Sourdough Chronicles (Day 5) – A Doughy Day
Le Dough – (Bread Day 2)
A somewhat more complicated day. I started off by taking the sponge out of the fridge and cutting it into rough pieces to help it warm up faster (about an hour). I covered it so it would not crust over. Meanwhile, measured out:
4-1/2 cups flour (unbleached, all-purpose, high gluten)
2 Tsp salt
1-3/4 cup warm water
I added all these in a large non reactive mixing bowl (for some reason everyone suggests staying away from anything metallic), together with the cut up sponge. I added the water gradually as I was mixing, so i could control how moist I wanted my dough. Generally you would want your dough firm but moist so you can get those big irregular holes in your crumb.
Once the dough started coming together, out it went onto a floured kneading board where I knead it for approximately 15 minutes.
Then, into a large lightly oiled bowl it went for a 5 hour rise. Depending on your kitchen temperature, your dough will double in size sooner or later. Mine took that much at a 68 F degrees kitchen. Next time I will leave it even longer. Remember, the longer you leave it, the more flavor builds up.
After that time, the sourdough bread dough looked very happy. It doubled in size (at least) and developed a pleasant sourdough smell.
I didn’t do any punching on this dough as I would normally do with regular bread dough. I just left it there and forgot about it.
Next came the actual bread shaping. I didn’t take much time with that, since I wanted minimal dough deflation. Turned the dough out onto the light floured board, divided it in two with my nifty pastry scraper, and gently shaped them in two round batards.
I used two colanders lined with floured (very well floured) kitchen towels (next time I’ll use what’s called flour sack towels) to house these loafs.
You can use regular baskets, bowls, etc., or if you feel fancy, proofing baskets.
At this point I used two plastic bags to wrap each basket and into the fridge they went for another night. This again to let the dough develop more flavor.
Kissed the sourdough good night and went to bed.