Monday, July 26, 2010

Sourdough Bread

I have discovered a weakness for this sourdough bread. Love it!

And here is the recipe:
1 1/2 c. starter
2 c. milk (or water)
1/4 c. honey
2 eggs
3 c. flour for sponge + 3 c. flour for mixing + more as needed
2 tsp. salt
6 TBSP butter (unsalted, room temp.)
Be patient with me and with the recipe:
The night before you want bread:
Mix starter, 3 c. flour and milk. Cover. I found it helpful to start this in my food processor bowl. You can heat up the oven briefly (ie. turn on for one minute, then turn off) or use the oven light to help warm the sponge. This is the sponge.
In the Morning:
Mix sponge with honey and eggs. Add rest of ingredients. Mix with dough hook. Add dough if needed (dough should pull off side of bowl). Cover. Let rise 2-4 hours. (oven light or on/off oven as before).
Butter 2 9x5 pans. Pour dough in (the dough is springy and elastic-y if its going well). Cover. 1 1/2 - 3 hours with oven light or on/off oven heat.
Time to Cook:
Bread should reach to top of pans or slightly above. Take then out of oven. Preheat oven to 375. Slash top of loaves. Bake 35-40 minutes.
What I like about it is that the bread feels very alive-it is stretchy, elastic, it looks like it could just keep growing and growing, and it is your own mini science experiment in your kitchen. Yes, this starter is the "mother". Little did I know that I would one day be in awe of the "mother" that my real mother used to keep on the counter.
I left my loaves out-no bags, no fridge, and still ate it on day 6. No mold. If you choose to freeze or refrigerate, give it at least 24 hours on the racks or counter to help it mature.
Good luck and have fun!

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