What a glorious day! I woke up in such a wonderful mood and was quickly rewarded by the Universe: the sun was brightly shining and the boys were particularly happy to see me. Their excitement and love for me each morning is a great way to start the day. It feels good to be needed. Maybe that's why I like making sour dough bread. It kind of needs you to get started.
I have been obsessed with making sourdough bread since we got a bread machine last October. I tried endlessly to get my sourdough starter going with poor results. Everything always started out right, but in a couple of days I would only have a sad jar of yuck. I tried again and again. I finally discovered the King Arthur Flour website and they had just what I needed - Classic Fresh Sourdough Starter and complete directions. Apparently, it is descended from a starter in New England that has been nurtured since the 1700s. Wow, it's more than just an ingredient, it's almost like a pet!
My little plastic jar of started arrived with complete instructions and the request to feed it. I placed it right in the jar that I just had to buy and fed it according to the instructions. Four hours later that starter was going to town! It had more than doubled in size and was bubbling like mad. Finally, I had a happy starter. After a couple of weeks feeding I was ready to make my bread!
Since I was determined to make this in my bread machine, I went to one of my many cookbooks and found what I thought looked like a good recipe. The result? Failure. Boo! The bread was doughy inside. Determined not to give up I searched the web and it didn't take long to find a recipe on Recipezaar. Not only did it have great reviews, it was surprisingly simple. The result? Fantastic sourdough bread. The crust was crunchy and the inside was soft and chewy, just like it should be. I have made this bread four times and each time it's been delicious. I have no idea how it stacks up to other recipes besides the one I tried because this one is a hit!
The recipe below makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf. Use the basic bread setting on medium or light. (We prefer light.) Don't use the delay function with this recipe.
Oh! By the way, this starter is honestly going to town, so if you live near me and want some hit me up!
- 2 2/3 cup bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast*
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 3/4 cup water
- Take your starter out of the refrigerator and feed it about 4 - 12 hours before you want to make the bread.
- Add all the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
- Bake on the basic cycle with medium or light crust setting.
- Remove and cool immediately when finished.
Depending on the brand of yeast you have you might need a little less. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, but I have found in general that my machine and yeast brand usually requires more than the recipe so I used 2 teaspoons.