Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread needs a starter, just to get the process underway. Takes a little time, but worth planning ahead.

The Starter:
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
-2 cups warm water

Mix the flour and yeast in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add the water and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rest for 2 to 4 days. If after a couple of days the mixture looks dubious (orange coloured), toss it. Otherwise proceed making the dough.

The Dough:
Very easy. I use 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour together with a half cup of bread flour in a large bowl. Add two teaspoons fine salt and mix well. Put 1/2 cup of the starter into a cup of warm water and mix thoroughly before adding to the flour and salt mixture. Again mix thoroughly to form a gooey mess. A rubber scraper is a great way to incorporate all the mixture. Cover the bowl and let it stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours.

Remove your dough and place on a floured surface. With floured hands form the gooey mess into a ball, flour the top and cover with a non-terry cloth. Let the dough proof for two hours. Score the top just before baking.

Place your Dutch oven, with cover on, in your oven. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven hits 450, remove the Dutch oven, and place your bread dough. Cover the Dutch oven and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Your sourdough loaf will be done. Let it cool on a rack, and be tempted not to slice for at least 30 minutes. Great for sandwiches, toast and French toast.

A note about the starter: you can keep the starter in the fridge in a sealed jar for days into weeks. Simply replenish with water and flour. In this case I added a half cup of flour and 1/2 cup water, and stirred the starter vigorously.

The Result: