Whole Wheat Sourdough French Bread
|Water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs), warm|
|Warm water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Baking yeast||1 Tablespoon|
|Sourdough starter||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Whole wheat flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Baking soda||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Whole wheat flour||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
In a large bowl stir together the water, yeast, starter, honey, salt, and 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Stir for about 5 minutes until the dough feels elastic. Cover and let rise until double (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
Mix the baking soda with 1 of the remaining cups of whole wheat flour and add it to the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, using the other cup of whole wheat flour if it is needed. The dough should be very elastic and satiny.
Let rise again until double (about 1 hour). Punch down, add more flour if necessary, and knead a few times.
Shape the dough into 2 oblong loaves (for fondue) or 1 round loaf. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, cover, and let rise until double- 45-60 minutes.
Slash with a knife or razor blade, brush with water. To slash the bread, cut four lines into the top of the loaves about one-half inch deep.
Bake at 400°F, with a pan of hot water on the lower shelf of the oven, for about 45 minutes until well browned.
For fondue, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes after it has cooled. Be sure each cube has some crust. You can store the cubes (or loaves) in plastic (not PVC) bags for a day or more.