Because I like food, especially bread, and even more especially, sourdough bread, I made up a new bread recipe to get my family through some rough days. I could be frank and say that I was getting myself through some rough days, meaning I’d rather bake bread than go to the grocery store and buy it. Homemade bread tastes much better than store bought bread and if we are going to eat bread, it might as well taste good and if I am going to eat bread, then it might as well be homemade sourdough bread.
My Sourdough Milk Bread has a seasoned top that is made up of salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika which makes the sandwiches made with this bread taste better than average, possibly better than the sandwiches at a fancy sandwich restaurant.
First the Sourdough Starter
I’m a high-level sourdough amatuer. I like doing my own thing and I like it better if it’s easy, so I make it easy, and if it fails, I try something different.
Container – I like using a giant pickle jar for sourdough starter. If something gets out of hand, there is plenty of jar height to handle it. Most of the time, my sourdough starter lives in the lower 1/6th part of the jar.
Recipe – Mix 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. It should be like a runny batter. Add 1 teaspoon yeast, stir.
Cover it– Fold a tea towel so that it is a few layers thick. Place the folded tea towel over the jar containing your sourdough starter. Use a rubber band to keep the towel in place. Do not use a lid; sourdough needs to breathe.
Flour– In case you are wondering, I don’t grind flour; I use store bought bread flour. My preferred brand is White Lily unbleached bread flour. King Arthur bread flour is just as good.
Water– I use tap water and it is chlorinated, but our tap water is from a spring and it is very good tap water. If you think your tap water is not good enough, then use filtered or bottled water.
This is where I might lose you. I do not want to go over the specifics of taking care of sourdough starter. but basically —
- Use the sourdough starter in recipes and then add more flour and water.
- If it gets the liquid on top, sourdough hooch, it might be hungry – refer to number one.
- When it gets very very sour, put it in the refrigerator to slow it down.
- Most of all, refer to number 1.
Donna’s Sourdough Milk Bread Recipe
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons bakers yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika to sprinkle on top of formed loaf
- about 1/8 cup olive oil for pan
Mix the first six ingredients together in your mixer’s mixing bowl. Stir in the flour. Set your mixing bowl into your mixer, add the dough hook, and let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes.
The dough is supposed to be sticky. It will not form the typical dough ball.
After 10 minutes, remove the dough hook. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for an hour or until double.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread loaf pan. This recipe uses a 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 loaf pan, a “1 1/2 pound” loaf pan. A smaller pan will be too small. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Roll the oil around in the pan to distribute the oil up on the sides of the pan or use your hand to oil the sides of the pan. Set out the salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Open the lids to make them ready.
After the dough has doubled, prepare a kneading surface. Sprinkle as much as 1/2 cup flour on the surface and dump the dough onto the floured surface. Knead the dough for a few minutes and as you do, you will be working in the flour. Shape the dough into a loaf.
Place the dough, upside-down, into the loaf pan. Turn the dough over – this oils both sides of the dough. Sprinkle the top generously with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. With your fingers poke holes in the dough. Set the dough in a warm place to rise until it is level with the top of the pan. This could take somewhere between 40 to 60 minutes. After 35 to 40 minutes has passed, turn on the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
When the dough is level with the top of the pan, place it in the preheated oven and bake it for 37 minutes.
When the bread is done, remove it from the oven. Let it sit for a few minutes and then move the loaf of bread from the loaf pan to a wire rack to cool. Let the bread sit for an hour before slicing. Store in a container of some sort; use it up within 3 days. Depending on how thick you slice the bread, it will yield 16 slices, more or less.
This bread is excellent for sandwiches, but it is also good to serve at breakfast as toast with butter and jelly.
I hope that you like the recipe.