Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sourdough Mini Loaves

(Pictured here - I used Gainey Vineyard's Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard for a delicious addition to this ham and provolone sandwich). 

Yes, it's another bread recipe, LOL. I can't help myself. Baking bread has become an absolute passion of mine. I have played around with this recipe since Christmas when my son gave me my sourdough starter.

These little mini loaves are a great sandwich size, AND this is the same recipe I use for baguettes.

This is an easy recipe to put together. The dough is smooth and wonderful to work with. I hope you'll give this recipe a try and I especially hope you will come to enjoy bread baking as much as I do.

Sourdough Bread (mini loaves)
(Note: This recipe used sourdough starter. You can either order it directly from King Arthur Flour, or visit their site for the recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe)

1 ½ c. sourdough starter
1 c. warm milk (about lukewarm - too hot and it will kill your yeast)
1 ½ tsp. sugar
2 ½ tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. salt
3 Tbsp. melted butter
3 c. all-purpose flour (+ ½ c. more if needed for dusting)
1 egg
2-3 tsp. heavy cream

Pour sugar and warm milk in large bowl of stand mixer and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle with yeast. Let it sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes until “bloomed” and frothy.

Add starter, salt, melted butter and all 3 cups of flour.

Fit mixer with dough hook and mix/knead for several minutes until all ingredients are fully combined and dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

Transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface. Dough will be sticky. Add a little flour while kneading, but no more than ½ cup. Knead dough about 10-15 times (don’t overwork it).

Place dough in large bowl that’s been thinly coated in butter. Turn dough over so all sides are coated in butter.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour. (I like to turn the oven on to the warm/proof setting and then turn it off again).

After dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto lightly-floured surface and knead a few times. Separate into two loaves or leave as one large loaf. For this recipe, I cut the dough into 8 equal portions. I lightly buttered my mini-loaf pan and placed the dough in each loaf well. Form into desired shape (round, 1 baguette or 2, in a cast iron skillet, mini-loaf pan, etc ).

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 °

In small bowl, beat egg with heavy cream and brush over the top of each mini loaf. Use a sharp knife to cut diagonal slits across each one. Place pan on the middle rack in preheated oven and bake about 50 minutes or until crust is browned.

(TIP if making baguettes: on the stove top, boil a couple cups of water in an oven-safe skillet, like cast iron. Place pan of water in the bottom of the oven when bread is baking for a crunchy crust).

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