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