Cooking

The Perfect Sourdough

I started seeing a lot of people get into bread baking during the pandemic. Which was kinda cool. I definitely think it’s a fun hobby to have. It’s sometimes a hard hobby because it’s time consuming, sometimes a loaf of bread takes several days and you never know if it’s going to turn out…and then you’ve just wasted two days on a loaf of bread. (Which happened to me recently.)

This is the book I use:

I’ve posted it before. I love the book because it’s simple, easy to follow, beautiful and has step-by-step photo instructions for making bread. It’s perfect for beginners. And then there’s a bunch of other recipes in there, some more advanced. I highly recommend this book!

I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes I’ve looked for online. I don’t like most of them. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the loaf I threw in the garbage recently! It’s always a bummer to spend that much time and effort and have the bread not turn out.

So I usually go back to the tried and true recipe from this book. Here is the measurements for the recipe (from the book):

600 grams bread flour

12 grams salt

30 grams sourdough starter

360 grams warm water (I used bottled water)

This week I made the PERFECT LOAF. Like seriously, one of the best I’ve ever made. And I wanted to share because I kind of experimented based on the above measurements.

This time I used 600 grams of flour BUT I used 25% whole wheat and the rest was white bread flour. That ratio turned out really great!

Plus, I added chopped kalamata olives and rosemary from my garden. Not a lot of either.

I got a good rise overnight (dough doubled–which is good, sometimes the house is too cold and we don’t get a great rise).

I followed the book’s instructions (preheat oven to 500 degrees, then turn it down to 425). I baked the loaf in my dutch oven for 35 minutes with the LID ON, then 25 minutes with the lid OFF and that seemed liked the perfect balance. (The book instructions are 30-40 minutes with the lid on and 10 or so with it off.)

I let it cool for a few hours. Then I had a slice. It was PERFECT:

Perfect bake, no gummy parts, no overcooked parts, air pockets, chewy, good crust without being too hard, the flavor was PERFECTLY sour with the delectable salty kalamata flavor and then once in awhile I’d get a bite of rosemary flavor. I think in the future I’d try the kalamata olives with maybe garlic cloves instead of rosemary but overall it was very, very good! I am super happy with how it turned out and I think I have my new recipe down!

Let me know if you are doing sourdough and how it’s going! πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a good holiday!

We had a good, but busy week. We had friends over Sunday night for Yule dinner and presents. Then on Christmas Eve my parents came into town to visit for a few days. Michael smoked some chicken and I made a really delicious Brussels Sprout dish for dinner. (Cut sprouts in half, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped shallots, red pepper flakes, bake for 15 minutes then top with cubes of brie cheese and chopped walnuts, bake for another 15 minutes. So good!)

This year was particularly fun. Logan understood Christmas a lot more and was SO excited! We left out milk and cookies for Santa and first thing Christmas morning, Logan walked past all the presents and went to inspect the milk and cookies to see if Santa ate them. πŸ˜‰

Logan got lots of cool stuff from everyone. He got a Star Wars cape from his Auntie Rachel. πŸ™‚ Lots of dinosaur stuff. Coloring books from us. And headphones from Santa for his very first plane ride next month!

He got Frozen PJs on Christmas Eve and LOVED them and wore them all day on Christmas.

I got some nice goodies! A tray for my jacuzzi tub (and a bathtub pillow!!)– I can’t wait to use it! My brother got me some keto chocolate and much needed new swim goggles. Michael got me a wireless charger for my phone for work. It was a really nice day.

Christmas Day was low key. Logan and I took a nap. He played with his new toys and watched movies with Grandpa. Stevie was loving all the attention. Then Michael’s family came over in the afternoon for Christmas #2 and dinner.

Lots of good food! For dinner we made a spiral ham and Michael’s mac n’ cheese. Michael’s sister made green bean casserole, deviled eggs and her famous beef and green bean appetizers. There were tons of munchies.

It was a full table!

All the food turned out great. There was tons of it, too. Leftovers for days.

More presents. Logan got a bunch of new PJs, clothes, underwear and new shoes (which were probably his favorite present!).

Christmas cookies made by Michael’s sister (she makes the best cookies!). It was chaotic but fun having a full house.

The day after Christmas we had breakfast and then my parents headed to the beach for a few days before going home to Seattle. Michael and Logan went to Michael’s mom’s house to set up some technology they got for Christmas. I went to the gym and then after-Christmas shopping.

The rest of the day was pretty low-key. Cleaning and then preparing for another dinner party with Michael’s childhood friends. This time it was chicken enchiladas (from the leftover smoked chicken) and leftover Mac n’ cheese. It was a fun night but I am so ready to have a few relaxing days this weekend!

Happy holidays!