Last night I made what might just be the last home-baked of the season. I’m thrilled that summer is here but I will miss my weekly-or-so ritual of baking bread. Maybe I’ll stay on the lookout for cool nights, but with sourdough you can’t just throw a loaf together when the wind is right. You have to be organized.
Which I wasn’t yesterday, not really. For some reason I just didn’t get it totally together yesterday to make proper sourdough. I started it too late in the day after some good park time in the morning, so I didn’t have enough time for all the long rises.
However, I had a good batch of starter I’d refreshed just a couple of days beforehand, so I took the plunge and did what any honest sourdough cheater would do: I added commercial yeast (gasp!).
First I mixed my firm starter (without yeast) and let it rise for the indicated 4 hours. Then I took a look at my recipe and decided to add 1 1/2 tsp of instant yeast to the final dough. I let that bulk ferment for 2 hours, and then divided and let the loaves sit for about 90 minutes before baking as per my usual recipe for 40-60 minutes (40 for the tin loaf pan and 60 for the pyrex loaf pan) at 350 degrees.
It turned out well–nice crust, and decent flavour, though it’s missing that real sourdough punch. But if you’re pressed for time, it certainly makes a passable loaf.