Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Secret Sourdough Recipe (and method (and tips and tricks))

(Excuse the messy looking pans... let's just say they're, vintage.)

Are you as excited about this post as I am?! Today you get to find out how to make my Mom's legendary sourdough bread!! I can't wait to share it :) It's super simple and really fun. I remember how much we enjoyed helping Mom make it when we were kids - so I'm sure if you have little ones they'll love helping out. 

So where do you start? If you're like me and had no one to share a starter with you...you do this.
(Or, if you live in the greater Twin Cities area, give me a call and I'll set ya up. ;)

Yes, this stuff, the out-of-the-pantry-for-
emergencies-only potato flakes, in bread.
Trust me. 

Otherwise, here is the recipe for the starter. (from Just a Pinch)

1 cup warm water (I make it pretty hot - our hottest tap water)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes
1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) dry yeast

Mix together in large mixing bowl. I use this beauty...
(Yay, tupperware wedding gifts!)

Cover loosely and allow to ferment on the counter for two days.
I just sat the lid to my bowl on, without sealing it. You can also use a clean dish towel or wax paper.

After two days, it will be bubbly and foaming and wonderfully fermented smelling. Now...

mix together:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water (again, hot is fine)
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

Mix well and add to starter, then mix slightly.
It should look somewhat like this stuff...

Now let that sit out, covered loosely, another 8-12 hours. You're almost ready to make bread!
After the 8-12 hours, stir, measure out 1 cup for making bread, and pour the rest in a glass jar and store in the fridge. Like so...

Now you get to make the actual bread! Take your 1 cup of starter, and put it back in your bowl. 
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable, EEVO, anything tasteless)
1 1/2 cups warm (hot tap) water
6-7 cups flour
I usually start with 1 cup wheat, then add 5-6 cups all-purpose or bread flour. Feel free to mix it up and give different ones a try. Never know what you might find that works great - just make sure you come back and tell me! 

Mix all ingredients in your big bowl. I use a whisk, a wooden spoon, and sometimes my (clean) hands! 

Once your flour is incorporated, (you want your dough tacky, but not sticky)

 pat top with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cover (again) and let rise 8-12 hours. 

This is what it'll look like.

Punch it down and squish out as much air as you can. Am I the only one who thinks this is like, the funnest thing ever? Pure joy here guys. Call me crazy. 

Ok so now you want to divide it into three loaves, and put in greased loaf pans, like so...

It doesn't matter if they're not perfectly evenly divided. Or even if you don't have loaf pans. Bread tastes great no matter what shape it's in. :) 

Oil tops, cover, and raise another 4-6 hours. Once your loaves look nice and rounded up, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 30-40 minutes, until golden. If I'm doubting doneness, I use the upside down trick... Pop a loaf out of the pan, and if a tap on the bottom sounds hollow, it's done! 

Remove from pans and brush tops with melted butter. (Try to) let cool a couple minutes before you devour it! I hope you like it!! 

I'll post the printable recipe tomorrow... it's really a lot easier than it sounds. Anyway, it's past my bedtime right now! Thanks everyone :) 

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