Even less bike-related material ahead--I do more cooking than framebuilding these days.
I started experimenting with sourdoughs a few weeks ago. It's fun...there's freakin' bacteria growing in my fridge. Only this time it's intentional.
This recipe is the closest I've gotten to a Platonicly perfect sourdough:
• most importantly, no serious time commitments and not a lot of work
• great texture, big holes, good crust, not too hard
• pretty sour tasting (could be sourer--stay tuned)
No-Knead Whole Wheat Sourdough
with ingredients from Breadtopia
and baking technique from Cook's Illustrated
1.5 tsp salt
1 C whole wheat flour
2.5 C bread flour (or maybe 2.75 C)
1.5 C water (ideally purified or at least de-chlorinated, but I don't bother)
2 Tbsp active sourdough starter (stir first to remove bubbles; should be firm, not runny)
~1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
- Dissolve starter in water. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large non-plastic bowl. No need to mix very thoroughly, just be sure all the flour gets mixed in.
- Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 2 days.
- Remove from fridge. Let rise at room temperature about 18 hours.
- Turn out onto oiled surface. Oil fingers. Stretch dough out wide. Fold into thirds like an envelope, then in half to form a ball. Tuck edges under bottom.
- Place a sheet of oiled parchment paper in a 10" skillet. Place dough, folds down, on parchment. Cover loosely with plastic. Let rise 1-1.5 hrs.
- Place 5 qt dutch oven in oven and preheat to 500°F for 35-40 mins before baking.
- Discard plastic wrap. Make one slit in top of dough.
- Remove dutch oven carefully. Pick up the parchment by the edges and drop dough into dutch oven.
- Bake at 500°F for 30 mins, lid on, then at 450°F for 15 mins, lid off.
- Remove to cooling rack. Let cool before slicing...waiting is the hardest part.
These baking times gave me a burnt crust on the bottom. YMMV.
Mix in some milled flax seed to make it even healthier.
High water content of this dough (like all no-kneads) means it absorbs flour like crazy--oil works better at keeping things unstuck.
I am constantly experimenting with different ratios of rye flour, whole wheat flour, and bread flour. Nothing conclusive yet.
I got my starter by sending a SASE to these nice folks. I recently started feeding my starters rye flour--it was on sale and I heard somewhere that sourdough likes rye flour.