Not quite airy, but close. I combined several recipes to get a loaf like I'd buy in the store. The sour flavor will depend on what type of starter you use, and how strong it is. I use a 2 week old starter, that was frozen and thawed the night before- it had a mild flavor. I basically used Sourdough Bread Starter with milk instead of water. Serve warm with homemade Homemade Butter for a real treat. I suppose this could be made in a bread machine - but I haven't tried it. I find it very relaxing to mix and knead a loaf of bread by hand, and then to make butter while its baking :-) I think my loaf pan must have be over-sized, because this recipe seems to make two loafs. I like everything sweet, including my sour dough bread. If you prefer less sugar, just use a tablespoon or two to proof the yeast.
- Proof yeast in warm water with sugar. (Pour warm water in a warm bowl. Sprinkle sugar over water, stir to combine. Sprinkle yeast over sugar water. Let it sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes, and allow it to bubble / froth. ).
- Add starter to yeast, with the salt and melted butter. Stir in the 3 cups of flour. (I suppose you could use a mixer for this - its so simple to do by hand that I never have.) If your starter is very thin, you may need additional flour. The dough should be soft, but handleable.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or so. Form a roll and place in well greased loaf pan or two.
- Cover with a lightweight towel or paper towel, etc. and allow to rise in a warm place. I turn my oven on warm for 5 minutes, turn the oven off, and stick the bread in to rise. This will take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on your starter, and the temperature of your rising place. It is done rising when the loaf begins to peak over the top edge of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375* F. Bake the bread for about 10 minutes, or until the crust has reached your desired color. Cover the loaf with a tinfoil tent (leave it a bit loose so that the bread can continue to rise.).
- Bake an additional 30-40 minutes, until the loaf is done. The internal temperature should be 190-200, and it should sound hollow when thumped. I find it easier to stick a thermometer in, than to remove the loaf of bread to thump the bottom.
- Immediately brush the top with butter, so keep the crust moist. I like to use an electric knife to slice the bread and get beautiful, even slices.
I loved this recipe, it was super easy. The longest part of the recipe was a combo of waiting for it to rise (as it wasn't very warm in our house) and the bake time which is easy cause you can do other things while you wait. I made two loaves as I saw the other reviews of how much it had rised, and I'm glad I did because it easily doubled in size. During the baking time I thought for sure it would rise more but it did not, which is probably a good thing. This particular type of bread was rather dense, not sure why. The recipe calls for flour but doesn't state all-purpose, or bread flour. I used bread flour and will try the all-purpose next time. I also cut back on the sugar to 1/4 cup as I thought what it had originally called for was a bit much. The house smelled great while this was baking and we could all hardly wait for the loaves to come out of the oven. I will be making this one again.
YUMMY!! Must make this bread and make sure butter and knife are on hand when it comes out of oven! This is an amazing recipe, even if I did overcook it a little bit. I have had my starter for about 6months and have tried cinnamon rolls, sourdough pumpkin bread and what I consider the traditional dense, hearty sourdough loaf. This recipe is better than any of those by far.
Since this was the first time using this recipe, I divided my dough into two loaf pans. Next time I will just use one loaf pan. I did reduce the sugar to a little less than 1/3 cup, the amount is called for did seem like a lot.
zomg it's 4 times the size of the pan! it overproofed a bit while i dealt with with a kitchen crisis (if you've put the plastic container of cat food in the oven to keep the cats out of it remember it's there BEFORE turning on the oven!) but it kept rising in the oven during the "cooking the crust" stage to the point that it's nearly touching the top of my oven with the rack in the center! this is the first sourdough i've made that wasn't a doorstop. but it also tasted nothing like sourdough. this is a rather sweet white bread. i was disappointed.