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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Sourdough, it does not get much better than this

Finally had some real success with sourdough bread baking. Turns out I was not feeding my starter right and used way to little to give it enough lift.
Look at those loafs. Are they not gorgeous?
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I am somewhat surprised my sourdough produces anything since it has lead a life of neglect in the fridge for most of his life so far.
This time however it has gone the longest without feeding. I can’t even remember the last time I did. It still looked ok despite it being a watery mess. I simply stirred it all up, weighed out 100g and filled it into a big bowl and gave it it’s first feeding of 100g flour and 100g lukewarm water. Mixed that all up and put the bowl into the heater room in the basement. It’s the warmest place in the house (26-28C). The next day I fed it again with 100g each of flour and water and moved it into the kitchen (22-26C). Since my sourdough was really malnourished I waited another day before I gave it the last feeding before baking. This too was 100g each of flour and water and kept it in the hallway (18-22C). One day later I was ready to start baking. The different temperature gave the Lactobacillus (both homofermentative and heterofermentative) and the Sourdough yeasts the right climate to do it’s work.
I have been doing some research and came across this German site which is all about sourdough. If you read German be sure to visit this site.
My first bread was a rye mixture bread. 

Holsteiner Landbrot
Makes about a 3 lb loaf
600g Sourdough
(usually for rye you would use a rye sourdough, I used mine which is not rye sourdough but spelt)
400g Rye flour
300g Spelt refined
250ml Buttermilk
50 ml Canola oil
1 full T salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp Bread seasoning


Bread seasoning:
makes 3 tsp
1 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp anis
1 tsp Caraway

Use a coffee mill to grind it somewhat coarse

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and knead until you have a smooth and solid dough (about 10 min). Add more water or flour if needed.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes and knead it again, about 5 minutes. Form an oblong loaf and rest in a proofing basket (I did not use a basket and it did not spread). Slash your loaf, cover and let proof for about 2 hours (mine proofed longer) in a warm place. I slashed this loaf a bit to deep.
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If you are baking with a baking stone preheat your oven about 40 min prior with the stone in place. When it’s time to bake put your loaf in the oven and add some water to a hot dish in the oven to create some steam.
Bake at 250C/500F for 10 min than reduce the heat by 20C/50F every 10 min. and finish baking the bread at 180C/350F for a total of 60 min.
Remove your loaf from the oven and let cool on a roast.
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This bread turned out wonderful and 5 days later was still moist. This bread really tastes best on the second or third day when all the spices have mingled.

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