Sunday, December 19, 2010
A new starter is different. It's not quite as enthusiastic, and it's never as complex as the next few loaves. And it's unpredictable. The crust and texture from the first dough is not necessarily what it will be like for subsequent loaves.
After a while, the sourdough settles into the sort of starter that it's going to be from that point on. The first few loaves, though. are usually a little unpredictable. The crust, texture, flavor, and speed of rise can change from one loaf to another. After a while, though, it becomes more stable. You'll know what to expect.
This was the first loaf I made from one of my newest starters:
8 ounces starter (by volume)
4 ounces water
4 ounces bread flour
Combine these, mix, and cover until it's bubbling and rising. Figure at least an hour, possibly more.
8 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Knead (I used a stand mixer. Kneading by hand is fine, too) Add water or flour as needed to get the consistency you need. I added one more ounce of water.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with a little olive oil and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size. This took about 3 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Don't mash it to death - you want to keep the bubbles that have formed. Set the dough on a prepared baking sheet a peel and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until it has doubled, then slash the dough and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until the bread is nicely browned.
Need to know how to grow a sourdough starter? Look here.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.