Tuesday, February 03, 2009

BIG Sourdough Bread!



Here's the recipe for the starter AND the bread (mixed in the bread machine!)

SOURDOUGH BREAD STARTER from the Tyler Hill Bed & Breakfast Cookbook

STARTER:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water
1 TBL yeast

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a VERY large bowl. Stir in flour. Cover loosely & let stand in a warm spot for 3 - 4 days.  On the first day, check every 6 hours or so and stir down.  Then check once a day.  After 3 or 4 days it should begin to smell tangy.  You can use it right now or refrigerate for later. Stir down & refrigerate in a sealed container. (My note: Make sure this is a LARGE container. The recipe book says 1 quart but I needed a half-gallon container after I spent one early morning cleaning up what TheDad thought was "stinky pancake batter" all over the fridge.)

You have to use this starter once every week to 10 days, or at the very least waste some and replace with a like amount, or the starter will die.

Every time you use starter you have to feed it.  If you take out a cup of starter, replace with a cup of warm water plus a cup of flour.  Stir it in to the remaining starter, let it sit at room temp for several hours, and then return to the fridge.

SOURDOUGH ITALIAN BREAD from the Yahoo Breadmachine Group (invitation only--but it's worth asking about!)

1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 T sugar
1 T instant yeast

Note: Amount of water will depend on the thickness of your starter.

Process in your bread machine on DOUGH cycle. Remove and shape into loaf. (Mine got so big I could have split it into 2 loaves! Next time I will.) Allow to rise at least 1 hour--I let it go 1 1/4 hours. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

I tried this recipe yesterday. This is the HUGEST loaf of bread I've ever baked! For the rise I let it go 1 hour 15 minutes and it was over the top of the pan at that point. After a giant oven spring, it is SO big that I will have to cut the slices in half to toast it in the morning. Let's just say it was a good thing I already had lowered the oven rack for some other thing I baked last week. If I hadn't, there would have been a mess for sure.

Just make sure that the starter you use is at room temperature before adding it to your bread machine recipe. You can take the whole container out of the fridge a few hours ahead, stir it, and when the starter warms up, use what you need in the recipe, feed the starter, let it sit out a few more hours, then put it back in the fridge.

It's a bit of a hassle but it does make the most awesome toast ever. Probably next time I will experiment with an egg wash on the crust, or melted butter on the crust when it comes out of the oven. I did think the crust "needed something."

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