(Part 2) Some of you jumped on the bread-wagon with me about a week or so ago when my friend Robin (hi, Robin!) and I began our sourdough starters, guided by Heather at The Kneady Homesteader. (Quick re-cap: We hadn’t gotten to the bake-bread-with-it stage yet, but we had a good amount of discard as we fed each day, so my family had a LOT of pancakes. As in, Anna doesn’t think she ever wants another pancake ever again.)
By about Day 9, I decided to try my hand at sourdough bread. My first attempt was Rustic Sourdough Bread from King Arthur Flour’s site.
The recipe made 2 loaves, so I did them freeform on a preheated stone in a spritzed-with-water oven (for steam — a better way is to put a METAL pan in the oven bottom with a handful of ice cubes to create steam, which gives the bread its crunchy outside crust). This was a good bread and a pretty enough presentation. (I am all about function—I TRY to make stuff look nice, but I’m more about taste and utility.)
Tried for a softer sandwich loaf
Next I made Kneady’s recipe (Heather’s recipe) for a sandwich loaf. I didn’t as much of a rise as I’d hoped, but the bread was good (those are sesame seeds on top). Her recipe makes a 13-inch Pullman pan and I had an 8-inch Pullman, so I divided the dough and made a smaller round loaf—apparently should have put more dough in the Pullman to give me a larger loaf. Live and learn….. But it did make yummy sandwiches…. (By this point, you do see how much bread I’ve got in my kitchen, right?)
The next attempt
The next attempt made several loaves I ended up trashing. (No judging. You didn’t taste it.) In all fairness, I think it just over-rose and got way too strong a sourdough tang. I let it rise overnight but apparently should have raised it in the fridge, in spite of the recipe calling for a room-temp rise. It got way too high and then started to fall while I hurriedly preheated the oven. (That’s really an oxymoron. You can’t hurry a preheat. It is what it is.) The loaf was soft, even the crust, but wow, that sour tang! Not our favorite.
Eureka! We struck gold!
Then I saw a couple different videos that showed a no-knead sourdough, and I realized they were pretty much exactly what I’ve done for years with a yeasted no-knead, but they made one substitution. Eureka!
I made the recipe using the same ingredients and process I’ve used for years in my overnight no-knead crusty bread, with one substitution: Instead of using yeast in the dough, I substituted 1/2 cup sourdough starter for the yeast and 1/2 cup of the water. (In a second version, I subbed 3/4 cup sourdough starter and 3/4 cup water. The point is that the starter is pretty hydrating as it is.)
Our regular sandwich bread will still be Vicki’s Bread Recipe from Everyday Cooking — my husband’s request. But this will be our new favorite way to make a crusty artisan-style sourdough bread….as long as I have my starter! But in a pinch and in a hurry, or without benefit of sourdough starter, the original no-knead recipe is still a winner.
See video tutorials at youTube (I’m not great at this–new medium for me–but I did want to get some video up for some y’all who asked)….
Part 1 Making the dough — Takes about 5 minutes (You need to have fed your sourdough starter a few hours earlier)
Part 5 Resting and baking the loaf
A few of my top picks for this post:
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(Note on the Le Parfait jar: I wanted a straight-sided-all-the-way-to-the-top jar in this size so I didn’t have a collar to stir under, but I didn’t realize till after I got this that the lid is ATTACHED — not sure how I missed that, but…..So I had my husband remove the metal parts so I have a lid with a top that sits atop it. It does not seal down. My preference for this purpose.)
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