Home made sourdough bread

One of my favorite things is really good bread. Back when I was in school, I bought a book on making bread. It started from a home made sourdough starter that had no commercial yeast. It was basically water and flour with a few grapes tied in a bag to give it some extra yeast. The bread itself also called for no commercial yeast. So the whole loaf was made using whatever yeasts happened to be in the air. A friend of mine, a German woman named Margrid Krueger, made similar bread a gave me a few of her tips on how to solve bread problems, etc.

The problem with this type of sourdough bread is that it takes about two days to make a loaf. You make up the bread dough, let it rise for about four hours, shape it, let it rise for another and then put it in the fridge overnight to develop. The next day, you pull it out and let it sit for another three hours before baking. Okay, so you’re sitting around waiting for most of the time, but that’s a heck of a long time to wait for bread.

So, I found a different bread book. I started using quick rise yeast and the microwave to help raise the dough’s temperature for a faster rise. I could make bread in about an hour or two – start to finish. But you lost out on the flavor. Last weekend I decided that it was time to get back to the sourdough. I got my starter going, fed it a few times and was ready to bake this weekend. After much kneeding, rising and waiting, I put the bread in the oven this morning. It turned out great. A nice crust, good flavor, a pretty interior, etc. Just the thing to serve with a pot of gumbo.

2 Comments

  1. Bryn said,

    July 30, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

    There’s plenty of middle ground there. I tend to make a sort of a poolish – let yeast, flour, and room-temperature water sit overnight and then in the morning start making up a dough from it, and it’s ready in 2-3 hours.
    I can’t remember the last time I followed a recipe for bread, but it’s probably been more than half a decade. It’s been about 8 months since I was able to make bread on any sort of a regular basis, but I’m feeling much less dead now so I’ve been cooking more.
    I’ve read and studied so much about bread chemistry (and subsequently forgotten much of it) that I experiment freely with my breads. Recently I started putting in odd ingredients, such as tomato paste, which works remarkably well.

  2. Margrid Krueger said,

    February 2, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    As I was surfing the web I came across my name in conjunction with Sourdough Bread. I can’t figure out the author. Do we know each other? I used to make Sourdough Bread, but that was a long time ago.

    Who are you?

    – Margrid

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