Modern Style Sourdough Bread
2 cups all- purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 to 8 cups all- purpose flour
3 Tbsps. butter, melted
1) Make Starter: In large bowl, combine flour and yeast; stir in water; beat until smooth. Cover bowl with waxed paper.
2) Let stand 48 hours in a warm place, stirring occasionally. If it does not rise, form bubbles and separate, start again. Stir well before using starter.
3) Make the dough a day before serving bread: In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat well sugar, salt, soda, 2 cups warm water, 1 cup starter and 3 cups flour.
4) Cover bowl with towel; let batter rise at room temperature, away from draft, at least 18 hours.
5) About 4 ½ hours before serving: Stir in 3 ½ to 4 cups flour to make soft dough. On floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
6) Cut dough in half; shape into 2 flat, round loaves, measuring about 7 inches in diameter. Place loaves on well greased cookie sheets; cover with towels and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
7) Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush loaves with water; with a sharp knife, cut 3 to 5 crisscross slashes across top of each loaf.
8) Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove to racks; brush with melted butter.
To Replenish Starter:
If you plan to make Sourdough Bread Regularly (at least once a week) this starter may be replenished, if there is at least 1 cup left.
Combine 1 cup all- purpose flour with 1 cup warm water and beat until smoothly blended. Stir into remaining starter. Leave at room temperature a few hours until mixture begins to bubble. Cover loosely; refrigerate replenished starter until needed.