Sourdough bread (fresh starter!)

Sourdough bread (fresh starter!)

D found this recipe from the King Arthur flour web site about a no-knead sourdough.  Since I just made a starter again (see this post), I figured this would be a good first try.  I followed this site’s directions relatively closely and will put my slight alteration.

Ingredients

  • 225 g fresh sourdough starter (it wasn’t exactly fresh as I had fed it around 7 am and didn’t make the dough until about 7 pm…most things I read said you should start your recipe about 4 hours after feeding your starter)
  • 395 g luke warm water
  • 598 g bread flour
  • 15 g salt
  1.  I took all the ingredients and mixed them in a large metal bowl (I typically use a metal bowl for my baking…I know a lot of places say you should use wooden or plastic but I haven’t had any issues with rising).  I made it into a cohesive moist dough, covered it with my plate (that fits almost perfectly as a lid) and let it sit for 1 hour.
  2. Next I lifted the dough and then folded it over on itself (I just grab a piece from the edge and fold it to the center and then go around the edge of it to fold on itself).  I covered it again and let it rest another 1 hour.
  3. I repeated step 2 another 2 times (total of 3 hours) and folded it one more time after the last hour wait.  I then covered it and put it in the fridge.
  4. The King Arthur site says you can let it sit in the fridge for as little as 8 hours and up to 48 hours.  Since I started it on one of my work days, I was going to wait until my day off to bake.  I ended up letting it sit in the fridge for about 36 hours.
  5. On a well floured counter, I poured out the dough, formed a rough ball and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  6. I then shaped it into a boule and with seam side up put it in a well greased bowl.  The dough ball didn’t really rise much (which is what it said from the original recipe) but did spread out and relax.  I let it come up to temperature for about 3 hours (again it depends on warmth of your house…2.5 to 3 hours)
  7. About 1 hour before baking I preheated the oven to 500 F.  I put in my dutch over with the lid partially ajar to preheat as well (as this is my baking container).
  8. After 3 hours, I dumped the dough into the dutch oven, floured the top and made 4  cuts on top with a sharp knife.
  9. I replaced the dutch oven cover, put it in the oven and reduced the temperature to 450 F.  I baked it for 45 minutes covered.
  10. After 45 minutes, I removed the cover and allowed it to bake another 10 min (~10-15 min until internal temp is at least 205 F).
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Starter in the top left
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Wet dough ball after mixing everything
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After 1 hour resting
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Before 2nd folding
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After 2nd folding and rest
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After final folding
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Container that went into the fridge
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After 36 hours in the fridge
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Turned out on counter and resting
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After resting and coming to room temperature for about 2 hours
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Removed lid after 45 minutes of baking
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Prior to last 10 minutes of finishing baking without lid
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Final product
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Nice blistering on side of bread
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Rested for 4 hours before cutting
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Crumb.  Overall was pleased to see the air pocket development (wasn’t sure how it would do with just the starter)

Overall I’m pleased with the outcome of my first attempt at sourdough bread using just starter and no active dry yeast.  I really had no idea how it was going to turn out given my yeast wasn’t super freshly fed.

-StewsCat

No knead sandwich bread

Last week for our work potluck I decided to bring bread since it was easy for me to do and something homemade.  I had already done a trial run on some honey wheat dinner rolls but also wanted a backup.  On my fb feed I saw a posting from King Arthur about how 2016 was the year of no-knead bread.  Now originally when I started my baking endeavors, I started with the no-knead variety just due to the ease of it.  The following link came up the weekend before the potluck.  I really like that you can make this ahead of time and toss it in the fridge for up to 7 days without doing any additional work.  My scale also was on the fritz – which I figured out appears to be due to low battery.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups AP flour
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • ~2.2 tsp active dry yeast

Basically I mixed up all the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  After covering it with some saran wrap, I let it sit out on the counter for about 2 hours before putting it into the fridge.

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After mixing, before letting it sit for 2 hours on counter
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After 2 hours on counter

I made up this mixture on Sunday and pulled it out of the fridge on Tuesday evening to make for a Wednesday lunch potluck.  I like how simple the recipe is because after removing it from the fridge, I layed the dough out on my well floured countertop and shaped the dough (no kneading, no stretch and fold, no additional manipulations).  Since my scale was not working, I eyeballed the size of each roll.

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Each roll was dusted with some flour.  I covered the rolls and let it sit at room temperature for about 1-1.5 hours to allow it to rise/proof.  After this time, I checked the roll by depressing a finger into the dough.  The dough sprung back about halfway.  During the proofing, I preheated the oven to 450 F.  The recipe calls for using a pan in the bottom of the oven to create steam.  Rather than fussing with this and tossing in water into a hot oven, I elected to just use my water bottle sprayer.

Once the dough was ready, I took a knife and made some slash marks on top of each roll.  I placed the parchment lined cookie sheet of dough into the oven and sprayed the inside with 5-6 spritzes of water before closing the oven door.  Initially I let the bread bake for 10 minutes, then opened the door and quickly spritzed some more water into it.  I then let it bake for an additional ~13-15 minutes.

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As you can see, there were some creases that opened up on the sides of the dough.  This was most likely due to my not tightly rolling the dough balls into a cohesive ball.  Nevertheless I think it gave them a more homemade feel.  My coworkers raved and said the bread rolls were good – I didn’t end up getting to try one.

I also attempted to re-create the honey wheat rolls.  However, as described above my scale wasn’t working properly, I had to eyeball the ingredients with volume (measuring cups) rather than weight.  I also tweaked it slightly and so when I had my wife pull it out and start the stretch and fold process (as I had previously done: here), the dough did not come together like I had hoped.  It remained a very moist gloopy mess that you could not form.  In an attempt to salvage it, I put the wet dough into my loaf pan to see if it would at least attempt a rise.  Luckily the dough actually did rise somewhat (maybe 1 inch in the pan) and I tossed it into the oven and hoped for the best.  Overall it didn’t get the oven spring that you’d normally see but it baked well and actually had decent crumb.  Wasn’t my best effort but was still good.

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I’m excited to see what I will continue to try doing in 2017!

-StewsCat