Fresh from the oven.  Baking bread can be detected in the air from inside & outside the house.

Sourdough Bread

FullSizeRender 2This makes a very large loaf of bread in a giant Cast Iron Dutch Oven.  Half the recipe for a smaller, single loaf size.

in a bowl:  1/2 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup cold tap water, 2 tablespoons yeast and let it sit for about five minutes, until it bubbles, foams, and grows.

In a very large mixing bowl, pour 3 cups sourdough starter and a tablespoon of honey.  On top of the sourdough starter, make a little mountain of 2 cups flour.  Gently mix 2 teaspoons salt into the flour to distribute it.

Wait until the yeast is foamy and pour it around the sides of the flour in the large mixing bowl, like a moat.

Continue the gentle mixing, using larger motions to mix all of the ingredients together, until you have a soft dough. Switch to using your hands to knead the dough in the bowl, as the dough holds together.

Add flour and knead in the bowl until the dough is the desired consistency, stiff, but flexible, like Playdough.

Place dough ball on a large piece of parchment paper in a clean bowl and cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Let it sit in a warm spot for an hour or two (depending on the warmth of the room), until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the Cast Iron Dutch Oven inside, lid on.

Open your ovens so they are ready to receive the bread.

Quickly, so as not to loose too much oven heat, lift the dough out of the bowl, using the parchment paper, and deposit into the hot cast iron dutch oven.  Return the lid and close the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on,  and 30 minutes with the lid off

When the baking time is nearing completion, and top starts to brown, check the bread for doneness by and inserting a thermometer into the center of the bread.  Your goal is 200 degrees internal temperature and a hard, crispy crust.

When the bread is done, lift it out of the Dutch Oven and let it cool on a rack, for as long as you can stand it (!), before cutting into it to sample with butter.

Charlotte summoning my dad & stepmom each day, usually before & after school, using the chain lock on our back gate.  They live in a house behind ours on the same property, so we smell what’s cooking in each other’s ovens.