Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Yeast Obsession

It all started when someone gave us an Amish Friendship Bread starter. One thing led to another and though we aren't maintaining the Friendship Bread, we made a successful sourdough starter from scratch that is thriving very well. 3 batches of the King Arthur Pain au Levain recipe later and we're hooked. Last night we made english muffins, this morning sourdough pancakes, and this afternoon was focaccia. Thankfully other people seem to enjoy our bread, so we don't have to consume it all ourselves, though it wouldn't be a hard task to undertake I don't think if we didn't have to face the scale in the morning.
There are many many many more recipes to undertake. And some without sourdough starter as well. Something to try soon is pita bread. Maybe tomorrow! So, here is the recipe for focaccia that I used today. Forgive the ounces and cups...I was being lazy and didn't weigh the starter...the secret to good bread...weigh your ingredients. Really. Try it.


2 cups sourdough starter

10 ounces water (I actually started with 8 but realized later the dough was not soft enough...thankfully bread can be forgiving..I added one ounce in the mixer and decided after it was in the bowl to rise it needed more and kneading in another ounce, and it still turned out very well)
-mix and let sit for about 30 minutes

12 ounces white flour
4 ounces whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
2 T olive oil
2 t salt

-mix till combined. You may turn out and knead,
this is a very wet and soft dough, and may be kneaded by simply folding or tossing a few times. Put in oiled bowl and set to rise for about 2 hours. Prepare a half sheet pan with parchment and brush with olive oil. Turn dough out onto this and gently press it out to meet edges. Let rest if it resists. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours. Use floured fingers now to "dimple" the surface. Cover and let sit for about 10-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush with olive oil and season to taste. I used salt and thyme on one side and sausage, sage, caramelized onions and tomatoes on the other.
Bake till golden, about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool on rack.


Julia said...

That focaccia looks great!! I'd eat it!!

Julia said...

What cookbook are you using??