While I was driving my husband to a medical appointment and then the pharmacy, my daughters eagerly went at my new copy of Alaska Sourdough and baked bread.
This was not our first attempt at doing a sourdough yeast bread in loaves. However, when we tried it before, we did not have any commercial yeast left. Normally, this is not a problem; it just takes longer for the dough to rise.
Except it didn’t really rise. Even using the oven with the light on to keep it warm and draft free, and giving it 4 hours, it still didn’t double in size. Nor did things improve after shaping the loaves and setting it aside for a second rising of a couple of hours.
We baked it anyways and got a very dense loaf that was delicious, but it was half-way between unleavened bread and regular bread in texture.
Our home is simply too cool for doing sourdough bread without using commercial yeast, though if we had shaped them into buns instead of loaves, it might have worked better.
We have yeast now.
The girls went through the cookbook and settled on the Quick and Easy Sourdough Bread recipe because… well… it was quick and easy.
Of course, it was also modified a bit. Because we do that. They added Herb and Spices Parmesan (found at Bulk Barn) and garlic powder. You can’t see it in the bread, but you can taste it!
They also doubled the recipe, because two loaves with 4 people is gone in a day.
So here is the modified, two loaf, recipe.
1 cup Sourdough starter
1 Tbsp yeast (1 pkg)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 cups flour
optional: about 1/4 cup each, garlic powder and Herb and Spice Parmesan, or to taste.
Add yeast to warm water. Mix in sourdough starter, sugar, salt and 4 cups of flour. Beat well.
Put in oiled bowl and set aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled.
Mix soda win 1 cup flour. Add to risen dough. Knead in garlic, Herb and Spice Parmesan, plus more flour as needed, until satiny and springy to the touch.
Cut dough in half and shape into loaves.
Bake in 400F oven for 45 minutes.
Note: if using glass loaf pans, reduce heat by 25F.
The recipe did not call for a second rising, so with the doubled recipe, the first two loaves went straight into the preheated oven, while the second two loaves got a second rising while waiting.
I would go with doing a second rising.
The resulting bread has a lovely, spongy texture that is dense enough to handle being spread with rather cold butter (when we buy bread, sometimes I have to warm up the butter in the microwave for 8-10 seconds, just to be able to spread it. Otherwise the slices just disintegrate!).
We polished off the first two loaves with some beef stew. A marvelous combination.