For quite a while now, I've been meaning to start posting a recipe of the week. I just wanted to pass along the great recipes I find. I thought I'd start with the bread recipe I hinted about a long time ago. I usually start the dough the night before, then knead and shape it in the morning. I bake it in the afternoon, and have delicious bread for dinner.
Almost No Knead Bread
Stir together 2 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add 1 cup sourdough start and 2/3 to 3/4 cups water. Stir together with wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy ball. Add a little more water if necessary to form dough. Cover top of bowl and let rise 8-18 hours. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead 10-15 times. Shape into a ball or log shape and place on a sheet of parchment paper, seam side down. Spray with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at least 2 hours, until double. 30 minutes before baking, place baking stone in oven on middle rack and heat to 500 degrees. Slit top of dough, and place on stone after it has heated for 30 minutes. Spray surface of bread lightly with water every minute for the first three minutes to prevent the crust from setting too quickly. Reduce heat to 425 and bake 30 minutes for round loaf or 20-25 minutes for log shape. Loaf should be a deep brown color, and should register about 210 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove from oven and let cook on wire rack.
I modified my starter from one of those Amish Friendship bread starters that goes around. If you have one, just feed the starter with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour each time you use it, occasionally adding a pinch of sugar. You can keep the starter on the counter if you want it to grow faster, or keep it in the fridge if you only use it occasionally. I keep mine in a loose lidded plastic container in the fridge. If I want to make more bread at a time, I just feed my starter in larger amounts a couple days before I want to use it.
Martha Stewart Starter:
Mix 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon yeast to form a starter. Cover and let rest at cool room temperature until bubbling, 12-15 hours.
I haven't tried this method, but it should work. She also adds more yeast into her bread recipe, which would probably make it rise faster. I would probably double the recipe, and use half in my bread, and keep half to feed and use in the future. I would also start it a couple days in advance, because the longer it ferments, the better your flavor will be.
Combine flour and water, and let sit, uncovered, on the counter until it starts to bubble. I haven't tried this, so I don't know how long it will take. Supposedly it feeds on the natural yeast bacteria in the air and in the flour, so if any of you feel adventurous, let me know how it works.