20 Apr

Oh my it has been so long!! You know that feeling where you’re scared to restart something because so much time had passed? And then that just makes you go even longer without restarting?? Well that’s me! That’s this!

So why sourdough? Why now? Is this 2020? The truth is, bread has always been my white whale. I didn’t have the chops to come into my sourdough era at that time. My husband was the sourdough boi, and he was providing that sour salty carby heaven to our home.

Now, I find myself facing sourdough by a series of whoopsies. Like many good things (ahem, penicillin! Yes I’m comparing the two), it all came from an accident! I was prepping a whole wheat pizza dough (will share later, so yummy), and I honestly am not sure what happened, but the whole bowl turned into a soupy fermented slop. Instead of a beautiful springy pizza dough, I instead had accidentally made a humongous amount of sourdough starter. I couldn’t bring myself to dump the whole batch, so I have instead been working to hone my bread skills and have my own go at sourdough loaves.

Apparently there are about a thousand different approaches to sourdough and everyone has their own superstitions, religious beliefs, and witchery around it.  I tried the traditional way, the no fold/turn way, the preheat, the cold start, the sprinkle.. a lot of frogs before I finally found my sweet sweet prince.

I do strongly believe that there is not really an exact science to this and a lot of chance went into this stars aligning moment. However, as a scientist, I know this inherently contradicts the fact that baking is basically chemistry and specifics are important! That being said, i found my most success by combining precision with instinct.

This lover of a load of as prepared using an adapted recipe from Alexandracooks.com. Some liberties I took: I used a straight outta the fridge starter (not fed), 100g; after mixing the dough and allowing to rest, I added additional flour at will during the turn and fold step until my dough held its shape a bit better (was very sticky before that); I refrigerated for 24h after the initial 12h bulk fermentation at room temp; baked at cold start 425 for 55min covered with a lil ice cube tucked under the parchment; and finished at 425 for 20 min uncovered.

The result: a thin crunchy-crusted, slightly good-sour, pocket-filled light loaf. I have never been so pleased and honestly couldn’t wait so I cut this sucker while still warm so I could quickly slather in salted butter with extra salt flakes on top! 

Gaze in its glory! All hail, and drool over this babe that I’m frankly so proud of! 

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