Sourdough in the Zojirushi Breadmaker
Submitted by Rick Dickinson on May 08, 2012 at 12:11 pm
This recipe is a REAL sourdough, made with sourdough starter and NO additional yeast, that can be made in the breadmaker. I've tweaked and refined the recipe over time, and it now produces consistently good real sourdough bread for me, with minimal effort. If your sourdough starter is wetter or dryer than mine, you'll probably need to adjust the recipe slightly -- be sure to read the instructions for the details.
Wet ingredients (on the bottom of the pan, as usual):
1 cup starter (about the consistency of pancake batter)
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
Dry ingredients (place on top of the wet ones):
3 cups bread flour (KAF Bread Flour works great)
1 1/2 tsp. dry milk powder (aka 1/2 tbsp.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
Your sourdough starter should have been fed the day before, and still have some active bubbles, and a layer of "hooch" on top, indicating active fermentation. Stir it up to mix it all together, and to collapse the bubbles for consistent measuring. After you remove the cup of starter needed for this recipe, you should feed your starter culture to replenish it.
Place the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bread machine's pan. Next, put the flour in the pan on top of the wet ingredients, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
Use a custom cycle, set up as follows:
Preheat: 15 min.
Knead: 28 min.
Rise #1: 6 hours
Rise #2: 2 hours
Rise #3: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake: 62 minutes
Total time is: 11 hours, 15 minutes.
The first time or two that you make this, check it after about 3-5 minutes of kneading. You may need to adjust the recipe slightly, depending on how wet you keep your starter. The mixed/kneaded batter should be a bit wetter than your usual bread dough, since it's going to lose some water to evaporation over 11 hours, but it should still come together to make a (somewhat sticky and looser than usual) dough ball. If it's too wet (or too dry), it won't knead properly, and you won't develop enough gluten to get a good rise and a smooth and light interior texture.
My starter is the consistency of pancake batter, but everyone who makes sourdough keeps theirs slightly different. If your starter is more runny than mine (more water), you may need to add a tablespoon or two more flour to the dough to get it to all come together and knead properly. If your starter is more of a sponge than a batter consistency, you'll need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough. Whichever you do, make a note of it, and simply adjust the amount of water you add next time you make the bread.
If you'd like a little variety, or an even healthier loaf, substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 tsp. of vital wheat gluten for 1 cup of the bread flour. (I haven't tried it, yet, but I suspect that substituting a cup of rye flour instead of whole wheat would also work just fine. I'll report back once I've tried it.)