Adventures in Sourdough Baking…

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So for the last few months I have been playing around with a sourdough starter that I made myself. She has had part of herself dried and flown across the country so my sister can make bread and other SD goodies and some went to my friend and daughter from another mother in another part of my state. I have learned all about the health benefits of sourdough and other fermented foods and have tried many recipes for pancakes, tortillas, frybread, biscuits, crackers, etc from the daily discard. Today, well the other day,  I adapted my recipe for half wheat, half white bakers yeast raised bread to a completely sourdough raised loaf.  I wanted to see how a long rise affected the rise and the taste. I started my sourdough bread baking adventure with THIS RECIPE from The Kitchn.  I have been a bread baker for years, but have been intimidated by sourdough for some reason. Well NO MORE, lol.   I will say here that I don’t use a scale. Mainly because I don’t have one, but also because I bake “by feel”.   So you may need more or less flour than this recipe calls for.

Oat-Wheat Everyday Sourdough Bread

Ingredients:
2 big spoonfuls of Sourdough Starter
4 cups of Filtered Water
3 1/2 cups of White Flour
2 1/2 cups of Wheat Flour
1TBS Salt
1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Oatmeal

Early Friday Afternoon- Noon-1pm
Levain(Sponge):
If you have been keeping your Starter in the fridge you’ll have to take it out a couple of days before you want to bake bread.
Feed it a couple times a day until it’s nice and active. If you keep it on the counter like I do, then you’re ready to start right now!
In a large bowl, put two big spoonfuls of Starter. Add 1/4 cup of filtered water and 1/2 cup of White flour.
Stir together to make a thick paste. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for a few hrs.
You’ll know it’s ready when a small amount dropped into some water will float.

Friday Evening- While making dinner
Dough:
When the Levain is ready, add 3 cups of water to it and gently stir to break up the Levain.
Stir in 3c. white flour and 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour, Stir to just incorporate flours.
Cover again with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to for an hour (Autolyse).
Mix 1 tbs salt, 3/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Set aside and Let soak.
After your dough has rested, pinch in your soaked salt/water/oatmeal mix.
Wet your hands and start a series of stretch and folds – 30 minutes between each.
Slash after the 3rd time to see if you have lots of bubbles forming.
If not, Stretch and fold some more.
When it’s ready, Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight(Bulk Fermentation).

Saturday Morning- While waiting for coffee
Check your dough, you don’t want it to overproof. Take it out of the bowl, divide in half and pre-shape into two loaf shapes.
Put back in the bowl. Cover and put back in the fridge.

Saturday Evening-
Check your dough, it’ll be puffy. Gently deflate your loaves and shape them up again
Put back in the bowl. Cover and put back in the fridge.

Sunday Morning Bake- Woo Hoo Fresh bread for breakfast!
Take out of the fridge, do your final shaping, put in greased loaf pans and let rise until puffy. This dough may not double.
Do the poke test if you aren’t sure. Poke your loaf with a finger, if it fills right in,
it’s not ready, if it stays open you’ve waited too long, reshape and try again. If it starts to fill in slowly, it’s perfect.

Get your oven good and hot – 450
Put a shallow pan on the bottom of the oven
When it’s ready, SLASH the tops of your loaves with a sharp knife, spritz a little water on top of them.
Put your loaves in and throw 6 ice cubes in the tray under them. Close the door and bake.
Add more ice if you need to in the first 15 minutes without opening the door too often.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until your internal temp is 190
Cool on a rack and try to resist cutting it until it has cooled at least an hour.

And that’s all she wrote!