Monday, August 29, 2011

My first Sourdough Bread


I had a slice of freshly baked sourdough bread for breakfast this morning with much satisfaction. I started the process by making the sourdough starter Thursday and by Sunday, it was ready to be used. On Sunday afternoon, I dissolved 4 teaspoons of yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water along with a tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of my starter and whisked it all together. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for an hour until it was increased in bulk and bubbly. I then stirred in 3 cups of bread flour, 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter and two eggs until smooth. I continued to mix on medium-low speed on my mixer for another minute. Two more cups of flour were added and beat for another two minutes. I switched to the dough hook for my mixer and gradually beat in another 1/4 cup of flour. The dough was kneaded with the mixer on low speed for 6 minutes. The dough was then turned out into a greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap and allowed to double in volume for about 1 1/2 hours.

I punched the dough down, formed it into two balls and shaped them into somewhat oval loaves which I put on a baking sheet, lined with my Silpat mat and sprinkled with a combination of flour and cornmeal. I loosely covered the entire pan with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

This morning all I had to do was heat my oven to 450 degrees with my pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. I made three slashes in each loaf and the sheet pan went in on top of the pizza stone for 10 minutes. The oven temp was reduced to 400 degrees and baked for another 25 minutes.

This bread is delicious although not very sour just yet. My starter should continue to sour with time which will yield even better bread!

What a yummy way to start the day!

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