Sunday, April 3, 2011

SLOW sourdough, potato bread

Since September 2010 we have experimented with making our own bread. After a lengthy search of our town for a sourdough starter I ordered a dried packet from San Francisco (it is one of the "homes" of sourdough cooking) and began the process. We decided to go with spelt flour. Spelt is an ancient grain, actually the precursor of modern wheat, which has less glutin and higher nutrients than wheat.
From the beginning we fed spelt to the starter and began making bread.  There were some disasters along the way - a clay romantopf pan purchased at Goodwill exploded in the oven making a mess with a very distinctive sound - but the results have been quite edible. Our goal became a loaf with good crumb, savory flavor and a nice rise for sandwiches or toast.
That goal became closer last week with the discovery of "slow sourdough bread", a process of allowing the bread to rise over a period of days rather than hours. This resulted in the texture we were looking for but not quite the rise.

While watching the Horticultural Channel tv (BBC) on You Tube, one of the presenters made bread using left over mashed potatoes. "Ah, Ha" I said, "Let's add that to our sourdough and see what happens."

Three days rising, adding the spuds and a rise over night resulted in these nice looking loaves.

Now they are in the oven so we shall see how it turns out.

Slow Sourdough Potato Bread from the Tworivers Kitchen

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup spelt flour
Mix in a large bowl with enough warm water to make a soupy consistency. Cover tightly and leave it in a warm place. Every 3 hours add a half cup of flour and more warm water. Do this for 3 to 5 days every 3 to 5 hours or so.
The night before your baking time add
1 cup mashed pototoes
2 tsps sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup brown sugar

Mix well,  by hand if necessary, turn out onto floured counter and knead until smooth. Put in an oiled bowl, turning to coat the surface and cover tightly.
Next morning, gently punch the dough down, divide in half and place in oiled and floured baking pans. Let rise until double.
Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and tested done.
Remove to cooling racks and enjoy.
Yes, this takes times but you can do other things, even go to work while the process goes on by it's self. A nutritious, affordable loaf of bread is a worthwhile result.

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