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The Sourdough Results

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Posted on : 8:59 PM | By : Nic | In :

So I tried my hand at doing a very large batch of sourdough the really old-fashioned way. I borrowed from my own book's instructions (which I suppose is my own opinion, lol) and from Two Frog Home's sourdough starter instructions, among other things I've read on the internet. I got a medium-sized white ceramic crock from a second-hand store with a fairly heavy lid for a few dollars. Then I proceeded to put in a cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4 cups of water, basically the same as Kathie's above.

I followed hers fairly closely, except that I never put it in the fridge, and I failed to feed it ever 12 hours when it reached that point. I basically fed it once a day for five days (still doing a wash after day 2). Then I took out a cup of it to save for later, and made the entire batch into as many loaves as I could, rather than measuring off 2 cups of it. I also didn't let it rise for 12 hours - the yeast was pretty powerful and it only sat for a couple of hours before it began to overflow the big bowl it was in, so I went ahead and punched it down and formed loaves and let them rise for four more hours while I had a nap with Autumn.

Then I started baking each loaf on a big cookie sheet, which made big round fairly low loaves. They took about 35 minutes to bake. In the end I have three large, very traditional, 100% whole wheat sourdough loaves. They are very sourdough-tasting, very hearty, and thick.

They are pretty ugly, and I imagine that even though this is exactly what bread tasted like on the prairie 100 years ago, I bet they were better at making it look better, lol. I popped a couple of the loaves in the freezer, so I won't take a picture, as they are nothing to be proud of cosmetically. But its amazing how bread has changed since then. Next time I would add in some white flour just to lighten up the heavy texture, and I would time the 12 hour rising time for night. I felt like I was in a bit of a hurry to get it done... what if I let it rise overnight and had a baby and wasted the dough in the morning? So at least I have some loaves of bread in the freezer for later.

Another thing I read in the book I was reading this afternoon (the Preserving book) was that I can roll the starter into balls, put them out in the sun or in the dehydrator to dry, then grind them up and make dried yeast (which you would store in the fridge just like the store bought stuff). Sourdough seems so miraculous to me, lol. Maybe I am just easily entertained.

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