The first meal my husband made for me included homemade bread. How do you not fall for that? He also did a homemade alfredo sauce. There wasn’t any way I could resist!
We rarely buy bread. It is not hard to make, we can recognize the ingredients, and it’s inexpensive. A win all around. Every few months we drive up to King Arthur Flour and buy 2 50lb bags of flour. And none of it goes to waste. We really love the sourdough flavor so a few years ago we bought the starter and make sure we feed it every week. It’s the base for this particular bread that we make.
The recipe that King Arthur Flour provided with it is this:
1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups luke-warm water (depending on the flour you may need more. I find that 1/16 cup more does the trick)
2 1/2 tsp salt. (we use sea salt or kosher salt rather than table salt)
1 T sugar
2 tsp instant yeast (we buy the big cakes from King Arthur and keep it in the fridge)
5 cups flour (it says all-purpose flour but we’ve used their organic which is a bit coarser as well)
Now I used to be a die hard traditionalist, mix it by hand, knead by hand, that sort of thing until I realized my husband got great results using the kitchen aid. A lot less work! So I put in the water, salt, yeast, and starter in and mix for a minute.
Then I add in the flour. While that is mixing I feed the starter with 1/2 cup spring water (no city chemicals!) and a cup of flour.
The kitchen aid is fantastic for working in any extra water if the dough feels and looks dry. I had to do it this time and the dough hook did the work for me.
Once the dough comes together and you let the dough hook knead for a couple of minutes I just knead by hand a couple of times before I put it back into the bowl. I do spray the bowl with oil first. Then I wet a tea towel with hot water to put over the bowl.
I also, for about 2 minutes, preheat the oven to give it a bit of warmth. I place the bowl into the oven. It takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours to double in size.
Then turn out onto a floured surface and divide in half. You will need two loaf pan sprayed with oil. Pat the dough down into the pan and do a few shallow slices on the top of the loaves.
Spray some cling film and place over the pans and put back into the oven to rise about an hour or so. When ready heat the oven to 425F and bake 25-30 minutes until it’s nice and brown.
There is nothing like a slice of fresh baked bread with a bit of butter melted into it!