This was our first try at sourdough bread with our new starter.  The recipe is based on the Vermont Sourdough formula from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book, Bread, by way of this blog post on the Wild Yeast Blog.  I’m pretty sure I forgot to add the salt after the autolyze period (something didn’t taste quite right too me, and I didn’t figure it out until later).  Everybody loved it anyway, and I’m sure it will be even better next time.  I’ll refer you to the link above for the recipe, but hereare a couple of notes from our experience:

  • When you first mix together the dough, it will seem very dry.  I added a bit of extra water at this point, but that was a mistake.  Once the dough autolyzed and the water fully absorbed, it was actually a very wet dough (perhaps too wet with the extra water I added.)  It was the smoothest, stretchiest, most wonderful feeling dough I’ve ever worked with.
  • The recipe calles for rye flour, which I substituted with whole wheat flour, since that’s what we had.
  • Make sure you steam the oven when you bake it (she has a link to more detailed instructions).  This is critical in order for the bread to rise well in the oven and to develop good color and a crisp crust.

Loaves proofing before baking

Here are the kids enjoying the sourdough bread with Amie’s fresh blackberry jam.  Yum!

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