Inspired by the movie Julie on Julia, where the character, Julie cooks her way through Julia Child's cookbook, I decided upon my move from the Big city of San Francisco to Chico CA to do the same, bake my way through Beth Hensperger's The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook. The idea was to give myself something daily to focus on outside myself, while making a major life transition, uprooting myself from the life of a big city, to a small agricultural town. The idea was also to document the experience and write about it as part of my Psycho-Social Recovery.
Like Julie in the movie and her "Duck", I feared the "Sourdough Section" the most. So after the White Bread Section I decided to meet my fears dead on and jump to the Sourdough section and get it over with, instead of dreading the day I would arrive at it, as Julie did in the movie with her Duck.
So I decided to do two different starters. First a Commercial Starter which you can read about here: http://www.dailykos.com/...
The second starter I did was a German Beer Starter, which I thought I would use for the "Classic Sourdough Rye" recipe in the book. I am still working on the German Beer starter, so that will be written up[ in a couple of days!
So for today's Sourdough Bread I used the commercial starter that i began a couple days back. Today's recipe was "White Sourdough Bread":
1.;5 Pound Loaf White Sourdough Bread
3/4 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 salt
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
I got up early to make the bread and have it ready in time for breakfast. There is no greater delight, I have found, than freshly baked bread for breakfast. so with a double soy latte in hand, and sleep still in the eyes, I put all the ingredients into the machine, set it on the Basic Cycle, Dark crust and pressed start. I then set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes so I can come back in and check the dough to be sure there is enough liquid to allow all the flour to incorporate. This time it was a little dry and I ended up adding about 2 1/2 tablespoons of milk before the dough ball looked and felt right. Then I just let the machine do its thing, while I went back to bed. I did have the foresight to set my alarm for about 5 minutes before the bread was done so I could get it right out of the machine. I learned in the White Bread section how very important it was to get the bread out and not let the machine do it over baking "keep warm" thing.
I got a perfect loaf of bread out of the machine, and started to prepare breakfast while the loaf cooled in the freezer. I did an egg creation, with polish sausage, home style potatoes. After breakfast was ready I took the bread out of the freezer, and sliced it for toast for breakfast.
The bread toasted up nicely. The crust was wonderful, the bread light, airy and chewy just like I like. I do like a stronger, sour taste than this bread had. I am not really sure if it is the starter, or the amount of starter in the recipe that controls this aspect of the flavor. In doing research on the internet I have seen recipes that call for as much as 2 cups of starter, and some as little as a quarter cup.
For tomorrows loaf I fed the starter, and left it out on the counter over night to hopefully develop a stronger flavor. Tomorrow is Sourdough Cornmeal Bread ...