In the past, you may have read that I don't consider myself a good baker of bread. I try and I continue to try to make the perfect loaf for Silent Bob's morning toast fix. Well, I don't want to jinx myself, but I am slowly getting better at this bread baking thing. I know. You're thinking, "Well, duh, with practice comes skill.!" You're right! I have been practicing and with the help of an on-line foodie friend, I have ventured into the world of sour dough breads.
A couple months ago, my foodie friend, Dom posted a sour dough starter tutorial. Well, it took me a while to work up my courage, clear a space on the counter and in the fridge for my own yeasty pet and get down to the business of making it a home. These things must be done delicately, you know! I found the perfect home at a consignment store ... a lovely little brown jar (actually a set of three!) that has a plastic lined cover. Then, with Dom's post from Belleau Kitchen opened on the computer, I read and re-read before jumping into the unknown world of airborne yeast.
Whole Wheat Sour Dough Bread - printer friendly
Yesterday, the 'little brown jug' was happily bubbling along and after reading Dom's subsequent posts and an excellent on-line tutorial from My Sister's Kitchen, I put together a sponge, made a fire in the kitchen woodstove to warm the space a bit, mixed a sponge/dough, and I walked away from the towel-covered bowl. I peeked a few times to make sure that there was some action going on, but other than that ... I left it alone.
This morning when I woke, I moseyed into the kitchen and peeked under the towel. PEEK! Whoa!
There had been some action over night. The sponge was happily swollen and bubbly! I was ready for the second rise! Using the same tutorial, I spread some plastic wrap on the counter and sprayed it with some olive oil, sprinkled a liberal amount of flour over the surface of the sponge, floured my hands well, scooped the dough around the edges to make it come away from the bowl's sides, and plopped the amoeba-like mass onto the plastic wrap. Then, I proceeded to scrape, wash, and oil the clean bowl. Using the plastic wrap, I folded the dough over on itself a few times - from side to side and top to bottom, - turned it off the oiled plastic wrap and back into the bowl, covered it back up and put it in the morning sun to begin its second rise. I walked away and got on with my day, but in the back of my mind were niggling questions. Had I treated the mixture too roughly? Would it take that gift of fresh flour and use it to rise again?
I had a lot of running around to do, so I got to it. While I did it, my dough was working magic. By the time I rushed in the door, it was perhaps a bit past its prime. See how there's a bit of wrinkling going on in photo below? I think that indicates the dough starting to fall off ... no more flour to feed the beast. I got the oven and pan going and got the dough into the pan. Then it was all about waiting and watching.
The casserole pan worked really well and when the bread came from the oven, it looked great ... a bit over-browned , but nothing that would take away from the overall taste! But ... taste?
Silent Bob wanted to cut into it right a way, but I nagged him. Wait! Just wait a bit! He was relentless and so he cut. Then, we had toast! It was moist, crunchy crusted, soft at the center and chewy at the edge. A bit sour and a bit salty ... yup, we had toast!
All of us! At 3 PM in the afternoon ... tea anyone? Goes well with toast!