 bread pans or form into a ball on a greased cookie sheet. (Or pizza pan, in my case. Whatever's clean, you dig?)

Allow the dough to double in size. Admittedly, I let this rise all day. Mostly 'cause I forgot about it. (Luke is saying "Can I eat it yet?")

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until browned. Cool on wire rack.

You can also do this as loaves in pans. They bake up beautifully and slice well. These round shapes are called boules and they are great for making soup bowls, dip bowls, or just for cutting off a chunk when you want some.

Let me know if you try it!


Merry said...

The bread looks great! I've made sourdough before but I got tired of looking after my starter. I should start making it again for Evan, though. I love the idea of knowing exactly what's going in it.

Good luck with the recipe blog!

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

That looks really yummy! But so many steps...

Ya got any instant sourdough bread recipes? Preferably one that pairs well with hogshead cheese?

I'd bake THAT recipe.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I need to get my starter (kudzu) out and make something this weekend.
Maybe I'll try your recipe... thanks for posting it!

Torie said...

I'd love to try this sometime! I found your recipe blog from baby Hope's site that April's mom asked us to pray for. I have a food blog too, so come visit.

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