Sourdough Bread (*with Starter)

Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes Sourdough Bread (*with Starter)

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      Sourdough Bread

      15 oz bread flour
      1/3 oz salt
      2/3 cup water
      10 oz sourdough starter*
      Olive oil, for greasing

      Mix the bread flour and salt together in a large, roomy mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the warm water and the starter. Drawing the flour into the center, mix the flour with the water and starter to create a loose dough that is soft and slightly sticky. Can use hands to do this.

      Sprinkle the worktop lightly with a little flour. Tip the dough onto the worktop, reserving the bowl, and knead the dough until it is smooth, silky, and elastic. Note: If the dough is very sticky, sprinkle with a little more flour. If too dry, sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil and continue to knead. Can expect to be kneading for 12 to 15 min. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with the dough attachment on medium-low speed.

      Once the dough is smooth, silky, and elastic, lightly oil the reserved mixing bowl with olive oil. Tip the dough into the bowl and cover the bowl with cling film/plastic wrap.

      Place the bowl in a cool, not cold, draft-free place and leave for up to 6 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. If desired, refrigerate it covered overnight.  This will allow the bread to rise very slowly.

      Once doubled, tip the dough onto a floured surface. Knock out the air from the bread and knead the dough lightly for just a few min. Roll the dough into a ball, dust with flour, and place into a floured mixing bowl. Cover with a dish towel. Again place in a cool, but not cold, place and leave to rise slowly for 8 hours.

      Heat the oven to 475°. Place a roasting pan filled with ice cubes on the lowest shelf of the oven. The steam creates a lovely crust on the loaf.

      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease very lightly with a little olive oil. Gently lay the risen loaf onto the sheet.  Score the top of the loaf a few times with a sharp knife. Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 30 min, then lower the temperature to 400° and cook for 10 to 20 min more or until the loaf is golden brown, the outside crust crisp, and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

      Place the loaf on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.  Makes one loaf or about 16 slices.


      Beginner Basic Sourdough Starter

      2 cups warm water
      2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
      2 cups all-purpose flour

      In a ceramic bowl, add the warm water and yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon until the yeast is dissolved.

      Stir in the flour and mix until smooth.

      Pour the starter into a plastic container that is at least 4 times larger than the liquid starter — such as a 1/2-gallon ice cream container or Mason jar. This will allow room for the starter to expand.

      Cover the container with a cloth napkin and hold it in place with a rubber band.

      Set the starter in a warm spot for five days, stirring once a day.

      Refrigerate — or freeze — and use it as needed.

      If planning to continue making sourdough bread, then:

      Keep Your Sourdough Starter Alive

      Can choose to store the sourdough starter on the counter or in the refrigerator. Many bakers choose to refrigerate their starter because it slows down the culture’s growth. It also means that it only needs to be fed it once a week. However, if there’s no room in the fridge for the culture, can store it at room temperature. Keep it away from extreme heat and humidity, and make sure to feed it once a day.

      When feeding the sourdough starter, remove 1 cup of starter into a new bowl (this is the starter to replenish). Can use the remaining starter for a bread recipe, discard it, or make another delicious sourdough baked good. Half of the starter is discarded to keep the yeast growth under control and manageable and the remaining starter healthy. Then feed the starter in a clean bowl with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Allow it to rest at room temperature for one hour before returning to the refrigerator.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes Sourdough Bread (*with Starter)