I love bread. Any bread, all bread, all the time. But the best bread, my most favorite, is homemade Sourdough Bread. For the past several years, I have been making sourdough, using a recipe my mom found in a newspaper about 40 years ago. She made it for years, then my sister began making it, and now I make it all the time.
This bread is easy, delicious, and economical. Plus, it makes the yummiest hostess gift.
It takes it’s sweet time, as sourdough does, but once you get into the rhythm of making it, you’ll never want to stop.
First, the Starter
Before you can make the bread, you will need 5 days to ferment your starter.
- 3 T Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
- 3 T White Sugar
- 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast
- 1 C Warm Water
Combine all ingredients in a covered containter. I use a quart-size jar with screw-on lid. Let the starter sit on your counter for 4 days, stirring once daily.
Store starter in the refrigerator between bread makings.
Now, the Bread
Because you are using a starter, this is a slow-rising dough. You will need 24 hours to make bread from start to finish, so plan accordingly.
On the morning of the 5th day, feed the starter with 3 T instant potato flakes, 3 T sugar and 1 C warm water. In the evening take out 1 and 1/3 C of starter to use in your bread. Refrigerate the remaining starter.
To make the dough, you will need:
1 1/3 C sourdough starter
2 C warm water
2 tsp salt
2/3 C white sugar
2/3 C corn or vegetable oil
8 C white flour (i use 3 C whole wheat flour and 5 C white flour in my bread)
Mix sugar, oil, salt, water and starter in a large bowl. I use my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment. Sift flour into mixture. Mix until ingredients are incorporated. Dough will be sticky. Grease another large bowl and set dough in it. Cover with a damp dish towel, set in a warmish place and let rise overnight.
The next morning, knead dough on a well-floured surface for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
Divide into 3 equal portions, and place in 3 greased bread pans. Cover and allow dough to double in size.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and taps hollow. Turn out on wire rack to cool.
This recipe is decades old, delicious, healthy, and economical.
- 1 1/3 C Starter
- 2 C Warm Water
- 2/3 C Vegetable Oil
- 2/3 C White Sugar
- 2 T Salt
- 8 C White Flour To make wheat bread, adjust flour amounts to: 5 cups white and 3 cups wheat.
Mix sugar, oil, salt, water and starter in a large bowl. I use my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment.Add flour to mixture. Mix until ingredients are incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Grease another large bowl and set dough in it. Cover with a damp dish towel, set in a warmish place and let rise overnight.
In the morning, dump out dough on a heavily floured surface. Knead, adding plenty of flour, until dough is elastic and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 even portions and place in greased, 8x4 bread pans. Cover with towel and let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim, usually about 3-4 hours.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove and turn out on wire rack to cool.
Because this is homemade bread with no preservatives, it has a short shelf life. Bread is best eaten within 3 days of baking. Freshly made and cooled loaves can go into your freezer for 2-3 months. Bread thaws beautifully.
If you choose to freeze a loaf or two, you can use a freezer zip bag, or you can wrap in plastic wrap and foil.
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