BAKERY STYLE SOURDOUGH BREAD

 

  • Cooking Time: 45
  • Servings: 2 Loaves
  • Preparation Time: 1440

Backstory

This is an amazing bread, it's not difficult to make but does take some advance planning. The recipe and the step-by-step (and I do mean step-by-step) instructions come from Cook's Illustrated! The key is to use healthy refreshed starter. NOTE: If you are short on time, step #21 can be skipped, however the taste of bread will be effected slightly. Let me know if you need more information on how to refresh your starter.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 3/8-1/2 cup bottled water
  • 1 cup unbleached flour (with high protein content, I use bread-making flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled water
  • 4 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt

Directions

  • You will need a 1-quart bowl, a 2-quart or large bowl, a baking stone, a baking peel or rimless cookie sheet, spray bottle for water, and a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • First make the sponge:
  • Combine starter, 1/2 cup bottled water.
  • Stir in 1 cup flour until combined, mixture should resemble thick pancake batter.
  • Cover container with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.
  • Make the Dough:
  • Use a mixer with dough hook (I used my bread machine on dough cycle).
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups water in large bowl.
  • Add 'sponge' to water.
  • With mixer running on low, add flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Once all flour (4- 4 3/4 cups) has been added, continue kneading until forms a ball, about 1 minute longer.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest 20 minutes.
  • Using fingers, create a pocket in rested dough; add salt to pocket. Knead dough until forms a firm ball. about 6 minutes. (If using mixer, knead at low speed, until dough is soft, smooth and moist, should not be sticky, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to clean work surface and knead by hand until dough forms firm ball, about 1 additional minute).
  • Lightly spray bowl with non-stick cooking spray; place dough in container and lightly spray surface of dough. Set in draft-free area (room temperature) and let stand until doubles in bulk 3 to 5 hours.
  • Once doubled in bulk, remove the dough to clean work surface.
  • Stretch the dough (to redistribute and refresh yeast) as far as possible without tearing, then fold into thirds like a letter.
  • Divide the dough in half using chef's knife.
  • Form each half into rough ball, cover loosley with plasic wrap or damp kitchen towel, and let rise for 15 minutes.
  • Using your hands to push the dough against the unfloured work surface, form a taught ball without ripping the surface.
  • Pinch bottom seam and set each round, seam side down, on separate sheets of parchment paper on dinner plates.
  • Spray rounds lightly with non-stick cooking oil and cover loosley, but completely, with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 8- 12 hours.
  • Remove the rounds from refrigerator and gently slide (with parchment paper) on to room-temperature surface where they can rise undisturbed for several hours.
  • Loosen plastic wrap to allow rounds to rise; let rise until double in bulk and dough barely springs back when poked with your knuckle, 3-4 hours.
  • Place baking stone on lower-middle position.
  • Preheat oven to 500°F.
  • Carefully slide rounds on parchment to baking peel or rimless cookie sheet.
  • Using sharp knife slash rounds diagonally.
  • Spray loaves with water and slide carefully on to baking stone.
  • Immediately reduce the temperature to 450°.
  • During the first 5 minutes spray the loaves 2 additional times.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer loaves to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Categories: Bread 

Author Credit: Cook

Website Credit: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/

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