The Covered Dish
Debbie Dance Uhrig
With all the changes, within our nation, I felt it was time to once again share my method, for making sourdough bread. As we look at the months ahead it is necessary to prepare ourselves, for the re-occurrence of Covid. Even though the first round is still going full speed ahead. Maybe everyone will be wrong and it won’t return, that would be oh, so wonderful. But let’s not travel by chance. Instead I feel it is important to look, at the items which were quickly consumed, at the grocery store. We were always able to get bread, however yeast was not an ever-ready product. Laundry soap, toilet tissue, sanitizers, vinegar, Clorox and dishwasher soaps should be kept in ample supply. Root vegetables hold for longer periods of time. Watch meat prices and continue to set some back in the freezer. Do the same thing with chicken and seafood. With everyone at home I also noticed we went through salad dressing pretty quickly. Especially with me making a couple of big batches of tuna salad.
I could go on and on about all the tips I’ve been suggesting, on the home front, as we look at the months ahead. We invested about $250.00 in above ground gardening so I can be doing a bit of canning this summer. Our property is actually in the National Forest, and we don’t have any level land or full sunshine. So I’m gardening with a friend, on her acreage.
Making bread is perhaps one of the most fulfilling things I do. It’s also one of the most inexpensive investments. As long as you purchase your flour in bulk you will come out way ahead of the game. If you purchase the flour in the regular grocery store, the prices double per loaf, on the cost.
Let’s just talk about flavor real quickly. Any bread made with a starter is going to taste ‘way’ better than regular bread, made with fresh yeast. In fact, this type of bread is some of the most flavorful on the planet! Why, you may be asking. It is due to 2 major things. #1, when you start a ‘mother’ you begin with a package of real yeast. However by the time you bake with it, it’s become ‘wild’ yeast. Wild yeast has phenomenal flavor, which cannot be duplicated with regular yeast. #2, breads made with starters take about 8 hours per ‘step’ to produce fresh bread. This again means excellent flavor outcome.
I like to use my sourdough as my sort of outreach ministry. Our son, was aghast when I told him I was starting the bread up again! Everyone loves to see it headed their way. You can also make phenomenal cinnamon rolls with this dough. I’ve also seen bakers use the starter in pancakes, waffles and other desserts.
If you’ve never worked with a wet sourdough consider working with someone who has! Many give up because they think the dough is just way too wet. In turn, they start putting more flour in, which messes with everything from flavor to moisture.
Tonight I put my starter together and I’m excited about making the first batch. I plan on feeding mine at least 3 times before I bake with it. I also believe you will find the flavor gets better with time. Getting a ‘start’ from someone else is also better than having to start your own ‘mother’.
On the home front I’m headed to the top deck tomorrow to paint the metal rails and work my way down to the floor sealing, etc. I’m preparing for a community yard sale, which I truly hate doing! Seriously, no joking. And mid-week we are gathering friends to help with the fencing around our gardens. Someone please tell me how folks got bored during their time, at home, with Covid 19? Our childhood neighbors were the ‘Kitch’ family and Mr. Kitch always said: ‘Idle hands are the devils workshop.’ So, there you go!
Embrace each moment my friends and bake a little bread! Simply yours, The Covered Dish. thecovereddish.com
|SOURDOUGH START & BREAD MAKING|
|SOUR DOUGH STARTER:
1 pkg. dry yeast
Mix yeast and 1/2 cup warm water well; set aside. Mix remaining 4 ingredients well, then add yeast and water solution. Let stand for 2 days in a warm place. Feed on the third day.
1/3 c. sugar
Mix well and add to starter. Let stand out of refrigerator all day or 8 to 12 hours. Solution does not rise, only bubbles. Use only 1 cup in making bread. Return remaining starter to refrigerator. Feed again in 3-5 days. If bread is not made after feeding, throw 1 cup of starter away or give to a friend. Starter must always be fed every 3-5 days, always keeping 1 cup.
SOURDOUGH BREAD LOAVES:
1/3 c. sugar
Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add oil and stir in the water and starter to make a stiff batter. Cover lightly with a tea towel and let stand overnight or double in size.
Next morning, punch down dough or just divide into 2-3 parts. I find this depends upon the size of your pans! Put into greased loaf pans and brush with oil or butter. Let rise all day or until double in size. Cover with tea towel or a greased saran wrap that is laid on top. Dough will rise slowly. Bake 20 minutes or until brown at 350 degrees. Bake on bottom rack.
*These make great cinnamon rolls!