My best tricks for a successful sourdough Purim

Are you a new sourdough baker? Or just really excited about your sourdough skills?

Purim is just around the corner, and that means beautiful gift baskets! And even if you don't celebrate Purim, these tips here can apply any time you need to make a lot of bread for a big gathering, or whatever the occasion might be. 

So Purim is a time of sharing homemade treats with friends and neighbors, and I know many of you might want to “show off” your amazing sourdough baking, and for good reason! What could be a better time to gift those you care for with some delicious homemade bread for mishloach manos?*

I want to give a warning, though, based on my own hard-earned experience:  Be careful! 

When I began baking sourdough many years ago, I was eager to do just this. I absolutely couldn’t wait for Purim to arrive so that I could bake countless loaves of bread and fill my mishloach manos with them. 

BUT what I didn’t anticipate was how time-consuming and overwhelming it would be trying to cram the preparation of so many loaves into 1-2 days of baking in my little kitchen oven. 

Quite quickly, but too late, I realized my counters were completely covered with bowls of proofing dough, with loaves rising, with starter bubbling over… flour was everywhere.

I was out of space and out of bowls in which to put the rest of my dough for the final proof… I was frazzled and, well, that year was a total disaster. 

I was up all night trying to keep my dough at a consistent temp while trying to bake off all my breads so that I’d have fresh loaves ready to package and go first thing in the morning.

When I was finally done, some loaves looked really nice while others had fallen flat and tasted sour from sitting out too long before baking. To say I felt frustrated would be an understatement.

What that incident taught me was that it’s ok not to be perfect (and what does perfect mean anyway, right?). Nobody knows what you envisioned your perfect mishloach would be like.

Now, I am NOT telling you not to bake sourdough bread for your mishloach manos! Not at all!

It just takes some good planning, and here are some tips below to keep it simple and enjoyable without feeling frustrated and overwhelmed:

 

  1. Don’t attempt to make a bunch of big loaves in the couple of days before the holiday. You’ll for sure stress over fridge & oven space. Make small sourdough rolls instead. 

Use my multigrain or basic country loaf recipe and follow the instructions until shaping. When it comes to shaping, measure out 150 grams of dough, roll this into a ball, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before shaping into a roll. (at this point you can roll the multigrain in oats or seeds of your choice…) Lay on a parchment-lined sheet pan and cover with a towel. Let rise 2-4 hours before baking. Bake on the sheet pan 375°F for approximately 35-45 minutes. (no steam necessary)

  1.  If you do want to make big loaves, make in advance and freeze them. You can ‘freshen it up’, by letting the sourdough loaf come to room temp and then bake on 350°F for approx. 15-20 minutes before wrapping it up and sharing!
  2.  Rather than sourdough bread, consider giving sourdough crackers along with a nice homemade dip. See this Instagram post with a recipe for delicious crackers using your sourdough discard.

 So bake your sourdough! Just plan ahead well. 

 Happy Purim from my kitchen to yours,

Sarah

P.S.

See my Amazon shop for beautiful bread packaging ideas for your Mishloach Manos.

 P.P.S. Check out my Instagram posts of mishloach manos I’ve made in past years- they’ll give you some great ideas!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9k6uPynWP-/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvSJ6MElNwR/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDJ7odQzJ-M/

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High Holidays, Low Stress

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