One of the first things I purchased from King Arthur Flour Company was a sourdough starter. They send it to you in a small plastic container which you immediately have to adopt, Brangelina style, or it will die. You not only have to feed it once a week you have to also bake some recipe that uses a part of it or throw a part of it away. You also have the option of giving some to a friend - just make sure it's a friend you can loose. Sourdough starter is a lot of work, so if you get some know it is a commitment. I tried several times, over the course of my life, to start my own starter, but it never worked out for me. I never had the right container, it would spoil or I would spill it in the refrigerator. King Arthur has a wonderful crock that you can purchase that will hold the starter and that's what I did. It not only works but looks great too.
I lifted this bread recipe directly form the King Arthur website.
Rustic Sourdough Bread
1 cup "fed" sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups King Arthur Unbleched All-Purpose Flour
- Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
- Allow the dough to rise, in a covered bowl, until it's doubled in size, about 90 minutes
- Gently divide the dough in half; it'll deflate somewhat
- Gently shape the dough into two oval loves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray the loves with lukewarm water.
- Make two fairly deep horizontal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife (I use a razor blade) wielded firmly, works well here.
- Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Notice my bread looks a little dark. I added 1/4 cup of ground flax seed for a quarter cup of the flour. Since there are only two of us I usually cut this recipe in half. Life is good - Enjoy!