Sourdough Daily Bread

(courtesy of Richie Bednarski. Makes 2 loaves)

400 grams bread flour

200 grams whole-wheat flour

350 grams filtered water

200 grams active liquid starter

15 grams salt

Combine flours and whisk together. Combine water and starter, whisk for about one minute. Add flour to starter/water mixture and stir until water is absorbed and dough is shaggy. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Add salt to dough and stretch and fold like business letter two to three times, rotating 90 degrees after each set of folds. Repeat every 30 minutes for total of five stretches/folds. Place in bowl, cover (dish towel or plate over top of bowl works well), and let rest for one to two hours. You may also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours at this stage, or proceed to next stage.

Divide dough evenly and shape into two loaves. (There are sourdough bread-shaping videos online). You may cover the loaves with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 10 hours at this stage (it’s OK to refrigerate for a second time), or continue to next stage.

Let loaves rest for two to four hours. If dough or loaves were refrigerated, add an additional one to two hours’ resting time.

One hour before baking, preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place metal bread pan on one side of oven.

Loaves are proofed (ready to bake) when a light touch makes an indent that does not bounce back. Place bread on baking sheet. Make three or four diagonal slices across tops of loaves to allow for even rising.

Carefully pour two to three cups of boiling water into hot bread pan and put bread into oven.

Turn down heat to 400 degrees F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Bread is done when browned and a hollow thump sounds on the bottom. Cool for one hour and enjoy.

Sourdough Starter (The Mother)

½ cup organic whole rye flour

½ cup filtered water

Combine and stir well. Let sit for six to eight hours. Pour off half of mixture and repeat first step. Do this for five to seven days until mixture starts bubbling. This is when you know you have cultivated enough wild yeast for bread making. Refrigerate for storage. Starter should be fed every two to three weeks minimum, by following steps below. Once starter is active, you may use whole-wheat flour.

Feeding

Pour half of starter from mother into bowl. This is ready for bread. To make additional starter, add ½ cup each water and flour of your choice to mother. Refrigerate. Every six to eight hours, add ½ cup each water and flour, stirring well, until you have enough active starter for chosen recipe.

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