Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix sourdough starter, flour, and salt together. Add 1 cup water, then more as needed to make a moist bread dough.
  2. Knead dough until it passes the “window pane test.” That is, a small piece of dough will stretch between four fingers thin enough to allow light to pass through without breaking.
  3. Split the dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf.
  4. Place in a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inches), proofing basket, or on a board. Cover lightly with a towel and proof 4-24 hours. While a second proofing period is not required, if desired, punch dough down after 4-12 hours, reshape, and proof again.
  5. Slice an X shape in the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife or razor blade to allow the loaf to expand during baking without splitting in unexpected places.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 30-60 minutes, depending on loaf size, or until the internal temperature reaches 190° to 210°F. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the bottom or side of the loaf.
  7. Cool before slicing. Makes two standard loaves.
1. Break up the starter, dilute it in the water, and mix in the flour. Cover this mixture loosely and set it aside in a warm spot for 18–24 hours or until it is quite bubbly. Tip
Covering the dough as it rises helps to avoid moisture loss and contamination.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade. Pour the starter in and pulse the machine several times to mix the ingredients. Then, with the machine running, slowly add the water and continue mixing for a few minutes (If you don’t have a food processor, simply mix the dough in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until it forms a ball.)
3. Remove the mixture from the bowl and place it on a well-floured work table and round it into a ball.
4. Let the dough rise in a well-oiled bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for 12–15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, and stretch them into tight baguette shapes. Place each one on a baguette tray or a parchment-lined baking tray.
6. Cover the baguettes and let them rise for 6–7 hours, until they have doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 450° F.  
8. Using a sharp razor blade, slash the tops of the loaves diagonally 3 or 4 times (this will allow them to expand more easily while baking) and spray them with a fine mist of water from a spray bottle.
9. Place the loaves in the oven and immediately spray them, along with the walls and floor of the oven, with water. Repeat this step after about 5 minutes of baking.
10. Bake the loaves 25–30 minutes, until they are entirely golden and the crust is crisp and blistered.
Whats Going On? .

What’s the purpose of spraying the dough and oven with water just before and 5 minutes into baking? The crust that begins to form on dough as it bakes can make it harder for the loaf to rise. Spraying the oven with water creates steam. This keeps the outer skin of the loaf moist and flexible, and helps it rise to its maximum volume with a good shape. Steam also encourages starch granules on the surface of the loaf to fully gelatinize, which gives the crust its crispy texture.
 
What Else Can I Try? .
Sourdough BreadSourdough comes in a variety of flavors, depending on what species of yeast and bacteria are present in the starter. You can also adjust the taste by letting the starter ferment for a longer or shorter period of time, which allows yeast and bacteria to add more or less of their flavors to the dough. After you’ve made one loaf, experiment by letting your starter ferment for a few days longer before mixing your dough.
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