We always ate homemade bread growing up. My mom perfected a recipe for whole wheat bread with all sorts of grains that she would make on, at least, a weekly basis. I love the smell of baking bread. It makes me think of home, comfort, and care. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter with my brother, eating slices of fresh warm bread with butter, and talking to my mom. I have always wanted my kids to have a similar experience. Food brings people together and fresh, warm bread is especially great for gathering people.
When I learned about the gut benefits of sourdough bread it seemed too good to be true. You get some great gut bacteria from these delicious fermented loaves. (Read more about it here.) I also love the ritual of making something every week, so the necessity to keep the sourdough starter active works perfectly for me. I use this sourdough recipe as a base for a lot of things: sandwich loaves, pizza crust, bagels, and more. I’ll post some of those recipes soon too!
(from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, with some slight modifications)
12 hours, makes 2 loaves
1 c sourdough starter
2 1/2 c bread flour
2 c warm water
4 c bread flour
3 T sugar
1 t salt
3 T olive oil
- In large bowl, mix sourdough started with warm water and 2 1/2 c flour until smooth. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 8 hours.
- Add the rest of the flour, the sugar, salt, and oil and stir until combined. I use my stand mixer with the dough hook and mix for several minutes. The dough should form well into a ball at this point. Adjust flour, if necessary. Cover and let rise in warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours. The dough should about double in size.
- Grease two 9” loaf pans. Press the dough gently to release air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and shape each half in to a loaf. Place one in each pan. Cover and let rise for about 45 min, until the dough has about doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 375 F. Place loaves in the oven and bake for 35 min. Loaves should be golden on top and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and place on rack to cool.