I was really hoping to share the rabbit butchering with you today, but since Stuart got back-logged with getting grades in, we weren't able to harvest as planned. We're hoping to do it today (AND IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! NOTHING SAYS HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIKE RABBIT BUTCHERING!), so I hope to bring you a great instructional post on it this week! In the meantime, there's still all sorts of goodness goin' on in the homestead kitchen. And while I really would love for this to be a roasted rabbit recipe, it's not.
It would be a wonderful accompaniment to roasted rabbit though, so that's something.
It's also a lovely accompaniment to eggs.
I've been lovin' on sourdough for a few years now, but this sourdough artisan loaf has really taken my love to new levels. And here's why:
1. No kneading.
2. One rise.
3. One bowl.
4. Consistently wonderful results.
Literally, this recipe could not be any easier. I've been making it for months now, waiting for a hiccup to arise in the procedure, and I've yet to find one. Thus, it's passed the test and I must share it with you. I'm obligated to spread the wonderful news.
By the way, I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures during the making of this – I know people like step-by-step instructions when it comes to bread baking. Next time I make a loaf, I'll take pictures and stick them in here. Forgive me, dear reader.
As I mentioned previously, I've been making my own starter from scratch this go round – the difference is that I've been feeding my starter with organic, non-bleached, all-purpose flour. While I normally don't use any white flour in baking (opting instead for whole wheat), I've found that white flour gives a much more consistent rise to my sourdough en devours. Whole grain sourdough starters tend to really get skanky over time. And I ain't about no skanky flour. Because I use such a small amount in most sourdough goods, I don't mind. But if you do, by all means, feed your starter whole wheat. No judgement here.
Okay. So let's bust it out.
No-Knead Sourdough Artisan Loaf
You will need:
– 7 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground is best)
– 3 cups recently fed sourdough starter (find cultures here)
– 3 1/2 cups water
– 2 tablespoons sea salt
– 1 tablespoon additional flour or cornmeal
Step One: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. The resulting dough will be pretty liquidy and sort of shaggy. Ain't no thang.
Step Two: Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit out, in a warm place, for at least 12 hours. 18 is even better – it helps to develop that delicious sourdough flavor.
Step Three: When the dough has properly fermented and doubled in size, preheat your dutch oven (with lid) in a 500 degree oven for 45 minutes. Yes. 500 degrees. Or at least as hot as your oven will go. I'm sure you could bake this in a variety of lidded pots, but I don't mess with trying to find a substitute for my fantastic dutch oven. I've literally use this almost every day. Don't ask me about what baking dishes will and won't work – I'll just go tell you to buy a lidded dutch oven. Bah ha.
Step Four: Once the oven has preheated, carefully remove the preheated dutch oven. Remove the lid. Sprinkle the bottom with the additional flour or cornmeal. Grab a spatula and gently, gently, gently scrap the dough into the dutch oven. It's going to just sort of pour in. That's perfect.
Step Five: Put the lid back on and quickly put back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
Tap the bread. Does it sound hollow? Perfect. It's done.
Remove to a wire rack. Let it cool for an hour before slicing into it – that is, if you happen to have more self control than me.
I can barely stand it. Even though I bake fresh bread multiple times per week, I still can't help burning my fingertips as I eagerly slice off the end (my favorite part) and slather it with butter.
This bread has a very traditional sourdough taste. Though not overly sour, it has a delicious body of flavor.
Was that the right way to say that? Delicious body of flavor?
I hope this recipe will encourage some of you to give home-bread-baking a try. Total hands on active time is approximately five minutes. Maybe seven after washing the dishes. Not too bad, I'd say.
Also, this has nothing to do with the price of rice in China, but I want to post some pictures from our trip to Macon last weekend so you can see some beautiful faces and small details I don't want to forget. We had such a great time!:
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.