Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Sourdough Project Day Three

This morning the sourdough is even more separated than it was yesterday. You can see a definite alcohol layer on top.

I think I will start stirring it twice a day. Some sourdough recipes call for feeding the sourdough regularly to keep it going. This recipe only says to feed it when you take away from it. I am planning to feed mine more often than that, but probably not twice a day.

The sourdough is smelling yeasty, but not really sour yet. The bubbling has nearly subsided. I think I will mix the sponge this evening. Here is the bread recipe.

Classic Sourdough Bread
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Making the sponge: Blend starter thoroughly. Pour one cup of starter into a glass or pottery mixing bowl. Replenish stater.

To the starter in the mixing bowl, add the warm water and about 3 cups flour. beat vigorously. Cover sponge with plastic wrap. Let work 2 to 24 hours. (The longer the better.)

Blend the salt, sugar and soda into 2 cups flour. Mix this into the sponge. When the dough begins to hold together, turn it out onto a floured board and knead 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour as needed to make a fairly stiff dough.

Give the dough a rest while you clean out and grease your bowl. Continue kneading 3 to 4 minutes. Place dough in bowl. Let rise 2 to 4 hours.

Knock down the dough and shape into 2 long french-style loaves. Place them on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet and let them rise another 2 hours or so.

Toward the end of rising, place a baking pan on the oven bottom, and preheat the oven the 450.

Slash loaves and brush with cold water. Pour 2 or 3 cups of water into the pan, put the loaves on the rack above the steam and bake about 25 minutes.

You can also use this dough to make pizza crust or pretzels.

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