Source of Recipe
Master Chef Don Easley
The great push by pioneers to settle the wild frontier was aided by this simple staple, insuring survival and defeating hunger. Some 175 years ago, Westward expansion succeeded, due mainly to the baking ingenuity of pioneer women who created the process of making sourdough bread out of necessity. The rest is history!
I still make sourdough bread from 100 year old sourdough starter passed down three generations. I have always sliced it thick, long before anyone heard of Texas Toast, then smear butter on it and brown the bread in a hot cast iron skillet, then serve it with either syrup, fresh canned pears, or just a basic cinnamon sugar sprinkled over top. It makes a helluva French Toast with eggs, whole milk, vanilla and almond extract, and cinnamon sugar blended together, pan frying the dipped bread in butter. It smelles like Heaven ... it tastes like it was from beyond Infinity.
List of Ingredients
12 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup soften butter
2 cups sourdough starter
4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 large flour sifter
2 large mixing bowls (one greased for rising process)
1 linen cloth cover (to cover bowl of rising bread)
Several baking bread loaf pans (for 18 ounce size bread dough loaves, and greased thoroughly)
Five packs dry active yeast
10 cups warm water
12 cups all purpose flour
One large mixing bowl
One large crock container
One large piece linen cloth (an old linen sheet will suffice)
One whipping whisk
One cooking spoon
1. In a large mixing bowl, add 10 cups warm water and five packs dry active yeast, whisking together till incorporated. Let set one hour, allowing the yeast to foam up. If the yeast doesn’t foam up, you got dead yeast cells that are totally useless. Chunk’em and start over, repeating activation process.
2. Once yeast solution is activated, fold in 12 cups flour with spoon till solution and flour become one, creating the foundation known as Sourdough Starter.
3. Pour starter into large crock container and cover with linen cloth, finding a permanent home for it, at constant room temperature, on you kitchen counter or shelf. Let your starter grow at least three to four days before using it for the first time.
4. I’ll tell you, nothing beats the smell and taste of homemade sourdough bread baked in your very own oven.
1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda, sifting thoroughly into mixing bowl.
2. Blend in Crisco shortening and butter into flour mixture, squeezing together with your hands until flour, Crisco and butter is granulated like specks of coarse sand.
3. Add Sourdough Starter and lukewarm water. Knead together till dough is gathered into a smooth ball (add more flour if needed to achieve this goal).
4. Place dough ball into large greased bowl and cover with linen cloth, place aside on warm, room temperature counter space, letting the dough rise until it triples in volume.
5. When your dough rises to volume desired, punch it hard to deflate. Proceed to roll again into smooth ball, then cut it into 18 ounce portions. Roll each portion into logs that fit your greased loaf pans end to end.
6. Let’em rise till bread dough reaches slightly above the rim of the loaf pan, then bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes (Sourdough Bread should be a bold rich color of golden brown). Let cool 30 minutes before removing from loaf pan and slicing.
7. You now have Sourdough Bread just like Grandma use to bake. Now have a big slice and enjoy a taste of history!