Sourdough bread (bob's)

Yield: 2 lg loaves

Measure Ingredient
6 cups Flour (all-purpose or bread)
1 tablespoon Buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon Bran
1 pack Yeast (1 Tbsp)
2 cups Sourdough starter
2¾ cup Warm (105-115 F) water
1 tablespoon Malt extract, powdered & unflavored
2 teaspoons Salt

Make a yeast sponge by mixing the starter with 1 cup warm water and 1¼ cups flour. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm spot for 24 hours. At that time, stir down the sponge and put ½ of it back into a jar and store in the fridge for your next baking.

To make the bread: mix the yeast with 1 ½ cups of warm water and allow to proof for 10 minutes. (Note: I sometimes use a mixture of beer and water to proof the yeast in, as it adds to the flavor of the bread.) Add the yeast mixture to the sponge, add the buckwheat flour, bran, malt extract, and salt. Mix well, then add the flour a cup at a time to form a soft dough. (Note: the 6 cups includes the 1 ¼ cups used in the sponge, so you will be adding 4 ½ to 5 cups to make the dough) After adding 3-4 cups, turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 12 minutes adding the rest of the flour as the dough gets sticky. The dough should be soft and elastic, add only enough flour to get to this point where the dough is no longer sticky.

(Note: malt extract can be found at stores selling home-brewing and wine making supplies as well as some health food stores.) Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat; let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough, remove from the bowl and knead for a couple of minutes. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes, then cut in half and shape into 2 oval loaves.

Cover the loaves with a towel and let rise until doubled or more (1-2 hours). Allow the dough to rise in a cool spot for several hours to develop more of the sourdough flavor.

Bake the bread in a preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F for the next 15-20 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 325 F for the final 15-25 minutes until the loaves are done. This lowering of the heat attempts to duplicate the falling heat in a baker's wood fired oven. Test the loaves for doneness by rapping on the bottoms, it is done when it sounds hollow. Cool on a rack before storing (if it lasts long enough to store!) From: The Good Cook: Techiques & Recipes: Breads, By The Editors of Time-Life Books. Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA 1981 And additional material from several sources.

Submitted By ROBERT WHITE On 11-12-95

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