Since I have starter (Henry) that needs love and attention now and then, I decided it was worth a try. It’s really a 24 hour process, so planning ahead is essential.
At 10 pm on Friday night, I mixed the dough ingredients together, placed the dough into a bowl, and the bowl on the counter for the 18 hour rise. Now, I was just a wee bit skeptical, since there was no yeast added to the mixture and I wasn’t sure how Henry would actually perform since he is generally a quiet type. Oh, and I halved the recipe in case it turned into a disaster
Well, to my surprise and amazement, 18 hours later the dough was bubbly and had risen satisfactorily. I scooped it out onto the bread board and waited 15 minutes.
In the meantime I tried to decide which container would be the best for baking. I don’t have a dutch oven or much that is metallic, so I settled on a 3 quart Corning ware saucepan with lid. After time was called, I gathered up the dough and plopped it into the pan as the recipe instructed.
Then, it was left to rise again for 4 hours.
Now it was ready for baking and placed into a cold oven with the temperature set for 450 degrees and the timer set for 70 minutes. I walked away.
Well, not every experiment succeeds, you know.
It wasn’t exactly a failure – it was a learning experience. As is said, every failure gives you the information you need for success, and I figured I’d be really successful the next time.
Issue 1: a 3-quart pan was too large for half a recipe.
Issue 2: there was no instruction to grease the pan, so the bread had to be chiseled out.Issue 3: 70 minutes at 450 was waaaaay too long, especially when I was distracted and didn’t watch carefully. Burnt bread.
On the postive side, after tearing out hunks of unburnt bread for examination, I discovered that the texture was good, nice and open, and that the taste was fine with a nice sour tang. So, not to be outdone by a loaf of bread, I went to
This time I calculated back from when I wanted to actually eat the bread (dinner tonight) so began the assembly process at 5 pm on Sunday evening. Since Henry had been rejuvenated in the meantime and since I knew the dough would perform as expected, I was confident about that part of the process.
I gave more thought to the container and this time chose a 1 quart Corning ware pan with lid. And I greased it.
At the 18-hour mark, this morning, I removed the dough from the bowl, let it rest 15 minutes, then gently scooped it into a roundish form and plopped it into the smaller, greased container. Another 4 hours of rising ensued. Then, I once again placed the bread into the cold oven, set the temperature for 450 degrees and the timer for 45 minutes. And, I kept an eye on it. All went well. I removed the lid with 12 minutes to to, and added an extra 5 minutes so the top could turn nice and golden.
I ended up with a nice small loaf of sourdough bread that had a pleasant sour taste, open texture and chewy crust. Next time I will try the full recipe. And I'll have to figure out how to keep the camera flash from whiting out the photo.