Sunday, June 24, 2012
I have always had a problem with 'real' sourdough bread. Not a taste problem. Actually, I really like the sour flavor and the chewy texture. Uh, uh. my problem with 'real' sourdough bread is with the word real. I mean, to make it authentic, supposedly, you have to capture wild yeast in your kitchen and then feed the sourdough for a few weeks until it's ready to use. And, frankly, who has patience? Or time. Who wants to start the process today to eat great bread next week or month? By then, will I still be in the mood? Probably not. So I am bringing you a compromise solution. The taste is almost exactly like 'real sourdough. And the process just takes an overnighter. The yeast is regular commercial dry yeast (instant dry or rapid rise). The difference is in the time, of course and the amounts used. I have added chopped walnuts to give it extra punch. And also because walnuts in a slow baked bread are simply outrageously delicious. Take the time, you'll love it!
Here's What You'll Need:
for the starter
1 cup rye flour
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. instant dry yeast
Mix the yeast in with the flour, then stir in the water to make a rather thick slurry (wetter than a paste). Cover and let stand, at room temperature, for a few hours, or overnight. I mixed mine at 9 pm, then let it stand. It's now 9 am the next day and I am continuing.
1 cup whole wheat flour (or whole spelt flour)
1 cup AP or bread flour
about 3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Mix this into the starter, adding the water gradually until you get a rather sticky dough. Move the dough to a heavily floured surface and knead for a few minutes to make it smooth. You may have to add more AP flour as the whole wheat (or spelt) absorbs a lot of water. Towards the end of the knead, incorporate the walnuts into the dough until evenly distributed. Form into a ball, then place on a parchment paper on a baking tray to rise until almost doubled, about an hour or so. Slash the bread with a sharp, serrated knife or razor blade.
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C) about 20 minutes before baking time. Spray the bread with water before placing in the oven. You should bake with steam by placing a tray with boiling water in it on the floor of the oven just before baking. Bake for 35-45 minutes until wonderfully deep brown and crusty. You can make the bread even crustier, by baking on a baking stone if you have one, or at least removing it from the tray to the stone for the last few minutes.
BTW, the house will smell heavenly and I bet you can't wait for it to cool completely (on a rack) before slicing.
Posted by breadmanTalking at 11:31 AM