Sourdough Making 101

Sourdough is a fermented food, therefore making it easy to digest.  A piece of organic sourdough warm from the toaster with Miyoko’s butter (vegan) smeared across it is divine with a cup of coffee in the morning.  Memories are made around loaves of bread.

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The original starter is from The Amish Cook’s Family Favorite Recipes by Lovina Eicher and is easy to put together.

3 packages of active dry yeast and 1 cup of warm water.  Pour into a small container with a loose fitting lid and refrigerate for 3-5 days.

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Now we add the starter feed. 

Add to that 3/4 cup of sugar (When did everyone get so funny about sugar?  It seems about the time artificial sweeteners came on the market.  Sugar is a plant.  Use organic sugar preferably.)

3 Tb instant potatoes (Bob’s is good, no extra weird ingredients.)

1 cup of warm water

Mix these up and then add the starter in with it.  Keep it on the counter with a loose fitting lid (it has to breathe) for 5-12 hours.  It will get bubbly.

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Use 1 cup of starter and place the rest in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and then feed again, then bake more bread.  I put a note on my calendar every five days.  Pitch the 1 cup if you aren’t making bread.  Sound like a lot of work?  If you have time for Netflix binges, you have ten minutes to work on your sourdough!

Now let’s make some bread!

Dear Lovina was an Amish mama and her recipe that follows the starter is for three loaves of bread.  That is a little much for just me and Pa so I adjusted it to my own tried and true bread recipe.

Mama’s Rosemary Sourdough

Pour one cup of the sourdough starter into a large bowl

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Add 3 cups of white, unbleached, organic flour (You can use 2 cups of white and 1 cup of wheat or other flour but do not exceed that ratio or you will have a cement block.  Been there, done that.)

1 Tb+ of fresh rosemary

1 ts of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of warm water

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Blend well and let sit overnight on the counter or 3ish hours if you are starting in the morning.  Cover with a plate.

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Sprinkle dough with flour and use a wooden spoon to pull the dough into a ball.  Knead 20 times in bowl.  Sprinkle more flour if needed to keep from being terribly sticky.  Cover with plate again for another hour or two.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle dough with a little cornmeal and shape into a ball.  Spray cast iron pan or cookie sheet with oil and then sprinkle with corn meal.  Place dough on sheet or pan.  You can spray the top of the dough with oil then grate some vegan parmesan on top or add a little more garlic powder.  (Violife is the most convincing parmesan in the world.)  Bake for 40 minutes.

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Cool on rack.  Let cool before serving or the steam will make the center doughy.  Store in an airtight bag.  Tastes best with laughter and wine, or in blessed silence with tea.  Really up to you.  Enjoy!

 

Maple Molasses Whole Wheat Bread

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This bread turned out delicious!  It has a touch of sweet and slices well.  I slice one loaf and put it in the freezer to toast or to use for French toast. The other loaf we eat fresh.  I used to avoid kneading bread.  I have mastered the art of bread baking without kneading but have realized, like so many other homesteading activities, that the actions become soothing and methodical, a type of meditation and calm.

We love grains and find that they provide the energy we need in our daily active life.  I always use organic, unbleached flour and organic, freshly ground whole wheat.  Real butter and rich molasses with sweet maple make this bread a real treat!

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Mama’s Maple Molasses Whole Wheat Bread

5 teaspoons of yeast added to 1/2 cup of warm water, set aside

Warm 2 cups of goat’s milk, 1/4 cup of molasses, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of butter, and 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar over low heat.

Meanwhile blend 6 cups of white flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 3 teaspoons of vanilla salt, and 1 teaspoon of ginger as a fun surprise.

Add half the liquid ingredients, blend then add yeast and remaining liquid and blend.

Knead one cup of flour in for 6-7  minutes.  (Press palms of hand into dough, fold in half and turn a 1/4 turn then press palm in again.  Repeat.)

Let rise 1 hour in a greased covered bowl in warm spot.

Divide into 2 loaves and place in 2 oiled bread pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Brush tops with butter (and sugar and cinnamon if desired).  After a half hour or so pop bread out and let cool completely on rack.  (Without the cinnamon and sugar this bread can be used for savory sandwiches or meals as well as sweet.)