Sourdough bread and starter technique

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient

I refrigerate my starter in a wide-mouth mason jar (with one tiny hole punched in the lid), and keep it at about ¾ to 1 cup in size.

Stir, then warm starter into activity. (my "warmer" is the oven with the light on) feed ½ cup flour and enough water to bring back to batter consistency. (leave in warmer) When fully active, return starter amount to `fridge. (for me, this can be two to ten hours) The rest now goes in (glass) mixing bowl. Immediately add half the flour (1¼ c "Better for Bread" flour) and some water - enough to a thin dough texture - almost, but not, to a batter. Cover bowl with slightly damp towel, leave in warmer.

(sometimes I turn out the light) Wait at least until "sponge" stage - bubbles are visible in the glass (time varies a LOT, this can be 2 to 24 hours, and the whole thing can probably fail at this point, so experience which I cannot relate is probably important in preparing and watching this stage) Throw in machine with: 1¼ cups more flour ¾ tsp salt 1½ to 2 tsp sugar water - maybe ¼ cup to start, then add by teaspoon during the first mixing cycle to achieve an even dough that's not too tough for the motor. Follow subterfuge described above to get 24-hour rise time *without* having the machine manipulate dough just before baking.

My machine is a DAK, first model. I use the 'french" setting and turn the browing control all the way up. (those hints, and in fact the above "recipe," evolved from a DAK recipe book) Alternatively, at the flour/salt/sugar stage, I put yeast in the machine (before anything else) and I use a little less than the amount in a packet (I buy it in a small brown jar). Then I can just set the automatic cycle and ignore it until done.

I have yet to manage really good texture without yeast. The closest I've come took even more work, kneading the dough slightly, somewhere in the middle of the 24 hour rise time.

From: Bread-Bakers Archives: Recipe By : Bob O`Bob obrien@...

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