Basic sourdough bread**

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Sourdough starter
2½ cup Flour
2 cups Warm water
3¾ \N To 4-1/4 C flour
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Baking soda
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil

Cold water

Mix 1 st 3 ingreds. in 3 qt. glass bowl with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover; let stand in warm, draft-free place for 8 hours. Add 3-¾ C flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and oil to the mixture in bowl. Stir with wooden spoon until smooth and flour is completely absorbed. (Dough should be just firm enough to gather into a ball. If necessary, add remaining ½ C flour gradually, stirring until all flour is absorbed.) Turn dough onto heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1-½ hours. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.) Punch dough down; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Do not tear dough by pulling. Place loaves in opposite corners of greased cookie sheet. Make three ¼" deep slashes in each loaf. Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375. Brush loaves with cold water. Place cookie sheet in center of oven; it should not touch the sides of the oven. Bake, brushing occasionally with water, until loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 50 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire racks.

Be sure to let dough rise completely both times - it might take longer than the estimated times given.

From The Cookie-Lady's Files REformatted for MM:dianeE 6/29/93

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