Saturday, November 13, 2010

Serious Dough

Do you know where your spoons are??? If these look familiar, please contact

Caring for your sourdough starter:
In a quart jar, mix 1/2 cup water (if it is chlorinated "city" water let stand in an open container for at least 24 hours before use), 1 cup flour, and all of the starter you brought home today.

Loosely put lid on jar and store in refrigerator until ready to feed it again and/or bake bread. It must be fed weekly by mixing 1/2 cup starter, 1/2 cup water, and 1 cup flour in a clean qt jar and returning to refrig. What's left after you take out 1/2 cup for replenishing is what you use for making bread or flatties.
Here's Angelina's rendition of how we made flatties at the workshop:

You start with what is left of the sourdough mixture when you remove 1/2 cup for the starter.

Add a dash of sugar
1Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
a handful of caraway seeds
enough flour to make it handle like bread dough

The mixture is very yeasty. And you should knead this dough a fair bit unlike the quick bread. Let it set for 10 mins to 2 hours.
Pinch the dough into balls and flatten or roll them into discs. Grill them on a cast iron skillet.

Here is a recipe for white sandwich bread adapted from Sara Pitzer's leaflet Baking with Sourdough published by Storey Publ.
In a large bowl mix:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 cup warm water
Let stand in a warm place for 10-24 hours til bubbly.
Heat 1 1/2 cups milk and melt in:
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
Let 2nd mixture cool to lukewarm then stir into bubbly starter mix.
Beat in approximately 6 cups white flour to make kneadable dough.
Turn out on floured counter, cover with damp dish towel and let rest 10-15 minutes.
Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in clean greased bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise until double in bulk (probably 2 or more hours).
Punch down and let rise until doubled a second time.
Knead it down and shape into 2 or 3 loaves (depending on pan size),
place in loaf pans, cover, and let rise til double.
Brush tops with melted butter. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes
until loaves are nicely browned, pull away from sides of pan, and sound hollow when tapped.
Wrap in towel to cool.

Mature wheat plants.
Round Irish Soda Bread and rectangular Basic Bread from today's workshop.
Salt available from Selina Naturally or from Debra for $5/pound.
Wheat berries from Lightning Tree Farm in Millbrook, NY available through Debra for $0.50/#.
For cheesemaking workshops see New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.