Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally...BREAD! (Day 7: A Sourdough Experiment)

You wouldn't believe it, but within about 3 hours, the white one had already almost double and the green was on it's way. I've realized that the key is more regular feedings! 

I had to do something, and I wasn't sure if I should just feed it again and leave it...but, if I did that, it would sure overflow while I was sleeping. So...I decided to make some bread! 

Given that my starter was mostly whole wheat flour (instead of unbleached white), it wouldn't make the ideal sourdough bread, but I felt like it was time!

The next couple batches will get whiter and whiter like classic sourdough

About 2.5-3 hours after the last feeding

Time to do something!

lots of bubbles!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm missing pictures on a few steps here. But, here's what I did. I took out 3/4 cup of my more successful starter (the white one), and placed it in a large bowl to make the dough for my bread. 

I added 2 cups of sifted, unbleached, white flour (spooned into the measuring cup instead of scooped, so it's not packed as tightly), and just barely over 1 cup of water, and 1 tsp of salt. The dough looked like a big flour-y mess. 

I then floured the counter, and kneaded the dough until it looked like this...Smoother texture, elastic-y and all the flour worked in. Then, I kneaded it into a round. I oiled a large bowl, put the dough in (coating all sides). 

notice the flecks from the whole wheat flour starter
 I covered it with plastic keep the dough from drying out, and a damp, dark dishcloth.

I let it rise overnight (about 12-13 hours). It about doubled or tripled its size.

Then, I placed it on a floured counter top, and kneaded it very gently. Just enough to get the big air bubble out. I formed it into a round. Once I put it on the counter, the dough lost a lot of its size, but that's ok because it was all air. I placed it on an oiled cookie sheet and covered it with plastic wrap again. (You're supposed to put cornmeal on the bottom, but I didn't have any.) I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and let it rise a little more (about 30-45 min).

Then, sliced a few hash marks in the dough with a super sharp knife. I baked it for just over an hour.

I sprayed the oven and the dough with a water about every 5-10 minutes to get the crispy crust. I'm not sure why the color on some parts is so light, but I think because of the whole wheat flour. Or, maybe I was spraying it too often.

Then we ate some! It was only slightly sour, but the texture inside was spot on. It was slightly chewy, and soft. Really good! I am amazed that after a whole week, I finally have some real bread...Yes!!!!!!!!

Oh and forgot to mention, the white starter is now in the fridge, and should only need weekly feedings instead of daily or twice daily. 

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