Getting use to my starter and how to to use it has been a bit of a journey. A journey that continues. I have read much about it. I feel a little more comfortable. My bread is not as sour tasting as I would like. Or as light as I would like it to be.
One thing that stands in my way I think, is rising times. Without yeast, the dough has longer rising times. These longer rising times are what helps to give it flavor. I have not timed it very well so far. This boule is one of my best so far though it does have yeast.
Here are some articles I have found helpful regarding sour dough bread:
Sour Dough Bread at Pinch My Salt
Sour Dough Bread at Instructables
Sour Dough Bread at Wikipedia
This recipe below attracted me because of the name. However, if you read about sour dough bread- you can't really have San Francisco sour dough bread unless you live in San Francisco. Why? Because the bacteria that lives there probably doesn't reside in your area. (It even has its own name). If you know about sour dough bread you already know about what I am talking about. If you don't know about sour dough bread then that is one of the many things you can learn about sour dough bread. One of the variables...
San Francisco Style Sour Dough Bread
Adapted from this recipe here at Allrecipes.
Printable version here.
4 3/4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add milk and softened butter. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4 cups flour gradually, adding more or less depending on how humid it is.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Fold dough over itself as you knead- folding in from the left and right and top and bottom. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
Fold in on itself a few times, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place on a greased baking pan. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled. Slice with a knife ( I coat my knife with grease so it does not get stuck in the bread and pulls through easily).
Brush egg wash over tops of loaves.
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, or till done (internal temp about 190F).