Just as there are a multitude of sourdough starters out there (of course I recommend u use mine in this recipe :P),there are also a bunch of different ways to stage your loaf and bake it. I stick with a relatively quick and easy way that allows my family to enjoy it the same day. If u like your sourdough a bit more tangy than mild, u can modify this recipe by letting your dough sit in the fridge overnight after rising ..and then out again, covered with a towel the next day for 4-6 hrs. The tang also matures along with the bread even after its baked. Enjoy!
1In medium bowl, temper yeast with warm water and sugar. Let it blossom for approximately 10 minutes.
2In large mixer bowl, place 6 cups of flour and make a well in the center of the flour. Slowly pour the cup of sourdough starter into the well. Bringing the flour from the outside edges of the bowl to the center,to start, mix the flour with the starter until u have it well combined. (it will be flaky/crumbly) Add the yeast/water mixture and set your mixer to knead. Add the salt a pinch at a time as the mixture is kneading, until u have a good ball of dough-about 5 mins of machine mixing time. Turn the dough ball out on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for another 5-7 mins-adding a bit more flour if the dough is too wet. (if u have problems with handkneading, its alright to let your mixer do the majority of this phase, but please try to do at least 1 min of manual kneading)
3Oil a large bowl and place the dough ball into it, rotating the dough so it gets oiled on all sides. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour. (I put my dough into my convection oven with the oven OFF. Next to the bowl, I will place a coffee cup with 1 cup of boiling water to help with the rise ;)
4After an hour, take the dough out, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down and knead it for a minute or 2 by hand. Separate into 2 logshaped loaves and put into bread pans. Cover and return to rising area for another hour. (if you prefer the more rustic looking round loaves, u may separate into 2 balls and place them on an oiled baking sheet or silpat and then re-cover and return to rising area) With 10 minutes remaining to your rising time, preheat the over to 425 degrees.
5Loaves should be at least double in size by this time. Snip or cut diagonal slashes into the tops of the loaves and spray with warm water. Bake for 30-35 mins til golden brown.