Raw Sauerkraut lurking in fridge
since before Christmas. You know how it is, down in the bottom of the fridge hidding between the spuds and onions. Na ya, keep or toss? Opened the bag and removed the top inch of kraut. Hmmm, about a cup of nice juice and great smelling sauerkraut in there. Put it into glass added a little water and sprinkled several heaping soupspoonfuls of white wheat on top. Stirred in making a milky lumpy thin batter. Covered and came bake later to notice nothing going on. Next day nothing. Ah, waking up the sleepy beasties. Added another spoonful of flour and the next morning it was finally smelling very yeasty. So, what now?
I strained off part of the juice and fed it like a sourdough starter. The rest of the kraut and juice got puréed and 450g bread flour was added plus any water as needed while mixing by hand. I tasted for salt (sauerkraut can be salty) and added about 4 g. Added a tablespoon of raw honey and 10g of fresh yeast. (Yikes a hybrid! I was a little worried about all those Bacteria working a bit fast to deteriorate my gluten.) And let it rise. It did, a lot about 3x volume, maybe more.
Dropped the bowl to deflate brutally. (Rough love.) Folded the dough from each corner and then a rest. Spreads out the dough pouncing onto it like a panther, shaped the loaf and placed into a large loaf pan. The sauerkraut starter was already one third risen so it went into the fridge to join the other starters. The dough was rising fast after a very good deflating so turned on the oven immediately after panning the dough. (It felt strong and puffy enough to make a 4" high focaccia! Maybe next time.) Left the top of the dough open without covering as it was rising fast, the dough is a bit much for the pan (already took up almost half the space) and the dryer skin could be scored to help hold the rising dough as it rose up in the oven. (Didn't want a mushroom top.)
As the oven heated up I played with how to score... sharp down the middle? A smile? ///? Off to one side? ( XXX might have been fun) and settled on deep off center, straight line with the cut to the oven door. Angled toward the center of the dough. Lately I've moved my shelf down a notch so baking on the bottom shelf for the extra electric heat under the loaf. Then raise the shelf when rotating the loaf pan. Done in 35 min 210°C.
Fell out of the pan onto the rack and has lots of lovely dark crusts specks all over the surface. Baked on Wed, photo on Monday. With the aroma of sauerkraut bits in the bread there is an old reminder of school cafeterias gone by. Its the cabbage family aroma. One of those you like it or you don't kind of smells. Toasting disperses most of it. Not good with jam or nut butters. Delicious with cheese and variety of meats, pickles, black pepper and garlic.