Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sourdough Success!

Remember this sourdough failure?

Flat, ugly, yucky...a total failure.
I gave it another shot. I think the last time I made this recipe I must have done it wrong. Maybe I skipped an important step or something. I don't remember letting it sit in the refrigerator for 12 hours. I think that's where it went wrong.

This time it turned out great!

The dough after 12 hours of refrigeration, added the remaining ingredients, and kneeded - just before the rise.
The dough had to be kneeded by hand. The stand mixer with the dough hook just wasn't cutting it. It seemed too dense and lumpy and the dough hook wasn't really contributing much by way of kneeding. Just banging it around in the bowl. After several minutes of hand kneeding the dough felt much more smooth and soft. It just needed (ha!) a good massage.

The rise is complete and the dough split into two loaves. Letting it proof for 3 hours.

Proof is complete and the top split. Ready for baking.

Baking is done. Looks delicious!

Nice and sour! A great loaf of bread.
I'm really pleased with how the bread turned out. It's delicious, and has that nice tangy sourdough taste I was hoping for. The texture is wonderful. A crunchy crust with a soft, moist crumb.

My only complaint with this recipe is the time it takes to make. There isn't much work at all in preparing the recipe, and each step is pretty quick and simple. But you really have to schedule 2 full days to fit in all the steps. I started Saturday morning at 7:00 AM with feeding the starter, and the bread was done Sunday night at 5:30 PM. It takes some planning and coordination. With the other activities I had planned for Saturday and Sunday I actually had to sit down and plan this thing to see how I can fit in each of the steps. Here's how it looked:

7:00 AM - Feed starter
4:30 PM - Begin recipe (5:30 PM actual)
8:30 PM - Refrigerate dough (9:30 PM actual)
8:30 AM - Complete recipe, kneed, rise (rise complete at 1:30 PM)
2:00 PM - Split and proof
5:00 PM - Bake
5:30 PM - Done!

There are a couple places in the schedule that can be adjusted plus/minus an hour or two, but otherwise you're babysitting dough for 2 days.