Good ol sourdough bread
Bread is back on the menu. At least for my family (and yes, I still try to be paleo eater). But not just any bread. My own. My preciousss. I know, I know, I baked already my own bread but the sourdough, named Lola, who came from a friend, and was pampered and cared for every day has died due to my paleo obsession. Lola, R.I.P. I had to start another sourdough, which is quite easy, it just needs patience and time.
Some notes on flour: Sourdough bread can be baked with any kind of flour that contains gluten. Wheat, spelt, rye, einkorn...you name it. I`ve tried all of them and I normally use organic wheat flour, rye flour and einkorn flour. Also, if possible, the flour should be fresh so check for the date on the packaging.
Recipe for sourdough: 1st day: Mix 100 grams/1/2 cup of flour and 100 ml/ 3oz of water (filtered if possible) in a glass container. Cover with cloth or plastic bag tightly (we don`t want to feed flies with our sourdough) and place at some warm place. It is easy in the summer, in the winter you should find a place that has constant temperature (around 26 degrees C) - close to a heating device, router, coffee machine etc. 2st day: Add 50 g/ 1/3 cup of flour and 50 ml/1,5 oz of water. The dough should look like a dough for pancakes. 3rd day: again, add 50 g of flour and the same amount of water. You will see small bubbles forming in the dough and it will smell sour. On the 4th day, the sourdough should be ready to use for baking bread. Keep the sourdough in the fridge. Before baking bread all you have to do is take a spoon of sourdough from the fridge, add 190 ml/ 6 oz of water and 150 grams of flour/2/3 cup (I use organic rye flour). Place in warm place, cover and let it sit for 12 hours or overnight. In the morning add AROUND 700 g/6 cups of flour, 410 ml/13 oz of water and 1 spoon of salt. Why AROUND - every flour is different, some absorb water better then others. Mix well (around 10 minutes in a mixer, it will take longer with your hands). Cover, let sit for a couple of hours. It will depend on how warm is in the room you let the bread rise. After few hours, turn the dough again with your hands and transfer to a bowl where the dough should rest for two more hours. Normally, a bread proofing basket is used for this purpose. Finally comes the most exciting phase: baking. Heat oven to 250 degrees C/ 480 F with two pans. One, where you will dump the dough and a second one, on the bottom of the oven where you will quickly spill a glass of warm water. This little trick adds moisture and the bread will rise nicely. So, open the preheated oven, dump the dough on one pan, spill water on the second and quickly close the door on the oven. After 10 minutes, open the oven for few seconds and lower to 220 degrees/ 420 F. Let bake some 20 to 30 minutes more. When the bread looks baked, remove from the oven and let cool on a grid. DO NOT CUT the bread before it cools down.