When learning how to make sourdough bread you will find it begins with a starter. This starter can be made in a couple of ways. If properly cared for this starter can last for years. Each time bread is being made a portion of this starter is used along with fresh ingredients.
The sourdough starter is usually about 25% of the final dough. The starter is the leavening power of the bread. Each time the starter is used it must be replaced by more ingredients to keep it going. This method was used years ago with the absence of yeast. Today the starter can even begin by adding some yeast. The sourdough bread recipe is a heavier bread and is very delicious. Some recipes call for adding more yeast and some do not.
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH STARTER #1
Learn how to make sourdough bread by method 1 starter: Place 1 cup milk in a glass or crock and allow to stand 24 hours. Stir in 1 cup flour, cover with cheese cloth and place outside for several hours to expose to wild yeast cells floating in the wind. Bring inside and let set uncovered for 2 to 5 days until mixture begins to bubble and sour. If it begins to dry out add enough water to maintain the originally consistency.
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH STARTER #2
Learn how to make sourdough bread by method 2 starter: Place in glass bowl or crock 2 cups warm water, 2 cups flour and 1 package yeast; let stand 3 to 4 days. When mixture begins to ferment, skim off the top. Add enough flour and water to make a paste consistency.
Each time the sour dough starter is used replenish with equal parts of milk and flour allowing it to stand several hours to become bubbly. It is best to make a sourdough bread recipe using the starter at least once a week. If the starter is not used for 2 weeks, remove half of the starter and replenish.
Store the sour dough starter in the refrigerator but let stand at room temperature before using. It can also be frozen but must stand at room temperature 24 hours before using.
How To Make Sourdough Bread
Pour warm water into a bowl and dissolve the yeast.
Add starter, 4 cups of flour, salt and sugar; stir vigorously for a few minutes.
Turn dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise until double in bulk.
Mix soda with 1 cup of the remaining flour and stir into the dough.
Use remaining flour on board and turn dough onto flour and knead until satiny and smooth.
Shape into 2 loaves and place on a greased baking sheet.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Brush tops of loaves with water and make diagonal cuts across loaves with a sharp knife.
Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of oven while baking bread.
Bake at 400F degrees for 45 to 50 minutes
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH STARTER #3
This is the recipe I use for a starter. They are all about the same but this seems a little easier and it works well.
Sprinkle yeast in ½ cup warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups warm water, flour, salt and sugar; put in large bowl; it will bubble 4 times its volume.
Cover loosely with a clean towel; let stand in warm place 80 to 90 degrees for 3 to 4 days.
Stir mixture down daily.
When starter is taken from bowl replace it with equal amounts of water and flour.
Take some out each week and replace it. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT MAKE ANY BREAD.
After replacing flour and water, refrigerate after 4 to 5 hours.
SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE
Add the butter to the starter; add all other ingredients and stir into starter.
Add enough flour to make thick dough.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth.
Add more flour if needed to prevent being sticky.
Put dough into well greased bowl; let rise in warm place until double in bulk.
Punch down and shape into loaf; place in greased loaf pans.
Cover and let rise until double in bulk; bake at 375F degrees for 30 minutes or until browned.