It has been a crazy 2 weeks since my last post. I really don’t even know where to start. Maybe with the speeding ticket I got today. Or yesterday when I left my work laptop at home and had to drive 30 minutes back to my house to get it and then back to work… in the rain. What an amazing hour and a half!
Last week I worked at least 55 hours. I also found out the earlier Saturday my sister is getting married in less than a month and she desperately needs my mother and I to help with all the planning since she lives in Northern California and the wedding will be in Orange County. I created a wedding website. I compiled her whole guest list. I got her to a dress shop and found a dress on the first try! I think I’m in line for sainthood for the miracles that happened this past week!!!
Also, my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and i are on a break as of 2 weeks ago…
And last but not least, I started a GMAT class (just because I wasn’t busy enough)! a 3 hour class + 20 hours of homework a week is kind of a full time job. What have I gotten myself into? This is going to be a fantastic 9 weeks! Please forgive me if I fall off the blogging radar.
At least I have carbs. They make life worth living, and thank heavens I still have time to eat them. Maybe I should stop… after all I have a bridesmaids dress to fit into in 3 weeks. But I made a fantastic sourdough recently. I ate more of it than I should of, but it’s awesome!! I have been swearing my the Tartine country loaf for the last year + and decided it was time to branch out.
I downloaded a Peter Rienhardt book on my iPad. It’s pretty interesting, mostly because he has more than 1 type of starter, or barm. That pretty much blew my mind. He swears by a firm starter for his sourdough, and now I do too. Not only, did this produce a more sour flavor than the tartine loaf, it is easier to work with because there is less water in the dough. The one thing that does bother me is the lack of consistency in the units of measure, so please forgive me if it annoys you as well.
I love how this bread turns out. It has an amazing flavor! a must try for any bread lover.
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
2 cups (16 ounces) sourdough starter
12.5 ounces firm starter (half of the batch)
3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon malt or sugar
1 cup water
If you do not have a starter, I talk all about mine over here. It is from the Tartine bread book and is very easy to start and maintain. Mine is a little over a year old!
- To make the firm starter, mix the starter you keep with the flour. add a little water if necessary to make it one cohesive mass.
- let rise for several hours, or overnight in a cool environment (I prefer over night to get a more sour flavor).
- To make the loaf, measure out the amount of firm starter, and mix with the water, flour, sugar and salt. I have been doing this my hand, but I think a kitchen aid with a dough hook should be used. Because the starter has such little moisture it is a bit harder to blend into the other ingredients. I love mixing doughs by hand (and my kitchen aid is kept in a very high cabinet so I only get it down when making marshmallows) but this could be an exception. I ended up turning it out onto my counter and kneading it a few times to get everything to come together.
- Next, lightly oil the vessel your dough will rise in, place the dough in there and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let rise at room temperature for several hours until it has doubled in size.
- At this point you can either take it out and knead the dough, or you can just give it several turns within the bowl or tub it is rising in.
- Let it rise for an hour or two more. Once the dough has risen again, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes (this step helps the gluten develop and relax… don’t skip this!)
- Press the dough down with your fingertips, to create almost a rectangle. Then fold the dough up like a burrito – fold down the top 1/3 of the bread, followed by the sides and then fold the bottom remaining portion up over the other folds.
- Flip the dough seam side down and gently cup well floured hands underneath the dough.
- Start pulling the dough towards you slowly but firmly to create a tight skin on the outside.
- transfer the dough into a proofing basket that is generously dusted with rice flour. Cover with a dish towel and let rise for an hour.
- preheat the oven to 500° F with a dutch oven inside (including the lid) for at least 30 minutes.
- Take the dutch over out of the oven, and carefully flip the loaf into the pan. Cut a slit or two across the top of the loaf and cover the dutch oven with the lid and place it back inside the oven.
- Turn the oven down to 450° F and bake the loaf covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue baking for approximately 25 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven and let cool completely before cutting.
Heading to yeastspotting now!