Making your own sourdough bread: Day four

>> Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My sourdough starter is doing very well. This morning I woke up to it puffed up with some bubbles on it, I was so excited. It doesn't take much to get me going. Make sure you have fed your starter. See posts below or on left side bar if you would like to start your own bread starter.

If you have not seen any bubbles you should see it coming in another few days, so be patient. If yours has a frothy looking bubbles then you are ready. You can make your bread or put it in the fridge for safe keeping. Feed it and put it in the fridge. It was recommended to let the jar have a little air so don't put lid on tight just loosely set it on there. Feed your starter once a week. If it gets "hooch" don't worry about it. That is the dark color that can settle on top of the starter. If your starter is dry mix it back in, if your starter has plenty of liquid then just poor off the watery mix, it won't hurt anything.

I won't make my bread until the weekend. I am not putting it in the fridge yet so don't worry if you cant get to it until then. This is a basic recipe.

Step One: You need to make a sponge out of your starter. To make the sponge take your starter out of fridge and put in a large glass or plastic bowl, add 1 cup warm water and one cup flour and stir into your starter. Leave it in a warm place or overnight and let it proof or ferment. The longer the proofing goes the more sourdough taste you will get. When it is bubbly and frothy it is ready.

Step two: The recipe

2 cups sponge (proofed starter)
3 cups flour
2 T Olive oil or softened butter
4 t. sugar ( I have no idea if you can use a substitute, I will have to check on this)
2 t. salt

Take your left over sponge (proofed starter, feed it and stick it in fridge for next time. Make sure you jar/container is clean and even boiled water put over it to kill bacteria)

To the sponge add the oil/butter (they say this is optional but I am going to use it first to see if I need it. Add the sugar and salt. Mix well and then start adding a 1/2 cup of flour at a time. At this point you need to knead that flour in, you can use a dough mixer, a bread machine or like me your little ole bare hands. You want a nice flexible dough. Remember that flour varies so you may need a little less or a little more depending on your dough, use your eyes.

Put in a lightly covered bowl and let rise. Sourdough takes longer to rise and this could take an hour or much longer. It is done when you can poke a finger in it and it doesn't pop back. Punch the dough down...yeah that is right picture MY HUSBAND's face and punch it right down in the middle, and knead a bit more. After kneading a bit more make a loaf and put it on a lightly greased or cornmeal cookie sheet (or loaf pan) to rise again. You can slit the top and lightly cover to rise to double again.

Put this in the oven and set on 350 DO NOT PREHEAT oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes when done you should be able to thump the bottom and hear a hollow sound. Cool before slicing.

Tomorrow I will show you a picture of my starter. Go here to see another recipe and she says you can use honey instead of that is what I am going to use. She has pictures of making the dough as well.


Denise March 3, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

So when you get your sponge out, do you add the 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water again, or just put what is left in the fridge or on the counter ? This is your next starter right? So you start all over with day 1? Im confused and although I am fake brunette my blond moments still come through on things like these...LOL

Paula March 4, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

When you use what you need from your sponge but the rest in the jar and add 1/2 cup flour/1/2 cup warm water and put back in the fridge, it will continue to grow at a slow rate in the fridge. you can bake whenever you want again that week, if you don't get to baking then sometime during the week feed it once and bake the next week or so on, just make sure if you don't bake you have enough room in your jar for the growth, added flour/water.

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