Basic sourdough french bread

Yield: 2 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Sourdough starter; proofed
1 pack Yeast; dry
6 cups Flour, all-purpose
1 cup Water; tepid
1 tablespoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Salt

Recipe by: Randy Pollak Preparation Time: 4:00 In a large bowl, combine starter, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Set aside in warm place for about 15 minutes to proof. Add remaining flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Cover with bowl and allow to double (about 1½ hours). Punch down dough and divide in half. Shape dough into two baguettes by first rolling dough into a large rectangle, then roll rectangle into loaf (tuck ends underneath loaf), place on baking sheet and allow to double again. With a very sharp knife, make a slit down each loaf. Bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, Test for doneness by tapping on loaf; it should sound hollow. For a crispy crust, periodically spray water, with a hair sprayer, into the oven while loaves are baking. DARK RYE: Substitute 3 cups of rye flour for 3 cups of the all purpose flour.

Add 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds to the batter, along with 1 cup of dark molasses, and 2 tablespoons of powdered cocoa. Substitute brown sugar for the plain sugar. Reduce water by ¼ cup. RAISIN-CINNAMON: Add 2 slightly beaten eggs to the batter, after proofing. Roll each half of dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle each rectangle with a mixture of, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon.

Sprinkle each half with ½ cup of raisins. Carefully roll each rectangle as you would to shape a baguette. tuck the ends underneath the loaf. Allow to rise until doubled, do not split tops of loaves.

After baking brush loaves with melted butter. GARLIC-CHEESE: Add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese to batter. Mince 6 cloves of garlic, add to batter. After splitting tops of loaves, carefully pour 1 tablespoon of garlic butter on the top of each loaf. For a cheesier loaf, before rolling rectangle into baguette, sprinkle with ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese.

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