My bread intake has quadrupled thanks to these babies. My handsome husband's bread making skills are getting good. So good. Thanks to Herman our sourdough starter ...Oops, that reminds me I totally forgot to stir him yesterday- I need to try harder to not kill him while Dan's on a work trip this week... Anyway, Herman, dear Herman has been filling our house with amazing sourdough bready goodness. There's something incredibly comforting about always have fresh bread in the house.
The crust is perfectly crunchy. The inside is soft and chewy with just the right level of sour flavor. I am obsessed with this bread. I eat it all the time. It makes perfect toast. It makes perfect sandwiches. It makes the perfect snack as a vehicle for anything- butter, jams, or just a sprinkle of salt and some delicious extra virgin olive oil.
Just look at all of the deliciousness supported by the sourdough.
I know, I know, white flour is no bueno, but it's sooo good. We'll eventually move towards whole wheat and farro and spelt bread, but in the meantime, my studly husband is honing his craft, which I 1000% support.
Dan's Sourdough Bread (Adapted from the Splendid Table)
- 10 cups flour
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups water
- 3 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup of Herman
First, mix all the ingredients (except salt) just enough to incorporate everything. Then let the dough rest for 15 to give the flour time to fully absorb the water, the protein chains to lengthen and relax, and fermentation to begin.
After 15 minutes add salt. Then knead. And this is important. Knead for 10-15 minutes. No skimping! You want it to become an elastic smooth ball. So when you poke it- your finger makes a spoungy like imprint but then reforms. Now, you let it rest and ferment. Let it rise to double it's size, then punch it down by gently compressing and degassing it. This helps develop more flavors as the yeast has new reserves to feast on (whatever that means, Splendid Table.)
...This is as far as I got, Dan wrote the rest for me 🙂
Wait until it doubles in size again, and then punch it down again. Good bread needs a little punishment. Lightly knead the dough and make sure that when you put it back in your bowl it is still pretty elastic. If you poke it, it should spring back immediately. Now let it ferment until it nearly triples in size and then punch it down yet again.
Now it's time to split it apart. All your parts should be created equal, so weigh it out into 1.5lb parts. If you have bannetons, you can use them for the final proofing. If you don't, then use a bowl but line it with a linen cloth and then liberally coat that with flour before putting your dough in it.
Once the dough have doubled in size, prepare for their removal by putting down some semolina or cornmeal on the baking surface. Sprinkle semolina on the exposed part of the dough before gently removing from your bowls and putting them semolina side down for the baking. Shove them in the preheated 400 degree oven and allow to bake for roughly 40 minute or until the loaf sounds hollow when you thump it on the bottom. Again, more abuse, and the bread is better for it.