Sourdough Bread #1
Sourdough bread contains slice of history:
If you are a fan of sourdough bread, you can make it yourself.
Sourdough bread dates back to rugged pioneer days in the sparsely settled west, when neither yeast nor baking powder were available to leaven bread and biscuits. The fermented "started" or "sponge" mixture of flour, salt and water which was used as leavening was guarded and prized. Sharing it was a supreme act of friendship.
Adding yeast along with the sponge gave sourdough flavor, and you are more sure of getting the same results every time.
Baking sourdough the first time takes preplanning, because you need to allow four or five days for the starter to ferment. You will end up with more starter than you need for this sourdough bread, so you don't have to start from scratch each time, if you want to make the bread on a regular basis.
YOU REPLENISH YOUR supply by adding equal amounts of bread flour and water - about 1/2 cup of each and a teaspoon of sugar to your leftover starter. Keep this new batch in a warm spot for about 12 hours, until bubbles. Then it is ready to use again, or you can store it covered in the refrigerator for at least a week. You will need to let it warm up again for up to 12 hours to reactivate the fermentation.
With some yeast in the dough, you will still get good bread, even if your starter varies from time to time.
If clear liquid forms on the starter, just stir it up. As long as the starter has a yeasty, slightly sour smell, it is good. If it begins to smell like vinegar, discard it and start again.
HIGH PROTEIN bread flour works best because it has strong gluten that gives big loaves the characteristic "chewy" texture, without being heavy and solid. Homemade sourdough made with bread flour also stays fresh loner than ordinary commercial loaves.
This same recipe makes bread sticks and dinner rolls at a saving over buying these specialty products. They freeze well, so it pays to make up a whole recipe of 3 dozen rolls occasionally and thaw out what you need.
BREAD BAKING TIPS:
To replenish supply of starter, add 1/2 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup water and 1 Tsp. sugar to remaining starter; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm spot for about 12 hours or until starter starts to bubble.
May be stored in plastic covered container in refrigerator for at least a week. Before using again, let stand at room temperature for up to 12 hours to reactivate fermentation.
Possum Kingdom Lake Cookbook
MC Formatted using MC Buster 2.0d & SNT on 4/10/98