Recently I caught an episode of “The Secret Life of Bread” on FoodTV.ca and was inspired to make my own Sourdough Bread. I am doing it with a ‘wild yeast starter’ which I am making on my own, with the expertise of several web articles. Below are some photos of my journey of wild yeast and sourdough! You ca tell it’s alive by all the bubbles…yeast is alive and it’s so cool. You have to try this!
So much for low carb, but if you are going to go carb, go big or go home! This recipe took some finagling but on the second round it turned out (I’d give myself a 65% so I still have a ways to go!). The texture was great (hard but chewy crust, and chewy inside – but it lacked the light airy texture of sourdough). And, there was little ‘sourdough’ taste…I’m guessing my starter hadn’t soured enough – I will try again as soon as this loaf is gone (2 days max.!)
Wild Yeast Starter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- In a sterilized mason jar, add flour and water and mix well (using a plastic spoon, metal may react with the yeast).
- Set aside in a warm area (70°F-80°F) and wait 24 hours.
- Stir well (several sites reco to discard 1/2, but I did not). I just added 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 water and stir well – make sure your jar is tall enough so the starter doesn’t ‘boil’ over.
- Repeat steps two and three for 3 days. My home obviously has a lot of wild yeast free floating around because my starter started to bubble within one day! When the starter develops a bubbly froth on the top, it’s done! A starter will smell sour or beer-like, this is normal. The longer you feed your starter the more ‘sour’ it will be and it will make your bread more flavourful!
- Refrigerate the starter with a loose lid (make sure it can breathe). Apparently the starter can develop a darkish liquid called “hooch” on the surface when refrigerated, this is not bad. Hooch will smell like beer but apparently it is not drinkable. If your starter is on the dry side, stir the hooch in, if wet, then pour it off. You will need to feed your starter once a week – by feeding, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.
Proofing the Sponge
Two days before you plan to make your bread, you will need to take the starter out of the fridge.
- Pour the entire starter into a clean glass or ceramic bowl. Clean the starter container.
- Add a cup of warm water and 1 cup of flour and stir well. Set this sponge aside in a warm dry place.
- The sponge will be finished when it is bubbly and has a whitish froth on top and smells sour – the longer you leave this the more flavourful it becomes.
- Your sponge is now ready for the bread.
Note: Proofing-time will vary; some starters can proof up to frothiness in an hour or two and some will take 6-8 hours, or even longer. Proofing overnight is a great time saver, particularly if you plan on baking the bread the following day!
Making the bread
- 1 cup Sourdough starter (pour the remaining starter back into a clean mason jar, remember to feed the starter 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flour, stir well and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours and then return to the fridge covered).
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- Soften the yeast in the water with sugar.
- Mix the remaining ingredients well in a glass bowl and let rise covered in a warm place overnight 12-18 hours.
- Preheat your oven 450°F. Put your enamel dutch oven including the lid into the oven to heat for about 1/2 an hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently gently fold in all four sides to create a small loaf (this is where you can get create and make a design – I am concentrating on perfecting the dough first!). The dough will be stickier than regular bread dough. Gently move dough into the hot dutch oven (careful…it’s really really hot!).
- Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and bake an additional 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Gently turn out the bread and allow to cool.
- Enjoy with sweet butter or like we did with mussels!