When my daughters were young, I baked bread every Friday for the weekend. As they grew older, and my schedule became more erratic, and bread became a pariah to American palates, that weekly scent of baking bread became an occasional treat.
Now that our younger daughter’s wedding last Sunday has soooo quickly come and gone, I grabbed a bit of time to do one of my favorite things again: bake bread. I keep 2 different sourdough starters in my fridge that I feed weekly. I grabbed the San Francisco strain, made from a dry starter I purchased online [www.northwestsourdough.com] (the other is a SoCal strain I made using my Grandma Cecelia’s recipe and inviting natural local wild yeast strains to populate it).
I consistently return to a recipe I ran across while living in Colorado at nearly 10,000 ft. altitude. Many things, including allowing bread to rise, were difficult at that altitude. So I have a rise-once recipe that I love. And I use organic-only, mostly Eikhorn, flours, sea salt, olive oil, eggs from my neighbor, organic cane sugar, and raw milk. If you’re going to do it, use the best ingredients.
How to Make “No Knead-Fast Rising” Roll Dough
Bake: 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes Makes: About 1-1/2 dozen
*The night before, if using sourdough starter instead of yeast, (1 T. of yeast = 1 cup of starter), place in mixing bowl 1 cup of starter added with 1/2 cup room-temperature water plus 1 cup flour, lightly stirred, and covered until next day.
**If you’re interested in making your own sourdough starter, see the simple instructions below the recipe.
Place in this order in Mixing Bowl:
- 1 packet or 1 T. active dry yeast or above-notated sourdough starter
- 2 T. organic cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cups organic flour (whole wheat or unbleached or Eikhorn)
- 1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 cup olive oil or melted butter
- 1/2 cup warmed raw milk (milk makes a more tender crumb than water)
Beat at speed 3 (medium low) for 3 minutes. Stir in 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups unbleached or Eikhorn flour (too much whole wheat flour will make for heavier rolls) to make a very stiff dough. Cover. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Toss on well-floured surface until no longer sticky. Shape into dinner rolls and place on baking sheet or baking stone. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes (depending on the warmth of your kitchen).
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
TO MAKE YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER
Using a large jar or stone crock, mix together 1 cup flour plus 1 cup non-chlorinated water to a smooth paste. Set aside in a warm place to sour, about a week.
I placed mine near my kitchen window so it could be introduced to all the wild yeasts floating around in my yard.
After a day or two, the mixture will start to bubble while the wild yeasts grow. Feed it about 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water every other day for about 10 days, then it should be nice and alive and sour, with a consistency of yogurt. You can then cover it with plastic wrap punctured with holes (the wild yeasts need to breathe) and attached with a rubber band, and store it in your refrigerator.
Some professional bakers I know, the Prager Brothers in Carlsbad, CA (http://www.pragerbrothers.com/) feed their starter daily. But they also use a tremendous amount of starter daily. I feed mine weekly, well, sometimes every two weeks, about 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water, stirred in. And if you decide to try your own starter, then think you’ve killed it, you can find information online to help recover it, like I once did : )
So, here’s to the things we love, and the time to do them.
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