-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.


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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