Sourdough french bread #3

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 cups All-purpose flour (I use unbleached Gold Medal)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
½ pack Dry yeast
1 cup Sourdough starter

In a large bowl... Mix the dry yeast in body-heat water (about ¼ to ½ cup) Add 2 cups of the flour, the starter, salt and sugar and stir for about 10 minutes

When smooth, cover with a damp towel and let rise for at least 1½ hours

Stir in one cup of flour, or enough to make the dough rigid.

Knead dough on a well-floured bread board for 10-15 minutes Roll into a long loaf or form into a round ball, depending on your preference Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal Cover with a damp towel and let rise for at least 1 ½ hours (with this recipe the long rise times allow you to enjoy a ball game, read the Sunday paper, trim your toe nails, and mow the lawn) Place a pan in the bottom of the oven, and fill it with boiling water (this, she told me, is the secret weapon) Mix ½ t of cornstarch in about ¼ cup of hot water Make several diagonal slices in the top of the loaf to prevent it from breaking up when it fills with steam; brush the loaf with the corn starch mixture

Place the loaf (on the bread pan sprinkled with corn meal) in the oven above the water pan and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes Remove from the oven, and brush again with the corn starch mixture Remove the water pan from the oven and refill it with cold water Place the bread and water pan back in oven (water pan below the bread) and bake for about 25 minutes

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