No-Knead Sourdough (with a little cheat)

I have a mission for Saturday: 3 white sourdough loaves, to be cut into cubes and served at a wine-tasting.

As my starter (Fluffy) is whole wheat, I needed to convert some of Fluffy to a white starter, or start from scratch.  Seeing as starters take about a week to get going from scratch, I decided to convert Fluffy to a white starter (Snowy).

My first loaf from Snowy was a miserable failure.  Gummy and unrisen… ugh.  So, I decided to do some more research.  After poking around on The Fresh Loaf forums, I discovered that when you convert a whole wheat starter to a white one, it may take around 14 days to become active enough to actually leaven bread.  Uh-oh, I didn’t have 14 days… I had 4.

So onto plan B… “cheating” and using a little bit of commercial yeast so that I’d have the flavour from Snowy (beautiful flavour even though no rising yet!) and the leavening from the commercial yeast.  It may be cheating, but it was a success!!!

I used bwraith’s Sourdough conversion of the New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe (which is always a success for me), and added 1 tsp of commercial yeast:

  • 15 g white liquid levain starter (Snowy)
  • 346g water, at room temperature
  • 450g white bread flour
  • 9g salt
  • 1 tsp commercial yeast

Mixed everything together as per bwraith’s instructions, and let sit overnight for about 12 hours.  Then did a couple of Stretch and Folds, shaped into a boule, and plopped into a preheated Le Creuset at 425F for 25 minutes with the lid on, and another 15 minutes with the lid off.  I didn’t bother scoring because I knew how ‘crackly’ the top would get anyway.

And the best part?  The was the first sourdough that when I pulled it out of the oven, I could “hear the bread sing” — crackle, crackle!

Yup, test loaf #2 was a success, and was half-eaten in about 10 minutes.  I’m looking forward to when I don’t need the extra commercial yeast, but am happy I have a proven loaf for Saturday.

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Categories: Bread, Vegetarian

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5 Comments on “No-Knead Sourdough (with a little cheat)”

  1. December 4, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Lindsay – this looks great – and we won’t say you cheated a bit ;)) My rye sourdough (SOF) is in its first rise – going to the oven in about 2 hours…

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