Lazy Sundays. The day when you get to just sit around wrapped in a blanket and watch old movies and reruns of CSI. For some reason, this rarely ever happens for me. There’s always laundry to do, meals to get prepared for the week ahead and the inevitable grocery store run to pick up something you forgot.
In between all of this, I still find time some Sundays to make bread. It doesn’t take long to put together, just a few short burst of effort to end up with something so satisfying.
Two minutes with of measuring and mixing, twenty minutes of waiting (and sweeping the floors) and you get off to a frothy start.
Not even two more minutes of stirring with a fork and you’re almost there.
Five minutes in the stand mixer, followed by just a minute or two of needing by hand to get to this:
Two hours in an oiled bowl (and plenty of time to get the rest of the chores done).
A few well earned punches.
Split the dough in two, round it out and give it a few slices.
A short time in a hot oven and voila. Fresh sourdough bread, and a house the smells like a dream.
Easy Sourdough Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup sourdough & flour starter*
1 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water, divided
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cups flour, either all purpose or a 50/50 mix of all purpose and whole wheat
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornmeal
In a stand mixer bowl or other large bowl, mix the sourdough starter, yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 cups of the warm water. It’s ok if there are some small lumps of the starter, they’ll dissolve as the mixture activates. Let it rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Whisk the starter a few times, add the olive oil and flour. Mix with a fork, adding up to 1 cup more warm water until a shaggy dough starts to come together. With the dough hook, knead the dough for 5 minutes, until it’s smooth. Tip the dough out of the bowl and knead by hand for another minute or two, until two fingers pressed in the dough spring back slowly. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the bread by hand for 10-15 minutes until two fingers pressed in the dough spring back slowly. Put the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Set it in a warm place to rise for two hours.
After the dough has risen for two hours – punch it down, cut it in half and form it into two round loaves. Place the loaves six inches apart on a large cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal. Using a serrated knife, make a few 1cm deep slashes in the top of the loaves. Let the dough rise again for an hour.
Bake the loaves in a 400° oven for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
*Note: the sourdough & flour started I used I found in the flour aisle at the Bulk Barn.