Sourdough Sandwich Loaf
This simple loaf is hard to resist straight out of the oven. If you like an assertive sourdough flavor, let your starter ripen at least three days. The riper the starter, the paler in color your loaf will be—acidic batters and doughs resist browning. Tasty enough for a dinner bread and basic enough for sandwiches, the loaf freezes well when wrapped whole in plastic wrap.
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups bread flour with yeast in bowl. Stir together starter, 3/4 cup lukewarm water, and brown sugar in separate bowl. Stir in flour-yeast mixture. Cover loosely, and let sit overnight.
2. The next day, stir 1 cup flour and salt into sponge until thoroughly combined. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour 1 to 2 Tbs. at a time until shaggy dough forms. Knead dough on lightly floured work surface or with electric mixer fitted with dough hook 3 to 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Roll dough into 8-inch cylinder. Coat 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and place dough inside pan. Cover loosely, and let rise 1 hour, or until dough is 1/4 inch above top of pan.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut 1/2-inch-deep slash lengthwise down center of loaf with serrated knife. Bake 45 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 198°F. Run knife around pan edges to release bread. Unmold, and cool 45 minutes before slicing and serving.