Welcome back! I’ve just popped the first sourdough loaf in the oven and in a few minutes my house, at least the main level, will smell amazing. And as my uncle commented on my fist post, he’s already salivating and soon I will be joining him. Nothing smells better than baking bread . But first, let’s back track about ninety minutes and catch up.
The Second Act ~ The Not-So-Meaty Middle
About an hour after I published my previous post, I pulled the dough out of the bread machine, gently kneaded it by folding the very sticky dough in upon itself from the four corners (of a ball, yeah, I know, doesn’t make much sense and is difficult to make a video while actually performing the action). I sprayed my glass stove-top with cooking spray and coated my my hands as well. I’ve learned from experience that the easiest way to handle high hydration doughs is to grease yourself and your surface to avoid getting stuck.
I eventually shaped the dough ball into a long log to fit my extra long bread pan (also slippery with cooking spray). I wiped down my stove top again, placed the pan in the center and then loosely covered it with plastic wrap. I did not preheat the oven at this time.
While the first loaf began its final rise, I repeated the steps for the Basic Sourdough bread recipe in the bread machine pan (see previous post) and started the dough cycle for the second time. I was able to capture the first minute of action in a video for those interested in watching how the bread machine handles the mixing of the ingredients and transitions to kneading. It’s a short video as I wouldn’t want to bore you with nearly twenty minutes of monotonous kneading.
Fast forward another ninety minutes, and I’m ready to pre-heat the oven, score the top of my ready-to-bake loaf with my lame (a curved razor blade with a plastic handle) and take the other dough out of the bread machine. Since my bread pan was going to be preoccupied in my hot oven, I decided to add a second rise for the second loaf in a large mixing bowl.
Which means, I might switch to the Rustic Sourdough bread recipe instead of the basic one for the second loaf. I’ll make up my mind when I pull the now baking first loaf out of the oven. As you can see from the timer above my bread bowl, I have less than an hour to decide.