August 04, 2011

Tightwad Gazette III - Day Nine

Ever since I painted the livingroom this spring, my right shoulder and arm have hurt.  I'm not sure what I did, other than I probably shouldn't have painted so much every day without taking time off. 

Last Saturday I helped paint a Sunday School room at our church and today I helped with putting on the second coat.  By the time I got home my shoulder hurt and my hand was a little numb.  I put ice on my shoulder and I am now laying on the couch resting.  Icing my shoulder has helped and my husband (a trained coach) told me that he recommended icing it for the next 48 hours.  If I have to ice a shoulder, I am glad it is summer.

Enough about my sore shoulder - let's look at making Sourdough bread from the Tightwad Gazettee III.   

Sourdough Simplified

Tightwads love Sourdough bread as it is the cheapest bread to make only needing flour, water and salt.

One of Amy’s staffer’s loved Sourdough bread and he became quite adept at replicating it. Unlike other Sourdough recipes, Brad’s is very simple.

The first step to making Brad’s Sourdough bread is to make a starter. Mix 1 tablespoon of yeast with 2 cups of chlorine free water and 2 cups of white flour. (Allow your tap water to “air out” in a jug for a couple of days to make it chlorine free.) Combine these in a glass or plastic container – do not use metal. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours until it foams and develops a pleasantly sour smell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If the sourdough starter ever turns orange, pink or any other strange color, then throw it out. In all of the years that Brad has been making this bread, he has never had this problem.

The ingredients and directions to make two loaves of bread follows:

5 ½ cups flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups)
2 cups starter
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water

Dissolve the salt in the water in a mixing bowl. (Some sourdough cookbooks say not to use a metal bowl, but Brad had been mixing his dough in a metal bowl with his Kitchenaid mixer and never had a problem.) Add the starter and then the flour. Stir and knead into a ball. (Brad uses the dough hook on his Kitchenaid mixer.) Cover with a damp towel and let rise overnight.

The next morning, punch the risen dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf, make an X slashed on each top, and place the two loaves on a greased baking sheet.

Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise at room temperature for about 4 hours. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Bake the bread for 35 minutes.

Each time you remove some starter, you must “feed” it. Just add back 1 ½ cups water and 1 ½ cups flour, stir, cover loosely, and return starter to refrigerator.

Brad uses his starter fresh from the fridge for several weeks. When the bread rises slower, then he takes the starter and sets it out on the fridge overnight to ferment.

Brad felt that his success with Sourdough bread was due to the fact that he bakes this type of bread twice a week and thereby he feeds his starter often. Also Brad doesn’t just let his bread double in size, but he lets it quadruple in size during the rising phase.

I have never made Sourdough bread and from reading this article, I am inspired to give it a try.

3 comments:

~Carla~ said...

Aww... I hope your shoulder feels better soon! Let us know how your sourdough turns out! :)

HDNelson said...

This post makes me happy!!! I have two friends who swear by sourdough bread, and I've been thinking about trying it!

Juhli said...

Hope your shoulder feels better after the icing. I have a shoulder that gives me trouble and I find if I do a series of stretches specifically for shoulders and keep doing them for a couple of weeks then it is much better. When it was really bad my PT said to warm it with a heating pad or a moist towel heated in the micro wave before stretching. Good luck.