Tituba Rising

Tituba, the sourdough starter, relaxed this morning. It was time to bake, or cut and feed. I did both.

This is what she looks like when she’s happy and ready to work:

Happy Sourdough, ready to work

Happy Sourdough, ready to work

All it really takes is a spoonful, but for my little Dutch oven, I usually use about a half cup. This is more a personal quirk than real necessity. I dipped my cup and sloshed it into my favorite Pyrex bowl.

I added some water and flour. This is all you really need for basic bread, but it will taste like crap. For me, salt is an absolute must. I also added a glurg of olive oil. Then I stirred the batch up and added flour until I couldn’t stir any longer.

I used all purpose flour, and do about half the time. It’s what Tituba eats, and readily available. I use sexy flours too, but not today. Semolina is my favorite. It looked like this:

image

Now it’s time to knead in as much flour as needed. Tituba raises better with what’s called a loose dough than a stiff one. I’ve made free standing boules, and they always manage to spread on me. They taste great, but with Tituba it may take another day of raising to get a stiff dough up to size. Pour a little flour on the counter, flour my hands and go to work. Keep adding flour until it feels right.

Because she's weird like that.

Because she’s weird like that.

When it feels right, I let it set while I wash the bowl and add a glurg of regular cooking oil. Then I tuck the bottom under while rotating the dough in my hands. When it forms a boule I wipe the top in the oil, wipe the sides and flip it right side up. Cover it and walk away. Time for Tituba to work her magic.

I left it for about five hours, then punched it down. This isn’t rapid rising dry yeast here, folks. Long slow rise times give the sour flavor. A night in the fridge works best, but I don’t have the time available. I have to work tomorrow. I formed the boule once more and plopped it in my Dutch oven; covered loosely so it can grow. In another four hours or so it looked about ready. With Tituba there’s always a bit of oven spring and I don’t want it to overflow. Then I have to cut it out of the mold, and it looks ugly.

This is what we get to have with dinner:

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread

The bread will be more sour tomorrow. I know most of the science here, but not why this happens. Different starters will give different results.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Tituba Rising

  1. Oh wow! Divine. I can smell it baking. A little real butter and I could live off of that.

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    • It wasn’t too special today. I’ll get some semolina and make it spend the night in the refrigerator. Then it’s better. The flavor will be improve tomorrow. Still, it was fresh and hot today. I’m not complaining.

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      • Semolina is a soft winter wheat, right? I recall my grandmother talking about it. She would only use White Lily flour because it was semolina.

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      • What I understand is it’s made from Durham wheat. Semolina means it’s a coarse grind. It’s yellow, and whatever I make with it has a slight yellow color.

        I’m too many years removed to remember much else about it, sorry. I know I like the crust it makes, and it seems to provide a stiffer loaf, meaning the rise is better.

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  2. Okay, well now I need your address! I’m coming over for dinner! 😀

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