MOTHER’S SOURDOUGH BREAD
I have this recipe from my sister, Clementine who had it from Mother. When I was a child I have watched my mother make yeast many times. I remember that she grew Hops in our garden and she made a tea with it and mixed it with corn meal and mashed potatoes and I don’t know what else and made her own yeast cakes, but when the stores began to carry the dry yeast, she began using it combined with the liquid yeast that she made with flour, sugar and salt with an envelope of the dry yeast as a booster. This is the recipe that I have from Clementine which makes the best bread in the world! Oh! The wonderful aroma that fills the house as it is baking.
TO MAKE THE STARTER:
1 quart warm water//1 pkg. of dry yeast//2 cups bread flour//2 tablespoons sugar//1 teaspoon salt
Mix well and let it sit for at least twenty-four hours before using. Cover only with a thin tea towel so that air can get to it, for the air is full of yeast spores and that is how you get your good sour dough starter of liquid yeast. When you remove a cup and a half of liquid for your bread, at that time add a cup of flour and a cup of water to the starter to replenish what you have removed stir well and store in the refrigerator. Always add this amount back when you use it so that you always have a starter to use. You can keep it going in that way indefinitely. .Stir it up before using since the liquid rises to the top and the other settles to the bottom.
TO MAKE THE BREAD.
Scald 1 cup of milk, add 1/3 cup of butter and 1/3 cup sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Cool.
In large bowl sprinkle 1 pkg. of dry yeast, add ¼ cup of warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let is dissolve. Add your milk mix and a cup and a half of starter. Add 2 cups of bread flour. Beat well for at least 10 minutes. Change to kneading hooks and begin adding flour and kneading a little at a time until the dough separates from the bowl. Remove from bowl and hand knead until it feels springy and satiny. Put back in bowl and allow the kneading hooks to work through it a few times. Placed in greased bowl.
Place in oven with a pan of warm water under it and allow to rise to the top of the bowl. Be sure to watch it after 45 minutes because some yeasts with some flour may rise faster than others.
When it is up to the top of the bowl, punch down and turn it out on a board and turn the bowl upside down over it. Let it rest a few minutes. (That’s the subterfuge we women use to in order to get a few minutes of rest ourselves otherwise we go until we drop!)
Divide and roll each portion into a rectangle, then roll each rectangle out and roll up like a jelly roll, tucking in the ends, and placing in greased loaf pans. Place in oven with the warm water under it and let it rise until it is slightly rounded the tops of the pans Now bake at 350 degrees for 30—to 35 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap it. Turn out on racks to cool. If you wish you can add 2 cups of rolled oats to your recipe substituting for the flour, or two cups of whole wheat flour.
If you want really mouthwatering good buckwheat pancakes you use a cup of starter and add a pinch of soda to the mix and yum!
~ SOURDOUGH FRENCH BREAD ~
1 pkg. dry yeast, plus 1 ½ cups of sourdough starter
1 cup warm water
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 table spoon of soft shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
3 ½ cups of bread flour
Dissolve in the mixing bowl the yeast in the cup of warm water, which is just a tad warmer than lukewarm but not hot. Add starter, salt sugar, and shortening. Add flour gradually. Dough should be rather soft. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead for ten minutes until dough feels smooth and elastic. It will not be sticky.
Grease a bowl with shortening and while your hands have shortening on them, smooth it over the dough before you place it in the bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let rise in a warm place for about ¾ of an hour. Then punch it down and divide it into 2 parts. Roll each half into a rectangle. Taking the long side, begin rolling it up, seal the edges and tuck in the ends. Roll back and forth a little to lengthen the loaf, and place on French bread pans if you have them. If not then use a cookie sheet and sprinkle it with corn meal and lay the loaves on that to bake. Make diagonal cuts at one inch apart. Brush with beaten egg yolk for nice glaze. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees bake 35 or 40 minutes until golden brown. Place pan on rack to cool before removing to slice and serve.