It’s rainy and cold here today. The kind of day where you wear fuzzy socks in the shape of animals (you know the one’s you get in your Christmas stocking?), snuggle with warm laundry out of the dryer, and bake bread…
And make spaghetti because its easy and it’s your husband’s favorite meal. However, I discovered early in marriage that you cannot have spaghetti without good sopping bread. You know…how you have to sop up the last of the sauce on the plate after all the noodles are gone? I didn’t know it had a name until I met Alex. If I really love him I make my own sauce. But alas, fresh tomatoes are out of season.
I managed to get a batch of sourdough kneaded between juggling the two kids. I usually like to make my dough while the baby is sleeping, but I forgot to grind my flour before putting her down-that usually wakes her up. Soo, I managed kneading with both kids underfoot. Elly is officially crawling and pulling herself up on things. So big!
Anyways. So while I was kneading the bread- I had the grand idea of making a savory loaf for dinner (with Spaghetti) and a sweet version for breakfast. So after kneading I made a mix of Parmesan, and Italian herbs and then a cinnamon sugar mix. I divided the dough and rolled out and topped the savory one with olive oil then the spice mix/cheese and rolled it up, plopped it in the bread pan. I did the same with the cinnamon sugar mix, but used coconut oil instead of olive. Then they will rise for a few hours. Yummmm.
K. So here’s the low down.
Sourdough BreadAdapted from gnowfglins.com s sourdough e-course
- 3 cups active bubbly starter (means you fed it a few hours ago and its all bubbled up)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 T salt
- 1/4 tsp conventional yeast (optional)- I added this because I didn’t have a lot of hours to let this rise because I started later in the morning. I didn’t use this last time and it was fine.
- 5ish cups of freshly ground flour
Making: Mix the starter, water, salt and yeast (if using). Add 3 cups of flour and mix with spoon. Add 1/4-1/2 cup increments of flour until dough is “shaggy.” I mixed with my hands at this point. Then let the dough sit for 15 mins or so to let the flour absorb the water.
Kneading: After 15 mins time, pull the dough out and begin kneading. I rarely add more flour- in fact sometimes I wet my hands with warm water to add a little moisture back in. Just gotta play with it. Knead for 5 mins. Let dough rest after first kneading to let it chillax for a few. Then repeat this process until you feel the dough ready. I ended up kneading for 15 mins . Note: this is hand kneading. If you had a stand mixer it would be a lot faster. However, as a caution, 100% whole wheat dough’s and stand mixers don’t get along to well…
Creating: Then the sky is the limit with the creative add-ins or toppings. I made my in like a swirl loaf fashion, but you could sure knead add-ins right into the dough! I would like to try to make a bread with some flax, millet, and sunflower seeds added in! Mmm!
Rising: Since this is a sourdough, the rising period will be longer. I place these in a warm location as it speeds the process greatly! Usually from 5-8 hours is normal. Although I am sure if it were a super nice warm sunny day you could get away with 4 hours or so. I put mine next to the dehydrator if it is running, in the laundry room, or warmed oven (just pop it on for a minute or two-don’t leave it on!!).
Baking: Bake the bread in a 375 degree oven for 50 mins. I will sometimes put the bread in the cold oven and let it rise a tiny bit more while the oven pre-heats. This is a trick that I learned in the e-course I did on sourdough!
Here we go. Yes.
Can you smell it?
I would highly recommend the e-courses that gnowfglins.com offers. I learned a lot about how I cook and prepare food through these series of courses. Her site is also very informative, even if you don’t do the classes!