Bread Recipes

Bread Riot: Yes, Even You Can Learn to Bake a Sourdough Boule

Well, it’s not really a riot, but it’s a lot of fun! Michelle Witte takes you through the steps for a sourdough boule. Episode includes: why the PSL is producing a baking show, how to make a sourdough starter/natural yeast since yeast is hard to find, and step-by-step instructions for making a crusty round boule.

Original of the video here

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Video Transcription

[Music]hi I’m Nicole I’m a member of the PSL inWashington DC and we’re producing thisshow called bread riot to combat theisolation right now and to build newskills because of government malfeasanceand negligence 30 million people havealready lost their jobs people can’t getto the store food lines are growinglonger and people have to survive butthere are lots of signs that amasspeople’s fight back is growing peopleare resilient creative strong and ableto turn adversity into an opportunityfor people who are laid off working fromhome students or otherwise stuck at homethe PSL has been producing thirsty nightlive streams Saturday afternoon livestreams short videos interviews and moreand we’re now adding this series calledbread riot to offer an opportunity to dosomething really new like learn how tobake this is a skill that will last alifetimeand bring happiness and nutrition to ourfamily friends and co-workers whilegiving you something physical to createwhich can be so satisfying right now I’dlike to introduce Michelle Wie a friendof the PSL in DC she’s a progressivejournalist and a really smart politicalthinker she also bakes a lot we’ve hadmany meaningful political conversationsover the years and I’ve also been a veryhappy recipient of some of her bakingcreations so here’s Michelle hi I’mMichelle I am really looking forward tobaking with all of you and bread riotover the next couple weeks couple monthscouple years over many recipes we findto play with but before we get started Ithought maybe I would tell you a littlebit about why I bake so much why I thinkyou might like baking so much – Istarted baking obsessively about threeyears ago after eating a sandwich everyday for lunch for two years and finallygetting very tired of the last good loafI could find in a supermarket which wasTrader Joe’s tuscan panibut even that you get tired of after awhile and I went I had been on a visitto a friend of mine who lives in Denmarkand she somehow despite abeing involved in a grad school programand still doing as much activist work asshe could and having friends andvisiting family casually mentioned tellYoshi big spread like once once or twicea week and I just thought I refuse tobuy this lie that we do not have enoughtime in our lives to have good food andto have good food that was you knowpossibly even made by someone who youlove or given to someone who who youlove and so I came back and startedmaking bread honestly just as a way tofeel like I was taking back a littleaspect of my quality of life and thereason I got into sourdough is I didn’tknow I if you had asked me three yearsago if I liked sourdough bread Iprobably would have said no and feellike and I don’t want my bread to besour I like whatever um but I’m alsokind of a minimalist and I like to learnhow to do things and so if there’s ifthere’s a way that I can do every singleaspect of a process then I at least wantto know how like it makes me it makes mefeel empowered and then I realized thatsourdough is not a flavor it’s just anatural method of leavening and you canturn it to anything and that made mevery excited and so now when we are inthis very strange and frightening momentwhere there’s a lot of scarcity where wehaven’t seen scarcity and at the sametime we are a lot of us are at home witha lot more time on our hands I think itis a really good opportunity to try andexplore some of these slower lifeprocesses that we are so often told tonot even aspire to because you got towork forty hours a week and you’ve gotto commute an hour each way you’ve gotto do all this and not it doesn’t haveto be this way we could all have time tomake breadso yeah so I’m I’m looking forward tosharing some of that with you I it istrue that sourdough is slow it does takea long time but it takes such a longtime that I think the process of makingsourdough or natural leavening comesactually back around full circle togiving you a lot of your time backbecause so much of it is fiddling withsomething and then putting it away forsix hours and fiddling with it again andputting into the fridge overnight so umin fact there’s a lot of stuff that justgoes on behind the scenes that you don’thave to bother yourself with it allpretty cool there are also a lot ofbread making accessories that um youknow you might want to accumulate as wego on but that are definitely notnecessary if you’ve got water and you’vegot flour and you’ve got salt we canmake bread for sure and then you knowyou might end up wanting to getdifferent things like proofing basketsand dutch ovens and and all the rest ofit but you you don’t need more than thebasics and and a little bit of time anda little bit of the will to practice andmaybe have a have a flop once in a whileI still have flops no I don’t pretendyou didn’t hear that I everything I dois perfect all the time so yeah I thinkit’s gonna be a great time um I amlooking forward to exploring all thisstuffterrible performance anxiety right nowand I’m afraid everything that I’ve beendoing for years is gonna fail but I willnot show you any of those videos you’llget the good ones All Right see you seeyou guys[Music]I’m Michelle um I’m really lookingforward to baking with all of you withred riots but I wanted to introduce youto somebody before we get started thisis my starter right now she is living ina chunky testigos salsa jar becausethat’s as good as it has to get thispoint um her name is lady I apologizefor thatI don’t know what came over me but we’restuck with it it’s her name I think ifwe all really try we can move past herterrible damn she smells delicious rightnow and there’s an awful lot of herright now because I’m about to put herinto a loaf of bread so that’s why youdon’t normally need to have a huge jarfull with starter like this but I wantedto tell you how I made her and how youcan make your own if you haven’t gottenone yet there’s a ton of informationonline about making your own starter Ihappen to use the process described byKing Arthur Flour which is probablyexactly the same as all the other onesbut it calls for starting with a cup offlour and a scant cup of water mix ittogether in a little jar put it on thewindowsill put it somewhere warm notsomewhere hot heat is not good for theseguys but yeah put it somewhere warmleave it for 24 hours when you come backthrow away half of it toss on anotherscant cup of flour 1/2 cup of water stirit all up put the cover back on it putit back on the windows so leave it foranother 24 hours do the same processagain you should start to see it aroundthis time start to get bubbly start toexpand like it’ll grow after you feed itand then I’ll start collapsing again sorepeat that process of feeding it a cupof flour and a half cup of water thenevery 12 hours for a couple of days andat some point the starter should startto smell nice and freeand kind of alcoholic and sweet itshould definitely be you know havelittle bubbles on the surface it shouldbe rising and falling over a period ofhours in its container and that meansit’s alive it’s alive and it’s ready todo all the work that we want it to do[Music]if it starts to smell gross and if itstarts to change color or anything juststart over because that means it hasn’tgotten the balance of yeast that itneeds and it’s just full of bacteriait’s gonna be very bad[Music]and then also this process calls for alot of flour and then a lot of discard Isuspect that you could probably do thiswhole thing using half those amountsright using half a cup of flour and aquarter cup of water certainly as you goon you only need to maintain a tiny tinyamount of starter I feel very good if Ican dump out everything and just use thelike bits of starter that are clingingto the side of the jar to add some flourto and remix everything up to one of theI think problems that beginners run intois is ending up with these huge vats ofstarter and then if you’re like me youfeel really guilty about throwing itaway so then you end up with jars andjars of starter in your fridge and likethere are ways to use it but you canalso not either feel bad all the timeand not fill up every jar you own withsourdough starter if you just try andmaintain less of it like here’s my thisis a child of Lady which is I guess justchildI pulled her aside to maybe make upanother 11 for so you need the only thisthis is even a lot you all you need is alittle tiny truck there yep also as Isaid starters do not like heat don’t puthim in the oven he heat is the thingthat will kill these guys if you forexample need to stop baking for a whileand walk away go away for a couple weeksor a month or whatever just seal them upin a jar and put them in the fridgethey’re gonna be finethey’ll be fine for I mean at least amonth probably many months and then whenyou want to use them again take them outleave them on the counter to warm themup give themfeed it’ll take up a couple of days toget back to life and health becausethey’ve been you know in in deep freezebut they will be fine but if you stickthis thing in an oven if you drop it inboiling water that kind of stuff is isbad so just be careful all right let’ssit let’s get started baking guys[Music]let’s start this bread so I can havesome coffee I thought we would startwith the most basic sourdough bull takesfour ingredients it will take you allday but you don’t have to do stuff withit all dayso sourdough you know like comes backaround so taking so much time thatdoesn’t actually take much time at alland the good news is if it ends up ahuge failure at the end you’ve onlyspent your whole day on that’s not thegood news the good news is sourdough isactually really flexible and it doesn’toften result in something that’sinedible it might not be Instagrambeautiful but who is really okay sorrythat was a demoralizing start honestlyguys it’s going to be fun I’m justreally looking forward to a cup ofcoffee after we get this part going sostep one step one we’re just going tomix the water and the flour and we aregonna let it sit and start to do some ofits work on its own without us the waterwill start breaking down the starch andthe flour and we’re going to begin witha really rough shaggy dough and thenwhen we come back to it half hour hour90 minutes later it’s going to be waymore elastic and stretchy and it’s gonnafeel good to handle and that’s all thegluten getting started being made andthose thingsso we’re gonna make like a mediumhydration lift I think bleach and richflower which I would normally choose touse but that’s what is in the shopsthese days a tiny bit left over of thisnever heard of this beforewhite rye flour so I’m just gonna put ina little bit of us like 30 grams of thisI like to mix up my different flours youcan put in cornmeal that’s a really goodaddition it gives you it makes yourlimbs like a tiny bit sweet tiny bitgrainy this is a tiny bit of wheat thatI’m tossing in I would caution youagainst getting started with all wholewheat loaves because it it behavesdifferently in water and it takes alittle while to understands the the feelof how much water the different types offlour can handle and so what I’m talkingabout right now is basically for breadflour or all-purpose flourall right I’ve got 500 grams of flourhere and I’m gonna add about 375 gramsof water she’ll be around 75% hydrationit’s its high but not so high that Ithink this dough will be difficult tohandlebut I want it to be high enough so thatyou can actually stretch the dough andfeel you know let’s take it there I’vedone 363 somewhere in the middle morethan 70 less than just gonna mix it uphere the amount of flour or sorry theamount of water you put in talking abouthydration levels if you take your gramsof flour as 100% of the whole and thehydration that is generally easiest towork with is between say 70 and 80percent so you’ll still get a loaf witha nice soft crumb but the dough won’t beso sticky that it sticks to your fingersand it collapses and slides all aroundthe bowl and stuff which we’ll see laterwhen we are building tension in it sothat’s the hydration and I’m going tostick with right now and I have foundthat slightly lower hydrations withlonger Rises give you a nice big opencrunch so I might give this one an extralong truth or fermentation today allright so phase one here we go Oh shaggyin there if I pull on it it’s just gonnabreak apart see but when we come back tothis after say an hour and we had ourstarter this will have magicallytransformed into something much morecohesive and stretchy which is exactlywhy we’re doing this so I will see youback in about half an hour 60 minutes 90minutes I mean you can soak this stufffor hours and hours if you want to butwe’ll try to keep things relativelyquicktoday so I’ll give it I’ll give it aboutan hour then we’ll come back we’ll addour starter we’ll leave it alone againthen we’ll add our salt and then we’llget into the stretching and foldingwhich is the most intense manipulationpart of making this kind of salary upalright see you in a bit[Music]alright guys ready dad some starter toour water and flour concoction yes wearehas it been an hour roughly let’s take alook at what’s happened look at thatremember that shaggy mess that we leftbefore now look what happens if I pullon it oh so much stretch like yourfavorite jeans except I don’t believe instretchy jeans and the curmudgeon whenit comes to jeans see that’s what wewanted to happen alright let’s add thisstarter evenness out we are using 500grams of flour so we’re going to put in20% starter which is a hundred gramshere we gookay nice and bubbly it’s smelling goodfreshly fed starter it does not smell asstrongly as started it’s getting oldshould I hope is not true all of us ah[Laughter]guys I have been by myself in this housefor such a long time but I always laughat my own jokes right because if youdon’t do well well alright we got thestarter in there here we are just gonnamix it up with my hands that is cool allrightthere we gotrying to make sure starter at hungryhungry starter gets acquainted with allof the flour mixture we have in here andnow well let this little introductionunfold for about half an hour before wecome back and add the salt and thenafter we add the salt we’ll get into theperiod of stretch unfold I am gonna dothis today for about six hours so everyhalf hour I am going to come overstretch out the dough and then cover itand leave it to rest for about six hoursyeah it does mean you have to stickaround your house if you choose to do itthis way and I would definitely say itget started doing it this way just soyou start to understand how your don’tdevelop sand and how it feels but thenin the future you know you can do around or two go out come back I do around or two go away for a couple ofhours you can do a long fermentation inthe fridge there’s a lot of flexibilitybut I do think when you’re gettingstarted it does help to become familiarwith the way the dough evolves and howit starts to feel so that you can knowabout how long you can walk away andwhat kind of results to expect if thatmakes sense okay we’ll be back we’ll addsome salt and then we’ll startstretching and folding[Music]yeah so my guess is that slightly moresalt than it actually calls for but Ilike my bread to taste a little salty sowe’re gonna sprinkle that in there byMorton ah another thing coarse salt isgreat it tastes delicious here’s how bigthis surface I bought this once when Iwent to store and it was the only kindof salt they had it’s lovely but it’sthese giant giant grains I am here totell you they will not dissolve in yourdough Mill dissolve in water and thereare recipes that we will eventually getto that call for you to dissolve thesalt in water and then mix it in likewater but I as a warning if you try tomix this stuff into your dough that’salready sort of been incorporated theywon’t dissolve and you’ll just havechunks of salt flying out as youmanipulate it and chunks of salt whenyou bite into your bread that’s actuallynot really a bad thing but if you useonly that and try and mix it in you’rejust gonna have like flavorless breadwith chunks of salt in it but not thebest outcome though I will say stilldefinitely edible and you know puttingcheese and mayonnaise and tomatoes on itand stuff it’s you know could be worseokay I am just now sort of squeezingsqueezing a sucker to make sure all ofthat salt gets gets worked through itpretty evenly and then I am going tocover it walk away for another half hourand then we’re gonna begin withstretching bowls it’s interestingworking with lower vibrations maybe I’lldo a big bignext sorry that banging it’s gonna scaremy dog any hearing or drinking it’s verycute she’s been won girls alright so youcover this sucker up and be back in halfan hour maybe I’ll have a new hairstylewho knows I have nothing else – oh hellowe’re back we’re all back together againfellows it is time to stretch and it’stime to fold but Michelle you’re notwearing workout gear no it’s becausewe’re gonna do that to the dough we’regonna stand stiffly in front of acounter don’t worryprobably no sweating although you knowyou know this maybe it’ll warm up here’syour doughwe’ve got flour water starter and saltand now we are ready to mix and mingle Iam gonna grab the top part of this doughtop it’s a circle it’s a blob but we’regonna pretend there are four sides soI’m gonna pull up on the top and stretchit gently as much as I canyou see it’s even coming out of the bowlstarting to be able to see through itwhich is very cool that means the glutenis developing and fold it over itself Iput some water on my hands because ithelps the dough not stick to them butthis is not a make-or-break issue thenI’m gonna turn the bowl and I’m justgonna do this four more times I’ll showyou the last one but so here’s side toostretch stretch stretch fold it overitself see if I can give you guys a viewhere now I’m on this side prop it upalrighta good armpit shot here but seestretching it up folding it over nowinside for stretching it out start tostick to the bottom of the pan the bowlsorry does it matterbecause it just gives it a little moreresistance so here’s what it looks likeit’s still a blob it’s just a sort offolded blob that’s fine because as astime goes on this dough is gonna gettighter and tighter and more and morecohesive till actually by the end ofthis process it’s gonna be a little bithard to pull the sides away from eachother and fold them over but that’s finethat means the dough is developed andthe gluten in it has developed enough sothat it will capture and hold on to allthose nice little air bubbles that willactually make it rise so this is thestart of a process that’s gonna be aboutsix hours so I’m gonna come back and dostretching folds just like this roughlyroughly every 30 minutes for ya forabout the next six hours if you’resomewhere really hot this process willgo faster so maybe after four hours orfive hours you’ll be done if it’s reallycold they could go a long time you couldtoss it in the fridge but for now we’llstick to stick to leading on the counterand do something you know that has adefinite beginning an end so six hoursI’ll check in with you in the middle ofthis process and we’ll see how our doughis developing before we proof it AllRight see you in a bit[Music]all right guys it has been a boat gonnabe honest it’s been about seven hoursmeant to do six I have been stretchingand folding the stove approximatelyevery 30 minutes might have gone an houror two here and there but definitelyholding together much more and it isperfectly ready to be shaped and put inye old proofing basket if you don’t haveone of these thingsI never fear you can always use a napkininside a colander just make sure youreally rub a bunch of flour onto thatnapkin because you don’t want the doughto stick so you you can’t use too muchflour in this process is what I willtell you so I got to put a little flourhere on my surface turn out thisbeautiful beast trying not to pop any ofthe nice air bubbles inside it as muchas I can there we goshaping process this dough it’s prettystiff because it’s a low hydration allright so there we goremove the flour down here I’m gonna dosort of the same thing I did with thestretch of bowlsjust take one side of the dough fold iton over on itselfand then I’m gonna grab the oppositesidefold it and kind of stitch it togetherright so I’m holding it together so thedough kind of stays in place then theygrab what was the bottom and pull it I’mgoing to do the opposite side pull itover I’m just gonna redo this seethere’s a little like pointy cornersticking out here I’m gonna pull thatinto the center and then I’m gonna pullthe opposite pointy corner take thislast one and then just push the wholeblob over so now on top I’ve got a sortof membrane that I can build sometension underneath now I just startsliding the dough so that sort of rollsunderneath itself and the idea is tomake a nice tight ball you can start toturn the dough clockwise or counterclockwise and just to again push itunder itself and it’ll get smaller andsmaller and you’ll start to see thesenice air bubbles to form on the surfaceand get top let’s see there we go if youneed to put down more flour during thisprocess go for it again there’s no suchthing as too much flour right now we puta little bit more on top now you canstart to pull it to the point where thatmembrane starts breaking that is aboutwhen you want to stop because you don’twant you don’t want to split that sohere we go we’ve got a nice round ballof dough sort of wrinkly andweird-looking underneath I’m gonna dropthe pretty side into my proofing basketwhich I’m gonna put a little bit offlour in right now I don’t want this tostick this dough again is not not reallyvery wet so I’m not that worried aboutit sticking to the basket it’ll probablybe a little bit stickier on a napkin ina bowl or colander so err on the sidewith your flower they’re dumped into thebasket now I’m going to cover that withplastic wrap and put it in therefrigerator overnight and we will bakeit in the morning so I will see you[Music]all right guyspouring rain outside um and my work wasbonkers today so this beautiful low ishhydration loop that we have been workingon set in the fridge for a very longtime but I will say a long cold proof inthe refrigerator is never actually a badthing so I probably intended to get itout after about 12 hours out after about16 here she is and I’m gonna just sortof pull her away from the sides of theproofing basket but it looks like she’snot gonna stick at all which is verycool so I’ve had my oven on 500 I’ve gota pan of water in there to fill it withSteve take this out oh my god those hotwatch out for the steam blast to theface if you do this steam pot because itis intense okayhot pot over there I’m gonna put someflour on this so doesn’t stick to myhandthere we go if you want you can alwayscook your loaf on parchment paper that’stotally fine I used to do that all thetime and then I realized actually all Ineeded was some flour on the bottom I’mgonna turn this over over the sink so Idon’t get flour all over my floor lookat that ready to be cookedI’m gonna take my lame give it a niceslash across the top see if that willmake it form a pretty ear lame it’sgetting a little sticky I might need anew oneright dropping it in the Dutch oven nowjust trying for once to not cover myhouse and flour guys okay for 30 minutesall right 30 minutes at 500 and thenanother 20 minutes or 25 minutes at 450I don’t know why that’s just it’s a funthing to doall right see you on the other side[Music]guys let’s see what our left looks likeit is time to take another Beeman I’llstop waving at you one day look at thatbaby that’s a hot pot looks like Ifinally actually let this one go longenough to get nice and brown let’s hearif it makes that cool hollow sound allright huhlike a drum it’s pretty cool yeah herewe golook what we made it’s got an okay earon it could have been wrapped a littlebit tighter but you know one of thesedays we’ll reach perfection but maybefor today I’ll just settle for a prettyand tasty I hope you guys had a[Music]rollicking success with your doughtrying to think of something cool to sayif that’s what I came up with oh luckyyou yeah I hope that love was great andwe’ll try some variations on it for thefuture and I will I’ll see you then bye[Music]let’s seeoh nice smells wonderfullooks beautiful nice and soft in thereyep and it’s got a nice crust on theoutside I think maybe it’s good that Iforgot about it for like five minutes soyay here we go I hope your bread isgreat I hope you enjoy it I think I’mgonna have a slice of this and thenfreeze it for laterbecause I don’t need to eat the wholething right nowoh yeah all right see you for the nextone folks[Music]you[Music]

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