August 10, 2020 | F.DICK RED SPIRIT KNIVES
Foodie Challenge: Making Sourdough Bread
Named for its tangy flavour, sourdough bread is uniquely delicious and dates all the way back to 3700 BCE. Experts speculate the first loaf was developed by accident when stray yeast microorganisms found its way into some dough that was left out in the open. The result? A texture and taste that is significantly different from conventional bread.
Under lockdown and stay at home orders, interest in homemade bread skyrocketed. Many of us tried baking our own loaves, with the myriad of recipes out there. No-knead, no-rise type instructions were ideal for beginners or those of us pressed for time.
Sourdough is a much more challenging undertaking because it requires several days’ prep in advance. Instead of putting yeast directly into the recipe, sourdough requires a starter, a bubbly, fermented mixture that you add to the dough to help it rise.
Here’s our take on a sourdough bread recipe, complete with an easy-to-make starter that anyone can tackle.
2 tsp of yeast
- 1 ¼ of room temp filtered water
- 1 TBS of sugar
- 1 TBS of apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
Day 1: Dissolve yeast in water, wait 5 -10 minutes add to a 3qt plastic or glass container along with remaining ingredients. Stir with a spoon. Cover loosely with a towel and let sit in a warm place.
Day 2: After 24 hours, add ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup of water and stir.
Day 3: After 24 hours, add ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup of water and stir.
Day 4: After 24 hours, add 1 cup flour and 1 cup of water, 1TBS sugar and 1TBS of cider vinegar and stir.
Day 5: After 24 hours, add ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup of water and stir
Day 6: After 24 hours, add ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup of water and stir.
After 6-12 hours, your starter is ready for use.
Day 7 and beyond: store any unused starter in the fridge feeding once a week. (discard excess if necessary) To feed, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup of water, 1 TBS sugar and 1 TBS vinegar. Leave out overnight and then return to the fridge.
After 6 weeks: Starter will be mature, and feedings are still once a week but can be reduced to ½ cup flour and ½ cup water, stir, leave out overnight and return to fridge.
To use, remove the amount of starter required the night before, feed and return the remaining starter to the fridge.
(Recipe from https://nanasbestrecipes.com/sourdough-starter-2-quick/)
San Francisco Sourdough Bread
Yield: 2 loaves
- 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 ½ - 5 cups bread flour
- 3 Tbsp white sugar or liquid honey
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp margarine
Put sourdough starter in bowl. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour. You can do this in your mixer to develop the gluten, or just stir in by hand and let tomorrow’s kneading process do the work. However, mixing well at this stage will help the dough achieve the elastic texture needed to rise.
Cover loosely with wax paper or damp tea towel, and let sit on counter overnight. This will create the “sponge”.
1. Add to sponge the sugar, salt, margarine, and 2 more cups of bread flour. Mix with wooden spoon or use bread hook of mixer. Knead in the remainder of the flour gradually (3/4 - 1 cup), 8-10 minutes by hand or 4-5 minutes in mixer. Dough should feel smooth and elastic, not sticky.
2) Shape into 2 loaves. (Regular bread loaves, or rounds.) Place into greased pans and grease tops. Set in warm place to rise till doubled in bulk - anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.
3) If desired for round loaves, you can score them, brush tops with egg wash to make them shiny, or sprinkle with cheese, seeds, or chopped onion.
4) Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, or till bottom of loaves sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on wire rack.
When you’re done, slice into your loaf of freshly baked bread with a good serrated knife to prevent crushing. Our favourites? The F.Dick 1905 8.5” Bread Knife is a perennial standby, while the F.Dick Red Spirit 10” Bread Knife boasts a longer blade with a bold red handle. The teeth on the blade help cut cleanly without crumbs, and it’s also great for tackling bulky or soft produce with ease.
Your starter is good indefinitely if you keep “feeding” it once a week. Use it to experiment with sourdough - you can make pancakes, rolls, add cinnamon, raisins, etc., for your signature recipe!