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"Cheater" overnight sourdough

winterberryfarmer's picture

"Cheater" overnight sourdough

So, I admit it. I love to cook and never really did much baking. Had a bread machine and it was little used. Saw one of the 'no-knead' sites and was intrigued. Started reading (and of course buying 'stuff.') Tried Anis Bouabsa's recipe on this site for baguettes and nailed it. Been bubbling a starter for a couple of weeks and the first try (no-knead) was terrible; flat and ugly though 'tasty.'One problem has been the whole "time" thing; 18 or 21 hours is just too much; add an hour to warm a cold pate and it is worse.  Ever the tinkerer, I boiled down a few ideas and my wife, daughter of a Maitre Cuisinier de France, told me at lunch, "well, you hit it this time." Last one to try today, but I had to admit that I nailed it. So, for those who might be interested, my 'cheater' sourdough, semi-no-touch, overnight and in time for kids lunches bread:

Before bed, toss the following into the Kitchenaid with the dough hook:

1/2 cup +1T sourdough starter (mine's virulent)

13 oz bread flour (KA)

3 oz white whole wheat flour (KA)

1T vital wheat gluten

1.25 cups water

1.25 t salt

mix on low-med until combined and it forms a ball

turn mixer to medium for 30 seconds more

20 minutes rest

5 seconds at low+1 speed

20 minute rest

5 seconds at low+1 speed

20 minute rest

5 seconds at low +1 speed

dump into a bowl, cover with plastic, leave overnight in a warmish place

6AM or so:

scrape dough onto floured surface

spread gently into a rectangle, using as little flour as possible

fold over in 1/3rds,(letter folds)

fold over itself in half

rest 20 minutes

gather dough into a rough ball and place into prepared proofing basket

into a warm place for 2 hour rise

preheat oven and LaCloche/LeCreuset on top of stone, to 500 degrees (at least 1/2 hour)

gently invert risen dough into LaCloche/LeCreuset, place lid on top, and bake 45 minutes at 500

remove lid, reduce temp to 450 and bake 15 minutes

remove bread to cooling rack for an hour.


You could probably cut proofing time short by 1/2 hour and still have enough time to cool, cut, make sandwiches, and make the kids' bus. Alternatively, you could simply start earlier the night before. For me, the times work. The slightly shorter initial ferment is more than compensated for by using twice the normal amount of starter. The machine 'folds' combined with the extra gluten do wonders for the crumb and the relatively high moisture content/high temp/LaCloche causes an intense oven spring. The taste is magnificent, the crust is a nice compromise between crisp and chewy.  

In most things I do, I tend to let the machines do my work. Here, the Kitchenaid was exactly what I needed. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts.



flournwater's picture

What's the hydration level of your starter?  That'll make a difference.

winterberryfarmer's picture

Good question. I've done the 1/2 cup water, 1 cup flour feedings for 8 rounds thus far and it is happy. I believe, from a weight perspective, that comes out to about 82% hydration; gloppy is a good adjective.