With the craziness of the holidays now pretty much over (after tonight anyway), it's back to real normal, everyday life. For me, this includes getting back to the basics with simple, wholesome food. I've had my fair share of sugar over the past many weeks and I'm ready to reset and restart in 2018.
It's been a cold couple of weeks here in West Michigan. As I write this it's 4 degrees out and snow continues to fall. It's beautiful. In this kind of weather a thick slice of hearty toast topped with soft scrambled eggs, a few thick slices of melted cheese, or a generous helping of peanut or almond butter sounds just about perfect. A slice of this bread is just the right for this type of occasion. It's made with simple and basic ingredients, nothing crazy, nothing strange, just good food. It doesn't get much better than that.
For this recipe, I adapted another sourdough recipe that's also posted on my blog; just changing it a little to make it a more useful recipe for me on a daily basis. I added commercial yeast instead of relying solely on wild yeast for the rise, and cut the recipe in half because as a single person, it takes me quite a while to go through two full loaves of bread. These adaptations worked beautifully and gave me a tall and fluffy loaf, perfect for just about everything.
Easy Sourdough Loaf
Adapted from Soft Sandwich Sourdough
- 311 grams flour
- 160 grams water
- 8 grams salt
- 32.5 grams butter, room temperature
- 15 grams honey
- 205 grams starter
- 1.25 teaspoons instant yeast
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all of the ingredients except about 10% of the water. Mix in low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, adjusting the water as needed to achieve a medium dough consistency (you may need additional water). Continue mixing to in medium speed to a medium-high level of gluten development.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter. Shape into a cylinder and let rest, covered, for about 25 minutes. Generously butter a 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan. Shape the dough tightly into blunt batards and place it, seam-side-down, into the prepared pan. Proof, covered, for 1 hour, or until the top of the dough has risen to about 1.5 inches above the edge of the pan.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 425F. Once you are ready to bake, place loaves in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400F. Bake for 25 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan, place directly on the stone, and bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.