Sourdough bread

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by billbixby, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    Listened to a podcast the other week. The guest was describing how he makes his own sourdough bread.

    Any of you do this? I'm interested. I guess you need a starter and a dutch oven.

    School me bread nerds :aok
     
    zzmoore likes this.
  2. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    OMG!!!! :(

    Instructions
    1. Make sure your sourdough culture is active: If your sourdough has been in the fridge, take it out 2 to 3 days before you plan to bake. Feed it daily to make sure it's strong and very active before you make the bread.
    2. Make the leaven (overnight): The night before you plan to make the dough, combine a tablespoon of active sourdough culture with the flour and water for the leaven. Mix thoroughly to form a thick batter. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, for about 12 hours.
    3. Test that the leaven is ready: Generally, if the surface of the leaven is very bubbly, it's ready to be used. To double check, drop a small spoonful of the leaven in a cup of water; if the leaven floats, it's ready.
    4. Dissolve the salt: Combine the salt and 50 grams (about 1/4 cup) of the water for the dough in a small bowl. Set aside, stirring every so often to make sure the salt dissolves.
    5. Mix the leaven and water: Combine the leaven and the remaining 475 grams (2 cups) of water for the dough in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or use your hands to break up and dissolve the leaven into the water. It's OK if the leaven doesn't fully dissolve and a few clumps remain.
    6. Add the flour: Stir the flour into the water and leaven with a spatula until you see no more visible dry flour and you've formed a very shaggy dough.
    7. Rest the dough (30 minutes, or up to 4 hours): Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. This is the autolyse stage where the flour is fully absorbing the water and enzymes in the flour begin breaking down the starches and proteins.
    8. Mix in the salt: Pour the dissolved salt over the dough. Work the liquid and salt into the dough by pinching and squeezing the dough. The dough will feel quite wet and loose at this point.
    9. Begin folding the dough (2 1/2 hours): To fold the dough, grab the dough at one side, lift it up, and fold it over on top of itself. Fold the dough four times, moving clockwise from the top of the bowl (or giving the bowl a quarter turn in between folds). Let the dough rest 30 minutes, then repeat. Do this a total of 6 times, every half hour for a total of 2 1/2 hours. The dough will start out shaggy and very loose, but will gradually smooth out and become tighter as you continue folding.
    10. Let the dough rise undisturbed (30 to 60 minutes): Once you've finished the folds, let the dough rise undisturbed for 30 to 60 minutes, until it looks slightly puffed. This dough won't double in size the way regular, non-sourdough breads will; it should just look larger than it did when you started.
    11. Divide the dough: Sprinkle some flour over your counter and turn the dough out on top. Work gently to avoid deflating the dough. Use a pastry scraper to divide the dough in half.
    12. Shape the dough into loose rounds: Sprinkle a little flour over each piece of dough. Use your pastry scraper to shape each one into loose rounds — this isn't the final shaping, just a preliminary shaping to prep the dough for further shaping. Shape them into rounds by slipping your pastry scraper under the edge of the dough and then scraping it around curve of the dough, like turning left when driving. Do this a few times to build the surface tension in the dough (it makes more sense to do it than to read about it!). Flour your pastry scraper as needed to keep it from sticking to the dough.
    13. Rest the dough (20 to 30 minutes): Once both pieces of dough are shaped, let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes to relax the gluten again before final shaping.
    14. Prepare 2 bread proofing baskets, colanders, or mixing bowls: Line 2 bread proofing baskets, colanders, or mixing bowls with clean dishtowels. Dust them heavily with flour, rubbing the flour into the cloth on the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Use more flour than you think you'll need — it should form a thin layer over the surface of the towel.
    15. Shape the loaves: Dust the top of one of the balls of dough with flour. Flip it over with a pastry scraper so that the floured side is against the board and the un-floured, sticky surface is up. Shape the loaf much like you folded the dough earlier: Grab the lip of the dough at the bottom, pull it gently up, then fold it over onto the center of the dough. Repeat with the right and left side of the dough. Repeat with the top of the dough, but once you've fold it downward, use your thumb to grab the bottom lip again and gently roll the dough right-side up. If it's not quite a round or doesn't seem taut to you, cup your palms around the dough and rotate it against the counter to shape it up. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
    16. Transfer to the proofing baskets: Dust the tops and sides of the shaped loaves generously with flour. Place them into the proofing baskets upside down, so the seams from shaping are on top.
    17. Let the dough rise (3 to 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge): Cover the baskets loosely with plastic, or place them inside clean plastic bags. Let them rise at room temperature until they look billowy and poofy, 3 to 4 hours. Alternatively, place the covered basket in the refrigerator and let them rise slowly overnight, 12 to 15 hours. If rising overnight, bake the loaves straight from the fridge; no need to warm before baking.
    18. Heat the oven to 500°F: Place two Dutch ovens or other heavy-bottomed pots with lids in the oven, and heat to 500°F. (If you don't have two pots, you can bake one loaf after the next.)
    19. Transfer the loaves to the Dutch ovens: Carefully remove one of the Dutch ovens from the oven and remove the lid. Tip the loaf into the pot so the seam-side is down. Repeat with the second loaf. (See Recipe Note if your loaf sticks to the basket.)
    20. Score the top of the loaf: Use a lame, sharp knife, or serrated knife to quickly score the surface of the loaves. Try to score at a slight angle, so you're cutting almost parallel to the surface of the loaf; this gives the loaves the distinctive "shelf" along the score line.
    21. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes: Cover the pots and place them in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
    22. Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F and bake another 10 minutes. Resist the temptation to check the loaves at this point; just reduce the oven temperature.
    23. Remove the lids and continue baking 15 to 25 minutes: After 30 minutes of baking, remove the lids from the pots to release any remaining steam. At this point, the loaves should have "sprung" up, have a dry surface, and be just beginning to show golden color. Place the pots back in the oven, uncovered.
    24. Bake another 15 to 25 minutes. Continue baking until the crust is deeply browned; aim for just short of burnt. It might feel a bit unnatural to bake loaves this fully, but this is where a lot of the flavor and texture of the crust comes in.
    25. Cool the loaves completely: When done, lift the loaves out of the pots using a spatula. Transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely. Wait until they have cooled to room temperature before slicing.
     
  3. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Hey man, I'm off to LaBrea Bakery to get a fresh baked loaf of sourdough for $4. Would you like me to pick you up anything?
     
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  4. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    too long, didn't bake
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Member

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    I had no idea that much went into baking a bread that just doesn't taste very good, imo. I live in SF, which is like the Mecca of SD bread. Every time I'm in a position to A/B several different types, SD loses every time.
     
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  6. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    lol. Thank you Mr. Bixby for the very thorough instructions. Any old bread flour will do, or do you have a favorite?
     
  7. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    Heh....
    Trader Joes has some SD from San Fran. Stuff is pretty damn good.
     
  8. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    That's not my recipe. I just thought this was going to be easy. I'm starting from square one here. My wife bought Wonder brand sourdough for our kid. It's got 5000 ingredients in it. Ridiculous. So, like anything, you want it done right, you got to do it yourself.

    Sourdough bread is the healthiest bread for you, as far as bread goes, based on my research.

    Just found this.

    "Before the advent of commercial yeast, most bread was made in the “sourdough style,” with its signature cavernous holes. Those holes develop during the process of fermentation, which traditionally happened, at the very least, overnight. During the fermentation process, good bacteria breaks down the gluten proteins, thereby reducing or even eliminating the gluten content all together.

    A team of scientists in Italy in 2010 showed that gluten content was much lower in breads that were made in the traditional, old-world style. The difference was so stark that celiacs in the study were able to consume the sourdough with no ill effects. (Could this be why so many of my gluten-sensitive friends do fine on bread and cheese in France or love the pizza in Italy?)"
     
  9. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    I've thought about making my own sourdough but the amount of time and mucking around always puts me off. I make my own ordinary bread quite a bit and my own pizza dough (which I've perfected and is nice and stretchy).
     
  10. Hanglow

    Hanglow Member

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    I make my own, once a week. Means over the weekend I get some really nice bread for cheese/pate etc then the rest of the week I get great toast. It's not sour though, my starter is just quite phenolic. Once you've got the starter going, it's really easy to use, you just need to be able to plan ahead a bit and time everything. Plus it's great for no knead dough, so you don't need a kenwood/kitchenaid or need to knead it at all. just fold a few times and that's it.
     
  11. fishleehooker

    fishleehooker Supporting Member

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    Sourdough is supposed to be the healthiest of the bunch, particularly those with the 'ol Gluten issues. Its much much lower in % of that. Mind, you I have only heard this, BUT from quite a few places. Gluten allergies, IMO are based on intestinal issues. Once those issues are cleared up, re-introducing sourdough could and should be the first bread to go with. As far as taste, I agree, but I prefer it as a dipping bread for sauces and chilis. Everywhere else, I agree.
     
  12. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    There is nothing easy about making bread from scratch. When I was into it I used to make my own yeast. Keeping fresh yeast is like having a pet, you have to feed it and take care of it daily. The properties of your bread, from the tanginess to the crumb structure and consistency are infinitely variable depending on many factors such as what type of yeast and how much, types of flour, mixing/kneading amounts, proof time and temperature etc...
     
  13. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Ive been doing it for a couple of years now. Made my starter (was lots easier than I thought it would be), used a few thin slices of grapes. After the starter is a year old or so seems is when it gets best, but man...it was good from the first time (just a month or so after making the starter) it's just even better now.

    Tastes fantastic. I just made six loaves a few weeks ago. Feeding it can be a pita at first, but I have that down now, takes about 15 minutes, once every week, I keep two jars of starter. One of them I took up to our cabin (they started from the same original starter) and fed up there and definitely different tast to each.

    The day you bake it, there is nothing like it...let it cool a little and taste it. Important points I discovered, it isn't THAT critical about the timing. As long as you have good rise in the starter, from fridge to good rise usually takes me a few three or four days of feeding once or twice, but what I mean about timing...from what I read about the rise times of the sponge, and finally the dough I would start in late morning and be up at two a.m. Baking them finally. Stick the sponge in a cold place, and return to it next day, works fine.
     
  14. DetSlicker

    DetSlicker Member

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  15. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    LOL. The issue I have is there's 50000 websites on making a starter. I guess I'll start with the 50000th one and work my way down.
     
  16. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    Is a baking stone absolutely necessary? $50 is 1/4 of a nice guitar pedal.
     
  17. navin johnson

    navin johnson Member

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    oh, NOW i get it. man, my wife sure is a sneaky one!!! she keeps trying to get me to eat healthy stuff all the time. i love sourdough, and now i see why she buys it so often. not because i like it, but to trick me into eating something good for me! oh man! i've been fooled this way for months now! on the plus side, now that i know the truth, i must have banked enough healthy points for a couple extra cans of fluff this week.
     
  18. billbixby

    billbixby Member

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    Hersheys bar, the big one. Jar of Fluff. G'damn sonnnn......
     
  19. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    In all seriousness Sourdough (and freshly baked warm bread) is delicious with Vegemite. Vegemite is a yeast extract from brewing so it goes perfectly with bread.
     
  20. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    Love home made sourdough, rye, multi-grain, coffee breads ... Finnish Bun ... breads.
     

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