The smell of this bread while it is baking, will make you twice as hungry. This is the best sourdough recipe for bread. I have had this recipe for many years.. It is very, very good. *Let dough rise in a warm place. covered: Place dough, covered, next to a wood stove, not an option in the summer or no wood heat. I like to set on top of the range. Turn the oven on to warm and turn off if not using to cook something. Cover dough so that the heat from oven drifts up under cover to warm dough. I never had much luck raising the dough in oven with a bowl of hot water. My new oven has halogen lights, turn light on and set covered dough in the oven. Light is warm enough to let the dough rise (about 100 to 110 degrees) If you dough does not rise: yeast is to old or warm water was to hot. To cold or drafty area.
Cook time: 35 Min
Prep time: 3 Hr 30 Min
Serves: 2 loafs
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water (110 *)
5 1/2 to 6 c all purpose flour (i used 7 cups of flour)
1 c sourdough starter, room temperature
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
butter to grease bowls and pans
1. In a large bowl, soften yeast in warm water. (till yeast starts to bubble) Blend in 2 1/2 cups flour, starter, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, add 2 1/2 cups flour and baking soda. Mix and stir into flour/yeast mixture. Add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic (5 to 7 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat all sides. (I use butter) Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 1/2 hour).
2. Punch down. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into 2 round loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes across tops of loaves. Let rise in a warm place till double (1 to 1 1/2 hours)
3. Bake 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on bread rack. If desired, brush with butter. This makes 2 loafs. 2 bread loaves: bake for 30 minutes