This is going to be a long post. I may never stop typing. That’s how much I love good sourdough bread and how much I love making bread in general. I’ll try to keep it organized but . . well, you know how I am!
Sourdough by Foodbod:
Sunday evening, Vince had already gone to bed and I was wasting time on the computer and wanted to spend some time on this website: Sourdough by Foodbod. The lady’s name is Elaine Boddy. A few days before, I had come across a book she has coming out in September. The title is Whole Grain Sourdough at Home and can be pre-ordered, which I did. The description says “The simple way to bake artisan bread with whole wheat, einkorn, spelt, rye and other ancient grains”. Right up my alley. I seriously can’t wait for this book to get here.
When I happened on her website, I was mesmerized! Truly, I could not tear myself away except to grab my sourdough starter out of the fridge and get started making a batch of sourdough using Elaine’s method.
Her method is different from any method I’ve ever used in two ways:
- She puts her “final proof” in the fridge (all the instructions are on her website linked above); then she puts the dough into a non-pre-heated Dutch oven. (Can you use two hyphens in one word? I think when talking about bread, it’s acceptable.)
- She puts the covered Dutch oven in a cold oven and begins the baking process from there.
Placing the dough in a cold Dutch oven had me jumping for joy . . only in my head. I can’t jump like I once did. I have always preheated a cast iron Dutch oven and then trying to get the dough out of the banneton into the hot pot meant either I burned myself, I dumped the dough in and it grabbed hold of a hot edge of the pot and I had a horribly misshaped loaf or it dumped too hard and deflated itself or . . all three! By placing the dough into a parchment paper lined room temp Dutch oven, I wasn’t going to burn myself, the dough wasn’t going to stick to the hot pot and I wasn’t going to have to dump it from a distance to try to avoid burning myself.
My head told me that putting that dough in a cold oven might not be wise but this girl has a ton of followers who think she is the Goddess of Sourdough so who was I to question what she said.
It turned out perfect. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. But don’t leave yet . . I’m not done talking!
There were issues, some of which are the result of the entire world making bread this very minute apparently and the fact that they have bought up all the supplies that I needed! 🙂
The Goddess of Sourdough lives somewhere other than the U.S. and she recommends a Falcon roasting pan for baking the bread. Apparently, Falcon doesn’t like us U.S. bread bakers because I couldn’t find anything resembling a Falcon 26 cm roasting pan. I’m just joking about them not liking us. They seem like a lovely company and everyone who is lucky enough to have one of their pots loves it.
I figured out that the Falcon pots are enamel pots – not enamel coated cast iron. Cast iron, even with an enamel coating, tends to burn the bottom of the bread just a little. So, I thought to myself, I’m betting Graniteware has a similar Dutch Oven/roaster and I can order one of those. Wrong! All those people who got up on Day 1 of the shutdown and decided to become bread bakers . . they’ve bought every piece of Graniteware out there and the ones they didn’t buy . . they used to be $30 and now they’re $175 so . . no to that idea!
I asked Vince if we could go to Great Britain and he said “when?” and I said “tomorrow!” Since I won’t even go to the grocery store in our town, he thought that was odd but I told him I needed a bread baking pan and he assured me that he would find one in this house. He didn’t but I did.
I found this pot on a shelf in the shop.
I said to myself . . this is the perfect size! I wonder what brand this is. I looked on the bottom and it simply says “CHINA” on it. That is all I will say about that.
Elaine (it sounds like we’re good friends and on a first name basis but really, I just think she’s the Goddess of Sourdough and I hate calling her Goddess Elaine so I’ll just call her Elaine!) says to coat the banneton with rice flour. No one has ever told me that before or if they did, I skipped over that part. I’ve always coated it with all purpose flour which seems to have made a sticky dough stick worse . . kind glued the dough to the banneton, but rice flour is so different. It’s almost like using baby powder or something. Probably . . the “or something”!
But, wait . . I have no rice flour. Not a problem. I’ll just order it from Amazon and since they probably think rice flour is non-essential, I’ll have it by July but . . no rice flour. All those new bread bakers must be making rice flour bread.
Then, I remembered . . I have a wheat grinder and I have rice. I’ll just make my own dang rice flour.
Now . . who’s the Goddess of Sourdough? Huh? Ok . . still Elaine!
There it was . . ready to spend some time in the fridge. It was almost 90 degrees yesterday. Spending time in the fridge sounds good to me too!
Even though I didn’t make fancy, artistic cuts in my bread . . and probably never will because I’m not the artistic type, you need a lame, which is a razor blade on a stick. Knives are too thick and not sharp enough to make the type cuts that need to be made.
I have a lame. I bought it in 2015, according to Amazon. I also bought a baguette flipping board. I wonder where that flipping baguette board is! Probably with the lame I cannot find.
After spending several hours looking for the lame, I said . . heck, I’ll just order another one. You guessed it. All those new bread bakers must have purchased themselves a nice, new lame. I can’t blame them . . it’s my fault I lost mine. Amazon must have had 25 different styles of lames and not a single one in stock. I ordered one and it will be delivered sometime between now and Christmas, I hope. But I sharpened up a knife and used that to make the cuts in my loaf . . just a simple “X”. That’s about as artistic as I get.
The Finished Product:
Elaine’s method is about as simple as it gets. No yeast. Thank goodness because finding that these days is no easier than finding a lame. No mixer, no real kneading. Super easy if you follow her directions. I kinda didn’t because I’m not so good at following directions but it still turned out fine and I’ll do better with my next loaf.
I think that’s a very nice rise from a sourdough! And look at that rice flour on the outside! 🙂
The crumb was as close to perfect as I’ve ever had with sourdough. I think my dough was a bit wet and, as I mentioned, I kinda messed up at least one step, so I’m thrilled with the texture, the taste . . everything!
Even if you aren’t interested in making sourdough bread . . there HAS to be someone out there who isn’t interested in making bread right now, right? . . I think you’d enjoy looking at her website. She has gorgeous pictures of her bread but she doesn’t just make an “x” on her bread.
I’m so happy that I found her site and that she has a book coming out and that I had a sourdough starter here ready to be used. I’m happy I love to make bread and, even though I sounded grumpy about all the supplies being taken, I’m thankful there are a lot of folks trying their hand at bread baking these days and I hope at least some of them, if not all of them, will continue to find joy in making homemade bread.
And, I’m thankful for the Goddess of Sourdough! That lady is a wealth of knowledge and she has so freely shared. I hope her book is a best seller!