Sunday, February 12, 2012

...and we're back!

Seriously, I think it would be fair to say I have been busier in the past six months than I've ever been in my entire life. Between managing weird health, applying for psych positions for next year, adapting to Mr. Ripe being gone on tour, or actually going out on weeknights when he's around, there's been a lot going on!
This month alone, I've only had enough energy to cook soups - low maintenance, easy bean and greens soups, that have been filling as meals on their own or with bread, and that I've taken for lunch nearly every day of the week. The rest of the things I've eaten have been lazy things like cereal and milk, or frozen pizza from trader joe's!!
Anyway, I guess being so busy I like to take on slower, longer term projects. Pickles, kombucha...and last week I started a sourdough starter. The first batch of 666sourdough bread is in the oven now. I used a no-knead method, see below. If you don't HAVE a sourdough starter, you can make one using the method here, or you can just substitute half a cup of flour and 1 t yeast and do the basic no knead method described below -

1 c starter
1 c whole wheat bread flour
2 c all purpose flour
2 t salt
1 c water

Mix it all together in a medium to big size bowl, make sure texture is "shaggy". If your starter is kind of thick, you may need to add more water. If it's all soft and like a batter, you need more flour. You get the idea, you want an in between shaggy wet/dry consistency (man, that sounds confusing. I'll post a picture next week when I bake another loaf so you know what I mean, ok?). Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours.
Dump risen dough out onto bran- or flour-sprinkled countertop or cutting board. Fold over twice. Sprinkle with bran or flour. Cover with a dish towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
When 30 minutes are left in the rise time, put a heavy pot (I use a dutch oven) in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
When the 2 hour rise time is up, put the dough into the pot in the oven. Cover and bake for 15 min. Uncover and cook for another 20 min or so. Remove from oven, let cool on rack.
Cut the bread ONLY when it's cool, otherwise it will dry out.

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