By Laura Killingbeck

Over the years we’ve been making a variety of breads with wild yeasts.  But lately our sourdough starter hasn’t seen a lot of action.  Luckily, this Fall our friend Jen Snyder popped by the farm and gave us a fresh starter and a fresh start at crafting sourdough loaves.  After an afternoon of dough lessons, she set us loose to experiment, and since then the microbes have been thriving.

Below is the master recipe she taught us, along with some of our local variations.  We have been drying lots of local cranberries for use in recipes like these, and this year started making a little bit of acorn flour as well.  Bread recipes are fabulous carriers of all kinds of local dried fruits, nuts, and herbs.  We’ve also been inspired lately by Lu Yoder’s bicycle powered wheat grinder, which he uses to make bread  from local wheat.   

For more in-depth information about sourdough, please see the book Tartine by Elizabeth Pruiett and Chad Robertson.  The following recipe is adapted from Tartine.

Snyder Style Sourdough Master Recipe

This recipe calls for an existing sourdough starter, and it makes two loaves.

Day 1 Starter:

Ingredients:

1 tbs sourdough starter (your “mother” from the fridge)

100 g flour

100 g water

Cover with a cloth, mix well and let develop 8-12 hours at warm room temperature.  The starter is active when you can drop a small amount in water and it floats.

Day 2 Dough:

Ingredients:

200 g active starter

700 g water

1000 g flour

20 g salt

50 g water, divided

Mix the starter and 700 g water together to incorporate.  Add the flour and mix into a shaggy mass.  Its important not to add salt at this stage because it interferes with the way the gluten is forming. 

Cover with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and add the water.  Incorporate with your hands.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Every 30 minutes for the next three hours, wet your hand and gently pull the dough up in quarter turns, and then continue to let rest.  If you have anything to add to the dough (spices, nuts, fruits, etc) do so in the beginning of this process, and fold them into the dough.  For dried nuts or dried fruits, reconsitute in water before using.

Next:

Sprinkle some rice flour and wheat flour on a board and put the dough on it.  Split it into two equal portions and let sit 20 minutes.

Fold the dough on four sides into a round package and turn the seam down.  Build surface tension by pulling the ball towards yourself from different angles in a round sphere.  Line a round colander with cloth, sprinkle rice flour over it, and put the sphere inside.  Let rest 3-4 hours.

Bake in the covered combo oven at 450 F for 20 minutes.  Uncover the combo oven and bake another 20 minutes.  (Total baking time is 40 minutes.)

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Snyder Style Sourdough

Wheat Bread with Cranberries and Pecans

This recipe calls for an existing sourdough starter, and it makes two loaves.

Day 1 Starter:

Ingredients:

1 tbs sourdough starter (your “mother” from the fridge)

100 g flour

100 g water

Cover with a cloth, mix well and let develop 8-12 hours at warm room temperature.  The starter is active when you can drop a small amount in water and it floats.

Day 2 Dough:

Ingredients:

200 g active starter

700 g water

500 g all purpose flour

500 g whole wheat flour

20 g salt

50 g water, divided

1 cup chopped pecans, soaked in water, then drained

1 cup chopped cranberries, soaked in water, then drained

Mix the starter and 700 g water together to incorporate.  Add the flour and mix into a shaggy mass.  Its important not to add salt at this stage because it interferes with the way the gluten is forming. 

Cover with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and add the water.  Incorporate with your hands.  Fold in in the cransberries and pecans.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Every 30 minutes for the next three hours, wet your hand and gently pull the dough up in quarter turns, and then continue to let rest.  If you have anything to add to the dough (spices, nuts, fruits, etc) do so in the beginning of this process, and fold them into the dough.  For dried nuts or dried fruits, reconsitute in water before using.

Next:

Sprinkle some rice flour and wheat flour on a board and put the dough on it.  Split it into two equal portions and let sit 20 minutes. 

Fold the dough on four sides into a round package and turn the seam down.  Build surface tension by pulling the ball towards yourself from different angles in a round sphere.  Line a round colander with cloth, sprinkle rice flour over it, and put the sphere inside.  Let rest 3-4 hours.

Bake in the covered combo oven at 450 F for 20 minutes.  Uncover the combo oven and bake another 20 minutes.  (Total baking time is 40 minutes.)

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Snyder Style Sourdough

Acorn Wheat Bread

This recipe calls for an existing sourdough starter, and it makes two loaves.

Day 1 Starter:

Ingredients:

1 tbs sourdough starter (your “mother” from the fridge)

100 g flour

100 g water

Cover with a cloth, mix well and let develop 8-12 hours at warm room temperature.  The starter is active when you can drop a small amount in water and it floats.

Day 2 Dough:

Ingredients:

200 g active starter

700 g water

500 g  all purpose flour

450 g wheat flour

50 g acorn flour

20 g salt

50 g water, divided

Mix the starter and 700 g water together to incorporate.  Add the flour and mix into a shaggy mass.  Its important not to add salt at this stage because it interferes with the way the gluten is forming. 

Cover with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and add the water.  Incorporate with your hands.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Every 30 minutes for the next three hours, wet your hand and gently pull the dough up in quarter turns, and then continue to let rest.  If you have anything to add to the dough (spices, nuts, fruits, etc) do so in the beginning of this process, and fold them into the dough.  For dried nuts or dried fruits, reconsitute in water before using.

Next:

Sprinkle some rice flour and wheat flour on a board and put the dough on it.  Split it into two equal portions and let sit 20 minutes.

Fold the dough on four sides into a round package and turn the seam down.  Build surface tension by pulling the ball towards yourself from different angles in a round sphere.  Line a round colander with cloth, sprinkle rice flour over it, and put the sphere inside.  Let rest 3-4 hours.

Bake in the covered combo oven at 450 F for 20 minutes.  Uncover the combo oven and bake another 20 minutes.  (Total baking time is 40 minutes.)

Remove and cool on a wire rack.