Home Bread-Bakers v006.n040.6

Rising Tips and Recipe

benford@cts.com (Susan Benford)
Mon, 25 Sep 95 10:22 PDT
Hi Fellow Sourdough Devotees.  I have been making sourdough for about two
years.  I use a Breadman Plus machine.  After fashioning a couple of
doorstops and several attractive paper weights, I found and modified a good
recipe for sourdough bread.  **  The key for me is to use the machine to
make the dough, and to rise and bake the stuff OUTSIDE of the machine, which
I call the Invention Exchange with a nod to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
It's a proofing box fashioned from a sytrofoam cooler.  More on the
invention in a minute.  Here's the recipe:

Beer Sourdough Bread

3 c. white flour
1/4 c. wheat gluten flour
~12 oz. sourdough starter
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. flat beer
1 tblsp. olive oil (optional--I leave it out) 
1/2 tblsp. salt
1 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tblsp. yeast
LOTS of fresh rosemary--at least 3 tablespoons

Make dough in machine.  Rise outside the machine in a warm place (see below
for invention I use.  Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes. I brush the top of
the crust with water to make the crust brown nicely.

To make the "Invention Exchange", aka Proofing Box:  

Quoting "Worldwide Sourdoughs From Your Bread Machine" by Donna Rathmell
German and Ed Wood, "To really make a sourdough sing, it needs a warm
environment after it comes out of the refrigerator.  The ideal is 85 to 95
degrees . . . The best solution is to fashion a 'proofing box'.  Seek out an
ordinary styrofoam cooler, the bigger the better.  Throw away the top, turn
it upside down and cut a hole in the middle of the bottom just big enough to
admit a standard light socket.  A
25-watt bulb should maintain the correct temperature.  If you want to get
fancy, put a light dimmer switch on the cord and you can regulate the
temperature precisely." 

        Now, I use my proofing box to rise the dough once I have formed it
into a loaf and put it in a pan.  Check the loaf every half hour or so, as
it may over-rise and drip down the side of the pan.  Yes, I've had LOTS of
experience with this.  You want it to be a nice round dome when you bake it
(in the oven).  I bought a light socket already wired to a cord and plug at
a hardware store.  It even has a dimmer switch already installed.  This
works well for me.  Good luck, and let me know how it works for you!

Susan Benford
Susan V. Benford <benford@cts.com>     Writer/Editor/Creative Director 
voice:        619.944.9400             55 East G Street 
fax:          619.944.9422             Encinitas, CA  92024

"As long as we're treading on thin ice, we might as well dance!"