Ellie’s Multipurpose Sourdough
225g 1 cup starter (fed and bubbly 1:1:1 or 100%hydration: equal parts of flour and water) or ¼ tsp yeast
225g 1cup liquid (add an egg to enrich a sandwich loaf!)
450g 3 – 3 1/2 cups flour. (If you are using all whole grains, some flours are thirsty so add a few extra splashes of liquid. If you are using yeast and omitting the sourdough starter, reduce the flour to about 3 cups)
15g 1 1/2 tsp salt
15g 1-2 tbsp honey or sugar (optional)
33g 3 tbsp of oil
1) Mix all ingredients until the liquid and flour is well incorporated. No need to knead, but you can for 2-3 minutes to help develop the gluten if you would like.
2) Make a ball, cover and let it rise ¾. I keep mine in a container with a rubber band so I can see how much it raised. I don’t let it double. It uses quite a bit of starter so this can go faster during the warm months.
After the first rise, you can decide how to shape and what to make:
For PITA, roll out rounds, let it rest for 30 minutes and bake in a 500F oven 2-3 minutes or very hot griddle.
For TORTILLAS, roll out circles and cook them in the griddle or grill
For a LOAF, shape and place in a loaf pan, let it rise and bake 450F for 30 minutes
For PIZZA roll out, let it rest for 30 minutes, parbake 450F for 10 minutes, add toppings, bake another 10 minutes
For a BOULE , shape into a ball, let it rise in a bowl lined with a dish towel sprinkled with flour (I often use cornmeal or seeds), let it rise again on the counter or the fridge by 3/4. Then bake in a preheat dutch oven 450F for oven for 25 minutes with the lid on and another 20-25 with the lid off or until internal temperature reads 190-200F
*** You can change the sugar and fat. You can use milk and butter depending how rich of a dough you would like. You can use eggs as part of the liquid or just add one egg for extra soft loaf.
*** Increase the liquid when using all whole grains. If you are using local new flours, play and adjust. If the dough is tearing, give a few extra splashes of water.
*** If you are using ¼ tsp of yeast, cut 1/2 cup of flour. Using less yeast, you can have a slower rise like we do with sourdough. This is a nice way to fit fresh baked bread in our lives.
*** If the dough is overproof, and collapses, we often make tortillas by adding flour to the counter and rolling the dough out.
*** During the warm months, consider a cool place in the house if you are not going to be around. It can wait for you in the fridge, just take it out when you get home.
*** Another possibility is to mix before going to bed and put in the fridge so you can even hold off the first rise if you don’t usually have time to mix bread in the morning.
Ellie applies her passion for innovative and sustainable food practices and her unique skill set that includes visual storytelling and community engagement. Ellie has a professional background in photojournalism and an MFA degree in Electronic Arts. Her work revolves around media and food literacy. She uses food as a starting point for conversations and community building. Ellie was born in Brazil and spent most of her childhood weekends at her grandparents’ small farm. “There was a story behind everything we did with our food – from how it was grown, harvested, cooked, and shared.” She is excited to add her passion for building bridges between people and food to the MGA board.