|Two lovely loaves of starter-leavened sourdough bread|
Although this bread does not have the tangy flavor of a San Francisco sourdough, it is leavened only using the yeast in a sourdough starter. It's more of a hearty French bread with a nice chewy crust and a moist, tender interior. My boys use it for toast and panini. I just eat it with butter, even though I shouldn't eat any of it.
I'm not really feeling like elaborating on this. I really just wanted to have the recipe here at my fingertips so I can finally close the KAF tab on my phone, as I've already made this bread four times this summer. No wait...make that five times. It's that good (and really that easy, after the first couple of times anyway).
Give it a go. Email me (or King Arthur Flour) if you have any questions.
Starter-Leavened Sourdough Bread
--Adapted from KingArthurFlour.com
- 1 cup sourdough starter (ripe and from the fridge)
- 1 scant cup King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup room temperature water
- 5 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 cup room temperature water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- The night before, place the sourdough starter, 1 scant cup flour, and 1/2 cup water into a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients thoroughly, cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
- Add the 5 3/4 cup flour and 1 3/4 cup water to the starter mixture and mix thoroughly. (I use a King Arthur Flour bowl scraper for this, but you could just use a wooden spoon.) Cover and allow to rest fro 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add the salt and mix thoroughly. Then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
- Return to the bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- After the 1 hour, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly. Fold into thirds (like a letter) and then fold in thirds the other direction, so you end up with a chunky square.
- Place the dough seam side down in the bowl and allow to rise for another hour.
- After that hour, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten, and divide in half. Pull up the edges to make a pouch and pinch the edges together in the middle so that you have a rough circle pouch of dough.
- Lightly flour the dough pouches and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- After the rest, shape the dough pouches into nice, tight loaves (see this Youtube video for instructions).
- Place shaped loaves onto a baking sheet lined with a clean floured dish towel or baker's couche. Cover with another clean floured dish towel, or flour the loaves a bit and cover with plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a baking stone or steel, make sure it's in the oven preheating too. Also preheat a cast iron skillet on the bottom of the oven/bottom rack--this will be the receptacle for the water you will put in with the loaves.
- Line a baking pan or pizza peel with parchment and set aside.
- Allow to rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until puffed. I usually test by poking the dough gently with a finger. I the indentation remains, it's ready. If the indentation disappears, the dough needs to rise longer.
- Once loaves have risen, gently transfer them (seam side down) to the lined pan or pizza peel. Slash the tops of the loaves and slide onto your baking steel/stone. Quickly and CAREFULLY pour 1 cup of boiling water into the preheated cast iron skillet at the bottom of the oven. (The steam will burn you if it hits your skin, so be very careful.)
- Close the oven door and allow loaves to bake for about 28-35 minutes (fatter loaves will take longer; thinner loaves will take less time).
- When finished, place loaves on wire rack to cool.
- Cool completely before cutting.
- Freeze any leftovers in a zip top plastic bag at the end of the day.
|Starter, flour, and water mixture after an overnight sit|
|Just starter, all the flour, and water, resting fro 20 minutes|
|Salt was mixed in, and the dough kneaded to smooth elasticity|
|After the folding|
|Dough has been divided|
|My not-so-tidy pouches, waiting to be formed into loaves|
|Loaves at the start of the last rise (sorry I did not take a pic of the risen loaves)|
|My first two loaves from this starter|
|I divided the dough into fourths so I could share more easily|
|These three went into the freezer (one is still in there)|
|I used half a batch to make these pretzel twists. I ate too many of them.|