Sourdough Bread Made Simpler

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Last night I baked sourdough bread, and it was delicious. Back in August I posted a more traditional recipe, with a few more steps. I found this new recipe in a Weight Watchers® cook book, and it’s much simpler, and tastier. The loaf is smaller, but the recipe can be doubled to make two loaves. I like that the recipe makes just enough sourdough starter for one baking session. Many times in the past, I didn’t get around to using the extra starter and it went to waste. I used the food processor to mix the dough, but you can do all of the mixing and kneading by hand if you prefer. All in all, I really liked this recipe and will definitely use it often. There’s nothing better than a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread.

Starter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup warm (105-115°F) water

1 envelope active dry yeast

Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

Directions

Two days before you plan to bake the bread:

Prepare starter in a non metal bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the warm water and stir gently with non metal spoon, let yeast and water mixture sit for a few minutes, then combine with flour and stir gently. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 2 days. Starter should be bubbly and have a sourdough aroma when ready.

starter
To prepare the bread, in a food processor combine flour and salt. Start the machine and add starter through the entry tube. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Knead the dough by pulsing until it is smooth. Spray a large non metal bowl with nonstick spray, or butter,  and place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles. The recipe said about an hour, mine took quite a bit longer.
Punch down the dough, then lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and shape into a 6 inch round loaf. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray and place the bread on the baking sheet; cover loosely with plastic wrap or damp towel. Again let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400° F; place a pan of hot water on the lowest oven rack. Dust the loaf with about a teaspoon of flour. With a sharp knife, slit the top of the loaf twice. Bake about 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Continue baking until bread is well-browned and sounds hollow when tapped (about 20-30 minutes longer). When done, place on a metal rack and cool completely. I have to admit that we did not wait quite that long before tasting!

sourdough-loaf

 
Remember, you do have to prepare the starter two days ahead of the baking, but after that the recipe is easy and delicious. Give it a try. It’s absolutely wonderful, I promise.

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