Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Plain and Simple Sourdough Bread or Rolls

You have spent the last 5 days feeding and doting on your new born sourdough starter.  Speaking kind words of encouragement, softly whispering “please bubble” to it as you take an occasional peek.  The self-doubt surfaces after reading the comments of other peoples disasters.  You start questioning your ability to conquer this simple – flour and water concoction. And then… it works!
Henry (my starter) is a bubbling fool which makes me feel like a proud parent. It was time to put Henry to work.

I needed a successful loaf of bread that included my starter A.S.A.P.  Why? Because I have been going on and on about Henry for the last 4 days, concerned about his health and possible death if I didn’t give him the proper care.  After all that drama, the pressure was on.

I searched out recipes and all of them were for two or more loaves.  All I wanted to make was one to test out the recipe, not open a bakery.  Then I got this idea to look at bread machine recipes (those are for single loaves, right?) BINGO.  I found this recipe for Plain and Simple Sourdough Bread.  It fit the bill - it was easy and used up a whole cup of my starter. 

I repeated this recipe day after day for a week, until I owned it.  I had loaves of bread piled on my counter, each one missing 2 slices.  
How else was I going to check the quality? 

A shower cap and a couple of clothes pins make for a great cover.

If you are new to sourdough, 
I highly recommend that you start with this recipe to ensure success.

I also bake cluster rolls and individual rolls in cupcake liners that I brushed with butter when they came out of the oven (that's why they are so shiny).

Plain and Simple Sourdough Bread (1 loaf or 12 rolls)
Adapted from allrecipes

¾         cup      warm water (110 degrees)
1          cup      sourdough starter
1 ½      tsp.      kosher salt
2 ¼      tsp.      active dry yeast or a ¼ oz.-packet
2 ¾      cup      flour

Mix the water, sourdough starter, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.  Add 2 ½ cups flour; mix well until you get a shaggy dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-8 min. with the remaining ¼ cup flour (it could be more or less flour) or until you get a smooth elastic dough that is no longer sticky.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, flip the dough, so that the dough is lightly oiled all around; cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place (I put mine in the microwave-it wasn’t turned on)

Let rise until doubled.  (Mine took an hour)

Shape into a loaf on a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rise until the dough has risen to an inch above the rim.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for;
ROLLS - Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 - 30 min.

LOAF – Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 - 45 min.

Remove bread from pan as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Cool completely before cutting into the loaf.  Rolls can be eaten after a short 3-5 min. cool down.

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