Holiday cooking is almost done, but Winter is just getting started. What better recipe to have on hand than homemade sourdough bread? This is a recipe that you don’t have to keep a starter going in your refrigerator looking like a science project for months. It’s not difficult, but it will take a little planning and time.
Add 1 Cup of warm water to 3/4 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes (just a plain flavor) in a small plastic bowl. Stir this, using a plastic or wooden spoon and add one envelope of active dry yeast. Any brand will do. Let this set out on your counter for 8 – 10 hours. Cover it loosely with a paper towel or wax paper. (Before you go to bed at night…this might be the perfect time.)
This is what your starter will begin to look like (bubbly) and you’ll smell the yeast.
Next, in a very large bowl, mix 6 cups of Bread Flour (has to be specifically Bread), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of the starter, 1 1/2 cups of warm water and 1/2 cup of oil (I usually use Canola or Corn oil.) If you’d like to make a big batch of bread, you can double all of these listed ingredients (there is usually close to 2 cups of starter in the bowl). The consistency of the dough will be sticky. Grease a very large bowl and place the dough in and fip it one time where the now shiny side is up.
After mixing, your dough will look like this.
Cover your bowl with foil, plastic wrap or a towel. Let it set out for 4-8 hours, again depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Your dough will look like this after it has risen.
You will then punch down your dough and it should look like this.
Divide your dough according to whether you have made a single recipe or a double recipe and the size of your pans. For a single recipe, you should have 3-5 loaves and for a double recipe, you should have 6-9 loaves. Knead the dough on a floured service until it is no longer sticky and somewhat soft.
Place the dough in greased loaf pans or casserole dishes. Brush the tops with with melted butter or oil and cover with wax paper. Let set out 4-8 hours, again depending on the warmth of your kitchen. You can set them under a stove light which will aid in faster rising. A sunny window would also be helpful.
When they have risen, they should at least double or triple in size. Bake in a 325 -350 oven for 25 – 35 minutes, depending on your oven.
The bread should have a nice golden color when they are done.
They will easily come out of the pan, you may brush again with butter and enjoy! Yummy! The loaves freeze well in foil or Ziploc bags for later as well.