Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Soft Sourdough Bread - Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

I'm going to have to say that this was one of the most pleasantly surprising loaves of bread I've ever made.  It looks so modest.  Nothing studded or swirled inside.  Nothing bursting from the top.  But once you've sliced into it, you are met with a gorgeous crust and a soft inside.  The flavor is both tangy (from the sourdough starter) and mildly sweet (from the honey).  It made perfect toast and amazing sandwich ends and was my favorite way to start the day for the three days it lasted. Ummmmm.  I'm sorry, I'm having a problem formulating words.  It's far too gorgeous outside for me to think.  Birds are chirping and chattering.  Flowers are waving and showing off their fantastic colors.  The blue sky has sent the clouds packing and is spending time with the sun.  My new umbrella-shaded table with the book sitting on top and the soft, cushiony seats won't stop calling my name.  So, I'll let the photos do any further convincing needed today...the breeze beckons...
Soft Sourdough Bread - Sourdough Sandwich Loaf
adapted from Teresa Greenway Discovering Sourdough ebook
yield: 1 loaf

1 c. (265 g./9.3 oz./8 flz.) active starter
½ c. (131 g./1.6 oz./4 flz.) milk
¼ c. (58 g./2 oz./2 flz.) water
2 Tbs. (27 g./1 oz.) melted butter
2 Tbs. (42 g./1.5 oz.) honey
1¼ c. (156 g./5.5 oz.) whole wheat flour
1½ c. (193 g./6.8 oz.) bread flour + more as needed

Mix ingredients together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest ~20 minutes.

1½ tsp. (8 g.) salt

Press dough out a little and sprinkle salt over.  Knead in and continue to knead for ~5 minutes more.  Dough should be soft and silky.  If it seems too sticky, add a bit more flour at a time, but not so much that it becomes stiff and dry.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover again with plastic or clean towel and let sit at room temperature until it has nearly doubled in size, ~3-4 hours.

Turn dough out onto work surface and form into a round, placing it on a greased baking sheet or a peel that has been dusted well with semolina or form and place in a greased bread pan.  Cover again and let rise another 2-3 hours at room temperature or until almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 400° F during last 15-20 minutes of rise time.
When dough has risen, slash the top of the loaf. Spray the loaf with a bit of water, if you wish, then slide into the oven.  Bake for ~30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Sweet yet tangy...very addictive flavor. Would make an amazing cinnamon-raisin loaf.  Not what you typically think of when you think sourdough...but so much flavor and depth for a softer bread!
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