About Me

I am a techno/gadget freak. I love almost anything that has to do with computers and software. I have an engineering background, but I haven't worked in that field for over 10 years. I married my wonderful husband in September 2004 and look forward to spending every single day of the rest of my life with him. I love cats and even call myself "Cat".


Monday, April 04, 2011

Baking Sour Dough Bread

One of the things I've been trying to learn to do lately is to bake bread.  There's something about the satisfaction of soft, hot bread out of the oven smothered in melting butter that just transports you to heaven.  I had really good success with white bread thanks to a recipe I found on the Our Best Bites site.  They have loads of information that really helped make my attempts a success.  I had tried to make bread quite a few years ago (over 20 years ago) and my loafs of bread were more like brick doorstops. So, I didn't try it again.  My husband actually got me into it.  We bought a big new top of the line Kitchen Aid for ourselves for Christmas.  My husband always makes pizza dough from scratch and he was getting tired of kneading it by hand all the time, so he wanted the Kitchen Aid.  Then he started to experiment with bread.  Well, a few loafs turned out, but for the most part, they weren't that great.  So, I thought I would try to see if I could do it (kind of a little bit of competition).  Well, I researched how to make good bread first on the internet and that's where I found the Our Best Bites recipe.  My first attempt with that recipe was so successful, that I thought, hey this is easy.  Yeah right.  My next two batches weren't that great.  They were heavy - but still soft - so that meant I used too much flour.  Then I thought I'd change gears a little bit and try making sour dough bread.  I had watched a show years and years ago about a woman who's sour dough starter was from one that had been passed down for a couple generations and was purportedly a hundred years old.  I have since read that it is true that some old family recipes today are using starters that their grandmothers started.  Well, my first starter started great, but I wasn't ready to make the bread yet, and when I tried to make the sponge, it just didn't work.  I was a little disappointed, so I started over.  This time, I made sure I didn't have anything happening for a few days and made a starter which worked great, then the sponge and that went like crazy.  It was great.  It was all going a lot faster than what I had read, so I thought I'm going to have a loaf of sour dough by the next day (it can take up to three days to get a loaf of sour dough).  I mixed up the dough and left it to rise.  And left it.  And left it.  It took forever!  Then I had to punch it down and let it rise again!  It took 2 1/2 days from start to finish to get one loaf of sour dough bread.  But it was so satisfying taking it out of the oven.  And it looked so perfect.  But the best part was cutting off big slices and lathering on the butter.  OMG!  It was good!  Here's a picture of the perfectly formed loaf just after it came out of the oven.

It doesn't look very big in the picture, but that's an XL pizza pan its on, so the loaf was probably a good 10" across.  It was enough bread to last us all week.  Good thing, because it took 1/2 the week to make it. :)

If you're interested in learning how to make sour dough bread, I found this site (click here) to be a great resource.  Of course, if you google it, you'll find hundreds of sites that will help you learn how to make great sour dough bread.

That's it for today.



Lynn's Place said...

Now that looks yummy...tfs

Barbara said...

I'm going to try my hand at this again. I bake all our bread and rolls now, but not sourdough. I want to make smaller loaves for donation to a food pantry. Here's a tip I read recently, and it seems to be true in my kitchen: The more you bake bread, the faster it will rise because some yeast has gone "wild" and lives in your home now. Of course it is a completely harmless type, so just smile and bake it! :-)

Nice to have you on the Silhouette Plus forum!

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