Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Pancakes

The sourdough pancakes which you make using the unfed starter are delicious and heavenly. They're so light, and have fantastic flavor. You can eat a whole stack of them (which I did) without feeling bloated.

For best "sour" results, try to retard the fermentation. The best way to do this is to make a good starter by leaving it outside for 3+ days, and by having a nice slow cool rise in the refrigerator.

The bread turned out very well; a slight mild sour tang with a light texture and superb crust.

Sourdough Starter

- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 cups Unbleached AP Flour

  1. Mix together water, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Stir in flour gradually, cover with a dishtowel.
  3. Leave out on the counter-top for 3-4 days. Yes, you read that right. Don't worry though, the yeast is very hardy, and we want to incorporate wild yeast cultures into the starter to give the dough its special flavor. It will be a tasty science experiment!
  4. After 3 days, refrigerate.
  5. 12 hours before starting the recipe, "feed" your starter. Ideally, you should feed your yeasts once a week, but once a month is fine too.
  6. Remove 1 cup of starter (reserve for pancakes), and add in 1/2 cup lukewarm water + 1 cup flour.
  7. Leave now-fed starter back in refrigerator until you need to use it.

Sourdough Pancakes

- 1 cup starter (overnight starter works fine as well)
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

  1. Mix together egg, sugar, salt, and oil.
  2. Fold egg mixture into starter. I was lazy and didn't bother to fold it, and the pancakes still turned out great.
  3. Add dissolved baking soda to mixture. Pancake batter will foam up, as the baking soda reacts with the acid in the starter.
  4. Pancake away- the batter will look slightly liquidy, but it's fine.

Sourdough Bread

- 2 cups FED sourdough starter
- ~ 1 cup lukewarm water (more, if needed)
- 4 cups Unbleached AP-Flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2.24 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sour salt (optional)

  1. Combine starter, water, and 3 cups of flour. Mix well.
  2. Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight, up to 12 hours.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
  4. Divide into loaves (do this step first, don't want to risk deflating the dough later). Cut diagonal slashes into top of loaf with serrated knife.
  5. Let rise for 1 hour. Put in container, cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate 12-24 hours.
  7. If baking cold dough right out of the refrigerator, then adjust oven 50 degrees higher during the pre-heating stage to 475 degrees F. ***Be careful, the max temp the Silpat can withstand is 482; best bake it straight on a sheet pan.
  8. Once the bread has been in the oven for a few minutes, turn down heat to 425 degrees F, and bake 25-30 minutes.
  9. Let cool on rack 10 minutes before cutting.
  10. Enjoy!

Sourdough bread version 2.0; still not sour enough.

But it was still tasty enough to eat most of the bread within a few minutes of cooling it. Texture was very good.


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