Monday, February 22, 2010
Finally I'm back with the French Bread Recipe using Sourdough starter...
1-1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 TBS Yeast-soften yeast in the water
1 Cup Sourdough Starter-stir in yeast/water mixture
2 tsp Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups flour
Let rise until doubled, then stir down and add more flour (about 3 cups), enough to make a medium soft dough.
Separate dough into 2 balls, let sit for 10 minutes. Form into long loves, cut 3 lines across the top of the loves. Let rise 20-30 min. until doubled. Bake on a greased cookie sheet.
My recipe doesn't say how long to bake it but I would say about 25-30 min. @350 should do it.
Don't forget to replenish your starter!!!!!!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today I made a Sourdough Starter. Here's a little history of the stuff, if you want to read it. (I'm italicizing it-so if you want to skip it... that's your tip!)
Sourdough likely originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC, and was likely the first form of leavening available to bakers. Sourdough remained the usual form of leavening down into the European Middle Ages until being replaced by barm from the beer brewing process, and then later purpose-cultured yeast.
Bread made from 100 percent rye flour, which is very popular in the northern half of Europe, is usually leavened with sourdough. Baker's yeast is not useful as a leavening agent for rye bread, as rye does not contain enough gluten. The structure of rye bread is based primarily on the starch in the flour, as well as other carbohydrates known as pentosans; however, rye amylase is active at substantially higher temperatures than wheat amylase, causing the structure of the bread to disintegrate as the starches are broken down during cooking. The lowered pH of a sourdough starter therefore inactivates the amylases when heat cannot, allowing the carbohydrates in the bread to gel and set properly. In the southern part of Europe, where baguette and even panettone were originally made with wheat flour and rye flour, sourdough has become less common as the standard of living has risen; it has been replaced by the faster growing baker's yeast, sometimes supplemented with longer fermentation rests to allow for some bacterial activity to build flavor.
Sourdough was the main bread made in Northern California during the California Gold Rush, and it remains a part of the culture of San Francisco today. The bread became so common that "sourdough" became a general nickname for the gold prospectors. The nickname remains in "Sourdough Sam", the mascot of the San Francisco 49ers.
The sourdough tradition was carried into Alaska and the western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush. Conventional leavenings such as yeast and baking soda were much less reliable in the conditions faced by the prospectors. Experienced miners and other settlers frequently carried a pouch of starter either around their neck or on a belt; these were fiercely guarded to keep from freezing. Ironically, freezing does not kill a sourdough starter; excessive heat does. Old hands came to be called "sourdoughs", a term that is still applied to any Alaskan old-timer.
San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the U.S. today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production for nearly 150 years, with some bakeries (e.g., Boudin Bakery among others) able to trace their starters back to California's territorial period. It is a white bread characterized by a pronounced sourness (not all varieties are as sour as San Francisco sourdough), so much so that the dominant strain of lactobacillus in sourdough starters was named Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Sourdough also became popular because of its ability to combine well with seafoods and soups such as cioppino, clam chowder and chili.
Sourdough has not enjoyed the popularity it once had since bread became mass-produced. However, many restaurant chains, such as Cracker Barrel, keep it as a menu staple. Manufacturers make up for the lack of yeast and bacteria culture by introducing an artificially made mix known as bread improver into their dough.
Now...I'll give you my recipe. It's very simple and quick!
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 TBS Sugar
1 TBS Yeast
2 Cups Warm Water
Mix all of the above ingredients well. Put into a plastic bowl or container and cover with a cloth. Place in a cool area (around 30 deg F). Stir 2-3 times a day with a wooden or plastic spoon (tip-you aren't supposed to use metal with sourdough) for 3 days. After that, it's sourdough. You can either use some of the starter to make bread, or stick it in the fridge, make sure it has a vent hole. You need to replenish the starter ever 7-10 days with equal parts of water and flour. After replenishing, let stand at room temperature overnight.
*If a clear liquid forms on the top of your starter-stir it back in.
Ok...so there you go. Have a nice day guys... in three days I'll try to be back with a delicious French Sourdough Bread Recipe.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Guess what???? We are finally updating! I told Jill today, either we update this thing or delete it! We are not faithful bloggers (as you all must have figured out by now), but want to let all our friends know what we have been up to. Usually-when I do updates...I spell out events using pictures. It's been sooo long though-I think that there would simply be too many pictures. So here's a quick overview of the last months:
November: Family picture (above), Timothy went to Africa-he'll be gone for two years, we took a trip to NY City=awesome!
December: Christmas, Emily and Jacob's birthdays, a fun musical Christmas play at church that our family was involved in, my Grandma got sick-which has added to the business of our lives tremendously.
January: I think this might be my (Emily) favorite month of all of 2010, we'll have to see though. Why, you might ask...well look at the pictures below!!! You all might not know, but our family is into baseball. We are huge fans of the Detroit Tigers. So, the day before Annie's birthday (the 23'rd) there was a fan fest at the home stadium of the Tigers. I took here there, we got to meet players, get pictures taken with them, and get autographs. It was amazingly fun! We also took a trip to NC for a week of Bible school. It was really wonderful and the 4 girls from our family that went were really blessed and grew in our walk(s) with God. Don't forget the 2 litters of puppies and ice-skating!
February: Well, we are only 15 days in, so not too much has happened, but we did have 2 birthdays! Daniel turned 23 on the 12th and today is my Dad's birthday (don't ask his age...=) Jill and I went to visit my grandpa who lives in the Detroit area last week. We had a great time.
Well, we hope that you all have a great day and week. Hopefully I'll update this again sooner than later! God bless you all and we love you!!!
-Emily, the unfaithful blogger ;o)