Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sourdough Bread!

I am so proud of the way this loaf turned out, I can't even tell you!! I never have good luck with ANYTHING baked, so this is truly an exciting moment for me!

The time had come to use my sourdough starter again, so I looked over the 'net and combined oh...three or four ideas into one recipe that worked for the time and ingredients I had. (Quite possibly why most other baking adventures DON'T turn out!)
Even though I wrote out lots of instructions (I'm long-winded that way), this was really simple! Yay!

Sourdough Bread
1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature
3/4 cup lukewarm soymilk (most recipes say about 110 degrees)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour*

* If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry - add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer, combine starter, water, salt, baking soda, and bread flour.
Using dough hook, mix everything together into a uniform dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic, about 15 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl.
Place a damp towel over the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap (the humidity in the bowl helps in the rising process).
Let rise until it doubles in volume, approximately 4 to 8 hours (depending on the temperature and the starter used, the rising time can vary as much as 2 hours).
Sourdough rises more slowly than yeast bread; Always remember, the longer the rise time, the more sourdough flavor. I actually forgot mine all afternoon, it raised about 6 hours...
After dough has risen, remove from bowl, and place on a lightly floured board. Knead in flour to feed it one more time before baking.
Shape dough into a loaf shape or round ball, and place on a cookie sheet that is dusted with cornmeal.
Cover with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
After rising, slash the bread with a bread razor or a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes.
Brush or spray the top of the bread with cold water and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned.
Remove from oven and place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes.


Emmie said...

Wow! That bread looks absolutely amazing! Sour dough bread is so good.

Julia said...

I'm impressed. It looks like something from an expensive bakery.

The Veggie Cookster said...

Ooooooooooh, that looks soooooooooo awesome! I love, love, LOVE fresh baked bread! Did you try that NY Times bread recipe when it was all the rage months ago? I like making that one because it's so unbelievably easy.

The Daring One said...

I am just the woman to appreciate a sight like that. I make my own bread and am afraid to try sour dough. I may just follow your recipe.

Cynthia said...

This is the stuff of heaven! Look at that gorgeous big round loaf of goodness!

Almost Vegetarian said...

I've got some 30-year-old San Francisco starter that a student gave me some time again, but, still, my bread is not as pretty as this. Back to the oven for me!


tippitappi said...

fantastic! Looks like a kind of bread we have here in Italy, how is it inside? Soft and airy or thick and heavy? :) Strange words I know, Hope you understand...

Amy said...

I wish I could smell that picture!

You are officially an Advanced Baker now!

Anonymous said...

looks so good!

bazu said...

Aaaah! I can't wait to get some of Jody's starter in the mail and make this- I can't tell you how much I love sourdough bread. Mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Your bread looks awesome! Perfect, really. I think the Tightwad Gazette has a sourdough starter recipe in one of the books that I may have to try making so I can make your bread.