making sourdough bread
Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:54 PM
Makes one loaf
1/3 cup cold starter (It can come right out of the fridge, but mine is room temp)
3 cups flour
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Almost 1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Place starter, 1 tsp honey and 1/3 cup water in bread pan. Add 1/2 cup flour & manually blend until no dry flour remains. Mix with machine until mixture is smooth & uniform -- 5 to 10 minutes. (Assist blending by stirring into the corners of the bread pan with a rubber spatula) Let stand in machine for 4 hours.
2. Add 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp honey and 1 cup flour. Manually blend as in Step 1; then mix with machine again until smooth & uniform: 5 to 10 minutes. Let stand in machine for 4 hours.
3. Add the salt, 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp honey to the pan; then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix again to moisten all the flour before turning machine on. Let the machine knead the dough until it forms a smooth, slightly tacky ball. Assist the blending by scraping down the side walls of the pan and adding the scraped-off dough to the ball.
(If the dough still seems wet and "pasty" after a few minutes of kneading, sprinkle on another tablespoon of flour -- turning the machine off first to avoid spraying flour around.
(If the dough seems dry and crumbly after about 5 minutes of kneading, add a tablespoon of water and continue mixing until a smooth, just slightly tacky ball of dough is formed.)
Shape and put in a greased bread pan and let rise in a warm place for about four hours or until doubled. I make one cut down the middle of the length of the loaf just before I put it in the oven… this helps when it rises so the sides don’t ‘tear’.
Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. (I usually don’t pre-heat the oven, but you might want to experiment with it.)
5. Remove the hot bread pan from the oven and immediately shake the loaf out onto a rack.
Adding the salt last is important because salt decreases the yeast activity
I also made my own sourdough starter from water and organic whole wheat... I didn't add any yeasts.
It simply is this:
Place one cup of flour blended with one cup of warm water into a jar to begin your sourdough culture. Any wide-mouthed jar with plenty of room for your starter will work, but a clear glass jar is nice, since it allows you to see how the culture is developing throughout the mixture. Leave the jar in a warm environment, about 70 to 80° Fahrenheit (about 21 to 27° Celsius). Temperatures exceeding 100° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius) will kill the culture. There is no need to cover the jar, but if it looks dry, placing a cloth or paper towel over the mouth of the jar can help.
The next step in making your sourdough bread starter is to "feed" it once a day until it is bubbly throughout and has a pleasant, yeasty, beer-like smell. To feed your starter, throw half away and add another half cup of flour blended with a half cup water. It should be ready in a few days, but culture growing times vary widely. When the starter looks healthy, put it in the fridge with a lid on. There should be a little breathing room, so if you are using a jar with a screw-on lid, just keep the lid loose. (You can use a gallon zip loc bag also and just 'mush' the bag to mix. Remember to release the air every day that builds up in the bag.)
At this point, continue feeding the culture once a week. As it ages, you may not need to feed it as often. Once again, the bubbliness, scent, and consistency of the mixture are indications of how well it is doing. You can stir your culture as often as you like. A dark brown, alcoholic liquid known as hooch may begin to accumulate on the top of your sourdough bread starter, just stir it back in.
A well maintained culture can serve you for years and years.
Posted 04 October 2008 - 11:27 PM
and the sugar/nutrient?
Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:03 AM
but after that no yeast is needed,
just flour, water and some of the starter.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:45 PM
Sourdough starter is simply fermenting flour and water. It essentially concentrates naturally occurring yeast from the air so it can be used in baking. A truly good starter may be decades old, a continuous link to the time and person who originally started it. Most covered wagons had a starter tucked in among the supplies. It would be taken out to cook with at night and was a link between the old and new worlds. A starter can be dried and carried in a dehydrated form, and will be as good as new when water is added. Here is a basic sourdough starter recipe and instructions for the care and feeding of the starter. This recipe calls for yeast to be added, but a good starter can be had by just using the yeast that floats around in the air. Some say that the reason San Francisco produces such good sourdough is that the naturally occurring yeast in the air there is unique.
Mix in a glass bowl. Never use metal bowls or utensils with your sourdough. Cover and allow the mix to sit for 7 day, stirring once a day. After 7 days your starter is ready to use. Simply remove the amount asked for in the recipe and replace it with a water/flour mix in equal proportions. Allow your starter to remain at room temperature for at least 24 hours after using or feeding. If you don't use your starter at least once a week, it is necessary to 'feed' your starter. To do this, remove one cup of starter and replace it with 1/2 cup each flour and water and let it sit on the counter for a day. Your starter can be refrigerated or even frozen. Keeping your starter alive for a long time increases its potency, and thus its flavor. When you get a good starter going, you can share your starter with a friend by giving them half and 'feeding' what is remaining. Sourdough pancakes are the best food in the world.
- 2 cups lukewarm water or milk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:16 PM
sourdough pancakes are heavenly. They are light, tangy, melt in your mouth bites of pure delight. They freeze well, so a large batch can theoretically be made up and kept for awhile. Somehow, that never seems to happen at my house. They disappear as fast as I make them, and none ever seem to be left over. Hmmmm. To make these pancakes you need a good sourdough starter. There is a recipe noded here, and many cookbooks also have good instructions. Be aware that getting a starter to a usable stage takes at least 4-7 days, and the longer the starter has been active, the more distinctive the sourdough taste is.
Make the basic batter the night before. Put one cup of sourdough starter in a large glass mixing bowl (NEVER use metal bowls or untensils with sourdough) Add 2 cups of warm water and 2-1/2 cups of flour. Mix thoroughly and cover with a plate. Keep the bowl in a warm place overnight. The mixture should be quite active with fermentation by morning. In the morning, remove 1 cup of the batter and put it back into your original starter. This is called feeding the starter, and will help keep your starter active.
Add to the batter left in the bowl: 1 egg 2 TBS oil 1/4 cup dry milk Beat thoroughly and add: 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 2 TBS sugar Blend together and allow to rest for a few minutes. Then drop with a tablespoon onto a hot greased griddle. Keeping the pancakes to silver dollar size will keep the texture and taste better.
Yields 30 silver dollar pancakes
Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:18 PM
I discovered zgirl1's recipe months ago and immediately fell into gluttony. You see, several months ago the warm weather began, and my already infrequent bread baking dwindled to non-existence. Neglect of my sourdough starter became a guilty fact of life. How could I dump starter? Much easier to stop feeding it as frequently. Much easier to tell myself that the strong would survive and the starter would be all the better for it. Ah the lies we tell ourselves....
Then, I discovered these pancakes, and I realized that there was a way out of the dark realm of starter starvation. I began to feed my starter again. I began to believe that for once, I could nurse a batch through the summer without throwing any out or killing it outright. For once, I had reason to remember it lurking in the back of the refrigerator as the thermometer reaches for 90°F. I began to hope again.
One thing I realized upon attempting the recipe was that all starters must differ drastically, as my pancakes have not only never turned out the same way twice, but they've never matched zgirl1's description either. I've made these pancakes many, many times, and will be making them again tomorrow. In light of my experiences, I decided to post my experimentation and modifications as an assistance to other noders. Pancakes are one of the world's easiest foods to prepare, and this recipe is no different. There is little measuring necessary once one developes an eye for proportions, and the batter is forgiving. Think of this as a learning recipe and an exercise in faith. Learning to let go of kitchen anxiety, and a return to the simple joy of preparing easy, delicious food. After all, does it really matter that they are never the same twice, as long as they satisfy?
Ingredients: Yields approx. 40 4 inch pancakesapproximately 4 c. sourdough starter 1 large egg approximately 2 tsp. oil approximately 2 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt (or less) 1 tsp. baking soda additional flour and water as necessary The basic recipe is simple.
Place the starter in a large bowl which can handle about twice the volume of the starter. Whisk in the egg, oil, and sugar until well blended.
If the batter is too thin (and, at the beginning it will be too thin), add additional flour in small amounts and whisk until it forms a smooth batter. It should be thick and yet still somewhat loose. If the batter is too thick, add water and whisk until it is right. Yes, I know this is vague. If you've made pancakes before, this batter should probably be a wee bit thicker than you're used to. Otherwise, it will be trial and error. Luckily, the batter is easily ammended during the cooking process.
Once the batter appears to be the right consistency, start heating up a pan or griddle; seasoned cast iron is best, but any good pan will do. Coat the surface with a small amount of oil and set the pan over medium-medium high heat (this if for cast iron, if you are using a thin bottomed pan, heat it up after you get all the other stuff out, or else it may get too hot). Get out a plate for the finished pancakes, and a spatula for turning. Also, a big serving spoon or ladle for ladling out the batter. (You could also pour the finished batter into a pitcher or a large measuring cup, and pour directly into the pan. I don't mix the batter in a pitcher as my whisk wouldn't reach into the sharp angle at the bottom of a pitcher.)
Finally, add the salt and baking soda to the batter, whisk it in thoroughly, and watch the batter swell. A very acidic batter will react violently to the baking soda, and foam dramatically. This helps lead to impossibly light pancakes, although the strong reaction tends to be short lived.
When the pan is sizzling hot, begin ladling (or pouring) small quantities of batter into the pan. I like to make them about 4 inches in diameter, and generally not larger than palm sized. Smaller is, of course, fine. Keep in mind, the batter is thick, but still tends to spread. Try to avoid running the edges of pancakes together, and allow enough space for flipping them.
Flip the pancakes when the edges have started to set; they will be very bubbly, and the bubbles around the edge will have popped, looking like honeycomb. The pancake will still be extremely runny, which is why I don't make larger pancakes. The pancake is done when the bottom is a deep golden brown.
Sometimes, upon flipping, one edge of the pancake will tear and raw batter will ooze out of the breach, like a budding amoeba. This is perfectly normal, although it may indicate your pan is a wee bit too hot, and you've flipped it too soon. Just cook the pancake until the top of the puddle has set and it will be fine.
Add additional oil to the pan only as needed, if and when the pancakes start to stick a bit. I use very little oil, and only a few drops at a time, as too much oil tends to lead to less even browning of the pancakes.
This next step is why you get to relax. You see, no two pancakes are ever alike, they are constantly changing as each one is made. Because of this, you can adjust the recipe, tasting and tweaking as you go. Taste your first pancake or two. Not perfect yet? They can be, with just a few small additions. Here are a few problems I've discovered, which are easily solved:Are they pale and uneven in color? Too much oil in the pan, or the pan isn't hot enough, or is unevenly hot. Wait a little for the pan to heat up some more, or tweak the temperature up just a bit.Are they gluey, translucent and insipid? This comes from too much oil in the batter, and is made worse by undercooking. Add more flour (try about half a cup of flour, at first) and more water. Also, try cooking them for just a little longer.Are they distressingly thin? This is a sign that the batter is too thin. Add small amounts of flour until they come out right. Are they too dense? This usually means the batter is too thick and may have been worked too much, forming gluten strands. Try adding a bit more water to thin it down, and a pinch more baking soda. Are they too sour? The baking soda will neutralize the acidity of the starter, without affecting the scent. However, there may not be enough to neutralize the entirety of extremely sour starter. To adjust for this, add just a bit more baking soda. Be careful, however, as too much baking soda tastes terrible.Are they beautiful, lofty and dark brown, yet still raw in the middle? They are cooking too fast. Lower the pan heat a bit and try again. Cover any uneaten pancakes to prevent their drying out.
Thoughts, Variations, and OptionsCaveatI know I said it was a carefree recipe. However, you may notice that I have not made the salt and baking soda quantities terribly flexible. These are the only two ingredients I regularly measure any more, although I will sometimes measure the sugar as well. I do this because too much of either can make one's pancakes taste nasty; salty and with that bizarre baking soda flavor which (if you've ever encountered it) is as unmistakeable as it is unpleasant. It's better to err on the side of caution, and both quantities are right for a fairly wide range of circumstances. Don't worry, you can eyeball everything else!Gluten and Loft The leavening of the pancakes comes almost entirely from the baking soda. Unlike bread, an elastic dough is not the goal. Try to work from thin batter to thick, as stirring a batter which is very thick tends to build gluten strands. This will lead to tougher pancakes even if you thin down the batter later as these threads do not break down upon addition of water. On the other hand, tougher pancakes also tend to be impossibly lofty, the gluten catching the air bubbles as in bread. So if you like pancakes with a bit more chew, but are as much as half an inch thick, this may be something to aim for.FlourOn this note, bread flour is not ideal for tender pancakes. I generally use all-purpose white flour for any additional flour to my pancakes. My sourdough starter is a mixture of white flour and stone ground whole wheat (lately, it is mostly whole wheat). I have discovered that I prefer the sweet, mild flavor of white flour in the pancakes, as opposed to the more aggressive whole wheat. White flour also has texture differences to whole wheat, generally being a bit more tender. I find that using white flour is sufficient to offset the large amount of whole wheat in the starter, and create pancakes that are sweet, toothsome, and still have the fantastic, complex nutty smell of whole wheat. What you choose to use depends entirely on your own preferences.
An Embarrassment of Riches There are a few things you can do if this batter makes too much for one sitting. 1) They keep excellently for several days in the refrigerator. The microwave is the best way to reheat them without having them dry out. 10-15 seconds on high power for each pancake is a good starting time, adjusting more or less depending upon your microwave. 2) They also freeze extremely well. Place them slightly offset from one another in plastic bags, suck out most of the air to help prevent freezer burn, and stick them in the freezer. Offsetting them makes it easier to separate them if they stick together upon freezing. They are best used within a month. 3) Another option, if you like to make fresh pancakes frequently, is to prepare the batter as usual. However leave out the salt and baking soda. - Refrigerate half of the batter. Add half a teaspoon each of salt and baking soda to the remaining batter and cook as usual. - Use the chilled batter within 24 hours (adding half a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt just prior to cooking). The two batches will differ slightly, as the yeast in the chilled batter will still be munching lethargically through the flour, egg, oil, and sugar. However, as long as you keep the batter well chilled, the differences should be minor. - Even the math challenged should note that the quantity of salt and baking soda has simply been halved. Since most measuring spoons come with a quarter teaspoon measure, you could easily divide the batter into any variation of quarters, and add the appropriate quantity of salt and baking soda when it's time to cook. So, if you want a few to snack on today, and are having special guests over for brunch tomorrow (and thus want them perfect and freshly made), make a quarter batch today, and a three-quarter batch tomorrow. Etc, etc, etc.Buried TreasureBlueberry pancakes anyone? Or perhaps, chocolate chips and cinnamon? How 'bout some lightly roasted pecans, broken up into little pieces? Adding solid bits to the batter is only marginally more difficult than adding herbs or sesame seeds (or some such thing) to the batter. Tiny seeds, lemon zest (lemon poppyseed, anyone?), herbs, spices, etc. should be added to taste directly to the batter, and the batter should be stirred prior to scooping, if they settle. However, larger items such as berries should be added to each pancake as it starts cooking. Simple scatter 5-10 of whatever you are using into each pancake. If the berries are large, such as large blackberries or raspberries, cut them into halves or thirds, first. Fresh fruit is best as frozen fruit will mess with the cooking temperatures, and defrosted fruit is messy. However, if all you have is frozen fruit, defrost and drain them first! Otherwise, you will not be able to get the middle of the pancakes to cook in a reasonable amount of time.- Even when using fresh berries, the more berries you use, the longer it will take to cook the pancake, as the berries will absorb heat that would otherwise go into cooking the batter. Cook both sides of the pancakes a bit longer than you would normally. - Another neat addition is sweetened red bean paste, which can be found in Asian groceries. It's made of adzuki beans, and is a component of many Asian sweets. The best way to do this is to make oval pancakes, place a heaping teaspoon or so of the bean paste slightly off center of each oval, and let the pancake cook until most of the bubbles have popped. Then, fold over the pancake so that it forms a pocket or turnover. Cook a little longer to make sure it has set. These will be considerably darker than regular pancakes, and you may need to decrease the pan temperature to prevent burning. I have done this several times, and find it time consuming and a bit awkward. However, the results are truly delicious. And simply spreading red bean paste on a cooked pancake does not even remotely compare! It's definitely worth trying.Gilding the Lily These pancakes transcend the usual sweet association which dogs the traditional pancake, despite its varied antecedents. Because of the nose-tickling sourdough aroma and complex flavor which is neither sweet nor not sweet, these are addictive plain. I usually eat my fill while cooking them, sans any additions whatsoever. However, they are also equally delicious with both sweet and savory accompaniements. Sure, butter and maple syrup are stellar additions. As is jam, or fruit macerated in some sugar. However, consider trying these instead of bagels the next time you've got some cream cheese, tomato, onion, and lox. Or wrap one 'round a bit of sausage and a lettuce leaf for a quick sandwich. I happen to know that fried onions and mushrooms are a particularly nice addition. Let your imagination (and the contents of your refrigerator) dictate.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:26 PM
BY that I mean it seems to have more air pockets then compared
to other breads. Even if you knead the shit out of it.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:33 AM
whole grains can be pretty dense
Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:29 AM
Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:22 PM
Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:47 PM
Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:58 PM
One doesn't have to throw out half if he/she has room for a HUGE starter.
But after all, it's only a starter so there is no need for it to be very big.
And like men, the bigger the boy the more you're gonna have to feed him
and the bigger he will get...lol
I love sourdough bread.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:04 PM
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:06 PM
beats paying 3 bucks a loaf.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:19 PM
You ever think about making your own pasta too?
I want to get merm a pasta maker. Id like to get her
a good one that does not break the bank.
It's neat to make your own dough and then make all kinds
of different pasta. Fresh and/or dried for later use.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:29 PM
but right now my next target is
biscuits from scratch.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:35 PM
got me outa bed. Said she had breakfast and it was time to eat. MAN, home made biscuits. Only thing I can say that was bad...but it was still so good, was that she used Lard in the biscuits...weird. Not quite how mam-maw did it. But they were awesome tasting.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:04 PM
then just add water when you need it back