I can’t believe it’s the end of October and I’m still on the sourdough bandwagon! Even if many have grown tired of the sourdough trend, I’m having a great time with several special sourdough recipes and I’ve been baking a lot of bread lately! I gave a loaf to my daughter recently, and our oldest grandson loved it so I hope to keep them supplied with bread for as long as they continue to enjoy it.
You may be wondering what I’ve been doing with my time for the past 3 months! Other than baking and gardening, social distancing but still spending some time with our small family, we’ve had a few large renovation projects that have taken much of my time. We bought a small home as an investment and I’m the one who picks out the paint, carpet, cabinets, countertops, etc. It’s been mostly a fun project!
Back to the sourdough baking, I know I’m speaking to a small audience so I thought I’d share two recipes at once. 🙂
The sourdough starter that I received from Kitty early last spring is still going strong and I enjoy tending to it. It’s nice having little hobbies when our social lives have been so disrupted.
You can see the slight open-hole texture of this banana bread due to the sourdough starter. It’s so moist and delicious and not at all ‘sour’!
This is the sourdough loaf I’ve been making almost every week since I first discovered this recipe. I was looking for a sandwich loaf that rivaled the Country French artisan loaf from a local bakery that I used to buy for $4.99. It’s so good with a high dome, crispy crust and moist interior. This recipe rivals that loaf!
I also learned that I can use my bread machine for the mixing and kneading and it makes making this bread so easy! Since it uses a very small amount of regular yeast it rises much more quickly than more traditional sourdough loaves which also shortens the process.
Using about 2/3rds of the dough to get the high dome, I have enough left over to make a small baguette which is the perfect size for the two of us. I forgot to slash this one!
It also makes the most amazing French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches and BLTs!
I still have some of Kitty’s dried starter if anyone is interested in rehydrating it and trying sourdough baking!
The new Blogger platform is giving me some grief and I’m having some issues with editing as you may be able to tell with the different sized fonts in this post 🙁 And now I can’t figure out how to post a recipe on the new Google sites where I merged all my recipes when I was advised the Classic sites wouldn’t be available much longer. That’s another reason I haven’t posted for a while. I hope things get easier, as I continue to figure it out.
Please copy and paste from this post if you want to save either recipe. I hope I’ve reached at least a few sourdough bakers out there 🙂 Happy baking!
Sourdough Banana Bread Recipe
Servings: Makes 4 mini loaves or 2 8×4 loaves
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups (3 to 4) very ripe bananas, mashed (preferably overripe)
1 cup Sourdough Starter (227 grams)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (either fresh or dried orange zest I buy from my local spice store)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans or your favorite nuts, coarsely chopped
Spray loaf pan(s) with nonstick baking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with oven rack in the center position.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a mixer. Add egg and mix until blended. Stir in the mashed bananas and the sourdough starter. Stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest and set aside.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture and the chopped nuts to the prepared sourdough mixture, stirring just until blended.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and allow to rest for just 15 to 20 minutes.
Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking at 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.
I like to wrap the individual loaves in plastic wrap and freeze so we can enjoy a fresh loaf any time. They also make great gifts!
Adapted from: https://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/SourdoughBananaBread.htm
Rustic Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Makes 1 – 9 x 5 loaf (1 lb 12, ounces of dough, weighed with digital scale)
plus 1 small baguette or several French style rolls using the remainder of the dough.
Note: Original recipe was intended for 2 smaller free-form loaves.
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 (I used King Arthur)
(Please visit the King Arthur site at the end of the recipe if you want to manual knead the bread.)
Combine all of the ingredients in your bread machine adding them in the order suggested by your machine. Set machine to the ‘Dough’ cycle which takes about 90 minutes. After the first few minutes, check to see if you need to add another teaspoon or so of water if the weather is dry. Your machine should not work too hard to mix the dough.
After the dough cycle is completed turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Deflate the dough and cut the dough into 2 pieces, approximately 2/3rd and 1/3rd. Weight the larger portion on your digital scale. It should weigh 1 pound 12 ounces or slightly more. Add more dough to the scale from the other piece, if needed.
Shape the larger piece into a loaf. Here is a very good tutorial on how to form a sandwich loaf with bread dough: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/videos/baking-skills/how-to-shape-a-sandwich-loaf.
Spray a 9 x 5 inch glass loaf pan with cooking spray and place the shaped loaf into the pan. Using a large, somewhat clear grocery bag, cover the loaf loosely and allow to rise for about 1 hour or so, until the dome has risen above the pan by about 1 inch.
With the smaller portion of dough, but using the same shaping technique make a long thinner loaf for a baguette, or shape the remainder into rolls. I place the baguette dough on a piece of parchment which I fold several times lengthwise to form a baguette sized form to hold the dough and place the parchment on top of a flat baking sheet. Envision two lengthwise triangles with a center narrow cavity of about 3 inches. Place a long length of plastic wrap over but not touching the dough (two glasses place on either side keep the parchment in place and keeps the dough from spreading).
At the end of the hour, start preheating the oven to 425 F degrees. Allow the oven to preheat for at least 15 minutes.
I like to bake the baguette first as the rising time is quicker. Slide the parchment holding the baguette right onto the center oven rack. Lightly spray the sides of the oven with water and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the baguette over and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and place on a cooling rack.
Right after removing the loaf, place the loaf pan with the larger loaf into the oven. Again spray the sides of the oven with water and bake the loaf for about 25 minutes or until nicely brown on the top. Carefully remove the glass loaf from the oven and tip out the loaf. Place the loaf back into the oven, directly on the rack and bake for another 5 minutes until the bottom and sides are golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
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