Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sourdough Loaf

This is the way it came out of the oven after 375F for around 45 minutes, and cooling. The starter we have is a good 30 years old. Personally, I'd like it less dense, but it has a good flavor, a good crumb, and makes really good toast. It also makes an excellent base for eggs benedict, if you have no english muffins on hand.

The next picture shows an inside shot, to give you an idea of the crumb, and denseness. It's sourdough, so it's not really supposed to look like a baguette, inside, but I'd prefer bigger holes in it.

As James Beard said in Beard on Bread, to paraphrase . . . sourdough is really unpredictable. Indeed, it is.

In the end, it's no denser than your average loaf of Russian rye. I keep thinking I could have cooked it another 10 minutes, but the bottom really is cooked. It's not gooey.

I'd love to post a recipe for it but, sourdough is just one of those things you make, without any exact proportions. The following paragraph gives you my best shot at it.

Take out the starter, dump in a cup of milk and a cup of flour, mix it together really well, and let it sit around all day until it gets really bubbly. Then toss half the mix back into the fridge to be starter for next time. Work the rest into a soft (but not sticky) dough, form it into a loaf, plop it into a loaf tin, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it tops the pan. Bake it at 375F until it smells done -- around 45 minutes.

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