This chewy loaf has rich, deep, flavor with mild sourdough tang.
Since it includes commercial yeast as well as starter, you’re guaranteed a good, strong rise — even if your starter isn’t quite up to snuff.
- 1 cup (227g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water
- 1 to 2 teaspoons instant yeast*
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups (602g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
*See “tips,” below.
Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
Allow the dough to rise, in a lightly greased, covered bowl, until it’s doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Gently divide the dough in half; it’ll deflate somewhat.
Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves; or, for longer loaves, two 10″ to 11″ logs. Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.
Make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.
Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Why the range in yeast amount?
If you’re sure your starter is healthy and vigorous, and you don’t mind potentially extending somewhat the rise times listed above, use 1 teaspoon yeast.
If your starter seems a bit lethargic (or you want to keep your rise times on the shorter side), go with 2 teaspoons.