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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Alaskan Sourdough (Revisited)

After a couple of adjustments (failures) since my last sourdough post, I think I’ve finally found a reliable and consistent way to make and bake bread in a wood stove. Here’s some things I’ve learned:
1.   It’s not as easy as some internet sites claim. Making a loaf of sourdough bread is not hard, but it’s not easy either. Expect to fail…many times.
2.   Don’t be afraid to experiment. Eventually you’ll find the right amount of ingredients.
3.   The starter is on its own schedule. When “its” ready, that’s when you bake…not the other way around.
4.   Kneading is not required. Just mix the ingredients, cover and let it rise.
5.   Place the dough in the oven and leave it alone! Find something to do and forget about the bread until it’s done. Don’t be tempted to peek. Every time the wood stove is opened, precious heat is lost. Unless another fire is started, you just lessened the chances of a successful loaf.
6.   Baking bread is really frustrating. Make sure the starter is active, the brand of flour is the “good stuff”, keep the proper wood stove temperature (450F), acquire some knowledge of the starter (when to feed, rise times, when to bake), have a patient spouse (you’ll waste a lot of flour).

As I write this post, I’m eating the best bread I have ever tasted. Isn’t that worth the frustration? You bet it is…yummmmm.

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