Sourdough Success, Pt 2

The following recipe is the one I’ve made to serve as our toasting and sandwich bread for the past three weeks and it is my favorite thing so far to make with my starter (well it is tied with the sourdough biscuits but that will be a different post entirely). It has an outstanding flavor, is rustic, simple to make, and what blows my mind is there is no yeast involved in the recipe at all. The active starter makes it rise. The addition of mashed potatoes in the dough gives it a great texture and even more flavor. If I’ve been storing my starter in the fridge, on Saturday morning (since I’m up early by 7 a.m. anyway) I’ll take it out, remove 1/2 and put that discard in another container for pancakes, biscuits, what have you, then I’ll add a scant cup of flour and 1/2 cup water to the starter bowl, mix together, cover it, and let it sit for 12 hours. After that 12 hours (about 7 p.m.) I’ll begin my sponge for this bread and use the 1/2 cup active starter from what’s been feeding all day. I’ll add more flour and water to my starter, let it sit overnight and by Sunday morning, it goes back into the fridge.

Dakota Territory Sourdough Potato Bread 
recipe from The Baking Sheet by King Arthur Flour

You Need:

For the overnight sponge:
1/2 cup active sourdough starter
1 cup water
2 cups bread flour

For the bread:
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm mashed potatoes or 1/4 cup of potato flour mixed with 1/4 cup water
more bread flour

For the sponge, mix the starter, water and 2 cups bread flour together well making sure all the flour has been mixed in and hydrated. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temp overnight (8 to 10 hours).

The next day, scrape your sponge into your mixing bowl and beat in the milk, sugar, salt and mashed potatoes. Mix in enough bread flour to make a nice, stiff dough. I add it a cup at a time because I don’t want my dough to get overly dry. I think I might have used 2 more cups of flour in addition to the sponge’s 2 cups of bread flour. Knead the bread either with the kneading hook of your mixer or by hand until the dough is elastic and springy. Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and let it rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).

You can bake this a couple of ways. The original recipe says to grease two 8 inch cake pans and set aside. Deflate the dough and cut it in half. Shape into round loaves and place in the cake pans. Cover those pans and let them rise another 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. To bake these round loaves, preheat the oven to 425 with a baking stone on the center shelf. Boil a pan of water in an oven safe pan and place that in the bottom shelf. Tip the breads out onto the hot stone (carefully!). With a sharp knife, make a couple slashes on top. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

The other way I’ve been baking this, is to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, shave my two loaves into long loaves and set them on the parchment lined sheet, cover and let rise. I eliminated the baking stone entirely this way but I still put a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf of the oven and baked the risen (then slashed) bread on the top shelf until golden brown and baked through.

I’ve tried to make this as clear as possible, but if it’s not, do leave me a comment and I’ll try my best to answer your questions.

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