Sourdough French Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 grams) active sourdough starter
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sourdough starter, water, sugar, oil and bread flour, stirring with the flat beater or wire whip on low until a sticky dough (sponge) forms.
  2. Cover the sponge and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and all purpose flour (1/2 cup at a time) to the sponge and stir using the dough hook until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Continue mixing the dough with the dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough reaches a smooth, elastic consistency.
  5. Place the dough into a large greased bowl, turning over to make sure all sides are oiled, and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
  6. Allow the dough to rise overnight in a warm place (right around 75 degrees if possible) until it is bubbly and has doubled in size.
  7. Cut the dough in half to form two 5-by-7-inch rectangles.
  8. Tightly roll each piece of dough on the long side, pinching the ends to seal them.
  9. Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Let the dough rise for roughly 2 hours; the loaves should look puffy.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  12. Using a sharp knife, score the loaves with 3 to 4 diagonal slashes about 1/4-inch deep.
  13. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped.
  14. Allow the loaves to cool completely before slicing.

The original recipe for this deliciously fluffy bread, which pairs great with soups and stews, can be found here.

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