Sour Dough Revised

I have been experimenting with sourdough and have developed a new recipe which takes about 25 hours to make but it is, in my opinion, so much better tasting and doesn’t need yeast to help it along. It is no more work, just more time. It is chewier and richer in flavor.

I now sterilize jars and utensils, and use boiled water which has been cooled, for replenishing the starter to prevent contamination. Another change is that I take the one cup of starter and add 1 cup water and enough unbleached white bread flour to it to be the consistency of the usual starter and let that set out for 6 hours (until bubbly) before mixing it into the rest of the ingredients. After rising this initial mixture for ~6 hours I mix in the rest of the ingredients and let it rise until double (usually another 10 hours). Rising times are very approximate. The type of flours used at each step have significant impact on the outcome so take care in substituting. I use all purpose for the starter maintenance, white bread flour for the first rising to grow the starter quickly, and then the whole grain last because the rising slows with this flour. So, I am going from higher starch flour to lower starch flours.

Here is the process….
1 Cup starter
1 Cup water
White unbleached bread flour – enough to bring it back to consistency of the usual starter.
Rise 6 hours or more and then add:
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Teaspoons salt
I don’t measure the flour but slowly add about 1/2 Spelt flour and 1/2 rye flour to the right consistency to knead the dough.
Rise 10 hours, knead, divide into two loaves.
Place into greased bread loaf pans and rise another ~6 hours.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Toasted Sunflower Seeds

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Add water and salt to bowl large enough to easily mix the sunflower seeds. Mix the salt and water. Add the seeds and mix to coat the seeds. Then add oil to coat all seeds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use baking parchment to cover a large cookie sheet. Spread the seeds out on the cookie sheet. They will toast more evening if they are spread in a thin layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until just golden brown. They are very sensitive to time and can easily be undercooked or burned within one minute so watch carefully until you know what length of time works best in your oven. Let the seeds cool completely before storing.

I use the seeds on salad, sautéed vegetables, in cookie recipes, and on ice cream.

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper

1 large eggplant cut up into pieces no thicker than 3/4 inch
2-3 red bell peppers cut up in medium sized chunks
1/2 yellow onion chopped and caramelized in a little olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black or mixed peppercorns
1-3 cloves of crushed garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Brussel sprouts are also a good addition to this dish – a few or a lot.
Mix all ingredients together and place in baking dish that is big enough so the vegetables can easily cook (not too deep). I use a 9″x13″ glass baking dish. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for about an hour. Mix as necessary to assure all vegetables bake evenly.