This batch is made using the following recipe from Richard Packham:
EVERYDAY SOURDOUGH BREAD (for five loaves) The night before baking, mix in a very large bowl a batter made of: 2 cups sourdough starter 4 cups lukewarm water 5 cups flour Mix well, although there may still be small lumps. Cover lightly and leave overnight at room temperature.
Here's what it looks like at this stage: 6:30PM
The next morning, stir down the batter and return 2 cups to your permanent sourdough container.
This is what it looked like at 8:00 am this morning.
Nice and frothy.
Add: 3 cups lukewarm water 1/4 cup sugar ( I did not use any sugar in this recipe) 1 tablespoon salt (I use sea salt) 1 cup powdered milk 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted and cooled (1/2 stick) or vegetable oil ( I used melted sweet cream butter) flour (white, whole wheat, or a combination thereof; up to 10% other flours may be used) Stir in about 5 cups of flour and beat well. Add about 5 or 6 more cups gradually, until too stiff to stir, then turn out and knead well, adding flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and stands about 1/3 as high as it is wide when resting, or more. Place in a greased bowl, let rise until double.
My rising bowl, a 18 qt plastic pan:
The dough she be a rising:
Punch down, let rest 15 minutes. Shape into 5 loaves, place in
greased bread pans (9 x 5 x 3).
3 of the 5 loaves doing their
final rise before baking.
Brush tops with 1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter. (I omit
this step) Let rise until tops are almost even with top edge of pan. (once the
dough has risen to just over the top of the pans, I put 3 diagonal
slashes on the top of each loaf)
Bake 45 minutes at 375. (I normally bake at 425F for 40 minutes with
a pan of water on the bottom of the oven and spritz the oven walls
every 15 minutes with a spray bottle)
Slashed and ready to burn
Turn out immediately onto racks. For a soft crust, rub with hard butter or margarine while still hot. Freeze in plastic bags when cool.
The finished product.
- This batch is too big to mix in the kitchen aide so it all has to be done by hand.
- I sifted all the flour.
- I got quite a bit of oven spring on this batch. When I put the loaves in the oven they were at the top of the pans. When I pulled them out they were a good inch or two above the top.
- Total kneading time was about 5 minutes.