Monday, October 12, 2009

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is big in Alaska. I learned to really like it when I lived up there for a few years. It's a simple bread, easy to make, using basic ingredients that you usually have on hand. Making your own bread can add up to savings in the hundreds over a year's time. Just one $3 loaf of bread a week will cost $156 a year! You have to start with a sourdough starter:

Sourdough Starter
2 c. warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
2 c. flour
1 Tbs. sugar

Put the warm water into a covered, non-metal container and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir it with a wooden or plastic spoon until the yeast is dissolved. Then add the flour and sugar and stir again until it's smooth. Cover and let it stand for 1 1/2 - 2 days. Give it a stir whenever you are in the kitchen. Use 1 1/2 cups of the starter in each batch of bread.

To store the remainder, add 2 more cups each of warm water and flour and beat. Let it stand for about 5 or 6 hours in a warm place. Then cover and keep it in the fridge. When ever you make more bread, use room temperature water. When your starter is running low, add only the flour and warm water again.

Sourdough Bread
1 c. warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
1 1/2 c. sourdough starter
3 1/2 - 4 c. flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 egg

Mix the warm water, dry yeast and sourdough starter. Let mixture stand until the yeast is dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the egg, adding the flour just until the dough leaves the side of the bowel. Let it rise. Punch it down and form into loaves. The traditional Sourdough loaves are round, but you can put them in a bread pan or shape them however you'd like. Cover and let them rise until double in size. Beat the egg and brush it over the unbaked loaves. Bake them for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees.

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