At the moment I have plenty of time to make my sourdough bread; I am home all day and have the brain space to think about when things need to be done. However this may not always be the case, I will have to return to work one day, my mind will be full of outside world projects and all the daily noise of living. Usually I start a sourdough culture and make bread for a few months before I inevitably forget to feed the starter and it dies. I also forget to make time for baking bread when life gets busy. A while ago now, a friend told me about refrigerator bread; a dough mix that you leave in the fridge (hence the name) and bake as you need it. It sounded like a time saver, but I haven’t been motivated to try it until now.
So this is my experience with convenient bread…
First the recipe…
- 32 ounces bread flour (907g or about 7 cups)
- ½ ounce active dry yeast (14g or 3 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups warm water
I just combined the lot in a large container that will fit in the fridge and mixed it up well. The container needs to be large enough to allow for the rising process (about twice as large as the initial volume of the mix, if not larger). I then let the dough sit for a few hours (depending on my distraction level at the time) on the counter with a loose covering. After that it is put into the fridge for a couple of days.
Now I want to make bread…
I just pull out a lump of dough with floured hands and form it into a loaf shaped lump and pop it into my dutch oven and leave it sit for an hour or so (depending on my distraction level). I sprinkle some flour over the top then slash the bread before plonking it into a hot oven for 30 minutes with the lid on the dutch oven. I take the lid off the dutch oven and let it cook for a further 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.
Some variations I will try soon are;
~ baking in a loaf pan (to make sandwich bread)
~ using whole wheat flour (at least partly)
~ making a sourdough version
~ making raisin bread
I am hoping that this process will make the bread baking process quicker and easier (also healthier), of course it will depend on the rest of my family deciding to eat my bread. As I have stated before, my partner and daughter like the sponge rubber white bread option, so I end up eating sourdough on my own. As I can’t seem to get through a loaf a week on my own, I end up wasting a lot of bread. This loaf is not sourdough, it does have a long proofing time though, which tastes just slightly sourdough. My hope is that one day I will discover a bread recipe that we all enjoy and I can make two or three loaves a week and we don’t have to give over precious freezer room to the white bread loaves that currently live there.