Freshly Baked Bread

July 31, 2008 | By | Comments (4)

Bread In the world of food, there are some seriously great smells:  chocolate chip cookies, homemade pizza, and a nice cheesy casserole.  However, nothing comes close to matching the aroma of freshly baked bread. When I was younger, my mom would get “starter” from a neighbor and off we’d go to bake a dreamy loaf or two of sourdough bread.  We’d keep it going for awhile, then someone would forget to feed the starter and we’d be back to store-bought sliced bread.

So when I heard that a coworker had starter, I knew I had to ask for a little bit.  Thankfully, he graciously shared it, along with a printed sheet of instructions, recipes, hints, and tips.  Daunted at first, I quickly realized that the key to baking homemade bread (at least in my recipe) is being home every 12 hours so you can add flour, add more flour, add even more flour, then knead. That’s right, knead.  There’s no bread maker in my limited-space kitchen!

I learned a lot while making the bread, namely that I really enjoy the few minutes it takes to knead the bread because you can’t do anything else, but also that making bread is definitely cheaper than buying.  I had to buy everything, and even then my loaves have averaged out to about twenty-five cents per loaf. I love serving it with a simple dip of olive oil, red curry flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese.

So give it a try.  Make a starter and share it with friends, asking them to pass it along as well. See how far your starter goes, and try lots of different sourdough bread recipes, then let us know which is your favorite.  Do you have any helpful bread-making or kneading tips?  Let me know!  I’m still learning…

COMMENTS

  1. Sonia

    If you are really interested in sourdough bread making, then I highly recommend La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton. I got my starter from King Arthur 12 years ago and still making great bread. This starter is fed only with flour and water. I just keep in covered in a glass bowl in the frig and then “feed it” with flour and water. Wait about 3 to 4 hours and I’m making bread. Hope this is helpful to you. There is nothing like homemade artisan sourdough bread!!

    July 31, 2008 at 11:10 am
  2. Minerva

    In the article above, you mention that you made the sourdough my hand because you don’t have a bread machine. But when I follow the link for recipes for sourdough bread, there are only recipes that use a bread maker. I don’t have one of those either. Could you send me a hand made sourdough recipe that has been tested to come out well in an ordinary kitchen oven? Thank you.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:59 pm
  3. Ashley

    Minerva,
    Here’s the recipe. Keep in mind that the starter I use is a liquid starter:
    Combine about 1 Tbsp. starter, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup water, cover, and let stand 6-8 hours.
    Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water and stir to combine. Cover and let stand 6-8 hours.
    Add 2 cups water, about 1 Tbsp. salt, and 4-6 cups flour. Knead until dough is smooth (if too sticky, add more flour).
    Form into two loaves, place in cold oven and let rise 4-8 hours (I ususally do overnight). Loaves will triple or more in size.
    Turn oven on to 425, and bake 40 minutes or until loaves are browned and sound hollow when tapped.
    It is YUMMY! I’m trying to think of more excuses to make and eat it! Maybe sourdough bread pudding…
    Ashley

    August 1, 2008 at 8:39 am
  4. gabyann

    Just like to tell anyone who is interrested that if you like homemade bread there is no better book like
    ‘secrets of a jewish baker’ by George Greenstein
    It has the sourdough starter reipes and best bread recipes
    included plus all the other breads like cinnamon rolls ,homemade pizza,itallien bread etc.I bought my fisrst one at a book club and the second one at amazone.com.[Grandchild got hold of the first one.
    I’M from Germany and i suffered for 20 years eating store bought bread untill I found this book .HALLELUYA PRAISE THE LORD

    August 11, 2008 at 5:55 am

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