Don't you love baking bread? Try making this sourdough bread recipe. You'll need to make the starter a day or two before you can bake the bread the first time. After that, you will keep part of the starter and add to it every time you bake a loaf.
You will need to make the starter in a glass dish and once it has been on your counter for 24 to 36 hours, you can make your first loaf. Then refrigerate what is left of the starter until next time.
To make the sourdough bread recipe starter, you must use a glass or plastic bowl. Do not use a metal bowl as the yeast doesn't like metal bowls.
Set your ingredients out so they can get to room temperature which is anywhere from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold ingredients slow down the action of the starter. Use warm water, not hot. Hot water kills yeast.
You will need:
In a two quart glass bowl, mix flour, sugar, and yeast together.
Gradually add the warm water, stirring with a fork. Beat until the mixture is smooth. You can use your electric mixer if you have a bread attachment.
Cover the bowl with a loose fitting lid. Put the bowl in a warm place for the next 24 to 36 hours. I put mine right next to my stove on the counter.
The starter will turn bubbly and you will be able to smell yeast when you lift the lid. After you have baked your first loaf of bread, store the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until it is time for you to bake again.
When it is time to bake again, take the dough out of the fridge. Add in 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 cup of warm water. Stir until smooth. Let sit covered in a warm place for 24 to 36 hours, until dough is bubbly and then you can bake. Store remaining dough in the refrigerator again.
Note: Feed the starter at least once a week with 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 cup of warm water.
Once your starter is bubbly, after the first 24 or 36 hours, you are ready to make your first loaf of sour dough bread!
You will need:
Combine all of the ingredients listed above and then knead to form a smooth dough. Try to mix in all of the flour. Don't leave it on the sides of the bowl.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the flour mixture does not mix well together, you may add more water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing to see if that is all it needs. I usually have to add two more tablespoons of water before mine picks up all of the flour. The dough should not be sticky but if it is overly dry, it will not rise properly and it will not bake properly.
Spray a bowl with Pam. Place the ball of dough into the bowl and cover with a clean dish towel for about 90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
At this point, you can divide the dough into two equal parts to make two smaller loaves or you can keep it together to make a large round loaf in a dutch oven. Grease a cookie sheet for the long loaves or a dutch oven for the rounded loaf.
Cover again and let the dough rise until it is puffy, for about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 425° F. Spray the loaf or loaves with either butter flavored or olive oil Pam on the top. I sprinkle a bit of sea salt on the top of the spray.
Slash the top of the loaf or loaves diagonally with a serrated bread knife two or three times.
Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool some before slicing. It smells great and is delicious with butter.
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