February 17, 2010

Semi-Successful Sourdough

One of the most important things I learned in this attempt is that I need to have more patience.  I need to give myself WAY more time than I think I'm going to need to make a batch of sourdough goodness.

I started this project on Monday evening with the hopes that we'd have hamburger buns for dinner on Tuesday.  We had hamburgers for dinner tonight, not last night as I'd hoped.  It wasn't a big deal at all.  I just need to make stuff well ahead of when I think I'm going to want it done.

The recipe was simple (I am posting what I did, not what the specific instructions were):
  • 2 cups sourdough starter, proofed and active
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3-5 cups all purpose flour (I used bread flour since it was all I had)
  1. Stir together everything except the flour.
  2. Work flour in gradually until it comes together and can be turned out and kneaded (in my case this was just shy of 3 cups).
  3. Knead until dough is shiny and satiny.
  4. Put in lightly oiled container and refrigerate overnight.
  1. Allow to come to room temperature and let rise until doubled in size.
  2. Punch dough down and let it rest 15-20 minutes.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into equal portions (I did 10, next time I'll go with only 6-8).
  4. Shape into rough circles, smooth the top by pulling the dough down under the ball then flatten to about 1/2 to 3/4" high.
  5. Place on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise to desired size.
  6. Bake at 375 until golden brown, 15-18 minutes.
  7. Immediately place on cooling racks to cool.
It took until almost 3pm on Tuesday to get the dough to double in size.  I shaped the buns and let them go until a little after 6pm.  I was nervous that they weren't rising well at all and was afraid that I'd messed them up.  So in the name of experimentation I put one pan into a steamed oven and let them bake about 16 minutes.  I got a decent amount of oven spring, but they still weren't the size I wanted.  The taste was gooooooooood though.  Nice crusty exterior with a slightly sourdough inside.  They were a little dense still.

So I let the other pan sit on the counter for another 4 hours.  About 10 o'clock last night I popped them into a 400 degree oven and let them baked for 15 minutes.  (I always preheat my oven 25 degrees hotter and then drop in when I put the stuff in -- to compensate for the drop in temp when I open the door.  Last night I forgot to turn the heat down so they baked a little hotter than I'd intended.)  The extra 4 hours proofing gave them the extra height I was looking for and a beautiful crumb.


I give it a 7 out of 10.  Next time I'll shape the buns a little bigger, give them more time to rise and make sure to bake them at 375 instead of 400.  Definitely not bad for my first try.


Flying Monkeys said...

They were tasty! I didn't have the burgers just the buns. Yum!

Old Sourdough said...

Well they looked killer-diller! What caught my eye was you putting bread in the oven at 10 pm - I'm so glad I'm not alone in doing that :-) Keep up the great work.

Jen Gray said...

Oh, yes, most definitely looks delicious! Sourdough does take much longer to rise but aren't the results well worth the wait? : )