Ah, nothing tastes quite like a nice hunk of sourdough, does it? There’s just something about that bread, from the hard outer crust to the chewy tangy inside… pure heaven! They say the best stuff comes from San Francisco, but unfortunately I’m pretty far away from good ol’ California, so I’m going to have to make due myself. Luckily I have a solution, I believe it’s time to go visit my Mother…
There she is, my Mother Dough. What is that, you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia:
[T]he mother dough is a fermentation starter used in bread baking. It usually consists of a simple mixture of flour, water, and a leavening agent (typically yeast), and is added to bread dough before the kneading and baking process as a substitute for yeast.
Now, my mother is special because I didn’t use any old baker’s yeast, rather I captured some wild yeast and gave it a place to live. The good Mr. Alton Brown explains the process pretty well (and I’m always entertained by sock puppets), so here is a two minute clip for you to watch (don’t worry, I’ll wait here):
Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your Good Eats interlude. So what did we learn from the video? Anyone? Yes, you in the back? …right! I’m glad you paid attention. What you should have learned from the video is that to get the proper “sour” taste from a sourdough you need to capture wild yeast so that you can take advantage of the bacteria it brings along with it. I’ll go into detail about the process and what I did in another post, this post, however, has to do with making the bread! So, let’s get to it. Ready? Set… bread!
Wow! That was fast! So you have some context, here is what you’re looking at:
- Step 1: Dough proofing in the bowl.
- Step 2: Dough getting kneaded.
- Step 3: Dough sitting out for a second proofing.
- Step 4. Dough formed, slit and getting ready for the oven.
- Step 5. Bread! Yum!
If you’d like the recipe, the bread I made is the Norwich Sourdough, except I substituted stone ground whole wheat flour for the rye flour. Very good stuff!
I hope you liked my attempt at a nice sourdough bread, and I hope it makes you give it a shot… it isn’t as hard as it seems!!