HOW TO MAKE GOOD SOURDOUGH BREAD
Sour dough Bread dates back long before the 19th and 20th century. Many traditional European rye breads are made with this method. Sourdough gives a special sour flavour to bread that cannot be obtained in any other way. It can be added to any bread recipe, but is especially great in pumpernickel, rye, or sourdough breads.
I once had an older gentleman come into our store and tell us how his mother in Europe, always took a piece off the dough she was making and put it in a warm spot to let it sour and dry out. To use it she would just put it in warm water or milk to mix it in. We are going to talk in today's blog about the different ways you can make sourdough breads.
First a few ground rules for Sourdough Starters. Make a starter about three days ahead. At your first baking, save some starter for the next baking. Store undisturbed in the fridge in an airtight non-metal container. Replenish as instructed in the recipe before using. Bring it to room temperature before using in the next bread.
Simple Starter --Made from Dough--Save 1 cup piece of bread dough from previous bread. Brush with oil and place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise at room temperature. Punch down a few times a day, for a number of days (until the dough has a sour smell). Use this in your bread recipe. If you are not ready to bake sourdough bread, the starter will keep in the fridge for several months. but bring it back to room temperature before using. After you have used the starter in the dough mixture, save another 1 cup of dough and sour it as you did previously for future sourdough baking.
Sourdough Starter -Made from Scratch (from Eat More Whole Grains)
- Peel, dice and cook until very well done, two medium sized potatoes in 3 cups of water. Cool and puress in the blender to make 3 cups of mixture.
- Add 2 cups flour; stir well. Mix in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Place in a glass container and cover with plastic wrap. A clear glass gallon jug or bowl allows you to see the bubbles from the outside.
- Each day feed it with a pinch of sugar and 1/3 cup flour (I use whole wheat or rye flour)
- When the bubbles are about 1 inch thick, it is ready to use. Mine is often ready in 3 days.
- Save half the starter for future use. Repeat the above process by stirring in 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 Tbsp. sugar and 2 cups flour. You can feed this for a few days again as above.
- Use the other 2 cups of the starter in your bread recipe today.
- Please note that sourdough starter does not take the place of yeast. It is added to give flavour and texture to the bread
- If you are making whole grain bread, than use whole grain flours in the starter. If you are making white breads than use white flour.
How to Store the Sourdough Starter: Place in a non-metal air tight container in the fridge. It will keep much longer than anyone would think--we have used ours after as much as two months of total neglect, and fournd it sleepy but still alive. A black, watery liquid will usually collect on the top. Don't panic, it is merely oxidation, like potatoes turning dark aftery they are cut. Just stir the black stuff back into the brew.
If your sourdough starter has been dormant in the fridge and you are in doubt as to whether to use it or not, breing it to room temperature and double its volume with flour and water. Allow it to sit out a room temperature, stirring twice daily, until it bubbles up. Stir, and take a whiff--if the fragrance pleases you, it will certainly be good in the bread.
Normally, Sour dough starter can be kept in the fridge up to 10 days or in the freezer much longer. Bring it to room temperature before adding to the next batch of bread.
To Use the Sourdough Starter: When you want to use the sourdough starter in dough, always let it come to room temperature and give it a chance to bubble up, if it will ---allow the better part of a day. Replace what you remove with fresh flour and water before refrigeratin the sour again. For example , if you take out 3/4 cup, mix in 3/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup water, maintaining the pancake-batter consistency
Try one of our sourdough recipes in the Recipe section of our website.
Sourdough French Bread Recipe
"Extra Sour" Sourdough Breads: To produce bread that has an even greater sour flavour, try one of these tricks.
- Replace 1 cup of tow of the water with buttermilk or
- Replace a cup of water with sauerkraut juice