Sourdough De Mystified - Thermomix Recipes from Steph

Sourdough De Mystified

Who doesn’t love Sourdough!  This is my gorgeous girlfriend Maria Stuart’s Go Getters Talk from April 2010.  Maria is a Chef and a Junior Group Leader in Victoria.  Following this there are aso 2 Sour Dough recipes from Maria – thanks for sharing xo

Would you like to make crispy, crunchy sourdough at home, just like they make in Paris or San Francisco? You can make the world’s easiest, (and best), can’t-fail, with the Thermomix and the following recipes.

Making bread using a sourdough culture is the way that breads were made before manufactured yeasts were brought into the market.

Yeast is a single cell fungi and feeds off simple sugars and there are yeast spores airborne all the time.

If you see grapes or plums with a whitish hue to their skins when they are becoming ripe, this is the natural yeasts attaching themselves to the host (fruit) and multiplying or growing.

When you make a sourdough starter you are attracting naturally occurring yeasts to the flour and water paste, they start to feed and grow creating a bubbly effect into the mix. They give off carbon dioxide and alcohol as they feed which is what is required to leaven or rise the bread so we are not making or trying to eat housebricks! The yeast is killed off when baking at high temperature and the baking process is what sets the dough.

Your Sour dough starter is a living organism so best to follow the following protocols to look after the little guys.

Avoid contaminating your starter with anything or it may die. All of your utensils need to be clean and you will need a clean plate to use each time you’re finished with a utensil, put it back on the clean plate designated for this purpose.. You will also need to use non-chlorinated water. Chlorine kills the organism (imagine what it is doing to you) You can buy water for the job or you can pour water into a clean jug and leave it for a minimum of 4 hours without a cover so the chlorine dissipates.

1 wash your hands before you start.

2. clean ceramic or glass 1 litre jar, you don’t need a tight seal

3. clean plate to act as a spoon holder

4. non chlorinated water

5. large plastic, ceremac or glass bowl

6. non metal large spoon

Lets get started on the starter! Its so easy!

You need -

1 cup flour

1 cup warm water

• Mix with a plastic or wooden stirrer in a glass bowl. Transfer to a container that has a wide neck, is not metallic and is clean.

• Keep the starter in a warm place (ie. In oven with pilot light on or somewhere that is consistently warm)

• Every 24 hours ‘feed’ your starter. This involves throwing away ½ the starter and then adding ½ cup warm water and ½ cup flour.

• By the third or fourth day there should be a bubbly froth appearing on the starter this means that it is ready

• Refrigerate the starter. Keep it in the fridge with a lid on until you are ready to use it. Allow a little breathing space in the lid ( can either punch a hole in the lid or not put it on too tight depending on container).

• Once the starter is chilled, it needs to be fed once every three weeks

• If a liquid develops on top of the starter (it will smell a bit like beer) don’t panic its fine. It can either be removed or mixed back into the starter.

You must feed your starter every time you use it. Use 200mls of non-chlorinated water. Next, add almost one full cup of flour. You must keep your sourdough starter very thick, like a thick pancake batter consistency. Have the container large enough so the level of the starter doesn’t get too close to the top of the jar or it will bubble over. (you can use your starter once a day (or even every 8 hours) but its best to use it at least once every few weeks. Even if you don’t make bread, take out a cup and feed it at least once a month)

See the bread recipes now to make your loaf and have a read of these other notes that will help you become an expert at sourdough in no time!

The final dough is a little stickier and wetter than usual bread doughs. It is ready to cook when it has almost doubled in size and looks like a bubbly batter. This time will vary depending in the temperature. Usually takes 8 to 10 hours, however if the weather is warm to hot it will be ready sooner. To get the best result you don’t want to leave it past the doubling point, as it won’t rise as it is cooking (it is still good to eat, just won’t have the bubbles and the nice shape)

Remember sourdough rises differently from yeast dough: you have to stop it just before it doubles: if you wait too long, or punch it down like yeast bread, it probably can’t rise anymore and is very dense when cooked. Similarly, if you don’t wait long enough, it is dense. This time changes with how active your culture is, how warm the rising area is, and how stiff the dough is: you have to make the bread a few times to see how long it takes in your kitchen. (best to do everything the same each time till you figure out your sourdough’s behavior).

When you are ready to shape your sourdough, you will need plenty of flour on your working surface or silpat. (This may be a good time to mention that its best to clean all the dough and batter off your utensils and bowls as soon as you’re done, or it is a real challenge once it has dried like concrete.

Now, VERY GENTLY, pour out the dough, being very careful NOT to pop any of the bubbles. Now gently fold the dough in from all four sides: this is all the shaping you do

There are several varieties of sourdough breads you can make and I encourage you to experiment with different flours, fruits and grains.

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