Sunday, January 11, 2009

Basic Sourdough Recipe

Here is my basic sourdough recipe that I have been using. I started with the recipe found on the Sourdough Home web site and then tweaked it to my likes. I have this thing about round metric measurements. For example, a tablespoon of butter is 14 grams. I use 15 grams because 15 is a much nicer number and easier to divide or multiply if necessary. Likewise, I don't like a measurement of 180g of sourdough starter so I use 200g, a much nicer number. Odd I know. I assume it is the anal retentive engineer in me. That also means that my personal weight equivalents for flour do not match any standard published out there (one cup is often given as 4.5 ounces which is 127.6 grams. I'll use 125 instead, a much nicer number).

I opted not to post a recipe for the Basque Sourdough Bread that I made until I can have an opportunity to make it again "correctly" and successfully. I did however post a picture of it. This Basque recipe results in a lighter, softer loaf, both the bread itself and the crust. I attributed this to a combination of using shortening and baking enclosed in the Dutch oven.



Brook said...

Ok, I got this really cool looking old postal scale cause you know, I love that retro look. I have used it for measuring ingredients and love it becaause it goes heavier than 16oz. However, I have never even looked to see if it has a metric scale. I haven't gotten a sourdough starter going yet either so it's a moot point right now any"weigh", haha, get it? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Huff Daddy said...

Ah well, metric really is the way to go. Of course that is the engineer in me speaking.

But seriously, when you start multiplying or dividing recipes, it becomes a whole lot easier to use metric. For example, if you have a recipe that serves 24 but only want enough for 10 you get really weird weights and volumes with our standard system. Let's say the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of something, 2 TBS per 24 times 10 is 10/12 TBS or 5/6. Huh? I find ounces to be just as bad. But if the same recipe called for 30g, then it is just 30/24 x 10 = 12.5g. Easy peasy. Milliliters is the same.

You can also make food faster because you just throw the stuff on the scale, weight it, hit tare and add the next ingredient. No need to find a bunch of measuring spoons or cups.

Decimal weigh it ok. 1.2 pounds fine. 132.3 ounces ok. But few recipes are already in decimal weight.

I use a cheap digital food scale that I got after reading a review on (go figure!). I also have a cheap digital postal scale that doesn't weigh as much. Both weigh in both ounces or grams and so it is easy to go back and forth.

Primarily I use the scale to count calories when I'm dieting which I'm not doing right now because we are too broke. I can't afford the proper healthy foods and we are just eating what we have in house for the next month. Unless it is milk, eggs, butter, fruit or juice.

Whoops, I didn't mean to turn this into a dissertation! How's that for "weighing in?" Double Hah! I need to go to bed.

Huff Daddy said...

I should add that the scale you describe is probably a single beam scale. We called these Baker Scales in my class and is what we were required to use. I think because it is traditional. I see no need to be able to differentiate between 125.1 and 125.4 ounces for most cooking. I find the old single beams to be not that accurate or precise anyway. I think for speed, ease, readability and repeatability, the cheap digital scale is tough to beat. Not sure why we couldn't use them in class.