Sourdough Rebels Part 2

Last week we gave you our introduction to how we got started making sourdough bread. If you missed it, go back and give it a read 🙂 This week we are going to give you the Sarah and Kimberly Sourdough Guide for beginners and for life! 

As mentioned last week you need a starter. Ask around, you will find one or get one from Amazon. Other items needed: Glass mixing bowl, large glass measuring cup (I have a 4 cup glass measuring cup that I have had for the ages), measuring cups including 1 cup and ⅓ cup, wide mouth pint mason jar, whisk, classic loaf pan (9×5), plastic wrap or kitchen towels, All-purpose flour for feeding the starter, bread flour for baking, and salt. 

Here is the list in pretty bullet form 🙂 

Items to have on hand

  1. Large glass mixing bowl
  2. Large glass measuring cup (4 cup works great)
  3. Measuring cups 1 cup and ⅓ cup
  4. Wide mouth mason jar, pint size for starter 
  5. Whisk and large rubber spatula 
  6. Classic loaf pan (9×5)
  7. Plastic wrap or kitchen towel 
  8. All purpose flour for feeding starter
  9. Bread flour for baking
  10. Salt 

The next step is learning to feed your starter. This is the rebel part for us. We do not weigh anything and never really have. Most recipes you will find online will give you grams for measurements and translate into cups. We are here to tell you that being exact is not necessary for your success in bread baking. We will get nasty grams for this 😂But we are grateful for all the people who have done the work before us to make our lives easier. 

In your mason jar you need your starter which will probably be close to ¼ -⅓ cup if you order from Amazon or get some from a friend. Feeding simply means adding flour and water and then watching the magic happen. Add ⅓ All Purpose flour and ¼ c water to your starter and whisk together. Do not seal the lid, just place it on top to allow for air. The starter will need to sit out on your counter for 8-12 hours to activate. Here are the options for keeping a starter.

Option 1: Feed starter daily i.e. in the morning or evening. 

Option 2: Feed starter weekly i.e. Friday morning feed starter, leave on the counter for the day, then seal lid and return to refrigerator. If you keep in the refrigerator the lid needs to be sealed except after feeding when sitting on the counter. 

Before feeding the starter, you need to discard some of the current starter or else you will end up with tons of starter and not get the best activation unless you start getting scientific and weighing out the amount of starter and add appropriate amounts of flour. By discard, I mean pour a little out in your trash and eyeball it to make sure you keep 1/3c or so in the mason jar. If you need to build your starter then you will have to add a little more flour to get the consistency right. Consistency of the starter needs to be thick and gooey like slime. It should have lots of bubbles in it and smell sour. Sometimes you will see a ring of water at the top. It’s ok, just mix it up and keep going. If the starter is too watery, add a little flour. Too sticky, add water.

Now onto making the actual bread. Sourdough is always a process and takes time. To make a a loaf you need about one night and half a day. We always mix the dough at night to let it sit and rise, then bake the next morning or early afternoon. Let’s get going for Sarah and Kimberly’s Loaf Pan recipe in our own words…

Grab all your items listed above along with this ingredient list for the actual bread dough: 

  1. 1 ¾ water
  2. 2 tsp salt
  3. ½ c starter 
  4. 4 c bread flour (We like King Arthur bread flour

In the evening after the kids go to bed or while you are making dinner…Pour the water in your glass bowl, stir the salt and starter till dissolved. Then add the flour and stir till just mixed. The dough should be a little crumbly and may not feel like you mixed it well. I promise it will work. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let sit for 30 min or more until you remember it again. Drizzle olive oil over the dough and fold the dough over several times 4-8 times. Re-cover and let sit another 30 min and fold again. I, Kimberly, tend to get one fold and then forget the other one or just run out of time and go to bed. The dough needs to sit covered overnight. 

In the morning, fold over the dough again. Butter your loaf pan and plop the dough in the pan. Let it sit again several hours till you see the dough rise to the top of the pan. 

Preheat your oven to 425 deg F. Bake 20 minutes at 425 deg then reduce heat to 375 deg and bake another 20 min. You don’t have to take the bread out of the oven to change the temperature. When the timer beeps after 40 min, take the bread out and let it sit for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. The bread should easily come out of the pan, if not then you didn’t butter the pan enough. My tip is to also butter the top rims of the pan.  

Let cool completely before storing, but you are welcome to cut a slice when warm to eat the best tasting bread in the world. Add some salted butter for the cherry on top. The current debate we have is how to store the bread. It is too large to put in a gallon zip lock bag, and we are trying out new methods. Sarah is currently using the Bee’s Wrap which seems to be working well. We have also found a cloth bag on Amazon that we might try. I am trying to use up some plastic bread bags that I bought a long time ago. All that to say, just find something that works for you. 

When you try something new, the process can be overwhelming at first. I can honestly say that I still get a little overwhelmed when trying a new recipe for the first time with following the steps exactly. The sourdough process is forgiving in that way though. Sarah and I have made our fair share of mistakes. Remember I didn’t even fold the dough for the first six months or so of making bread and it still was yummy. I have added too much water before and had to add more flour or just rolled with the sticky dough. All that to say, you will mess up, but it will be O.K. That’s the way with life in general. Always a process of learning, being shaped, molded, thrown out, fed, overcooked, undercooked, or some days are just right and heavenly.  We hope this inspires you to try something new today and enjoy what life brings you. Till next time. 

XO,

Kimberly and Sarah 

Adulting

CATEGORY

4/11/2024

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Sourdough Rebels Part 2

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