Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sourdough Bread with Rosemary

When you think of San Fransisco what things come to mind? Specifically what culinary delicacies come to mind? Is it the sea food? the chocolate? Is the California wines? Well actually lets talk about bread. Sourdough Bread.

First you need a starter. A starter is basically equal parts milk or water and flour, with a little yeast. You put in a dry, cool place, and leave it for a while, until it ferments. Don't say ew! 'We eat fermented foods all the time, beer, wine, sauerkraut , pickles,

Once you have your starter, and you keep feeding it, you'll have plenty for all sorts of breads and muffins, and even cakes.

So here is the starter, and follows is the bread. Enjoy!


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

In large non-metallic bowl, mix together dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups all purpose flour and cover loosely.
Leave in a warm place to ferment, 4 to 8 days. Depending on temperature and humidity of kitchen, times may vary. Place on cookie sheet in case of overflow. Check on occasionally.
When mixture is bubbly and has a pleasant sour smell, it is ready to use. If mixture has a pink, orange, or any other strange color tinge to it, THROW IT OUT! and start over. Keep it in the refrigerator, covered until ready to bake.
When you use starter to bake, always replace with equal amounts of a flour and water mixture with a pinch of sugar. So, if you remove 1 cup starter, replace with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour. Mix well and leave out on the counter until bubbly again, then refrigerate. If a clear to light brown liquid has accumulated on top, don't worry, this is an alcohol base liquid that occurs with fermentation. Just stir this back into the starter, the alcohol bakes off and that wonderful sourdough flavor remains! Sourdough starters improve with age, they used to be passed down generation to generations.

2 cups sourdough starter (proofed)
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups bread flour
1 egg beaten
12 cup milk (warm)
14 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp rosemary (dried, ground)

Measure the starter into a mixing bowl.

Add the milk, olive oil, salt, sugar, rosemary, raisins, and 2 beaten eggs and mix well.
Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until it is too stiff to mix by hand.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour until dough is satiny.
Form an oval or round loaf.
Place on a baking sheet and proof, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until about doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make crisscross slash in top of loaf.
Brush with the remaining beaten egg.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove loaf from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: This recipe can be made in your bread machine on the dough cycle; add ingredients to machine in order given, with the exception of the final beaten egg.
Shape and bake as above.

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