You can produce an authentic French loaf in your own kitchen. This really works! Adapted for the bread machine from a recipe found in "World Sourdoughs From Antiquity", by Ed Wood. Prep time includes proofing time for sourdough starter.
- Put ingredients, in order listed, into bread machine pan.
- Set machine for dough cycle and start.
- At end of dough cycle, turn dough out onto a floured surface.
- If dough is too sticky, knead in a little additional flour.
- Divide dough into 2 equal portions and flatten each into a 1 1/2 inch thick oval.
- Fold oval in half once lengthwise and pinch seam to make an elongate loaf.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and place the loaves on the sheet seam side down.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F) until about doubled in bulk.
- Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lower shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Make shallow slashes in tops of loaves with a razor blade or finely serrated knife, held at a 30 degree angle.
- Place the loaves in the oven and immediately spray them and the oven walls with water from a fine mister, and avoid spraying oven light.
- Repeat this spraying 3 additional times at one minute intervals.
- Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown, but remove pan of water from oven after the first 15 minutes.
- Remove loaves from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.
- *To proof sourdough culture, start with 1/2 cup of culture and stir into it 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1 1/2 cups flour.
- Cover with plastic and let sit 8 to 12 hours (the longer it sits, the more 'sour' your bread will taste).
- At this point, measure out the 2 cups required and proceed with recipe; returning any extra to the starter pot to save in the refrigerator until you want to use it again.
Donna, this is a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing it. I made mine into two long loaves in a french bread form. Although i sprayed them with water when they went into the oven, I find that a pan of ice cubes works nicely. Plus, you don't have to mess with it once the bread is in the oven. Thanks again.
Superb! Light and a nice thick crust. Hope you don't mind DonnaM I was concerned there was no sugar so I added 1Tblsp sugar as well as 1 tsp Vital Gluten. I read that it helps with sourdough. I will be making this one again and again!
Nice, light loaf with good texture and flavor. I had one cup of sourdough starter in my freezer, so I thawed and proofed it as directed in step 15. Then I followed the mixing and kneading directions. I put all the dough in one large loaf pan. After making slit in top of loaf, I spritzed the top of loaf with water. I put sauce pan of water and the loaf of dough in a COLD oven and turned temp. to 375 degrees and baked the required time - about 40 minutes. The bread turned out very light and high, as it rose even more while the oven was heating. I will be making this bread weekly for sandwiches. Thanks Donna for a very good recipe!