As I may have mentioned before, having the sourdough starter makes me feel somewhat obligated to use it. It seems like a waste if all I’m doing is taking it once a week and maintaining it (tossing some and adding more flour/water.
That has led me to try my had at the sourdough bread recipe that came with the starter from King Arthur Bread.
For my first try at it, in the end, I believe it turned out ok. Although with just putting it on a sheet I felt it didn’t really turn out like a loaf of bread. It was more round and not as tall. Plus, making some slashes in the bread before baking seemed to deflate it a bit. It may not have risen enough to begin with but it seemed to make the loaves flatter.
But it tasted good. So far I’ve just used it to make toast in the morning. Since it isn’t a “loaf” shape it feels hard to do anything else with it. I did freeze half of it as I didn’t think we’d eat it quick enough. When I get around to taking that out, I think I’ll see about making garlic bread with it.
And so far, the only downside to having the sourdough starter is trying to balance when I need “fed” or “unfed” starter and how much time I need to make it. When I made this bread, things were a little crazy in the kitchen as I needed the oven, not only for this bread but for dinner. AND, I was trying to make some other bread. I need two ovens.
Anyway, definitely something I will try again. After all, I can’t let the starter just sit there.
Rustic Sourdough Bread
1 cup “fed” starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
Combine all ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough. I used my mixer with a dough hook and then kneaded the dough for about five minutes.
Allow the dough to rise, in a covered bowl, until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Gently divide the dough in half (it will deflate some). Carefully shape into two oval loaves; or, for longer loaves, two 10″ to 11″ logs. Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about one hour. Towards the end of the time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spray the loaves with warm water.
Make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each.
Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.