Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sourdough Starter

I've gotten my sourdough starter going again. I bought a great crock to grow it in & a starter. Then something happened with the starter & I quit. For a good 6 months. But I've got a new one & I made a bread last night!

My starter - before & after replenishing

Dried Yeast Starter

1 pkg active dried yeast
2 cups flour (unbleached white is my fav)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbs honey

Mix everything together in a non metal container. This will double or even triple so be sure you have room for it. I use a crock, but you can use a canning jar or a bowl. Cover loosely & let stand on the counter for a day or two. You'll see bubbling happen within the first 10 minutes, but let this wait for a few days to get 'sour.'

Feeding/Replenishing your starter
You need to put in about as much as you take out. There's no exact measurement to this - you just need to experiment. I used 1 cup starter, so I replenished with 1 cup flour & 3/4 cup water.

There's some great info here at KingArthurFlour. Its not where I bought my crock - if I remember I'll put the link in.

Sourdough White Sandwich Bread
1 cup starter
1 1/4 cups white flour (unbleached)
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
6 1/2 cups flour

Mix the first 3 ingredients & let stand 10 to 24 hours.
When you're ready to bake, heat the milk, honey, salt & butter. Cool to lukewarm.
Add cooled mixture to sourdough mixture & beat in enough flour to make a dough you can handle. Turn out onto a floured board and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. Knead until smooth & elastic. Don't skimp on kneading. *I used my KitchenAid with the dough attachment to knead & then hand kneaded for just 3 minutes or so.

After kneading, place in a greased bowl, spritz the top with cooking spray & cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm location & let double. Punch dough down & let rise again. (Each may take 2 hrs to rise) Knead dough into shape you desire & put in baking pan - I've been using my stoneware (Brad ordered these in at Hometown for anyone in Yakima!) & it is fab! You should have 2-3 loaves. Dough should fill each pan about 1/2 way. Cover with a damp cloth & let rise again.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

My dough - before baking but after rising. . . . and after baking.

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