Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cabin Baking: Sourdough Wheat Bread

When I first made this recipe, I used my woodstove as my cooking appliance. You can see how that was done by clicking here. This week while we were at the cabin, I wanted to make some bread. But this time I chose a more conventional appliance, my propane oven. That made the baking process a lot easier.

The night before I got my sourdough starter out and fed it. By morning it was good and bubbly. I chose a recipe from the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking (look in a used bookstore for this out-of-print collection) and cut it in half to make one loaf for the two of us.

Sourdough Wheat Bread

½ envelope active dry yeast (1 1/8 teaspoon)
¾ cup very warm water (100°F/38°C)
¾ cup sourdough starter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (extra for kneading)
1 ½ cups wheat flour
  1. Sprinkle yeast into very warm water with half the sugar and let stand 10 minutes to foam. This will ensure your yeast is good.
  2. In a large bowl blend the yeast mixture, sourdough starter, remaining sugar and salt. Beat in 1 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Add 1 ½ cup wheat flour a little at a time until completely incorporated. Mixing at the end is easier with your hands.
  3. Turn out on a board and knead for 10 minutes. I don’t have a board so I use plastic wrap taped to my counter. Use about ½ cup all-purpose flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the board.
  4. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. I use margarine. Roll it over to coat all sides.
  5. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place to rise (1-2 hours or until double in size).
  6. Punch the dough down, turn it out on a board, cover it with the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes. While you wait, grease a 9x5” baking pan (or cookie sheet) and sprinkle it with cornmeal. I used a baking pan because of the limited space in my wood stove.
  7. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it into a loaf shape. Pinch together any open seams on the bottom. Place the dough in the baking pan, cover with a towel and put in a warm place to rise again (1 hour or until double in size).
  8. Make slits 2” apart on the top to prevent cracking. If you like a crispy crust, mix 1 teaspoon corn starch with ¼ cup water. Brush the surface of the bread before and once again during baking.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes in a 400° oven. When the bread sounds hollow and is golden on top it should be done.
I did have a problem using my propane oven. I use a thermometer on the baking shelf because the propane oven heats up much hotter than the dial indicates. I have to regulate the flame to get the right temperature and then monitor it to make sure the bread doesn't bake too fast.

The final product as a tasty loaf of bread that I literally made with my two hands. That is such a good feeling and a wonderful way to spend a cool fall day. The bread makes a firm loaf so it was perfect for munching warm, garlic toast for dinner and finally french toast for breakfast. Yum!

Do you have any cabin or camp cooking recipes? I'd love to hear about them.

5 comments:

  1. Yum Yum. I just bought some new yeast so I could whip up a batch of bread. I had better get busy. Yours looks so good.

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  2. Oh I am just craving that fresh baked bread right now - your loaf turned out beautiful! And I bet your cabin smelled wonderul with that fresh baking bread smell! I have been baking zuchinni bread and banana sourcream bread and then freezing the loaves to have them as gifts for the holidays.

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  3. I looooved bread! Any kind, ny shape, any size! This one looks s yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    Kisses from us.

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  4. Thanks all - yes it was yummy. I want to make more soon, but we have to cut down a bit on our carbs. Like the bears we are bulking up a bit for the winter it seems. - Margy

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