A couple of weeks ago I made a sourdough starter and ever since I have been getting emails about making bread.  I made pizza’s and pancakes but failed to make good ole sourdough bread.  So today I made sourdough bread.

Look at that beautiful bread
Look at that beautiful bread

Sourdough bread is pretty easy, it just takes some time.

Sourdough Bread – (From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)

  • 1 cup of sourdough starter
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

The first step is to measure out your sourdough starter and let it come to room temperature.  About 30 minutes.  Don’t forget to replenish your sourdough starter.  To replenish add 3/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water and 1tsp honey or sugar.

Next in a sauce pan add the water, sugar, salt and butter and bring to about 120 degrees.  This is about the temperature at which the butter will melt.

 

Add butter, salt, sugar and water to a pan
Add butter, salt, sugar and water to a pan and turn the stove to Med/Low

Check with your finger for temp, it should be just slightly warm
Check with your finger for temp, it should be just slightly warm

Next add 2 1/2 cups of flour and the yeast to your mixer bowl. Make sure to use your beater attachment.  Turn the mixer onto low and slowly add the wet ingredients from above.  If you have a splash guard for your mixer, I would recommend that you use it. 

Using the splash guard for the kitchen aid makes this simple
Using the splash guard for the kitchen aid makes this simple

Continue beating on low for 30 seconds and then beat on high for 3 minutes.

A little high speed shutter action
A little high speed shutter action

Once done, remove the beater attachment and replace it with the dough hook.  Turn the mixer onto low and add another 2 1/2 cups of flour and the baking soda.  Once the flour is fully incorporated add as much flour as you can until the dough is not sticky and is firm to the touch.  Once you have incorporated all of the flour, turn your mixer up a couple of speeds and let it knead using the dough hook for 6-8 minutes. 

The dough is not sticky and is firm to the touch
The dough is not sticky and is firm to the touch

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute and form a ball.  Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough into the bowl.  Turning the ball once to grease all of the sides.  Cover with a cotton tea towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour or so.  Till the dough doubles in size.

That is a lot of dough
That is a lot of dough

Once doubled punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough in half and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Shape the two halves into balls by tucking the edges underneath the middle of the dough.  If you are going to make loaves, flatten the dough into a sheet and roll into a log.  Place the dough either on a greased cookie sheet or greased loaf pan.  Or if you are going to use a pizza stone, place the dough on a cookie sheet/ pizza peel lightly covered in cornmeal or semolina. 

Two loavesLoaves risen

Once the dough is shaped, use a sharp knife to cut slashes on the loafs.  For round loafs I use a criss-cross pattern and for loaf pans I use two parallel slashes. 

My knife was sharper than I remember and made deeper slits that I should have.
My knife was sharper than I remember and made deeper slits that I should have.

Once again cut too deep, should only be about 1/4-1/2 in deep
Once again cut too deep, should only be about 1/4-1/2 in deep.

Cover the loafs with a towel and let rise for 30-50 minutes. Don’t let it rise too much or else you will end up with airy bread that will be hard to cut and use. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Place the loafs in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. An easy way to check if the bread is done is to tap and see if it sounds hollow. If not give it a couple more minutes. The top split a lot but the round still looks pretty.

 

The top split but still looks pretty.
The top split but still looks pretty.
 

As you can see the deep gashes that I made caused the top to split a lot.
As you can see the deep gashes that I made caused the top to split a lot.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.  Once cooled you can put the loafs into plastic bags or containers to store it.

The bread was so tasty!
The bread was so tasty!

This recipe makes a great loaf of bread.  Bravo BH & G.  The sourness depends on your starter.  The older the starter the more sour your bread will be.  My starter after 3 weeks was perfect.  It had that sourdough flavor that I was looking for.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

1 Comment

  1. There is something about sourdough bread that I just LOVE. Have you ever heard about Sourdough International's sourdough starter? I have a friend who bakes and she uses their starters but I kind of wanted some more reviews..

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