Fermented foods (and drinks) are fabulous! I was recently given a homemade sourdough starter by a friend. As he sat in my fridge, breathing through the air-holes in his jar, I contemplated (and pinned) the various delicious baked goodies I could make. English muffins, coffee cake, sourdough bread! Finally, I settled on some big-ass sourdough rounds. Seriously, one of them ended up bigger than my head! Good job, little starter! Once I had measured out the cup of starter needed to make the bread, I had to do what’s known as “feeding the b!tch”. That is, add some water, flour, and a sweetener to the jar of starter so it will continue to live & ferment and make you more delicious sourdough goodies! It’s also a good idea to do this every week or so when you’re not using your starter. To replenish your starter, you’ll need:
- 3/4C water (not too hot)
- 3/4C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar or honey
Stir the above into the existing jar of starter until combined. Cover with cheesecloth, or a lid with holes poked to allow “breathing”. Let stand at room temperature for about a day and a half. Store in the refrigerator.
Here’s a video of me “feeding the b!tch”.
Big-As-My-Head Sourdough Rounds
(adapted from a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens cookbook)
- 1C sourdough starter (for some starter recipes, check out my It’s ALIVE! board on Pinterest)
- about 6C all-purpose flour
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp if you’re using a jar) active dry yeast
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- a few swigs of olive oil
- Stir your starter & allow 1C to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
- Combine 2 1/2C of flour with the yeast and set aside.
- Combine 1 1/2C of water, sugar, butter, and salt until warm and butter is nearly melted. (It’s very important that this mixture not be too hot, or it could kill the yeast!)
- Add water mixture to dry mixture in mixer bowl. Add starter. Beat using mixer fitted with a dough hook for about 30 seconds on medium speed, scrape down the bowl, then beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
- Combine 2 1/2C of flour with baking soda, and add to dough mixture. Add all the remaining flour until combined and knead in the mixer (that’s why we’re using a dough hook) for about 6-8 mins until a firm ball of dough is achieved.
- Place the dough ball in a bowl coated in olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place (I usually use my stove top area) to rise for at least 45 minutes. The dough will double in size.
- After 45 minutes, punch down the dough, divide in half, cover, and rest for about 10 minutes.
- Form dough into 2 rounds, tucking any scruffy bits underneath. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. (These will get BIG. You may want to use 2 separate baking sheets.) Make a criss-crossed slash across the top of each round to prevent cracking. Cover & allow to rise a second time, for about 30 minutes.
- Bake in a 375F oven for about 35 minutes per loaf, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool 5-10 minutes before cutting.