Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rustic Sourdough Bread

If you'll recall from last week, I made a sourdough starter and then questioned how it was doing...well, I still wasn't sure, but I thought I might as well go for it. It seemed like the right consistency, and rather than just discard what I removed to feed it, I thought I would use it to try and bake. If it didn't work, I wasn't out much, just the extra flour really.

So, I headed back over to the King Arthur Flour website, confident that they could provide a suitable recipe to try out my starter. And of course they came through. I was surprised at how many of the sourdough recipes called for wheat gluten, which I didn't have...but I found one that did not: Rustic Sourdough Bread.
The recipe specified a precise amount of flour, which I thought was odd; most general bread recipes I have seen have a range. But, I went with it. The dough was stickier than I expected, and I will probably add more flour next time. But, it had an excellent, soft texture with a nice crisp crust. The flavor was underdeveloped, but I think that was because my starter is still immature. It wasn't very sour; but, this meant that my non-sourdough-eating friend enjoyed it too! Overall, I was really pleased with how it turned out and I will definitely be making this again!

Rustic Sourdough Bread
From King Arthur Flour
Printable Recipe

1 cup "fed" starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour

Combine all ingredients in a mixer and knead until it's a soft, smooth dough, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and let raise until doubled, about 80-90 minutes.

Divide dough into two oval loaves and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled, another 60 minutes. After about 40 minutes, preheat your oven to 425.

Spray the loaves with lukewarm water and make two horizontal slices.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it's a golden brown color and the crust is hard.

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