Wednesday, July 25, 2012

San Francisco sourdough with yeast

This method for making sourdough is the happy compromise for bakers who want the great sourdough flavor, but with less time invested. If you begin your dough before noon, you can be eating crusty sourdough with your dinner. No long sponge to set. The addition of yeast both speeds the process and gives a more reliable result (as you've likely discovered, sourdough can be finicky).

1 1/2 cups warm (85 degrees F) water (350 mL at 29 C)
1 package (or 1 scant Tablespoon -- 15 mL) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 mL) sourdough starter
4 cups (480 g) unsifted flour
2 teaspoons (10 mL) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking (2.5 mL) soda
 about 2 additional cups (240 g) unsifted flour

In a large mixing bowl, pour water. Sprinkle with yeast and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in starter.
Mix in 2 cups (240 g) of flour, 1 cup at a time. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Mix in 2 additional cups of flour. Stir vigorously for 3 or 4 minutes. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place (70 to 85 degrees F -- 21 to 29 C), until doubled (this will take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours).

In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of flour with baking soda. Stir this in to dough. Your dough will be stiff. Sprinkle flour over your counter and turn dough out onto flour. Begin kneading, adding additional flour, to keep dough from sticking to counter. Knead until smooth and satiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes while you butter your baking sheet.

Form into oblong or round loaves. Place on buttered baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise  till doubled, in a warm place (70 to 85 degrees F -- 21 to 29 C). This should take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Brush the tops with water. With a sharp knife, slash the tops. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake your bread for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden.

Interested in making your own sourdough starter? Begin here

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