Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So, Yeah, I Made Bread.

This post could have been titled "The bread that made me write excitedly to my dad and Andrew yesterday afternoon:

holycrapitactuallyworkedandnowsmellsfreakingincredibleandthecrustisallniceandcracklyandiwanttoeatitrightnowbutcantcauseithastocool!"

But it wouldn't fit.

The recipe for the decadent-looking sourdough loaf you see was I used was one I adapted from Baking Bites, and it made a beautiful loaf that even "sang" as it cooled and filled the house with such delicious smells that it felt like Christmas! It was (as you will know if you've been following my saga) my very first attempt at all-sourdough-raised bread and I could not be happier! It's a BIG loaf, so it will go a long way! Not bad for flour, water and salt, eh? I mean LOOK at it!!! I can't even start to tell you about the taste of this either - perfectly sour... you KNOW it's a sourdough but it isn't "smack you in the face with a bottle of vinegar" sour. I guess my area of "the dirty 'Shwa" as we call it around here has some darn fine yeast!

My starter (which I never named... don't know why!) is the ultimate mutt - I've fed it barley, whole wheat, rye, all purpose and even pastry flour in a pinch. It's now resting comfortably in my fridge, awaiting it's next application. As far as timing it's feeding, I was on a 24-hour schedule after the first week or so, though the past week instead of discarding half and feeding the remains I'd just been adding 1/4 cup each flour and water to it. No idea what that does to the nature of it, but like I said, it's a mutt. I don't really think you can kill starter unless you really try, but at any rate it performed even better than I thought it would! I used a towel-lined bowl for my banneton mould, and it gave the loaf that pretty texture. You can see where I got a little slash-happy, but when you don't have a lame to do it, a sharp serrated knife sure works! Thanks so much to DaviMack, Nic, and everyone at Grouprecipes who helped me out with my fears regarding sourdough!! A virtual hug, a slice of bread and a good glass of wine to you all!

Now, recipe time. I took the liberty of adding some inulin fibre powder to the loaf, upping the nutrients a wee bit and making the carb load a bit easier for my stepfather. Sourdough bread is inherently lower on the glycemic index because of it's acid content (68 compared 100 for non-sourdough bread) but the extra fibre never hurt anyone! Each teaspoon has 4.5 grams of soluble fibre, and I added 2 tbsp to this loaf. If you don't have it or don't want to use it, by all means leave it out. It doesn't affect the texture or the behaviour of the dough in any way (I use a brand that's non-thickening) and if the fibre content of the bread is important to you in the nutritional breakdown, 1/36th of the loaf has 1.5 grams of fibre without it. I just use it as a "cheat" way to make white bread, cake, etc with a higher fibre content.

Simple Sourdough Boule
Makes 36 servings, 1 huge loaf
1 cup fed sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 - 2 cups all purpose flour, as needed
1/2 tbsp salt

  1. Combine starter, warm water and bread flour in a large bowl, let stand for 8-10 hours.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of whole wheat flour, followed by the salt and remaining whole wheat flour (and the all-purpose if needed), until the dough starts to come away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead about 10 minutes.
  4. Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning to coat.
  5. Cover bowl and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2-3 hours (alternatively, cover and place in refrigerator up to 48 hours. Bring back to room temperature before proceeding).
  6. De-gas the dough gently and shape into a round.
  7. Place dough smooth-side down into a banneton or floured tea-towel lined bowl.
  8. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Preheat oven to 425F.
  10. Turn dough out of the banneton or bowl onto a greased baking sheet.
  11. Slash dough 2-3 times, bake for 35-40 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow on the bottom when tapped.
  12. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Amount Per Serving (about a 1-oz slice, with inulin)
Calories: 81.7
Total Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.7 mg
Total Carbs: 16.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 2.9 g

Thanks to Teaghan for her help in setting up the gratuitous "bread innards" shot!

And, if that's not enough happiness overload for you today, check out the first ever thing to come out of my garden this year! Yes, it's tiny (they don't get very big anyway), but it is indeed a White Sparkler Tip radish! Very spicy but very very delicious. That reminds me, I need to get out and weed!

8 comments :

Ricki said...

That's a gorgeous loaf--congratulations! I wouldn't even know where to get sourdough starter around here. . . but it looks well worth the effort (and time)!

kelly.dee said...

Lovely!

I've only ever made the 'Artisan Bread in 5' stuff but I would love to make sourdough. I have no clue when it comes to starters and feeding starters and what to do with starters though. :(

Chuck said...

lol, that loaf is great. Looks like some mask from easter island or something. Just great!

erin lou said...

So, you commented on my english muffin recipe a long time ago and I finally got around to picking back up on my blog so I wanted to say hi and also say that your bread looks SO good. I really need to try sourdough!

DaviMack said...

Congratulations! You're experimenting far more than I have with your starter, and I'm glad to see it!

To everybody: it's so easy once you get over the idea that it's not! It's just letting stuff go off, really!

oggi said...

Hi, you have convinced me to bake sourdough bread..I'll have to make my own or buy the starter somewhere. BTW, your boule looks divine!:)

Tim said...

Good Job!: )

Krista said...

I just made my very first attempt at sweet braided Easter bread tonight...it's super delicious! The reaction you had to your sour dough is exactly how I acted when I pulled mine out of the oven. There is not feeling quite like the feeling of cooking success! Congrats and im sure it tastes amazing!