Monday, March 18, 2013

In which I ramble and show you how to make sourdough bread...

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be one of the ones who could do things herself. I was born as independent as the 4th of July. I shouldn't be surprised when I have several children who are the same way, right? Nevermind that, let's get back to the story. haha
Anyways, I remember as a young woman, I didn't want to make gravy from a packet from the store... I wanted to make my own! The way my Nannie did! I wanted everyone to sit down and take a bite of it with their big ole Southern cat head biscuit and moan in delight. I wanted to feed my family and those I love. Real Food. Even then before I really knew what I meant.
Time goes on and you become that woman who forgets that she is now one of the middle agers and forgets that she has children who are about to be taller than she, and then one day realizes, WoW! I have finally become that woman I so wanted to be when I was a little girl.
Coming out of the day and age when you can make ANY food in a minute or two with the microwave or packaged meals,  I still tend to prefer the old, the tried and true, the real.
Which makes me so utterly giddy to share with you this!
Not one that you feed with garbage, but one that is only fed with flour and water and that bubbles, and grows and is perfectly delightful to deal with.

Another short story before we begin. So, I have this friend whom I adore and who has just had her 6th most beautiful and precious baby, who I HOPE I get to squeeze on today. They moved here... um, about 11ish? years ago. One day, she and her husband and their firstborn came to the church we attend. A kindred soul if ever I had met one. She and I were both expecting, me with my first son and she with her second. Unbeknownist to me, she leaned over to her husband that morning and said... See that lady right there? I want to be her friend! And so we did. We became dear, dear friends.

Well, since then, she has made friends with another like-minded lady, as did I... both of our new friends met one another and now I have a sourdough starter.
Hahaha... I could have just said, Hey! I have a sourdough starter now, huh? Might have been a little less confusing.
Oh well, welcome to my life. *wink*

This new friend, whom I get to meet today, *yay!* gave my other friend a sourdough starter for each of us and gave us instructions on how to use it and they were PERFECT!!!
So with her permission, I am going to share that with you today.

So, here is the starter. Awesome right? See that liquid on top? It is called the 'hooch'. It makes me laugh... I don't know why. I guess because when I was younger, there was a song that had the word hooch in it and I still sing it when I think about using the starter to make bread.
Moving on....

Ok, first step!
Around 7-8 pm the night before you want to bake, dump about 3/4 cup of starter in a bowl.
Don't scrape the sides of the jar, you want to keep your starter nice and active.

Combine your 3/4 cup starter with 1 cup of water and 11/2 cups of whole wheat flour. Depending on the consistency of your starter, your starting dough may be thinner or thicker once you mix.
Leave this overnight on your counter, covered in plastic wrap.

Mix equal parts of flour and water into your starter and let it sit for a few hours and then store in fridge until ready to use again! I used 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup water. This is to replenish your starter.

The next morning, you will need a few ingredients to begin with.
1 1/2 cups of white bread flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or lard
1-2 tablespoons of honey
1 egg
**Ashlee recommends not using coconut oil as your fat as it tends to make a heavy loaf

I should have just started my dough in mixer, but didn't think that far ahead, so I am transferring to my mixing bowl. Once you have your ingredients in the mixing bowl, mix with the paddle attachment until a loose ball forms.

Now, switch over to your dough hook and knead on low-medium. You may have to add water or flour little by little to get the dough to the right consistency.

I'm pinching the dough here, and finding out it is still sticky. Knead more if this is the case.

You can see when it is beginning to look just right.

Pinching it this time, it is tacky, but not sticky. It doesn't stick to my fingers when I give it a little pinch.
When you get it to this point, put some plastic wrap back over your bowl and let your dough rise til about doubled...

Now, you are going to shape your loaf. In the past you may have heard to use flour to keep your hands from sticking. Ashlee recommends using water and it works!
Shape the loaf and put it in your greased pan and cover loosely.

It is a beautiful thing to see dough rise.

Almost ready to bake!

By now it is getting close to supper time, about 4:30 pm and it is finally ready to go in the oven. Place pan in a well heated 350* oven.
You want to bake your bread until the internal temp is 190*... You can see I was a tiny bit shy here, but I didn't realize it until now seeing the pic. I think it dropped with me standing there looking inside my oven. Anyways, you get the picture.

Once you reach that internal temperature, take out and immediately spread with butter or oil.

Making bread is such a great thing...



  1. Beauty in the garden, beauty in the kitchen. I also love to see dough rise into bread!

    1. Me too, Mrs. Mobunny! Love all those beautiful things! :)

  2. Funny, I've "met" Ashlee too! Via FB anyway. Now I want to see you incorporate this sourdough starter into the No Knead Bread recipe. I'll be watching.

    1. Kristin... you challenge me. I am not sure how to do that. I will try my best to find out though. :)

  3. I make my own honey wheat sandwich bread. And we love it. I will never go back to store bought bread. I've even found a recipe for a brioche bun that I love with burgers.

    Any idea how to "start" the starter? Is that possible?

    1. Mindy, I am working on that... As soon as I figure out how to do it, I will share.

  4. SO nice to meet both you, Chasity and Kristin! I'll try my hand at a no-knead loaf and see how it goes. Beautiful bread, Chasity!

    1. Ashlee, I look forward to seeing that. Thanks! :)

  5. Looks so yummy!! How do you feed it in between batches?

    1. Hey Kerri!
      I just stir it occasionally and then if I know I am going to use it again soon, I may go ahead and feed it 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. After it's established you can feed it a bit more than normal. :)
      Mine hasn't been idle for a while. I use it almost every week. My Mom has let hers set for a long time, but I think if she were to pull it out of the fridge and stir it and feed it, it would probably bounce back.