Are you ready to bake some sourdough bread?
One of the questions I get most frequently is how to have a soft loaf bread. Many sourdough bakers appear to have issues with dry crumbly bread.
I understand the frustration, because I've had my share of dry bread that went straight to bread crumbs. But there is hope because I've found several recipes that have been never fail for me. Since a soft loaf bread seems to be the goal of many readers, I'll start with those recipes.
The first three recipes are almost identical. They are all mixed and baked on the same day following the same directions. The only slight difference is in the ingredients.
The first bread contains a mixture of white and whole wheat flour. I found this recipe a great one for cinnamon raisin bread as well. Just remember to feed your starter the night before baking to have it active and happy for baking day.
Soft Sourdough Bread
2 cups active starter (19 oz)
1 cup milk (8 oz)
1/2 cup water (4 oz)
1/4 cup oil or melted butter (1.5 oz)
1/4 cup honey (3.5 oz)
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (12.5 oz)
3 cup white flour (13.5 oz.)
3 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients except salt for 2-3 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes.
After rest, add salt and knead dough for about five minutes. If dough is too sticky, add slightly more flour but dough should be soft and not dry and stiff. Place in oiled bowl and allow dough to rise for 3-4 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
Divide dough into two pieces and shape into loaves and place in two greased bread pans. If a free form loaf is desired, place on greased baking sheet. Spray with oil and cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours.
When dough has risen, slash the top of the loaf. If baking a free form loaf, you can use the roasting pan method for added humidity while baking.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. For even browning, turn loaves halfway through baking time.
Variations: We really like this doughs for a multipurpose dough. Some of the ways we've enjoyed it were as cinnamon raisin bread and dinner rolls.
For more bread inspirations, check out Yeast Spotting.