I love old cook books and I am a sucker for those little cook books with all the old fashioned recipes. My mom gave me one last year for Christmas that has a bunch of pioneer recipes along with food lore!!
This recipe for wild yeast sourdough bread is wonderful. I made it once before and it was so good. My husband and I ate one entire loaf ourselves while it was still warm. I was hungry for a loaf again so I began to make my starter. The only thing is it takes a few days to get it going before you can taste that yummy bread.
The pioneers made and shared their own starters. They did not add yeast to their bread. You don't have to add yeast either if you wait long enough and have a real good starter. This bread takes all day to make properly without adding yeast.
To start the sour dough:
4 cups flour
4 cups warm water (don not use chlorinated water)
3 Tablespoons of sugar.
Combine and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Place in crockery bowl and cover, let stand in a warm place about 48 hours until sour and bubbly. (I just used a glass bowl that I had)
1 cup starer
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of yeast (optional)
Stir batter until no lumps remain. Let sit for about 4 hours or overnight.
Add to sponge 1 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon yeast (optional), 3 teaspoon salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead 10 minutes or until it's elastic. Let rise until double in bulk at room temperature. Shape into 2 or 3 oblong or round loaves and let rise until double in bulk on a bread board sprinkled with cornmeal. (Dust top with flour and cover with two kitchen towels) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place a shallow pan of water on the bottom shelf. Slash bread 1/4 inch deep, however you like, to allow for expansion. Bake until brown on a greased cookie sheet, or ideally on a bread stone. If you use a baking stone, put it on the bottom shelf in the oven and your pan of water on the top shelf. Allow bread to cool before you slice it, if you can stand to wait that long!!
Like the recipe states. If you have the time to let it rise you really don't need to add any yeast. It works out great if you are going to be home all day doing other things. To make it without the yeast it truly does take all day to make but it is worth it. Yum!!!
To replenish starter after each use:
1 cup of flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Shake well and let it stay at room temperature for 6 hours. Then refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
Food Lore from 1883
To make a good bread, always be up in the morning early, just at the peep of day.
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