Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sourdough Bread (And Buns!)

Mom always made sourdough bread.  We weren't rich folks, and that was a way that she could keep us in bread without having to buy yeast.  I still remember the hot loaves coming out of the oven, gently sliced and then loaded with real butter.  WOW!

This is my recipe, a combination of methods I've cobbled together from other bakers and several cookbooks.  It works well for me, I hope you like it.

I won't cover making your original starter, there are so many ways to start that it really doesn't matter.  Just start with a cup of starter and go from there!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of starter
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups flour

Mix all three and let proof for 8-10 hours (overnight).

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tbl sugar
  • 3 tbl oil or melted shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix in most of the flour and the other ingredients until you can't beat with a spoon any more. Then dump onto floured work surface and knead in the rest of the flour. It may take more or less flour depending on how wet your dough is. Work about 10 minutes or until it quits sticking to your hand right away.

Put in greased bowl, cover, and put in out-of-the-way area (dark is best, with no drafts) for 1 1/2 hours (or until it doubles in size).

Punch down, divide in half an let rest for 10 mins. Then shape each loaf into a ball (for loaves) or 6-8 balls (for buns). Put into loaf pan or on greased (or non-stick) sheet and slice 3 quarter-inch grooves in the top to allow better rising. Let rise for 45 minutes or until double again.

Bake loaves @ 375° for 40-50 minutes. Spray with water before baking and then every 10 minutes. Cover during last 10 minutes with foil to keep crust from over-browning.

Bake rolls/buns @ 400° for 15-20 minutes. Spray before baking and at least 1 time during.

(Replenish starter with 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 to 1 cup flour, allow to work for 12 hours before refrigerating.)