A Mom's Guide to Saving on Groceries

Sour Dough Bread 09/27/2008

Ok, so now that your starter is partying away on the counter, I figure I’d better get the sourdough bread recipe to you. Here is how I do it:

First thing:

Put 2 cups of starter in your mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer for this, like I do with all my bread dough).

Add 2 cups of water

2 cups of bread flour

3 tbsp. sugar or honey

Whisk this up into a thick batter. You just made more starter. Now let this set, and after a little while you should see lots of bubbling action happening. This means you are good to go! If you don’t see bubbles, that means you waited too long, or somehow killed your yeast. If this happens, just add a packet of yeast.

After an hour or so, it should get viscous, and be really bubbly (if you made yours like I do, with the quick-rise yeast). This is called a sponge, and I skip it a lot when I make regular bread, but it’s a good thing to do. It adds flavor and texture to bread. In this case, it’s absolutely necessary. Because with this, you will replenish your starter! It will last forever if you just keep feeding it.

Alright. First, we replenish the starter by taking 2 cups out of the bowl, and putting it back in with the starter you are now keeping in the refrigerator.

Now, you add the:

¼ oil

3 tsp salt

Enough flour to make a good, elastic bread dough.
I use my paddle until it gets so sticky I have to switch to the dough hook. Patience was never my strong suit, and this is just faster. At this point, you add your flour a little at a time, so you don’t overdo it. Um, if you do, add a few drops of water, and, poof! No problem. Let that sucker knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

I bake mine on parchment, as semolina flour is non-existent in the rural South. I guess I could order some online, but I like my parchment. So I form it into a ball by holding it and stretching the top down to the sides with my thumbs, towards the bottom. This forms a “skin” on top. I seal the bottom, and put the ball on the parchment on the baking sheet, slit the top so it can expand, and proof.

Cool way to proof: Turn the oven on to the lowest setting, warm it up and turn it off. Put boiling water into an aluminum pie pan on the bottom rack, then place your dough on the center rack. Just leave it there until it doubles, and then bake at 375 until crusty and golden, with the water still in there. It will sound hollow when it‘s done. Cool on a rack, not the pan, or you will have condensation on the bottom of your loaf.

We use ours for pizza, too! Really awesome.



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