Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the sourdough adventure

This is where the culinary magic happens, people. Or rather the culinary DISASTER that was making sourdough starter.

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Exhibit A: tried and true sourdough recipe that my mom uses week after week (originally from Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette).

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Exhibit B: sourdough starter looking like sourdough starter should.

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Exhibit C: sourdough starter freaking out completely. This happened x 2. I’m not sure why because I actually measured and followed the directions this time. Maybe because my apartment is abnormally warm? You might try using a little less than 1 T of yeast…

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A starter is an easy way to have fresh bread at your fingertips without a lot of waiting around. Just mix up the bread (you only have to make the starter once) before going to bed and bake the next day after a short proof time. 

sourdough bread starter

Combine in a glass jar:

  • 1 T yeast
  • 2 cups of chlorine-free water (let a pitcher of water sit out overnight, and the chlorine will evaporate)
  • 2 cups of flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat)

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 48 hrs at room temperature, until it foams and develops a sour smell (for the record, my starter began erupting after 8-9 hrs, so watch it!). Place in refrigerator. Every time you use the starter, replace 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of flour and return to the fridge.

sourdough bread [2 loaves]

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  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups starter
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 cup water

Dissolve salt in a mixing bowl (non-metal). Add starter and flour and knead into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise overnight. In the morning, punch down and shape into 2 loaves. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 4 hrs. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes.

[Read about the benefits of sourdough bread in a previous post].

Fresh sourdough bread is awesome with black bean hummus.

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black bean hummus [adapted from Dreena Burton’s recipe]

  • 2 cups rinsed black beans
  • 1 small clementine
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together via food processor and enjoy.

Have you ever made sourdough bread or used a starter before? This has been quite the adventure, but it is homemade and non- processed, and that makes it worth it to me.

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28 comments:

  1. oh wow, that's awesome! what an adventure in bread making for sure! i've never made sourdough bread, but i love the flavor of it.

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  2. Making bread still intimidates me too much to try it!

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  3. Wooooo, great job! It looks scary that starter. I havent tried making sourdough yet because i was afraid not being able to get a good starter. I have to try your method now. :)

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  4. I've never used a starter! The bread (and hummus) look EXCELLENT though!

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  5. I've never made sourdough bread before, but it sure does look like it was an adventure, ha! I'm glad it finally decided to go your way :)

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  6. I may have to try this one. Seems like quite the adventure, but I'm up for trying it!

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  7. wow looks like that starter has a life of it's own!! bread making does look really cool tho!!

    and those crepes we got were soo good!! i've started going to the new lulu classes gain in frontenac & they're awesome. still as crowded as ever but at least the space is larger now.

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  8. Yumyy :) I love sourdough bread. I made a starter once with wild yeast. It takes about two weeks on the counter and it goes through a range of gross smells before it finally smells good. I was so excited when my first loaf of bread actually rose! And then a couple loaves later I forgot about it in the fridge and it died :( I really want to start again now!

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  9. i did NOT know that it was that easy to make a sourdough bread starter!!! there's this sweet potato sour dough bread i've been wanting to try (Spanish recipe)!!

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  10. Hehe I love that your sourdough is freaking out! Also, that loaf of bread looks beautiful!! :)

    Sues

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  11. Nice! We have been meaning to do this. The black bean hummus looks good too.

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  12. My mom makes a really good sourdough bread, but I've never done it myself! I really want to try making my own bread soon :)

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  13. I've never made sourdough starter, but it is definitely on my "to do" list. LOVE sourdough bread! I'm definitely putting this post to use in the near future :)
    Definitely let me know when you visit St. Louis. A Local Harvest lunch with you would be fabulous :)

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  14. seriously: good for you. i've always been too scared to try and make bread...well the kind that doesn't come in a box at least. i really should try because i LOVE sourdough bread!

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  15. I've never made sourdough before, but we're learning all about it in my experimental foods class:)

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  16. dang that sourdough looks AWESOME! i love baking bread from scratch but sourdough is one i haven't yet tried!

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  17. I think it blew up because your apt is so warm. Put the starter in a much bigger jar/bowl and then keep it in your refrigerator between uses.
    I have been too tired at night to make it - but this post is inspiring!!
    Yum!

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  18. I think I'll try making the starter. When we lived in the sub-Arctic I baked sourdough all the time but I was given the starter to work with.

    With your round loaf, was that from a round pan or did you just free-form it on a cookie sheet?

    Kidlet's renal diet allows sourdough and she loves it so...

    OK ... no need to be ascared. What's the worst thing that can happen?

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  19. I have never, ever heard of a clementine in black bean hummus or dip...wow that sounds so good I absolutely MUST try it!! I love sourdough bread too; such a great invention!

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  20. Ah! Sourdough starter attack ;)
    Love the bread picture and the black bean hummus, YUM !

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  21. This looks so good! I love sourdough but I suck at baking...don't know how it would come out.

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  22. Yikes, watch out! But the bread looks beautiful. I'm a bit nervous to make my own bread, although this makes it sound much easier so I may have to give it a go soon...

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  23. Well despite the disasters at first, it looks like the bread turned out great! I have never made my own bread, other than quick-breads, but I Will be using a "starter culture" soon when I make my own yogurt. I'm nervous! I am just using store-bought yogurt as my starter. One with a lot of cultures in it, maybe Stonyfield.

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  24. Whoa, sourdough is totally intimidating to me. I can't believe the starter erupted. That is terrifying! The loaf looks great though. mmmmm, I want some now.

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  25. Ok you really inspired me. After a number of weeks without any fresh sourdough I finally did it tonight. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow!

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  26. I love that you documented the mishaps! if I did that, i'd need a second website.

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  27. haha its a science volcano sourdough experiment!! wow the finish baked product looks FANTASTIC!!! and im equally impressed with the hummus that you can serve with it!!!

    btw i added you to my new blogroll- would love to be on yours too if thats cool with you too?

    XOXO <3

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  28. I've never made sourdough before. This is so cool!!! :)

    I love your blog! :D

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