I am making my first bread machine sourdough today. In her book, Ms. Hensperger has included recipes for sourdough starters as well as sourdough breads, I am only using the bread recipe and have made another starter. I purchased an organic “San Francisco Sourdough Starter” from seller SourdoughBreads on Amazon. I began my starter 2 days ago. At some point, I will go into more detail on starters, and try making my own from the recipes in the book, but for my first foray, I am going this way. I was able to find a lot of information online regarding starters, what to expect and how to deal with it. If you are interested in learning more about starters, I recommend www.culturesforhealth.com and www.sourdough.com.
I have always loved the taste of a good sourdough bread. Unfortunately, it has been hard to find a loaf at the grocery store. The sourdough loaves I have tried from the bread aisle have little to no sourdough flavor. I can occasionally find a good sourdough in the bakery section, but not always, and if I can make one myself, that is so much better.
One thing I noted about the sourdough bread recipes in the cookbook are that, unlike most other recipes, they do not call for added gluten. That is not to say that they are in any way gluten free or even low gluten, just that additional is not added. Bread flour is already higher in gluten than All-Purpose flour.
Into the bread machine pan, I added 3/4 cup sourdough starter, 1/2 cup fat free milk, 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, 3 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast.
The author recommended using the basic, and dark settings for this recipe. I am glad I took her advice, and didn’t balk at the use of the dark setting. This was a stiff dough, but it rose well and baked up beautifully. The tantalizing, and slightly tangy aroma of sourdough is still filling the house.
This loaf is lovely, tender and soft, while slightly chewy. It has a nice crunch to the crust and a delightful flavor. It is not terribly sour, though. I imagine, as my sourdough starter ages, the tangy flavor in my baking will be more pronounced.
It developed very nice air pockets and a great rise as well. As a first foray into bread machine sourdough, I am pleased with the results. I do wish I had held out for a more “sour” starter, but I was out of bread and beggars can’t be choosers. This one is a keeper, though. Tasty and great texture, I think this will be a good loaf for sandwiches.