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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sourdough Bread Starter & Bread Recipe

I wish you could smell my house right now.  Oh, it smells SO good!  Fresh sourdough bread from the oven is cooling on the counter-top.  My kids and I already cut a small slice off the end to enjoy.  We just couldn't resist!

A friend had given me Sourdough Bread starter over 7 years ago and I remember how delicious it was.  We made many loaves before our tummies began to show the effects of too much yummy bread.  I never had the starter recipe but I have looked all over.  After much research, I recently came across one.  Now that I have tried it, I know that it is almost the same as the one from years ago.  After a few tweaks, (I just can't let a recipe be), I feel it is perfect.  You can't keep yummy bread like this to yourself, therefore, I am sharing it with you!  Doesn't it just look delicious!

If you have some patience, this will become a family favorite recipe!  Here are the recipes:

Sourdough Bread Starter

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions:
1.  Combine instant potatoes, sugar, water, and yeast in a covered container with a tight lid.  Let the starter sit on a counter for 5 days, stirring daily with a wooden spoon.  Do not use a metal bowl or metal spoon as it effects the yeast.
2. On the morning of the fifth day, feed the starter with 3 tablespoons instant potatoes, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup warm water.  In the evening, take out 1 cup of the starter to use in a sourdough recipe.  Refrigerate the remaining starter.

3. Every five days, feed the starter 3 tablespoons instant potatoes, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup warm water. If starter is to be used in a recipe, let the fed starter rest at room temperature 6 hours before use. If starter is not being used in a recipe, keep refrigerated and discard 1 cup of starter after each feeding.  You can always pass along the 1 cup to a friend if you don't want to make some bread.  They will just need to let it sit for 5 days in order to have their own starter. Dispose of or make bread with one cup of starter 12 hours after every feeding.

Sourdough Bread Recipe
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt           
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons melted butter (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix sugar, vegetable oil, salt, water, and 1 cup of sourdough starter together in a large bowl.  Add flour to the mixture. Grease or oil the dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise overnight. (Before and after pictured below).
2. The next day, knead the dough for a few minutes. Divide in half, and place into two greased 4 x 8 inch bread pans.  (I used my Pampered Chef Bread stoneware). Allow the dough to double in size. (Pictures of before and after dough doubling).
3. Optional:  Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter on top of each bread loaf.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bread is light golden brown. You can use a cake tester or toothpick to test that it is cooked thoroughly. Turn out to cool on wire racks.
This is a delicious bread recipe for both any meal from breakfast to dinner (or dessert).  You can also use the dough recipe in your favorite cinnamon roll recipe or any recipe that calls for a yeast based dough.  I may even try this as our pizza crust one night.  Yummy!

If you try this, please leave me a comment on how it turned out for you!  I love hearing from our readers!

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