Monday, March 10, 2008

Long-Soaking Sourdough Sponge Breads

I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with shaping these loaves. In the end, I shaped them in a sad attempt at a baguette and then cut the tops with scissors. You can do this technique by rolling the dough flat, cutting and then stretching the holes out, which does make an impressive bread-but not so great for sandwiches. At least that's what I have in mind for these. The more I think I've learned about shaping the more I realise I know squat.

The dough is interesting. I cup of starter, 2 cups warm water and 3 cups of all-purpose flour for the sponge As the starter is fed with first clear I still had decent protein strength in the bread using all-purpose. I let the sponge sit eight hours. That's the longest I've ever let a sourdough sponge sit (and the starter was fed for 12 hours the night before). The bread took all day and I only pulled it from the oven at 8 PM. I probably don't need to tell you how glorious it smells in here.

You Will Need:

1 cup fed starter
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
1-tablespoon sugar
1-tablespoon salt
Enough flour to make a very soft dough (about 2 more cups)

Make the sponge from 1-cup starter, 2 cups warm water and 3 cups all-purpose flour. Let sit 3-8 hours. Add salt, sugar and enough flour to make a very soft dough. It should be very sticky. Knead (as well as you can) about ten minutes.

Place in bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour. Remove, de-gas, fold and return to bowl for another hour. Repeat. Return to bowl for another 30 minutes. Remove to a board, divide in half and let rest 20 minutes. Shape and place on a cornmeal or semolina dusted pan (or peel if you use a stone). Cut as desired, or slash and dust lightly with flour. Cover with a cotton dishtowel and let rest until nearly doubled-about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use whatever method you prefer to create steam and then load the breads. Bake 20 minutes, rotate and bake another 10-20 or until golden and having an internal temperature of around 200 degrees F. Cool completely before slicing.


Anonymous said...

This is the best-smelling blog on the interwebnets.

The lower photo (closeup) is a freakin work of art!

Goody said...

Awwww, thanks.