Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Basic Sourdough Bread with Yeast

I don't have the patience for sourdough bread that rises just with the starter, so when I want basic sourdough bread, I use yeast in the recipe.

Here are the ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1 small whisk dipped in local honey
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 1/2 - 6 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1/4 cup fine cornmeal (I prefer white) for sprinkling

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, stirring it in with a whisk dipped in local honey. Allow this to stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.

In your mixer's large bowl, combine starter, the remaining water, sugar, melted butted, salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and beat for another minute. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Switch to a dough hook and knead for a few more minutes (about 3) I always also knead a few minutes by hand.

Oil a bowl and put the dough in the container. Turn it once to coat the top and cover with a damp towel. Let rise until doubled - about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough. Grease two loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Divide the dough into two parts and shape into rectangular loaves. Place these in the pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let rise until doubled - about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 about 20 minutes before you want to bake the bread.

Place the pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the tops are golden brown (sourdough bread never gets as brown as other types).

Cool on a rack and enjoy!
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