Quick Sourdough French Bread
by Sue

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.

(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.
Conventional instructions:
Additional ingredients---
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 °F. Bake 25 minutes. In a small bowl, eat 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.

Comments or questions? Write to me at sue@interport.net.

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