Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to make Sourdough

Today's tip goes out to all you Men out there. Women need to be romanced. Men always assume that equals money. Maybe you need a little bit. Maybe not. We just need to be reminded you are thinking of us.  A little goes a long way. One of the most romantic things I think you can do is recreate a romantic moment. Like your first date, first kiss, first time you make love etc... 

Romantic Tip: Pretend you’re going on a first date. Show up at the door with flowers, all dressed up, with your car washed and cleaned, looking great. Recreate the first date you ever took.

Now on to today's recipe.
My husband and I love a good sourdough bread. I see recipes for them all the time, but none of them tell you how to start from scratch. They just assume you know how to make a starter. So I decided to put down the whole process for you in one place for easy reference. Don't be afraid of the starter. It takes about 8 days to make the starter, so be patient.

Sourdough Starter:
adapted from All Recipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water

In large non-metallic bowl, mix together dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups all purpose flour and cover loosely.

Leave in a warm place to ferment, 6 to 8 days. Depending on temperature and humidity of kitchen, times may vary. 
When mixture is bubbly and has a pleasant sour smell, it is ready to use. If mixture has a pink, orange, or any other strange color tinge to it, it must be thrown out, and you will have to start over. Once you are ready to use it, Keep it in the refrigerator, covered until ready to use in a recipe.

When you use starter to bake, always replace with equal amounts of a flour and water mixture with a pinch of sugar. So, if you remove 1 cup starter, replace with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour. Mix well and leave out on the counter until bubbly again, then refrigerate. If a clear to light brown liquid has accumulated on top, don't worry, this is an alcohol base liquid that occurs with fermentation. Just stir this back into the starter, the alcohol bakes off and that wonderful sourdough flavor remains!

2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3/4 cups sourdough starter

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add milk and softened butter. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4 cups flour gradually, you may need more depending on your climate.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape and place on a greased baking pan. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, or till done.
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