OK, I'm finally starting to get pretty good with this sourdough shit. Yeah, I know, wheat isn't supposed to be part of my diet, but this is arguably one of the healthiest ways to cook it if you're going to indulge.

Make your starter by putting some wheat flour in a jar of unchlorinated water (or chlorinated water left out long enough for the chlorine odor to disappear), and leaving it for a day or two till it starts to bubble and smell "sour" (hence the name). You can freeze some of this for later or, as I do, just use it all for the first batch, and leave a little of that batch to start the next, and so on. If I ever leave for a few days and my sourdough gets moldy, I can always make another starter any time.

Take your bubbly starter and dump it in a bowl. Add a cup or two of water, depending on the size of your bowl, and a pinch of salt. Then add whole wheat flour until the mixture is hard to mix. Leave it for a few hours to a few days, long enough for the bacteria to start predigesting it and turning it sour. When you're ready for some bread, dump a bunch of flour onto your big block of cedar (what, you don't have one? I do... nyahhh, nyahhh) and dump the bowl out onto that. Knead flour in until it's no longer sticky, roll it into a ball, mash one side of the ball into the flour just to be safe, and put that side onto the flat stone that you've preheated in your oven (what temp? hell if I know, mine's a wood stove). Walk away for an hour or two, play some cards with your neighbor, and come back with a knife and a stick of butter with which to attack that monster. Just lift it off the stone; amazingly, it doesn't stick, no oiling needed! Friß gut!

Oh, and don't clean out the bowl. Just add more water and flour and let it sit for the next batch.

Not letting it rise a second time, you can expect a very dense loaf, but it's more flavorful than yeast bread, easier to make, and uses only half the ingredients (no yeast, fats nor sugars necessary; only flour, water, and salt). It's a hacker's bread, no doubt about it.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:45:48. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com