Thursday, August 1, 2013
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110F.)
2 cups Sourdough Starter
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil,
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
31/2 cup - 4 cups all-purpose flour
I mixed the above in the general way of making bread but I used only 3 cups of flour, not 3 1/2 - 4 and had to add a little more liquid because it was too dry so I'd go easy on the flour. Our weather has been brutally dry so I'm sure that was a factor.
Keep in mind too stiff a dough and it doesn't raise very well and is dry. I ended up using another egg and a little flour to compensate for too much fluid. Making dough isn't an exact science. More a feel and a skill acquired.
I mixed at first in the Kitchen Aid mixer and threw a towel over it letting it raise in the bowl. The recipe calls for 2 - 1 /2 hour time laps but I just watch the dough knowing the temperature of the room makes a large difference along with the stiffness of the dough. I prefer leaving the dough rather sticky at this stage. The bread dough clinging to the hook but still has a very moist look to it. This takes some time and I don't rush putting in all the flour at once but slowly allow the gluten to develop in the flour.
When raised I turned on the mixer and then turned the bowl out onto a flour coated counter top for a bit of hand kneading. This is a good time to add more flour if needed. When the dough feels nice and smooth and elastic I pinched off pieces of dough and rolled into balls, placed them in a well greased large cast iron skillet to rise. Once again I threw the kitchen towel over the top. I just can't make myself use plastic wrap. It is so disposable and a nice white cotton towel is much for fitting.
The recipe says 1 to 1 1/2 hours later it will have risen but I just know it was after chores were done that I heated the oven to 375 F. and then placed in the rolls. They always call for brushing butter or egg whites on top and this recipe calls for butter but I never do. Sometimes afterwards if the tops seem a bit dry but this recipe needed neither this time.
Then when the tops just start to turn a light-light brown, I turn down the oven to 350. This increased heat at the beginning causes the dough to raise extra high. Then turning it down insures the insides get done all the way through before turning the outsides to crisp. Don't crowd your rolls. Leave lots of room to raise or they turn out heavy.
This is a Cuisine magazine recipe and it gives a sourdough starter recipe using dry yeast. I've not liked those. They are bitter to my palette. My sourdough imparts of well over a hundred years of history and I love its mellow tones.
Warm from the oven Kirk and I took our first bite. I wasn't impressed. There was a distinct tangy sourdough flavor and a bit bland flavor. I wondered with the speed this dough came together if it might lack the developed character we've grown to love in doughs that sit and age.
Time means flavor. The texture of the rolls was wonderful though, light, airy. And we both looked at each other and talked of how much better the rolls might be in the morning when they had cooled and the flavors melded. Indeed they were better the next morning. A sweeter taste appeared. Kirk loved the tanginess, I preferred the sourdough baguettes we had left over from a few days before. They too need just a little tweaking for my taste. Nothing wrong with them but I miss the European texture I mentally associate with this type of bread. Ridiculous really since I've never had baguettes before making them myself. But don't burst my romantic bubble. I've got a fantasy going on here about this foreign to our household style of bread and I intend on fiddling until reality meets up with fantasy.
Still on a sourdough roll, get the pun, I made two batches of sourdough waffles. One with white flour and one with spelt. Oh my, home-made buttermilk and either white flour or spelt are awesome in these waffles. They are so.... light and slightly spongy in texture and a wonderful flavor. I'm not done yet for I've still a stash of sourdough recipes to try. I'm really liking sourdough. I've an article that talks about a scientific study on sourdough since they have found anti-cancer properties in it. Go figure, and they think they are so smart today. I'm thinking our ancestors without all their sophistication are looking pretty smart to me.
I'll be sharing this recipe with you also but for now I've got to shower and be off with Kirk to the neurosurgeon to see what he has to say about hubby and all those tests the neurologist ran on Tuesday. I know none of those were normal. Like I said life is wa...y to exciting.