Sourdough bread is the perfect accessory dish to numerous meals. Sourdough bread can be used as an edible bowl for chilis, stews, and soups, while sliced sourdough bread can be absolutely outstanding when used for French toast or in a sandwich. Though sourdough bread is quite often more expensive than other types of breads, it is still rather easy to make. Here's what you do:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 3 cups bread flour
- Use a small saucepan and scald the milk. Scalding means that you need to heat the milk until it's just about ready to boil, but not quite. As the milk begins to warms up, add the little shortening until everything is heated up completely and the shortening has melted. Once thoroughly scalded, set the pan aside so it can cool until it is lukewarm.
- Pour the warm milk, melted shortening. salt, and sugar into a large bowl. Stir everything together until the sugar has thoroughly dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved completely, mix in the sourdough starter.
- Begin making the actual dough by adding the flour. Only add a half cup at a time. When the dough has become too thick to be mixed easily with a wooden spoon, you are finished.
- After you finish mixing the dough, place some flour on a board (like a cutting board) or counter so that you can begin kneading the dough. Turn the dough onto the prepared area and knead the dough for ten minutes. As you are kneading the dough it will begin to get sticky, simply add a little more flour.
- Grease a bowl completely and put the dough inside it. Turn the dough over so that the top, as well as the bottom, of the bread is greased. Cover the bowl with a towel, and set the bowl in a warm place for about 90 minutes to allow the dough to rise. After the time has elapsed, punch the dough down, recover it, and let it sit to again rise for another thirty minutes.
- Once you allow the dough to sit for the second time punch down the dough again. After doing that, turn the dough onto the floured board and knead it again. This time you only knead the dough for about three minutes.
- The final step is to shape the bread into the shape that you prefer. It could be round like a ball or in the shape of a loaf. Either way, when you finish shaping the loaf into your desired shape, place it on a greased baking sheet and cover the bread with a towel. Let the bread sit for at least another 60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
- Roughly 30 minutes into the second setting and rising preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Before baking, cut either an x or a few slashes into the top of the bread. This will allow the bread to stretch as it rises while cooking. Bake the bread for roughly 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap on it, whichever comes first.
Congratulations, you have now completed making your very own sourdough bread. Slice it up for some sandwiches or French toast, or remove the top and make it into an edible soup bowl. No matter how you use it, enjoy your freshly made sourdough bread and your newly acquired skill in cooking.