I heart sourdough. I’ve tried different homemade starters without much success and finally bought a starter from King Arthur Flour. That was over a year ago, and I still love it. This is my favorite sourdough recipe, and while it does have a lot of raising time, you really don’t have to do much and that extra time helps develop that tangy sourdough flavor more.
You could probably substitute a homemade starter, but I can’t vouch for the success of it. If you love sourdough too I think it’s completely worth it to buy your own starter. While it’s ideal to “feed” your starter every week, I go sometimes 3-4 weeks and it’s still fine. It’s stored in the fridge in a crock (you can buy one from King Arthur Flour, or use a small crock with a loose lid- if it has a rubber seal, remove that so it can get a tiny bit of air). As long as you use bottled water to fed it you remove most of the risk of it developing any mold as well. Like I said, I’ve had mine for over a year and still love it!
This bread is a little chewy without being hard, and has a great tangy sourdough flavor from the extra rise time. I have frozen a loaf before with good results, but honestly, we go through it usually! It’s great for panini sandwiches as well, or my favorite, toasted.
EXTRA SOUR LOAF
1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp salt
5 cups flour
In a large bowl, mix the starter, water, and 3 cups of the flour together vigorously. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temp for 4 hours (the original recipe states 68 to 70 degrees is ideal, I’ve always just put it on my kitchen counter with no issues).
Refrigerate overnight, or about 12 hours.
Add the salt and remaining 2 cups flour and knead to make a smooth dough.
Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, let rise for about 5 hours or puffy (it doesn’t double in size usually).
Form the dough into 2 oval loaves and place on a large baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 2-3 hours.
Make a couple of slashes in the top of each loaf and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, or golden brown. Cool on a rack.
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour