Saturday, 1 May 2010

Sourdough Bread in a Pot

This Sourdough Bread is my submission to Bread Baking Day #29: Bread in Pots. The bread was baked in a handmade clay bread pot.

I experimented with the formula for this bread. It is still a work in progress, but I decided to share my initial results. So far, I like it.  It has a chewy texture and tangy sourdough flavor.

light-wheat-pot-bread 030
About the Bread Pots

One of the HBinFive bakers, posted about these bread pots on the HBinFive discussion board and I thought they were really cool! I love baking in clay pots and these are handmade by
Judy Motzkin. The timing was perfect for the theme of BBD #29: Bread in Pots so I got one of the pots and began testing it.

Stay tuned for more posts about these bread pots as I continue testing this pretty baby. These pots are neat!  Look inside the lid, and you’ll find a recipe for no knead bread.

light-wheat-pot-bread 010 no-knead-pot-bread 008

Here is the first loaf I made in my new bread pot.

This loaf is not made with sourdough. I made it using the recipe printed on the lid of the bread pot.  The recipe on the lid is a slight variation from Mark Bittman’s version. See Bittman’s recipe below.

no-knead-pot-bread 013

The original version was fairly easy to make, but it didn’t seem to have the flavor I was looking for. So, I decided to make the bread again using a sourdough starter.  My adapted formula is listed below the Bittman formula.

Here is Mark Bittman’s Recipe:

The Minimalist: The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work (November 8, 2006) by Mark Bittman
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups water
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed


In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.  Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.  Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.  Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.  Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.  When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.  Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.  When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.  Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K.  Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.  Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.  Cool on a rack.

Here is my revised version:

The formula for my sourdough bread was adapted from Mark Bittman’s (The Minimalist: The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work, November 8, 2006) adaptation of Jim Lahey’s (Sullivan Street Bakery) no knead method. I know that’s a mouthful but I try to give credit where credit is due.

Sourdough Bread in Bread Pot

The bread looks a little bit funky because I baked it seam side up. The recipe said it would even out during baking but it didn’t. I’m okay with how it looks though; I think it gives it character.

light-wheat-pot-bread 026

I used the “Bittman” process to make the dough, but changed the formula a bit.

Revised formula:

2 cups bread flour, more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour (mixture of WW and white WW)
1/4 cup mature sourdough that has been fed
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups water

I mixed all of the ingredients together, then let the dough rest for 18 hours.

Then I shaped the dough into a ball and placed it in a greased and floured makeshift banneton to rise for 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before it was time to bake the bread, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and put the bread pot in the oven as it preheated.  I had sprinkled cornmeal on the bottom of the pot.

Once the oven and the pot were preheated, I carefully removed the pot from the oven and slid the dough from the banneton into the preheated pot.  I probably should’ve tried to smooth out the folds in the dough at this point because they eventually became the funky looking top on the finished loaf.

I baked the bread with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Then removed the lid and baked it another 15 minutes or so.

light-wheat-pot-bread 003 light-wheat-pot-bread 007
light-wheat-pot-bread 015 light-wheat-pot-bread 016
light-wheat-pot-bread 019 light-wheat-pot-bread 033

It may look a little funny on the outside, but all those holes on the inside make for a delicious and tangy sourdough bread.

I liked this bread, but it could probably use a little more tweaking.  I’m going to make it again soon in my new bread pot.

Thanks for joining me in the bread-baking blog.  Please check back on May 5th to view the BBD#29 roundup of Breads in Pots.

Happy Baking!

No comments:

Post a Comment