To ensure a good result when making sourdough bread, you need a dependable sourdough starter. You can purchase starter online or make your own. This recipe uses both starter and packaged yeast to guarantee success.
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1½ cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 1 package (2¼ tsp.) yeast
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 4½ to 5 cups flour
In large mixing bowl (or in work bowl of electric stand mixer), combine sourdough starter, water, yeast, sugar and salt. Add 1 cup flour, and mix well. Continue to beat mixture for one to two minutes until smooth and creamy. Add additional flour in 1⁄2-cup increments, stirring well after each addition until the dough holds together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out dough onto generously floured work surface, or switch from paddle attachment to dough-hook attachment in your stand mixer. Knead in remaining flour, adding two to three tablespoons at a time, until dough is smooth, firm and just slightly sticky. If kneading by hand, process will take about 5 minutes. If using stand mixer and dough-hook attachment, it will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Lightly grease large mixing bowl or other container with small amount of oil. Place dough in bowl, and turn over dough to coat surface with oil. Cover bowl lightly with layer of plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled—about 1½ to 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto work surface, and divide dough in half. To form loaves, gently roll each portion into round ball or oval shape, keeping surface of loaf taut. Place loaves on a baking sheet, and lightly cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the loaves to rise at room temperature until doubled again—about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F while loaves rise. Just before baking, use sharp, serrated knife to make two or three diagonal slashes 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep in top of each loaf. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves appear deep golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped. Allow loaves to cool completely before slicing.
Makes two loaves.
This recipe originally appeared in Popular Kitchen: Homemade Bread.