Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 31 & 32 – 100-mile Diet : Mastering and taming the sourdough bread beast!

We have bread! Real bread… bread we could make little sandwiches with: Sourdough goodness that has a golden and hard outside crust and a wonderful creamy center.

We couldn’t be happier!

We decided to never mind the quick recipes online. All web sites we found seem to be very much in a hurry to make bread : “Let rise for 1 hour”, “Let rise for 2 hours”, “Bake for 20 minutes”… It made no sense to us. Isn’t making bread an art form?

I remember my uncle Paul who used to make bread in his kitchen. For days, he had loaves of rising bread splayed about ever counter and fridge tops. It would be a week-end long endeavour and that is what we wanted; to have EARNED the bread.

So we decided to go with James recipe from the 100-mile book. We wanted to watch it come alive, wait for it and let it come to us. And we did.

His recipe is simple:


  • ½ cup of starter
  • 6 cups of flour
  • 2 ½ cups of warm water
  • Oil
  • (He writes salt, but we didn’t cheat!)
Let's GO!
  1. Take the starter out of the fridge and let it cool at room temperature.
  2. Mix the starter, water, salt (if you use it) and 4 cups of flour and blend.
  3. Knead the dough, adding the remaining 2 cups of flour ½ a cup at a time. (We ended up adding almost a half a cup of flour just to be able to knead it. That thing was alive!)
  4. Oil a ceramic or glass bowl and put the kneaded dough in it. Let rise for 12 hours in a warm place. (We chose the top of the fridge.)
  5. Take out of the bowl and knead for 5 minutes (we kneaded for almost 10 minutes, adding another ¼ cup of flour to get it to un-stick from our fingers.)
  6. Lightly oil 2 bread tins and put half of the dough in each.
  7. Let rise for another 6 hours or until it doubles. (We ended up letting it rise for almost 9 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven at 425’F and bake for 115 minutes.
  9. Turn down the heat at 350’F and bake for another 45 minutes.
  10. To know if it’s done, stick a knife in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.

VOILÀ! Patiently, awaited bread…

We are heading to my sister’s place this week-end. The car full of 100-mile staples and she is all about the adventure with us for a week-end. We will be hitting local markets and buying all kinds of goodies from her 100-miles. We love her for wanting to join in, she’s the best!

I’ll be back on Sunday night to tell you guys all about it!

Have a great week-end!