For sometime now I have been very disappointed with the sourdough bread that I can purchase locally. I live in the Bay Area and for crying out loud sourdough bread should be easy to get. There are a few places I know that are not very close to my apartment so I decided to make my own sourdough starter and give this a try.
My idea was to make sourdough baguettes to serve at Brenda and Tom's Superbowl party. The only problem I ran into was the size of my baking pans. The sheets were a little to small to fit a nice long baguette. In the end they came out like cute little chubby baguettes. The taste will make up for the larger size bruschetta I plan on serving.
This recipe has been adapted from Alaska Cookbook: Inside Passage. Years ago my Parents went on a trip to Alaska and brought back this cute little cookbook/pamphlet. I remember the trip fondly as I house sat for them. Ah that was a fun summer. Sorry about your car Mom, love you.
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- ¼ ounce dry active yeast- after your sourdough starter has been around for a few weeks, you will not need to add the extra yeast to the recipe.
- 2 cups warm water
- 7 cups white bread flour
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp water
- 4 tsp cornmeal
Combine the warm water and yeast in mixer. Wait for yeast to become active; stir in salt, sourdough starter and mix in 1 cup of flour. Using a low speed on your mixer combine one cup of flour at a time; do not dump all the four in at once. If the dough seems to wet after you mix in all the flour, add some more flour. If the dough seems to dry, add some more water.
After dough comes together take it out of the mixer and kneed it on a floured board.
Grease a large glass or metal bowl and place dough into it. Make sure you flip the dough around so all of the dough is covered in the oil. Cover dough with a towel and let sit till it is doubled in size. This should take about an hour.
After the dough has risen take it out of the bowl and punch it down on a floured surface.
Section the dough into four pieces. Take one of the pieces and form it into a rectangle shape. Roll the rectangle up forming a loaf of bread. When you get to the end pinch it together with your fingers to seal, and place.
Work the shape of the loaf with your hands, seal should always be the bottom side of the loaf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and sprinkle area with some cornmeal. Place complete loaf on the sprinkled corn meal.
Make four loafs, cover them with a large towel and let the rise for about 40 minutes till they are double in size.
I made two smaller loafs and two larger loafs, tried to get two them to come out more baguette shape. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
After the loafs have risen take a razor blade and score each loaf three times over.
This was a test for me so I decided two use egg wash with water on two of my loafs and just plain water on the other two. When I make this again, I will use the water only method. If you would like to use egg wash; mix one egg with 2 Tbsp water and brush it over the loafs. For the water method liberally brush water over the loafs.
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes switch the backing sheets location from top to bottom, and bottom to top. Decrease the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees, and bake for another 25 minutes. If you are worried it is cooking to fast you can always take its temperature with a probe themometer. The bread is done when it reaches 200 degrees. Cool the bread on wire racks before serving. Enjoy!
The first and the third loaf I used the egg was on, the second and 4th loaf I used water only.