Friday, January 27, 2012

Sourdough Naan

As I mentioned a little while ago, I've started cooking with sourdough, to good effect. Timing for a +/- 15 hour rise time has been difficult without a big fridge that has space for the dough, and the quality of bread has gone from amazing to edible. So I'm going back to basics: This week I started the sourdough bread with about 40% whole wheat at around 6am, then punched it down around 3:30pm, before baking it at the same time I was cooking dinner- about 6pm- so I could use the heat in the stove for two things. It turned out much, much better than the last couple of weeks. The heat of summer meant a shorter rise time (rather than controlling the rise in the fridge) worked perfectly.

I've also noticed the sourdough starter would benefit from being used and fed a day or two before we use it for the large sourdough loaf. Hence the sourdough naan. To make it, I combined two recipes, this one and this one.

The adjusted recipe looked like this:

1.5 cups sourdough starter
1 cup white bread flour
1 cup whole wheat Bread flour
1/4 cup Greek Yoghurt
1tbsp oil
finely chopped garlic
1tsp salt (optional)
a pinch of baking soda
more flour as needed to make the dough less sticky.

I stirred the sourdough starter (pancake batter consistency) in with everything except the salt and baking soda for a first rise- until doubled. I had started a little late to allow a full rise, but leaving the dough for three hours may be better than the one hour I left it- sourdough tends to rise much more slowly than commercially yeasted breads.

After the first rise, I added the salt and the baking soda and left for 20 minutes or so.

Then divided into small golf sized balls, squished as thin as you can, and cooked with a little butter on the pan. I'd likely try water or a mix of butter and oil next time, as the butter tends to get hot and start smoking.

I love that the sourdough starter means I don't have to have yeast on my list of things to buy, particularly because I've only found yeast in small single serving sachets here in Cape Town. In the baking week, adding sourdough naan the day before making a sourdough loaf means that just as the sourdough loaf is running out, we have a little bread boost before the new sourdough is ready. It adds a little rhythm to the week.

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