1 1/2 c Warm water
1 pk Active dry yeast
1 c Sourdough starter
2 ts Sugar
2 ts Salt
5 c All-purpose flour (or 6)
Water for tops of loaves
Warm a large bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into warmed bowl.
Sprinkle yeast over water. Set aside to soften 5 minutes. Stir in
sourdough starter, sugar and salt. Beat in 3 cups flour until
blended. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place free from drafts.
Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size. Lightly grease a
large baking sheet; set aside. Stir down dough. Stir in enough
remaining flour to make a medium stiff dough. Turn out onto a
lightly floured surface. Knead dough 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth
and elastic. Add more flour if necessary. Shape kneaded dough into
two 10×3 1/2″ loaves. Pull out ends of each to make them narrower
than center of loaf. Or shape into 2 round loaves. Place on prepared
baking sheet. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place free from
drafts. Let rise 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400F. Pour water 1″ deep into a 12x 71/2″ baking
pan. Place in bottom of preheating oven. Use a pastry brush to brush
tops of loaves with water. Use a very sharp knife to cut diagonal
slashes across tops of loaves. Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes or
until crust is golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped with
your fingers. After 30 minutes, if loaves are golden brown, cover
with a tent of foil to prevent further browning. Remove from baking
sheet. Cool on a rack. Makes 2 loaves.