Thanks for the yard compliments! We’ve got a long way to go but it was nice to make some progress that I could see! Felt like a lot more of an accomplishment than working on the 834380 million things I still need to unpack.
I left you with a bowl full of “sponge” that you let sit for 6-8 hours (or overnight). From the sponge you remove 1 c and feed it back to your starter (or, if you’re me and used all your starter, you put into a jar and have sourdough again)
To the sponge you add flour (I used whole wheat) and a pinch of salt. You want a higher moisture content to the sourdough than you do to a normal yeast bread. I’ve found when it won’t stir in (I’d have to start kneading too add more) it’s got enough flour. It’ll be about 5-6 cups.
You knead it. I get tired of kneading/my hands get too sticky after about 5 minutes, so I call it good
I do the kneading in my bowl, as it saves on mess. It works-I swear! If the dough is reallllly sticky I add more flour, 1/4 c or so at a time.
This you let rise until doubled-if you’ve got a cold house (low gas bills!) it’ll take 8-12 hours.
When doubled you can decide what size/shape of loaves you want. I made two rounds (the recipe I used said to make one round. I’m fairly sure that would’ve been the biggest loaf ever). Rounds are easy to shape, because you just put a clean dishtowel in a bowl, coat it with flour (coat. seriously. like, more than you think you need. you haven’t felt pain until you’ve seen your bread stick to a towel and then flatten as you try to dislodge it), and then shape the dough into a ball and drop it in
You dump a little more flour on top of your ball so that as it rises it won’t stick. Then it hangs out for 6-8 hours (or more….if it’s over 12 I’d stick it in the fridge to start, and bring it out about 6 hours before you want to bake it)
When the waiting is done (this involves a LOT of waiting), you put a cookie sheet on top of the bowl, and flip it over.
Nice round loaf! It gets baked at 450 for 30 minutes, then turned down to 400 until done (about 20-25 minutes).
You might misread the directions and cook it at 425. It will be ok. Trust me, I know.
When you’re done, you’ve got this
Mmm… homemade carbs
Here’s a time line of how you make it, because my brain needs things like this (and some approximate times so you can see it take a long time, but not a lot of work):
night before, make sponge(5 minutes)
morning: make dough, kneed, let rise (10 minutes or so to do, plus cleanup)
evening: shape loaves(10 minutes)
next morning: bake loaves
morning: make sponge
evening: make dough, kneed, let rise overnight
next morning: shape loaves
I won’t say I do this all the time, because it takes planning and if I think about bread I am not always patient enough. But it’s fun, and honestly doesn’t take that much time in the kitchen to make.