Sunday Sourdough Bread
Okay, so it's Sunday and not Saturday. The reason for that is it is an all day process that you need to start the night before. Well, I always forget therefore, I start Saturday night.
Feed your starter Saturday night. Click here to read my recipe on making Sourdough Starter.
Look how nice and bubbly it is. Shame on me. Pretend the rim is nice and pristine like on HGTV.
Add enough flour and bottled water to fill your jar half way up. Stir. It should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. You don't want it any more than half because it will double in size. I place a coffee filter over the top, secure with a rubber band and leave it on the counter over night. It inevitably overflows and makes a mess on my counter. I just smile and say, "good starter, good starter."
Since I''m writing this on Labor Day, here is the underpaid workers sans olive oil.
In your mixing bowl, add 5 cups flour and 2 generous teaspoons of salt. You can switch it up a bit, which I often do by using two cups white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup of smelt, and 1 cup of rye flour. No, it will not taste like rye bread. Mix lightly so as not to throw your starter on top of the salt and shock it to death. Then add 2/3 to 1 cup of your starter. Make sure you reserve some starter.
Then add 1 1/2 cups tepid water and mix with a dough hook. I let it go about 5 minutes and let the machine do most of the kneading for me. Your dough is perfect consistency when the sides and the bottom of the bowl are almost clean. The dough should be slightly sticky.
Sorry all, no picture. I was running late for church. Throw the dough on a lightly flour dusted counter and beat it up a bit. Put about 1 tbsp. olive oil in the bowl and swirl it around. Place the dough in the bowl and make sure there is a light sheen of oil on it. Place the bowl in and area where its reasonably warm and cover with a dish towel, or where I'm from a T-towel. This is where I cheat. I sprinkle some water on the T-towel and put the bowl in the oven with the light on. This really speeds up the process. It's in the oven usually about 3 hours.
Let sit until it doubles in size.
Told ya mine was super starter.
Either spray your loaf pans with Pam or whatever, or you can use one of these bread proofing bowls like the big boys use and roll some corn meal or some flour around in it.
Take your dough and be a little gentler with your kneading folding the dough over itself. You'll hear some little bubbles popping. Place "pretty side" down in the proofing basket with the T-towel over it. By this time, I'm tired so I let it rise in the over with the oven light on. It goes really quickly. This will go much quicker than the first rise.
When it's raised adequately, remove from oven and let it sit on the counter in the bowl still covered with the towel. Place your dutch oven with the lid on in the oven at 500 degrees. Let the pot heat up with the oven. When the oven has reached temperature, remove the towel and cover the bowl with a piece of parchment paper and invert the bowl. Then place the dough with the paper into the dutch over, put the lid back on and put it back into the oven. Reduce temperature to 450 and set the timer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and put back in the oven for another 25 minutes. Careful, my crust often times gets a little well done. I can't trust Siri anymore. She doesn't alarm me.
Remove from oven and take out of the dutch oven and cool completely. Your dutch oven has now become you new BFF.
I let it cool completely, cut it in 4's and use it that way. Fits better into the gallon storage bags and lasts us all week. If any left over, make croutons, or feed it to the chickens.