I mentioned earlier this year that we have been making sourdough bread since September for our family. I've found sourdough to be not only a tasty alternative to store bought breads, it is also a more economical option for us. I've had some queries about how I do this & thought I'd share with you our sourdough venture!
We began by making a sourdough starter. This takes a couple of weeks to be ready for bread making. I recommend following the instructions located HERE because they are simple to follow & they work (note: we only ever used bread flour instead of the two different ones they mention)!
Once you have your starter going you need to give her a name - after all she will serve your family well for years if you look after her- we named ours "Nana"! Once you have your starter ready it is an easy matter of refreshing her by adding 100g bread flour & 100g water (we use tank water for everything - be careful with town water as the chlorine can kill the yeast) each morning & mixing well. She will be ready to go by the evening.
My first loaves of sourdough were handmade & although they were delicious, they were a lot of hard work. I knew at this time in my life it wasn't feasible to be making this every day, yet I really, really wanted to begin making our own bread -& I knew that sourdough is the most natural kind! I began to search the internet for a bread machine sourdough recipe, but whether I was searching in the wrong place, or whether there really is a lack of them, I couldn't find one. I decided to experiment myself (after all I didn't want all that time & flour that we'd used in creating Nana wasted). After a few unsuccessful trials, I was able to come up with a combination that we are all happy with & that makes tasty loaves (the proportions are from a recipe once again located HERE) - all while being made in the bread maker!
So onto the recipe - I put this together each evening after evening clean up is done & by morning it is made & waiting for breakfast!
In the bottom of the bread making pan add 100g of starter;
on top of this add 200g of water;
Then 300g of flour
Finally 7g of salt (do not forget the salt - trust me it was a memorable loaf for all the wrong reasons when I forgot the salt);
Then place pan into machine.
I set the machine using the manual setting -this is basically a bread setting with the rise times extended out as far as possible.
I use :
Preheat - 0 mins
Knead 1 - 15 mins
Knead 2 - 20 mins
Rise 1 - 100mins
Punch down - 20 seconds
Rise 2 - 100 mins
Shaping - 16 seconds
Rise 3 - 100 mins
Bake 60 mins at 150 degrees celsius.
(NOTE: Don't forget to turn off the beeping - otherwise you will be awakened at various intervals during the night)
This makes a relatively small loaf - perfect for our family at the moment as we use one loaf this size a day!
I have experimented with adding more mixture using these proportions, but found that it was too doughy - I'm sure that there is a way, but since this works for us I haven't worried too much. If you do find out a way to make it bigger - I'd love to hear about it! Of course I asked my sister what am I going to do when the boys are all eating a loaf each every day - she just said to get a line of bread machines!!!LOL
Hope this is some help & if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me!
I'd love to hear about your sourdough adventures!
Have a wonderful day