Recipe for Deliciousness

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I had a request for my sourdough bread recipe and so after my post yesterday on obesity I figured this was the perfect opportunity! If there is anything I could eat until I made myself sick, it is warm, buttery bread fresh out of the oven.

Let me issue a disclaimer, though. I am not a food blogger like DaveBakes. That man has taught me a whole new level of sinful and I don’t mind saying that I lust after what his hands can do to my taste buds. Check him out.

My starter (the goo of sour smelling gunk that forms the backbone of flavor for this bread) came from the King Arthur company. Now, I don’t know if they are superior to anyone else when it comes to quality of flour and blah, blah, blah BUT since it sounds like a Medieval fairy tale, I picked them. Now, they claim that their starter is from a culture that is over two hundred years old. I don’t know if that is true but it sure as hell looks it. Blech!

Don’t be intimidated, though. Keeping starter alive is not hard at all. Feed it once a week, keep it in the fridge. It isn’t supposed to look pretty.

The recipe I use came with the starter. Here is my adulterated version here:

1 cup starter
1 1/2 cups warm water (I use hot water out of the tap because I am lazy)
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons of salt (I use bread salt “with a high mineral content that helps feed the yeast in a rising loaf” but I am not sure it makes any kind of difference in practice)
4-6 cups of flour (I use a 1:1 mix of white whole wheat and bread flour so I can feel like it is healthy)

I mix the water, yeast, sugar, and salt and let it sit until the yeast “blooms” and becomes frothy. Then mix in the starter and flour. I start with four cups of flour and knead in my giant stainless steel mixing bowl (minimizes mess) for about 10 minutes adding more flour as I go until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you have never made bread before you will worry if you got it right, so making with someone experienced the first time is often helpful.

I then hold the dough up in one hand and use the other to coat the bowl with a very thin layer of olive oil. Plop the bread back in and turn once so the bread is coated. Do NOT overdo the olive oil. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.

By that time the dough should have risen to double in size. Punch it down and form into two loaves. Place into loaf pans, or on a parchment paper lined sheet, or the clay bowls you see pictured above. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Split the tops with a sharp knife. Bake for 30 minutes.

Technically, I have been told that you never cut a warm loaf straight out of the oven as it dries it out. Frankly, I am willing to take that risk. I will suffer through an awful, dry loaf the rest of the week if I can just have that first glorious, warm slice!

I like to use the sort of stale bits at the end of the week for French Toast.

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52 thoughts on “Recipe for Deliciousness

  1. Oh fresh baking bread. I remember when I was a child we NEVER purchased any items from a grocer and the fresh bread would come out of the oven and I would eat the entire middle out of the loaf. My dear sweet Mother would exclaim that there must have been a mouse on the counter who ate all the bread. Oh, you have brought back such marvelous memories! Happy Holidays to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of the fancy bread bakers I’m following love KAF products. I’m now living right down the road (20 miles?) from their main facility and I can’t wait to go there. I have tried creating my own starter for years and have never managed to get a good one. I have noticed that a bought starter, like KAF, will take on the flavor of the local indigenous yeasts after a while, which is pretty cool.

    Basic yeast bread: Don’t cut until it is room temperature. The loaf continues to bake/steam and develop flavor.

    Sourdough without extra yeast added: Don’t cut for 24 hours. The loaf continues to develop flavor.

    I’m not sure about the sourdough plus yeast, as above. I think I’d tend toward the 24 hours.

    Best way to store a cut loaf of sourdough? No bags. Cut side down on the counter…dogs and kids willing. I was skeptical but it truly is the best way.

    Not that you asked for any feedback but you didn’t say NOT to! 😀

    Then again, I’m playing around trying to create a specific yeast bread and I cut the first test loaf within 1 hour when it was still warm, last night. 🙂 It’s bread! It’s warm! C’mon!

    Your loaves look beautiful. Major envy on the crock/bowls/whatever you are baking in. So Martha! It also isn’t easy to take a good photo of bread, congrats. But where’s the crumb shot, you tease. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • The baking products from KAF (like brotforms) are good quality but over-priced. The ingredients though (while expensive) just make me go, “I want that, and that, and oooooh, I’ve never heard of those kind of baking chips!, those…” Timed right they have a lot of specials on shipping, etc. I’d suggest signing up for their email updates. Be prepared to be see a lot of yummy looking photos though. That’s how they get you. 🙂 As for photos… I’ve yet to take a good picture of bread. I blame my tools. (laughs)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a believer in King Arthur flour , at least for making popovers (it has been years since I made bread): we bought a different brand of flour recently, and all popovers made with that flour were flat. This morning, a new bag of King Arthur flour, and the popovers miraculously were perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I had to look that up! I have never made biscuits that way (I generally eschew shortening) but the description has be curious to try it out! (And now I think my confession has destroyed my Southern woman street cred!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes ! I’ve always maintained that bread was my excuse to eat butter. It is in the gene pool. Grandparents were dairy farmers, made their own. The very idea of margarine or butter substitutes was a sacrilege in my family. I channel my grandmother when making bread, I sat by her on Sunday mornings as a toddler and witnessed the process. A memory of love, and the smell of yeast. Sensory joy !! Love your post. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: My Article Read (12-9-2014) | My Daily Musing

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