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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Making Sourdough Bread

Well, I am gettin' the message from the boss, that I promised to find you a recipe for sourdough bread. And, I really had to scrounge around in all my vast accumulations of recipes to see what I could find. It seems poor ol' Uncle Billy Bob, my great, great, grandfather's uncle, who got hung for buffalo rustlin' never left a recipe for sourdough bread. Probably was easier to bake biscuits out in the wide-open spaces than try to bake bread and assuredly much faster On the other hand, it might have had somethin' to do with sleepin' out on the cold open range with a nail keg full of sourdough starter; however, I did not delve further into the particulars of that figment of family history.

Nevertheless, I did continue my search, and found a very ancient, parchment in my dear Irish Grandmother's collections, which she passed on to me. She, knowing that I was a very smart little boy, looked ahead to the time when I would put these ancient collections to some practical use. Poor Grandmother had not even the ability to boil water; her kitchen skills were such that grandpa would only drink her coffee with a shot of Irish Whisky. These ancient writings had been in the family since the days of Paddy, who stole them from Caesars Palace just before the Huns and Teutons ravished Rome. Paddy and his parents broke into the palace just before the invaders got there and they ran off to the outposts of the Roman Empire in Northern England, which Paddy later declared to be Ireland. with the only copy in the world of 'Caesar's Complete Household Hints For Housewives and Other Concubines'. It is reported in the annals of history that Paddy drove out the snakes with his skills at concocting Irish stews with the variable vegetation he was able to find in the sheep pastures. My ancient relatives have alluded to the fact that he was once a shepherd before he was a preacher. Seems to have something to do with the Irish ability to toss tall tales about. Be that as it may, this recipe is from the heir to History that even my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother has not an inkling of. Here is a recipe from the glorious days of Rome and passed on to me through my Ancient Irish fore bearer's perception to save such treasures, while Rome was being sacked.

So, I hope you read and have kept the recipe for sourdough biscuits, and will not have to refer back to making your starter. You are going to use that right now.

Let's get started. This will make ONE Loaf

    1 cup of sourdough starter (don't forget to replace what you use so that you will always have starter on hand).
    I cup warm water (don't use milk as it will sour before your dough is baked into bread).
    2 cups flour.
    2 teaspoons sugar.
    1 teaspoon salt.
    Another 2 cups of flour more or less.

How to do it:

Pour starter into a large mixing bowl. Add water and 2 cups flour. Mix thoroughly and cover with cheesecloth and place in a warm draft free place for at least 36 hours. Now you can add the sugar, salt and about 11/2 cups ot the flour. Mix thoroughly and add more flour a bit at a time until dough loses stickiness. Turn dough onto a well floured board and flour your hands well, and knead for 5 minutes and then let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Now shape it into a loaf that will fit a regular bread pan, which has been buttered on all sides and bottom. Cover the pan with a cloth and let it stand in a draft free place until it has doubled in size, about 1/12 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 and bake the bread for about 40 to 50 minutes, until top is golden brown. Turn out on a rack to cool. The loaf will have a dense, fine texture and a delicious sour taste. Slice the loaf into very thin slices.

There you have it. The wonder of the ages brought to you by me, Leo C. I suppose a nice thin buttered slice of sourdough bread with Grandma's coffee and Grandpa's Irish Whisky will start you off in the right direction for the day.

Take Care Now, Ya'heah!


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