Fermented foods is my new passion. I am learning a lot about it, how healthy it is for us, especially grains. Most people who have issues with eating regular wheat flour can actually tolerate sourdough because the grains have been soaked and soured, it breaks down enzymes in the flour that are generally the cause of the intolerance. I don’t seem to have issues with wheat, although I don’t know that for sure, I’ve never been tested. However it is quite the “fad” to be gluten-free. I made sourdough pizza for a friend who was gluten sensitive and he didn’t report any issues back after. Anyway, I bought a sourdough Ebook from gnowfglins.com and got started right away getting my starter going. The Ebook is awesome! I highly recommend it, it has tons of recipes, tricks, and help for your sourdough needs.
After I got my starter ready I tried all types of things, rolls, pancakes, crackers, pizza. But my favorite and the easiest is something they call Bucket Bread. Basically it’s a combination of flour, water, and sourdough starter and you make a large batch of it and put it in, you guessed it, a bucket. I use a gallon bucket that use to hold our coconut oil. My first few buckets were pretty good. I got good rise on my dough and although there were a few doughy breads, for the most part I did well. Then it stopped, I think maybe with the colder weather change. But I’ve made two buckets (which is quite a bit of flour and several breads) and the stupid dough wouldn’t rise! I’ve laughed at myself a lot calling them hockey pucks. They have been perfect chew toys for the dogs, I’m sure they got quite a jaw work out too. Hubby was always pretty generous and ate the bread anyway. One turned out like a pancake and I left it out to rise and had nice bubbles on top, I couldn’t figure it out! It was so frustrating.
Last night was the break through moment, thanks to Hubby. I had the last bit of dough in my bucket, I’ve had ZERO success with this bucket, but I had to make the dough. It was getting quite sour! So I added a bit more flour, and then hubby suggested something, he actually said use some baking soda. The light bulb went off! When I make sourdough pancakes, I add baking soda to give it fluff. What a wonderful idea! So I eyeball and dump some in. Instantly my dough started to get puffy! I did a little dance. Hubby came in later and said “did you put in baking powder?” and I said “no baking soda.” He had said soda but had meant powder, but just that little mix up gave me the ah-ha moment I needed. We were actually out of power, so I’m glad I didn’t need that. So I covered them (I made two loafs) for the first 15 minutes per the instructions, and hoped for the best. After 15 minutes I took off the covers and they were looking plump and brown. I had a fear of a doughy middle, like most of them have turned out recently so I left it in a bit longer, another 15 minutes. When I pulled them out they looked fluffy, but with that same sourdough crisp crust. One looked a little too done… so I dumped them on to the cutting board and sliced into the big one. It was fluffy!!! YAHOO!! It made my whole week actually, is that sad? Taste test with Hubby and our friend turned out great, we put some raw butter on there with some homemade peach jam, er syrup, it didn’t quite set up right. Everyone loved it and went back for more! I found my solution to my hockey puck bread, and it was so wonderful. I see lots of bread in our future.