|One of my favorite breads is sourdough – the more sour, the better. There are a few “artisan” breads out there that work for me, but I always prefer making my own.
To make sourdough bread, of course, you need sourdough starter, and a crock to store it in. I use a dried starter available from Breadtopia (http://www.breadtopia.com) and it couldn’t be easier: Just mix according to the supplier’s directions, feed it with some flour and water once a week, and that’s it.
I’ve tried recipes where the sourdough starter is the only leavening agent, and been disappointed – it just doesn’t rise for me. This recipe combines starter and yeast and can be shaped into anything – rounds, baguettes, hamburger/hot dog/brat buns, really anything. It makes great toast, and really wakes up a chicken salad sandwich!
Use the dough hook on your mixer, and have fun!
|4-1/2 cups||Bread flour|
|2-1/2 tsp||Active yeast|
|1 cup||Warm milk (105°-110°)|
|2 Tbs||Butter, softened|
|1-1/2 cups||Sourdough starter|
|Combine 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add milk and butter; mix for 3 minutes. Add sourdough starter; mix. Slowly add remainder of the flour until dough forms that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl (you may need more or less flour). Knead at low speed for 10-12 minutes.
Place dough in a buttered bowl, turning to coat the entire dough ball. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for one hour in a warm place.
Turn out onto a floured counter or stone, punch down and cover. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Shape as desired, place on a buttered baking sheet or pan. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for at least one hour, or until doubled in size.
Whisk an egg in a bowl, gently brush the top(s) of the loaves with the egg wash.
Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes, or until top is light golden brown. Cool on a rack.