Thursday, August 31, 2017

A New Unnamed Starter From Eastern Idaho

I have a new sourdough starter that's been in the works for the past few weeks now. It is mode from local wild yeasts found in my own backyard. I don't have a name for it yet.

It is baking in a bread maker I picked up in a thrift store for $3.

In a bread maker pour 1 cup starter, 1 cup bottled water at room temperature, 1 teaspoon salt (more or less) and 3 cups white enriched flour (not bread flour). Select Dough. Let it rest until it is done rising which is about 4 or 6 hours. Then select the medium white bread setting and Start.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Just Make A Batch of Sourdough Bread!

I am calling this post, Just Make a Batch of Sourdough Bread, because sometimes you need a little encouragement. We all need it sometimes.

I have been running low on some granules of Valentina's and Babo's San Francisco Sourdough Starter. My last post was of a batch of bread using Valentina's because I reactivated her and once ready spread the starter on a large plastic tray to dry and since Valentina's was now active I also made a couple of batches of bread and made pancakes too a few times.

Next I activated a batch of Babo's. In fact, right now I have four loaves baking in the oven and it smells oh so good. 

Valentina's and Babo's both come from San Francisco but they are different. Babo's needs a little more care after making the dough. I let the dough rest for twelve to fourteen hours in a cool environment of about 60-65 degrees F before dividing into loaves. I then let the loaves sit at 80 to 85F for a couple more hours before placing in the oven.

I use the same basic recipe for all of my sourdough starters:

1 Batch of Starter doubled in size 
3 Cups room temp water
1 to 2 Tablespoons Salt*
8 or 9 Cups Unbleached Flour

I combine all the ingredients in my Bosch mixer and let the machine run for ten minutes after the last of the flour is added. Pour 90 percent of the starter into the mixing bowl. You only need a little starter left in the jar when feeding it. I am not of the school that says to only use half. In my opinion that is ridiculous and can lead to weak starters. By using all but some scraps in the jar you are promoting healthy vibrant sourdough starters.

Then I remove the dough and place in a large plastic Tupperware bowl that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Then I place the lid on top but not sealing it and let the dough rise overnight. The next day I divide the dough into 4 or 5 round loaves and place on a tray that has been lightly oiled and sprinkled with a little corn flour. 

In my oven I have a Travertine tile from Lowes that I pre-heat to 450F. I also have a small cast iron frying pan that I pour in 2 cups of boiling water. Wear large oven mitts for this because you may burn yourself at this stage. Always be careful. 

I either transfer the loaves to the travertine directly or I just lay the tray I am using on top of the stone, add the boiling water and then close the door and reduce the temperature to 400.

Making your own homemade sourdough bread is very rewarding. If you would like to order one or all of my starters you can click here.

* Use of Salt for those on a salt restricted diet. Check out Chef Don's site for his sourdough recipes.

Pictures of today's batch of bread are coming.

Babo's SF Starter
35 Minutes in the Oven so far

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Restoring A Sourdough Starter From Long Term Refrigeration

Restoring A Sourdough Starter From Long Term Refrigeration

I like to store my sourdough starters in the fridge and I tend to do it long-term without feeding. Whenever I am ready to reactivate a sourdough starter I take it out of the fridge, stir the liquid on top back into the starter and scoop out a small spoonful. I then drop it into a jar and add one cup all purpose white flour and three quarters cup water which is about 70 degrees F. It will feel just barely cool to the touch. Then I stir it all together and loosely cover my jar and then place it in a good location that's not too cold. In this case I chose my mantle above the gas fireplace because it was about 65 degrees. My kitchen is about 50. For this sourdough starter I used tap water. Your use of tap water may get different results.

Look at the photo below. This is Valentina's after a day and a half! From the fridge it takes roughly 36 hours to become fully active. You can tell the starter is going to be ok because after 12 hours the sourdough starter is stringy. I stir it up and dump it down the drain leaving about a quarter cup still in the jar. I feed it and let it sit for another 12 hours. Then after 12 hours I dump out most and feed it again. within the next 12 hours it will be very active.

Click here for ordering info.

My Valentina's San Francisco Sourdough Starter.