Friday, December 18, 2009

Baking Bread - Sourdough #2

I made sourdough - official San Francisco sourdough - previously. Although my first attempt was unsuccessful, my second attempt was not bad. But, my second attempt was using the same starter and baking method that came with the sourdough starter I purchased from and was baked the very next day. I consider it a "do-over".

The next time I baked sourdough bread was before Thanksgiving. I don't really know why. I think I wanted to have some bread on hand in case anyone wanted some with the meal. We ended up not having any at all with the Thanksgiving dinner!

I did a major no-no by the real sourdough standards and added commercial yeast. (Gasp!) I followed the recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for sourdough bread. (There is also a recipe for creating the sourdough starter, but I just used my purchased starter.) I also was getting a little creative, and wanted to make some pretty rolls with the bread dough.

I would say this method of adding some commercial yeast made my impatient side very happy. The bread was made in one day rather than two, and there were only a few hours between rises, as opposed to 4 or more. But, it wasn't very sour. Perhaps I should have left the starter at room temp to ferment overnight? Or was it adding the commercial yeast? Hmmm. . . I will have to try it again with fermenting overnight to see if it ends up more sour. Another experiment!

Another thing regarding the crust of the sourdough - we like the crust soft. Before the loaf or rolls went into the oven, I coated them with melted margarine. Halfway through the baking time, I took them out and coated them again. I have noticed that the back of my oven cooks hotter than the front of my oven. So, in order to have an even browning, halfway through the baking time, I turn whatever I'm baking 180 degrees. This turns out to be a convenient time to cover the loaf or rolls with the melted margarine. Then, at the end of baking, I coated them a final time with the melted margarine.

I divided the dough in half and made a loaf with one half and Cloverleaf rolls with the other half.

The rolls looked homemade, lopsided and different sized. The sourdough loaf was gorgeous by my previous standards!

And, like I stated before, they were not sour really, but they sure were good! Happily, they were devoured.

My next attempt (Sourdough #3) at baking sourdough bread will be to use the Kneadlessly Simple recipe, which also calls for adding commercial yeast. Check out the author, Nancy Baggett, and her book at her blog site.

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