Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Soudough Bread for the Breadmaker

After reading about making sourdough bread we were inspired to give it a try. In a rather cavalier manner we prepared a starter consisting of 1 c flour, 1 c water and a pinch of yeast. After feeding the starter for several days by adding equal quantities of flour and water daily with a good stir, we make a simple white sourdough in the breadmaker. It was a success. While it didn't have the classic crust on the outside (ours was a bit more chewy) and it wasn't quite as light, it was a vast improvement on the texture of yeast only breads that we typically make in the breadmaker. We have since experimented with adding whole wheat flour, and using the breadmaker to make the dough and then baking it on a stone in the oven. The oven method gives a better crust, but you can't beat waking up to the smell of bread coming from the breadmaker.

We have done great deal of research since we made the first starter. This research suggests that making sourdough bread can be really complicated. Thankfully we tried it before the doing too much research, which may have been overwhelming and discouraging without a little beginner's luck. The sourdough purists would say the addition of yeast to the starter and to the dough isn't truly sourdough bread. We found including the starter greatly improves the texture of bread made in breadmaker. We also found that when formed into a baguette and baked in the oven, it is much better than any bread we can buy locally.

More information information on sourdough can be found at the following sites: (Pictures above and below were taken from Wikipedia. The "dough" in the breadmaker (above) captures the dough-stage very well. However, our loaves looking nothing like the example in Wikipedia (below), yet! (great videos about making starters)

Let us know if you want our recipe!