I love sourdough breads and there are plenty of recipes for sourdough by machine (check your bookstore), but I don't have the patience nor the time to babysit a culture (or bean sprouts either). This bread is great- you get the sour taste and a very crusty bread without the fuss. Oh sure, you don't get the complexity of flavor as with a culture, but that's life. King Arthur also sells "sour salt" (citric acid) which is supposed to give a sour taste to breads as well. I haven't tried it yet.
QUICK SOURDOUGH FRENCH BREAD
(Source: back of a Pillsbury bread flour bag)
Bread machine instructions
4 to 5 c. flour
1 c. warm water (120-130 deg)
2 T. wheat germ
1 c. dairy sour cream, room temp.
1 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
2 t. salt
1/2 t. ginger
2 pkgs. yeast
Cut this recipe in half for the bread machine! Place ingredients your machine in order recommended by manufacturer.
1 egg white
1 T. water
2 t. poppy or sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 c. flour, and next 4 ingredients; blend well. Add water, sour cream and vinegar to flour mixture Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in additional 2 to 2-1/2 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.
On floured surface, knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Divide dough in half, and form into 2 oblong loaves. Place on greased cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, make 5 (1/4" deep) diagonal slashes on top of each loaf. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 25 minutes. In a small bowl, beat egg white and water. Remove bread from oven, and brush with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with seeds. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.
Updated: April 5, 1996
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