Monday, April 20, 2009

Sourdough Bread

San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread,
from Bread Alone by Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik:

First make up a sponge and let it sit at 74 - 80 degree draft free place for 24 hours:
Starter - 2/3 cup
Water (dechlorinated) - 1 cup
White flour - 1 1/2 cup

Final dough:
Water - 2 cups
White flour - 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups
Fine sea salt - 1 T

*Mix final dough and knead it for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it ferment at 74 - 80 degrees in a draft free area for 2 1/2 hours in a large bowl, covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
*Deflate the dough by pushing down in the center and pulling up on the sides. Cover bowl with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm (74-80) draft free place for 30 minutes.
*Turn out on a floured area and knead briefly. Shape into a tight ball. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and put in a warm (74-80) draft free place for 30 minutes.
*Shape. You may divide the dough into two pieces and shape into two round logs or into round loaves (free form) or one large freeform loaf.
*Proof the loaves in a warm (74-80) draft free place till they rise 1 1/2 times the size - about 1 hour - on a floured towel.
*Preheat oven for an hour before baking. Bake an a baking stone at 450 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 425 for 20 minutes longer.
*Turn out and thump the bottom to test for doneness (sounds hollow) and cool on a wire rack for 25 minutes before cutting. Spritzing the oven at the beginning and each 3 minutes for the first 10 minutes will make a hard crust. One can use two conventional baking pans if desired.

My changes:
* used unbleached flour
* used regular table salt
* my draft free place was my oven w/ oven light left on since it was a chilly 24 hrs.
* just preheated oven in normal fashion
*divided into two pieces, too much dough for one loaf, mine made two large loaves

*proofed on the baking pan
*baked on heavy, jelly roll pan

Go HERE for good sourdough info, recipes and starter.