Saturday, February 20, 2021

Montessori at Home: Sourdough Hacks

Five Sourdough Tips

To Overcome Epic Fails

Don't Give Up!

omg this smells so amazing....

One of my most vivid memories from Montessori school as a child was of making whole wheat bread in tiny little loaves.  The smell was TANTALIZING and filled the whole classroom for hours.  I had never eaten homemade, warm, fresh bread before,  but it wasn't until fifty years later (during the pandemic!) that I've had it again on any kind of regular basis.  

Thanks to Youtube and Facebook I've learned a lot of trouble-shooting tips--things I normally wouldn't have the time or patience to learn.  So I'm passing these along to you!

  • During the winter, when the house may be very dry, oil some plastic wrap and place on top of dough before the bulk rise.  I also covered with damp towel (probably overkill) and then covered the bowl with a snug-fitting shower cap.

  • Put a cookie sheet on the lower rack under the rack you're baking on.
  • Preheat your dutch oven and lid.
  • Use a spray bottle of water to mist the top of dough right before baking.
  • This last tip is tricky.  Normally you are supposed to bake this bread for 20 minutes in the dutch oven with the lid on, 30 minutes with the lid off, and an additional 10 minutes without the dutch oven, where the loaf sits directly on the rack.  But this can sometimes lead to overbaking.  I recommend using a digital thermometer like this or this to check the bread's temperature right before the last step.  If it's at 208 degrees Fahrenheit, it's ready.  Especially if you'll be reheating or toasting slices of this bread later, this temp will keep if from being too dried out.  Of course it's fine to leave it in for the last 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it.  You want it crispy but not crazy crispy!

I used a recipe for Everyday Sourdough from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa.  And while you can use a sharp knife or razor to score the dough, my Mother's Day gift last year was this lame.  

Here's a video recapping some of these tips, starting with the morning after you've done an 8-10 hour bulk rise.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this video to take the mystery out of sourdough!