I just love it when Brandy shows up for a post…don’t y’all? She’s sharing a bread recipe today – and I know y’all love bread as much as I do! Thanks Brandy!
This recipe came from The Southern Appalachian Heritage book and is one of several I have tried from its pages. It’s not really a sourdough in the truest sense (since it’s not self-perpetuating, as far as I can tell), but it does use a pre-ferment or sponge. This bread has excellent shelf-life, especially if kept in cool conditions.
The original recipe was somewhat vague, so I’ve adapted it. Another note is that the more bread you bake, the taller your bread will be. I read it in the Foxfire Cookbook and might not have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it myself. Something about your home having more yeasty goodness the more you bake bread. Sometimes, my bread has gotten so tall I’ve worried it would reach the top of the oven. Magic, I tell you!
For the starter:
- 2 cups warm water (no more than 120° F)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tablespoon yeast (or two packets of yeast, not instant)
Mix well & leave until bubbly and alive! This may take several hours in the Winter or just one in the Summer. You may reserve a cup of this mixture for later, but it will lose its zing over time, so I start new each time.
For the dough, add these ingredients to the starter:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 stick of softened or melted butter
- Enough flour to make a soft dough
Knead all of this for ten minutes, taking care to be sure the dough is neither too sticky nor too dry. Let rise in a greased bowl until doubled, an hour or so depending on the warmth of your home. I use my back porch as a proofing area, since it is quite warm in the Summer. Knead another ten minutes and shape into two loaves. Do this by flattening the dough into a sort of rectangle and then rolling it up into a loaf. Tuck the ends under and pinch the seams so they do not come undone during the baking. Let rise in greased pans until the dough is an inch or so above the top of the pans. Heat oven to 375° F and then bake for 35 minutes, or until the bread is 190° F internally. Cool ten minutes and enjoy!
Brandy spends her days watching the skies and tending her children on her little homestead in town at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.