2.1.12

Making Sourdough with Wild Yeast

I have not participated with The Daring Kitchen for several months!  I have been so busy with all my other cooking but I am wanting to get back and try a few things.  I am making bread all the time but have never made it without yeast.  There is yeast naturally in the stoneground flours and in the air and this is captured to create the leavening.  This was fun!  I followed the directions exactly and made both the rye leaven and the wheat leaven. 

I was a little less fussy once the leaven was made.  I was casual with the recipe and they turned out very well.  It is cooling in the kitchen as I write and can hardly wait to cut a slice.  I am especially happy with the rye bread.  This is 100% dark rye bread and although heavy, it has risen nicely.

I had to cut into the wheat loaf.  The texture and flavour is wonderful and the crust is very nice and toothy.  I can't believe I have made bread without yeast.   I will let the rye bread cool until tomorrow before cutting into it.

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by AndrewWhitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!


Russian Rye Bread
Servings: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves and excess rye starter to keep for further baking.
Rye Starter - Day 1:
Ingredients
1/4 cup whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup  water (at 104°F/40°C)
Total scant ½ cup 
Directions:
1. In a Tupperware or plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.
2. Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!
3. Set somewhere warm (around 86°F/30°C if possible). I sometimes put mine on a windowsill near a radiator, but even if it’s not that warm, you’ll still get a starter going – it might just take longer. It should be a very sloppy, runny dough, which will bubble and grow as it ferments.
Rye Starter - Day 2:
Ingredients
1/4 cup whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
scant 1/2 cup starter from Day 1
Total scant 1 cup 
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.

Rye Starter - Day 3:

Ingredients
1/4 cup whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
scant 1 cup  starter from Day 2
Total 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons 
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place. If you notice it has a grey liquid on top, just stir this back in and continue as normal.
Rye Starter - Day 4:
Ingredients
1/4 cup whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons starter from Day 3
Total about 1¾ cups
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

Rye Starter, ready for baking.


Russian Rye Bread - Step 1: Production Sourdough
Ingredients
1/4 cup rye leaven (starter)
1 cup whole (dark) rye flour
1 1/4 cups water
Total 2½ cup
Directions:
1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. Cover and set aside for 12-24 hours, until bubbling. Set aside the remaining starter for further loaves – see the Notes section for tips!

Russian Rye Bread - Step 2: Final Dough
Ingredients
2 cups production sourdough (this should leave some (½ cup) to become your next loaf of bread!)
2 1/3 cups rye flour (light or whole)
1 teaspoon sea salt or ½ teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
Total 5 cups
Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. With wet hands, scoop the dough up and put it in a well-greased loaf tin.

2. Put the tin inside a large plastic bag, blow it up, and seal it. This should make a good little dome for your bread to proof inside. Set aside somewhere room temperature to warm.
3. The dough should be ready to bake with in anywhere between 2-8 hours, depending on how warm it is. I proof mine by a sunny window in about 4 hours. If the dough was halfway up the tin when you started, it will be ready when it reaches the top (i.e. almost doubles in size).
4. Preheat the oven to very hot 470°F/240°C/gas mark 9. For a large loaf, bake for 50-60 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after about 10-15 minutes. If baking in small loaf tins, bake for 35-45 minutes, reducing the temperature after 10 minutes. If you are unsure about whether it is done, give it a few minutes longer – it is a very wet dough, so the extra time won’t hurt.
5. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, and rest the loaf for a day before eating it.


French Country Bread
Servings: 1 large loaf plus extra wheat starter for further baking
Wheat Starter - Day 1:
Ingredients
4 1/2 tablespoons  stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons water
Total scant ½ cup 
Directions:
1. In a Tupperware or plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.
2. Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!
3. Set somewhere warm (around 86 F if possible). I sometimes put mine on a windowsill near a radiator, but even if it’s not that warm, you’ll still get a starter going – it might just take longer.

Wheat Starter - Day 2:

Ingredients
4 1/2 tablespoons stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons water
scant 1/2 cup starter from Day 1
Total scant cup 
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.
Wheat Starter - Day 3:
Ingredients
4 1/2 tablespoons stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
4 teaspoons water
scant 1 cup  starter from Day 2
Total 1⅓ cup 
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place.
Wheat Starter - Day 4:
Ingredients
3/4 cup  unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup  water
1⅓ cup  starter from Day 3
Total scant 2⅔ cup
Directions:
1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

French Country Bread
Stage 1: Refreshing the leaven
Ingredients
1 cup less 1 tablespoon wheat Leaven Starter
6 tablespoons  stoneground bread making whole-wheat or graham flour
1 cup  unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup  water
Production Leaven Total approximately 2¾ cups
Directions:
1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. It may be fairly stiff at this stage. Cover and set aside for 4 hours, until bubbling and expanded slightly.
French Country Bread
Stage 2: Making the final dough
Ingredients
3/4 cup stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons sea salt or ⅔ teaspoon table salt
1 ¼ cups water
1 ¾ cups production leaven – this should leave some (1 cup) for your next loaf.
Total 6 cups
Directions:
1. Mix the dough with all the ingredients except the production leaven. It will be a soft dough.
2. Knead on an UNFLOURED surface for about 8-10 minutes, getting the tips of your fingers wet if you need to. You can use dough scrapers to stretch and fold the dough at this stage, or air knead if you prefer. Basically, you want to stretch the dough and fold it over itself repeatedly until you have a smoother, more elastic dough.
3. Smooth your dough into a circle, then scoop your production leaven into the centre. You want to fold the edges of the dough up to incorporate the leaven, but this might be a messy process. Knead for a couple minutes until the leaven is fully incorporated in the dough.
4. Spread some water on a clean bit of your work surface and lay the dough on top. Cover with an upturned bowl, lining the rim of the bowl with a bit of water. Leave for an hour, so that the gluten can develop and the yeasts can begin to aerate the dough.
5. Once your dough has rested, you can begin to stretch and fold it. Using wet hands and a dough scraper, stretch the dough away from you as far as you can without breaking it and fold it back in on itself. Repeat this in each direction, to the right, towards you, and to the left. This will help create a more ‘vertical’ dough, ready for proofing.
6. Heavily flour a banneton/proofing basket with whole wheat flour and rest your dough, seam side up, in the basket. Put the basket in a large plastic bag, inflate it, and seal it. Set aside somewhere warm for 3-5 hours, or until it has expanded a fair bit. It is ready to bake when the dough responds to a gently poke by slowly pressing back to shape.
7. Preheat the oven to hot 425°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then carefully invert the dough onto the sheet. I like to put the baking sheet on top of the basket, then gently flip it over so as to disturb the dough as little as possible. Make 2-3 cuts on top of the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after 10 minutes.
8. Cool on a cooling rack.

6 comments:

  1. You are so good at committing to a recipe..and taking the time..I am such a I want it yesterday baker..Kudos to you..Also I wanted to tell you that I made my Christmas French meat pies..shaped like yours of last year..and am in love.Thank you so much!Lovely little presentation..and the bottom crisp!

    Your bread photos are wonderful..Bet the scent was heavenly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember the year I kept a wild starter alive. It made the best bread!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am envisioning in my head and in my tummy how delicious this bread must taste and how wonderful your kitchen aroma must be! Happy New Year Sarah! Cheers to a great new year of food blogging together!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your bread looks yummy,and makes me want to bake some myself,but I cannot imagine not using yeast,(in a package that is.) My compliments to the cook ! Good job :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh goodness does it look like all the work and patience you have to put into a starter pays off in the end. I bet this smelled incredible while it was baking!

    Let's hear it for 2012: Year of the Intense Breads! (I'm shooting for pumpernickel success pretty soon into the new year.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It turned out that way without yeast??? I am so impressed. Looks wonderful. I am also inspired by your use of rare wheat flour... I am looking into trying some old varieties next week... will let you know.

    Dr. Lostpast's son is now gluten challenged, I want to see if it's true that they can eat the old wheat with no problem.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comment! Please visit often.