Be able to create your own picture-perfect bread as seen on television shows or in food magazines. You don't have to be an expert baker but follow this recipe and you'll have a loaf of sourdough bread fresh from your own oven.
This recipe is by Robin Mather and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 Teaspoon salt
- 2/3 Cups sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 Cup water
- Coarse cornmeal, for dusting
Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl; whisk together.
Combine sourdough starter and water in a large mixing cup; stir until well combined.
Add to flour mixture; mix with a rubber spatula until you have a thoroughly mixed, wet, sticky mass of dough.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let sit at room temperature, 12 to 18 hours.
After at least 12 hours have passed, your dough should be dotted with bubbles and more than doubled in size.
Dust a wooden cutting board with flour.
Scrape dough loose from sides of bowl; turn out dough onto the board in one piece.
The dough will be loose and sticky, but do not add more flour.
Dust top lightly with flour; cover with a clean tea towel.
Let dough rise an additional 1 to 2 hours.
About 30 minutes before the second rise is complete, place a 3 1/2-quart cast-iron Dutch oven (oval-shaped gives best results) on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, remove the Dutch oven; sprinkle about 1 teaspoon coarse cornmeal evenly over the bottom.
Uncover dough; using two plastic dough scrapers, shape dough into a ball by folding it over onto itself a few times.
With scrapers, lift dough carefully; let it fall into a heated Dutch oven by slowly separating scrapers.
Dust top of the dough with coarse cornmeal.
Cover; bake, 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes, remove the cover from the Dutch oven; rotate and continue baking, 15 minutes, or until loaf is nicely browned.
Remove Dutch oven from oven.
With sturdy wooden or metal spatula, pry loaf free; transfer to a cooling rack.
Allow bread to cool for 1 hour before slicing.