Sourdough Bread

IMG_3863
My beautiful fish cutting board was made by my son David:).

I think making homemade bread is very gratifying.  I used to make bread in my bread maker…a LOT!  I mean, like once a week, a lot:).

I started making bread in my Dutch oven at the beginning of this year.  This no knead rustic bread is the easiest bread to make, and so delicious!  Check out my post on this amazing bread Herb No Knead Dutch Oven Bread. 

This brings me to this post on sourdough bread.  I have been seeing so many posts on Instagram and YouTube videos about sourdough starters and bread.  I knew it was something I wanted to make.  Remember when I said I wanted to challenge myself in my baking this year?  Well, sourdough bread, challenge accepted!

A few weeks ago my daughter asked me if I would like some sourdough starter.  Her friend had some discard that she wanted to share with me.  Thank you Emily Davis for sharing:).

IMG_3752
Let me introduce you to Van Dough:)

I did my homework on sourdough starters.  I was really getting all up in my head about feeding and discarding.  I couldn’t believe I was “afraid” of this fermenting beast!  I mean, making bread is supposed to be fun, right?!

After I received my starter I immediately put it in the refrigerator.  There it sat for about a week.  Every time I opened the refrigerator, there he was (I named him Van Dough), staring back at me.  Taunting me.  Mocking me.  “It’s just fermenting yeast” I told myself.  It’s like the fear I used to have about anything “yeast”.

I removed that starter from the refrigerator, and carefully followed the instructions that came with it.  Discard all but 25 grams and then add 50 grams of all-purpose flour and 50 grams of water.  There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Nope!

I feed Van with King Arthur all-purpose flour and water that is filtered from my refrigerator.  The first time I discarded and fed my starter, I left it on the counter and it more than doubled in size within a couple of hours.  I use the rubber band technique to keep track of this process.

IMG_3803

 

IMG_4298
Save that discard, there are some pretty awesome recipes to use it up…that’s a whole other post.

Check out my Sourdough pancakes recipe (you’ll be glad you did).

It was time to make my first loaf of sourdough bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (120 grams)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (240 grams) between 98°-105° F
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (27 grams)
  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour (377 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • Cooking spray or olive oil to grease bowl

Making the dough:

Make sure your starter is active by dropping a teaspoonful into a glass of water.  If it floats, it’s ready to use.  Not all bakers swear by this method, but it works for me.

IMG_3750
Look how beautiful and bubbly!
IMG_3751
Your starter will float on top when it’s ready.

In a large bowl mix your starter, water, and olive oil together.


Add the flour and salt and mix together by hand.


Form a ball of dough with your hand that cleans the bottom of the bowl.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to ferment. Cover with cling wrap and put it in a warm place for 12-18 hours.  I like to make my dough the night before and let it proof overnight.  This is called bulk fermentation (as explained by King Arthur Flour). Bulk fermentation (also called the first rise or primary fermentation) is one of the most important steps of yeast bread baking. It begins right when mixing ends and lasts until the dough is divided and preshaped. The name signifies exactly what it is: the step when the dough is fermenting in a large, single mass.  Thanks King Arthur Flour!

IMG_3804
This is my dough after 16 hours. Look at those beautiful bubbles!!

Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the counter (lightly flour the surface if needed) and fold the dough over itself.

On a flourless surface, shape the dough into a ball by pushing the dough against the surface, pulling it towards you to make it round and smooth.


Place the dough in a proofing basket that has been generously dusted with flour.  The dough seams should be facing you with the smooth side down.

IMG_3817

Cover proofing basket with a tea towel or cloth cover.


Proof the dough for roughly 2 -2 ½ hours or until the bread has risen to almost double in size.  Once the dough is well risen and feels almost lighter and not as heavy,  it’s time to bake it off.

Place Dutch oven (with lid on) in cold oven. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured parchment paper. If needed, you can carefully make it round again by pushing the seams underneath.


Score the bread on top with a sharp knife or scoring tool.  You can get fancy with this (in time I will), but I just make a single score.  This allows the steam to escape so your bread doesn’t burst while baking.


Turn down the oven to 400°F and gently place your bread into the preheated Dutch oven (be very careful!).
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  After 30 minutes remove the lid.  The bread will have started to puff up and will be a light golden color.

IMG_3828
You’re almost there. Look how pretty!

Continue to bake for 20-30 minutes until your loaf is a dark golden brown.  The smell that will be wafting through your house will be heavenly!

IMG_3829
How pretty is that?!!

Cool the bread completely before cutting.  Enjoy!!

IMG_0911
Congratulations! You just made sourdough bread from scratch!

I really hope you make this recipe.  If you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your pictures and hear some feedback!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herb No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

bread6

Happy New Year!!

As we begin a new year, I am looking forward to stepping outside the box with some recipes I’ve never tried before.  I also want to talk about some of my favorite recipes to make (and why they’re my favorites).

Some of my recipes will be sweet, and some will be savory.  I want to dig a little deeper into the science of baking.  What makes a recipe successful and what can cause them to fail.

That brings us to this bread recipe that you bake in a Dutch oven.  Whaaat?!!! Yes, you heard me right.  But, what I found even more fascinating, is the fact that you don’t have to knead this bread.  All you have to do is mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until it is combined, cover it with plastic, and let it sit for 12 hours (or up to 18 hours) at room temperature.  This recipe is time consuming, so you will want to plan accordingly, but it is the easiest bread to make!!

You will place the dough into a very hot Dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  As the dough heats it gives off steam creating a humid environment inside the Dutch oven.  The condensation on the surface of the loaf keeps the crust soft.  This allows the the loaf to expand until the crust dries (a dry crust is harder to expand). Steam also causes the starches to form a thin covering that will eventually dry out, giving the loaf a shiny crust that will stay crisp! Yum!!  Once the crust dries out and gets very hot, the sugar molecules caramelize.  This reacts with proteins to form the amazing golden brown color and wonderful flavor that make a delicious crusty bread.  Because of it’s thick sides, heavy lid, and small internal volume, the Dutch oven is the perfect environment to trap and create steam.

After the bread bakes for 30 minutes with the lid on and you take it off…oh dear!!  The look and the smell are out of this world!!  As you close the oven door and wait for this delicious loaf of yumminess to finish baking, the anticipation is off the charts!!

Then it happens; the timer goes off…it’s done!!!!!  I removed this golden bit of goodness from the oven…Oh, the aroma wafting through the house.

I was so happy my sister,  Kathy,  and BIL stopped by not long after the bread came out of the oven.  I was so happy to share this loaf of bread with them.  Mind you, my sister is an amazing cook and baker, so I was very happy that she approved!  We are going to their house tomorrow and will be bringing a fresh loaf to share with our nephew Gil (who apparently wasn’t very happy he missed out on our little bread snack…sorry Gil).

So, as I am sitting here writing this blog, I am anticipating the bread I will be sharing with family tomorrow!

I hope you try this recipe, and if you do, please post a picture and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi !

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour (420 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 ¼ cups room temperature water (295 grams)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (54 grams)

Instructions:

In a large bowl,  whisk the flour, kosher salt, rosemary, thyme and yeast together. Mix in the water and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to combine; making sure to fold the flour up from the bottom of the bowl, forming a shaggy ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for at least 12 hours (or up to 18).

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Place your Dutch Oven in the oven to heat up. While the Dutch oven is heating, uncover the dough and press down with your fingers. Put dough onto a lightly flowered surface. You do not have to knead the dough. You can turn the dough over itself a couple of times and shape into a round ball (or desired shape).   Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper brushed with olive oil. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with a towel and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

Take the towel off the dough and with a sharp knife gently score the top of the dough. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees.  Don’t forget this step…your bread will burn if you don’t!!

Remove pot from the oven and remove the lid (be careful…the Dutch oven will be VERY hot!!). Gently lift the parchment paper and place in the Dutch oven. Place the lid back on and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake for twenty minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown color (see picture).  If you’re not sure, an internal temperature of 190 degrees will tell you your bread is done.  Also, it will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!!