March 23, 2020

Basic Sourdough Bread

Basic Sourdough Bread

Makes 1 large round, or two small loaves, or one big loaf.

Sponge:


1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees – if you are not sure about the chlorine content in your
tap water, use bottled and heat it carefully on the stove)
1 cup starter
2 cups all-purpose flour (we like King Arthur)

Dough:


All of the above sponge
1½ to 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Make the sponge:
In a large mixing bowl, place water and whisk in the starter.  Stir in the flour and wrap bowl well with saran wrap and let rest room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 14.

Make the dough:


Stir the rested sponge to deflate it and stir in 1 ¼ cups flour and the salt.  

Knead dough by hand for about 5 minutes until elastic but still very soft. Scrape dough into a lightly oiled bowl, wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about an hour.

Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and press to deflate.  Form and even sphere tucking sides under loaf.  Invert into a bread basket lined with a floured towel, if you like, or just let rest on a floured board, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Turn loaf onto a pizza peel covered with cornmeal.  Use a razor blade to slash diagonal lines across top of loaf, and slide onto a baking sheet or pizza stone.  Then lower temperature to 450 degrees.  After loaf has baked 25 minutes, lower temperature of oven to 350 degrees, and let cook 20-30 minutes until internal temperature is 210 degrees.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

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