Scrumptious Sourdough Bread

Yesterday I posted the amazingly simple recipe for sourdough starter that Jen, from My Kitchen Addiction had turned me on to.

Today I'll share with you how easy it is to make a scrumptious loaf of sourdough bread made from the amazingly simple sourdough starter (again, compliments from Jen and her recipe).  I urge you to try it if you've ever been on the fence about sourdough breads and starters.  You'll be thrilled with the outcome and just how simple it is to have fresh, homemade sourdough bread baking in your own oven at home! Mmmmm. Nothing's better!!!

Homemade Sourdough Bread Recipe

3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 package)
3/4 cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
1 cup sourdough starter
1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)
ice cubes

1.  In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (OR large bowl and a whisk), whisk together 1 cup of flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
2.  Add the warm water (not too hot or you'll kill the yeast) and the sourdough starter.
3.  Add the paddle attachment to your mixer (OR switch to a wooden spoon) and beat the dough for approximately 4 minutes on medium speed (OR as long as you can stand to stir it using vigorous force and a wooden spoon).
4.  Switch to the dough hook and gradually add the remaining flour and knead the dough approximately 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. (OR add the remaining flour and when you can no longer stir it successfully with the wooden spoon, switch to your hands and knead the dough in the bowl by squeezing and turning it until the dough is smooth and elastic, and you've worked up a sweat, your arms are sore and your breathing is labored).

**NOTE - depending on the amount of humidity in the air on the day you decide to make your bread, you may need to adjust the quantity of flour (sometimes more IS better).  As long as your dough is smooth and no longer sticky, you're ready to "rise" and shine.

5.  Place your dough in an oiled bowl (I use olive oil spray) and also lightly spray the top of the dough.
6.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a **pre-warmed oven (200 degrees for 5 minutes, and then leave the door open for 30 seconds before placing in your dough).
7.  Allow the dough to rise until almost doubled in size (approximately 1 and a half hours).
8.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle the corn meal evenly on the paper. Set aside.
9.  Punch the dough down (my favorite part) and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
10.  Using your hands, pat the dough out to form a rectangle that's approximately 11 inches by 5 inches.
11.  Roll up the dough, starting with the longest side, using pressure to roll it somewhat tightly, as to not allow air pockets to form in the middle of your loaf during baking.
12.  You can now pinch the loaf to seal the edges but this step is optional (I don't usually do this but it does make for a neater looking loaf).
13.  Carefully transfer your loaf to the baking sheet and once it's in place you may need to reshape it slightly using your hands.
14.  Once again place your loaf in a **pre-warmed oven (200 degrees for 5 minutes, and then leave the door open for 30 seconds before placing in your dough) and allow the loaf to rise until doubled (approximately 1 additional hour).
15.  When your dough has done it's final rise, using a sharp serrated knife, make some diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf and set aside for baking.
16.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
17.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.
**NOTE - When you place your loaf in the oven, toss in 1-2 ice cubes in the bottom of the oven to create steam and then again about 10 minutes before your loaf is completely baked, toss in a few more cubes and continue baking until done.
18.  Allow the loaf to cook on a wire rack before slicing.
19.  Get the butter ready and ENJOY!!!


Homemade sourdough Bread Recipe

Until we bake again,

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