Like many of you, our PDC Customer Service team is working remotely during this crazy time. And like many of you, some of our staff have taken up baking or cooking new recipes in an effort to Social Distance, feed their families, or just pass the time.
Let’s make this time a little more bearable and share some of these great discoveries with each-other! Introducing the first edition of PDC’s “Quarantine Kitchen”!
I’ve seen so many pics going around social media of bread baking, and I thought I would take a crack at it myself.
Sourdough has made a huge comeback in recent years. From your favorite breakfast joint serving a fried egg over an Avocado Sourdough “Smash,” to the perfect Sourdough BLT for lunch! Who doesn’t LOVE some good fresh sourdough bread?!
Here’s my recipe and how it was done:
First, for sourdough bread you need a “starter”. What’s a “starter” you ask? That’s what gives sourdough it’s sour taste, and what makes it rise.
Wikipedia says: “Sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a more sour taste and better inherent keeping qualities than breads made with baker’s yeast, due to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.”
A traditional starter can take up to 14 days to make from naturally occurring yeast, so I made a Quick Starter using the following ingredients:
2 cups warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
To make the Quick Starter, simply mix the warm water and yeast and wait a few minutes for it to become cloudy. Then add the sugar and dissolve, then mix in the flour. You will get a kind of sticky mess, that’s OK. Pop that “slime” into a container with a loose lid and stick it in a cool shelf or closet for 5 days. Make sure and stir the mix every 12 hours for the five days. If it gets brown water forming on the top, don’t worry, just mix it in, it’s fine. That’s called the “Hooch”, yeah, “Hooch!” LOL Just like booze…
When your starter is mature you are ready to make bread. Here is what you’ll need next:
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 ¼ cups water
1 cup starter, make sure and stir before using
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and knead for 20 minutes until the dough is stretchy but doesn’t stick to your hands. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, 10 minutes should do the trick.
Now put the kneaded dough into a large floured bowl with a towel over the top, then sprinkle flour and let it rise for 12 hours. (Yikes, better plan ahead)
Place risen dough onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes. Place it into a floured proofing basket (and if you buy one on Amazon, double check the size, a 10 inch long proofing basket was pretty disappointing, because it was narrow, get the bowl) or a medium bowl, lightly sprinkle with flour and let it rise for another 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 480°F (250°C).
Gently flip the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or baking paper, and place it on a baking sheet.
Score the top of the bread with a razor blade. This is called the “Bakers Mark” and in the olden days this is how you identified a certain bakers bread.
You will want to use a stainless mixing bowl as a lid to trap in moisture, unless you happen to have a dutch oven!
Place the lid on top and bake for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Transfer onto a cooling rack and let it rest for an hour. Knock the bottom of the bread to listen for a hollow knock.
You can store your starter for future use. Your starter will last forever as long as you maintain and care for it. It can stay in the fridge and be fed once a week with a teaspoon of sugar. To replenish your starter, just add 1 cup of flour and ½ cup of water, mix, and place it back in the fridge. Leave it out overnight to get to room temperature before preparing the dough.
All that said, my first couple breads did not hit the mark. Maybe I rushed them and didn’t wait the full 12 hours. On time I way OVER proofed them, I think it was like 15 hours, and they fell flat. Made great pizza though:)
If you have a recipe you would like to share, email it to us and we will try it out and post the results!
From all of us here at PrintDirtCheap.com, Be smart, be safe and be well. We will get through this together.
Jeffrey R Chrisman