Sourdough is one of my favorite types of bread. This bread is fairly simple to make and quite enjoyable sliced for sandwiches or toast. Get the starter going four to six days before you plan to bake the bread. You can keep the starter in the refrigerator and keep it fed for later use.
Servings 2 loaves
Sourdough Bread Starter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup water lukewarm
- 1 .25-ounce packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups bread or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Scald the milk in a small saucepan. Stir in the sugar to dissolve. Let cool to lukewarm. Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the milk mixture, sourdough starter, salt, and 3 cups of the flour. Mix with the dough hook until smooth. Cut the butter into pieces and incorporate. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a smooth dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 4-5 minutes. Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 - 1/4 hours.
Punch down dough and let rest for about 15 minutes. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough in half and shape into loaves. Transfer the dough to the loaf pans and make a cut on the top of each loaf with a sharp knife or new razer blade. Spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray, so that it doesn't stick, and loosely cover the loaves. Let rise in a warm area until doubled, about 1 - 1 1/4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the bread pans and let cool completely.
Note: Lodge brand cast iron bread pans are great for making bread! Place a pan of water on the rack below the bread in the oven. The steam created will make a crunchy crust.
Bread Baker's Tip:
I typically use a mixture of all-purpose and bread flour in bread recipes. Start with 5 cups flour and see if you need to add more. I like to knead in the last cup or so of flour on the butcher block or whatever surface you roll dough out on.
UPDATE to sourdough starter:
You can "feed" the starter each day (while it sits on the counter) by removing about 1/2 cup of the starter. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup room temperature water. Whisk together, cover loosely and let bubble. Do this, starting the second day of making the starter, until the seventh day.
To keep the starter:
To keep the starter add half cup water half cup all purpose flour and one tsp sugar to the left over starter. Whisk together. Store in the refrigerator. As you use the starter, keep refreshing it.
Calories: 3721kcal | Carbohydrates: 688g | Protein: 98g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 2802mg | Potassium: 1112mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1515IU | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 39.4mg