Buttermilk Sourdough Bread: PaddyL

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      Buttermilk Sourdough Bread submitted by PaddyL to the Baking Circle
      This is an edited version of Wharrison's Buttermilk Sourdough Bread. The full recipe, with his notes, can be found under Members' Recipes, Wharrison. This is my version, with my little changes, but the original idea is the same.
      3 cups buttermilk
      3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
      1 tbsp. active dry yeast (If you're using instant yeast, just 2 tsps. should do.)
      1/4 cup honey
      In the morning, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and cover. (I had one of those big glass jars you see in cafes with biscotti in them, so I used that and didn't have any spill-over problems, but you could use a large bowl.) This is really active so will have to be stirred down several times during the day. It gets quite exciting, watching it rise then stirring it down only to have it rise again. In the evening, put the whole mess into a least a 2-1/2 quart container with a slightly loose-fitting top and put it into the fridge. If you're worried about spill-overs, put a plate underneath it. For the first few days, you may or may not have to stir it down. By the 4th or 5th day it should have levellod off. A couple of days later, say the 7th, you can use it to make the bread. I keep it in an empty plastic 2 litre ice cream container, with the lid on, and I've written "Brigid" on the lid, because that's what I called her and I'll always know that's my buttermilk starter.
      I named her "Brigid" because I first mixed her up on St. Patrick's Day, 2008.
      To make the bread, you must mix a primary batter the night before you plan to bake. Put the entire starter into a large bowl, and add 2 cups of buttermilk and 2 cups of flour, mix it well, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm place (I use the top of the fridge for this.), on a counter out of drafts is fine, overnight.
      In the morning, or whenever you can get to it the next day, take 2 generous cups of the primary batter and put them into a large bowl, returning the rest to a container to put back into the fridge.
      2 cups sourdough starter (from the primary batter as above)
      3 cups milk (I use reconstituted dry skim milk powder.)
      1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (I use vegetable oil.)
      1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 or even less. I have used maple syrup when I found myself out of honey, and you can't taste the difference.)
      4 tsps. salt
      2 tsps. instant yeast
      10 to 12 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I have used bleached flour with no apparent difference in either mixing or texture.)
      Put the 2 cups of starter in a large bowl, and put the rest back into the fridge. Add the milk, lukewarm, the butter or oil, the honey, and the salt. Mix instant yeast with a cup of the flour and add that, followed by the rest of the flour, or as much as you can work in, beating well until you have a shaggy mess. Tip it out onto your work surface and knead it till smooth and elastic. Once I've got it all together in a less shaggy mass, I put the bowl over it and give it, and myself, up to 30 minutes rest. Go back to the dough, pick it up and slam it down on the work surface a couple of times, and you'll find the rest of the kneading much easier. Since it's such a massive amount of dough, you should give it, all told, about 12 minutes of kneading, but you can let it rest from time to time. Then plunk it in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise till double, up to a a couple of hours. Punch it down, knead it a bit, cut and shape it into however many loaves you would like, or rolls , or cinnamon buns. Put it in the greased pans, cover, and let rise till double, about an hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
      Preheat the oven to 350 deg.F. and bake your fully risen dough for about 40 minutes for loaves, half that for rolls.
      After adding the above ingredients to the starter, and while it's still batter-y rather than dough-y, I take out a good four cups and place them in another large bowl, then stir about 1-1/2 cups, plumped, dark and light raisins, sometimes some pumpkin seeds, into one of the bowls of batter. Cover the bowl and work on the other half till it's ready to be put to rise, then go back to the raisiny bowl and work on that one. You have two bowls of dough rising. When it has risen.....
      I shape the plain dough into rolls, or loaves. For the raisin bread, I divide that dough in two, roll each out, brush lightly with water, sprinkle on a cinnamon/sugar mix, then roll it up and put it into greased pans.

      Mike Nolan

        Has anybody heard from Paddy lately? I think she signed up for MNK but hasn't been on in a while.


          I haven't heard from Paddy, or anything about her, for a couple of years. I do miss her participation. I'll ask on Around Our Kitchen Table.


            Chocomouse--Did you hear back from anyone about Paddy?

            Mike Nolan

              I have an email address for her from when she signed up for MNK, but I don't think she ever actually logged in.

              I've dropped her a note, I'll let you know if I get a response.

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