Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pumpkin Spelt Sourdough Bread

I am a terrible friend.  I have neglected my friend for so long he almost starved to death, as a matter of fact he even nail polish remover, and it is all my fault.  I forgot to feed him, he sat there in his little jar, in the dark in the cold, all forgotten...

Now, before you call PETA on me, let me explain.  It is my jar of sourdough starter.  I got out of the habit of making bread every weekend.  I love to bake bread, but I don't eat it anymore and if I bake it, I eat it.  So I quit baking it.  But I forgot that my sourdough needs to be fed on a regular basis.

I was cleaning out the fridge and I cam upon my jar of starter, in the back, with this grey looking liquid on the top.  I took off the lid and it smelled like acetone...yech.  I mixed it up, put it in the proofing bowl, fed it some warm water and flour and let it sit for 12 hours.  I poured out 1 1/2 cups, gave it another dose of flour and warm water and left it for another 12 hours.  By this time it was smelling sweet and yeasty, just as it should.  So I decided to make bread.

I was looking through my Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and came across a spelt and sweet potato recipe.  I didn't have sweet potatoes but I have canned pumpkin.  I mixed it up, let it proof, and baked up a couple of loaves.  It was delicious.  The house was warmed by the oven (a good day for it, -27 right now as I write this), the house was filled with the smell of baking bread, and my sourdough is happy for another week.  I guess Dave and the Baby boy will have to suck it up and eat bread more often, you can't let a good sourdough starter starve.

Pumpkin, Spelt, Sourdough Bread
adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

2 cups spelt flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 full tsp. yeast
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. vital gluten
1 cup sourdough starter
1  cups warm water (or 1 1/2 cups warm water if not using starter)
1 can solid pack pumpkin, about 1 1/2 cups

Whisk together flours, yeast, salt and gluten in large bowl or mixer bowl.  In small bowl mix together starter (if using), water and pumpkin.  Add liquid to flour mixture with mixer running.  Mix until fully incorporated.  You do not need to knead this bread.

Place into loosely covered bowl and let rise for 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to three days, this makes it easier to shape.

Dust the surface of the dough with flour and divide into two evenly sized pieces.  Shape into a ball or a narrow oval.  Cover a pizza peel or a non-sided cookie sheet with corn meal and place dough on it to rise.  Let rise about 90 minutes, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Place a baking stone, or cookie sheet on middle rack.  Place an empty broiler tray on the bottom rack.

Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top crust with water.  Slash the loaf diagonally with 1/4 inch deep parallel cut, using a serrated bread knife. ** Slide the loaf (s) directly on the hot stone and pour 1 cup hot water in broiler tray.

Bake for 30 minutes or until richly browned and firm.  Allow the bread to cool before slicing.

**If you hate sliding the loaf off the peel and onto the oven tray place dough on parchment paper to rise.  Lift parchment to transfer dough into oven.  During the last 10 minutes of cooking, carefully remove the parchment from the bottom of the loaf and finish cooking directly on the stone or cookie sheet.
Fed and happy, back in the fridge for another week.

1 year ago:   Ultimate Decadence Brownies
2 years ago: Better than Sex Chex Mix

February 12, 2014   Daylight 8 hrs. 19 min. 48 secs.  Temp. H -15/ L -26°F

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