-sourdough bread-

I’ve got a recipe for sourdough bread that I’ve owned longer than my Kentucky driver’s license, but I’d forgotten about it until my friend Kendra told me she wanted to make a sourdough starter. So I passed along the recipe, and then got interested enough to start my own batch. It’s been in my fridge ever since, and I’ve made quite a few loaves of bread with it. Last week, I got in some strange mood that possessed me to make homemade pizza. I had that starter in my fridge just waiting for its moment to shine, so I pulled it out and turned it into pizza crust. It was so good. Possibly the best pizza crust that I’ve ever made. (Then again, I don’t have a reputation for amazing pizza crust, so that’s not saying a lot.) It was good enough that I feel the need to publicize the recipe. Enjoy.

I’ve used this recipe for round loaves, traditional bread-pan loaves, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts, and (last night) sandwich rolls. Kendra has made stuffed French toast out of it. Garlic breadsticks might be my next experiment.

For pizza, I pressed dough out into my baking pan, poked it all over with a fork, and baked it (at 375 I think) for 5 minutes before I put my sauce and toppings on it and baked it the rest of the way.

Sourdough Bread

1 T. yeast
3/4 c. lukewarm water
1 c. sourdough starter
2 T. honey
3 T. melted butter
1 T. salt
3 1/2 c. flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of water. In large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup water, sourdough starter, honey, butter, yeast mixture and salt, blending well. Stir in flour. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 6-8 minutes. If necessary, add just enough extra flour to prevent dough from being sticky. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise til double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; divide in half. Shape into 2 round loaves and place on lightly greased baking sheet 4 inches apart. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then at 375 for 20-25 minutes – or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pan, brush with butter and cool on wire racks.

My notes:
– i sometime substitute sugar for the honey – no big deal
– 1 T. salt makes it a little too salty for me. you may like it that way – but i usually do a little less.
–  you can also substitute oil for the melted butter – makes the process just a little quicker.
–  when i’m finished kneading my bread, i rub a little oil all over the dough before i put it in the pan to raise.

Sourdough Starter

3 c. flour, divided
1 tsp. yeast
2 c. hot water
1 c. lukewarm water

DAY 1: In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with yeast; stir. Stir in the hot water until mixture is blended. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
DAY 2: Stir the mixture. After  12 hours, stir again. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for another 12 hours.
DAY 3: Stir in the lukewarm water and remaining flour until blended. Cover bowl with towel and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
DAY 4: Starter is now ready to be used. Store loosely covered in a glass container with non-metal lid in the refrigerator.
To maintain sourdough starter: Stir at least once a week. For each cup of starter removed, stir in 1 cup flour and 1 cup lukewarm water. (If the starter isn’t used every few weeks, remove 1 cup starter and replace as above.) Cover and allow the starter to sit at room temperature overnight. Then store loosely covered in a glass container with a non-metal lid in the refrigerator.

I have a corning ware bowl with a snugly-fitting plastic lid that works great to store my starter – I don’t have to worry about it spilling in the fridge.

Oh, and sometimes, when I’ve waited a long time to pull it out and stir it up, the liquid on top of the starter looks almost black. It looks gross, but I don’t think it affects the bread at all. Mine is back to it’s normal color now.

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About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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