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Put 2 cups tepid water into a wide-mouth 2 quart con-
tainer (not metal). Sprinkle with 1 package active dry yeast
and stir until dissolved with wooden spoon. Add 2 cups all- 
purpose flour (I prefer unbleached) and beat with electric
beater or processor until smooth. Cover; place away from
drafts and let ferment for 36 to 48 hours. Stir 3 times a day.
Mixture will become bubbly and develop a yeasty aroma. Pour
off 1 1/2 cups to use in one of the following recipes.
To store the remainder, beat equal parts of warm water
and flour into it. (Never add anything, but flour and water to
the original starter.) Let stand, lightly covered, in warm
place until mixture bubbles, approximately 5 hours. Cover and
store in the refrigerator. The older the starter gets, the
better it tastes. Use regularly. Stir from time to time.
Two hours before you plan to make bread, stir the
refrigerated starter and pour 1 1/2 cups into a 2 cup measure
and allow to warm to room temperature.

Sourdough White Bread:

1 pkg. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. starter (at room
3 1/2 c. unbleached
all-purpose flour or 4 c.
regular all-purpose flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
Rinse a large mixing bowl with hot water. Put 1 cup
warm water in bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Stir in sugar,
salt and starter. Add flour and mix thoroughly with hands or
wooden spoon. Cover bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and set
in warm place free from drafts 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Then, turn out on a heavily floured counter top, board or
ideally a marble slab. Sprinkle generously with flour and
knead, adding more flour if sticky. Knead at least 10 minutes
to produce a fine-grained bread.
Shape in 2 round loaves and set on warm cookie sheets,
greased with solid vegetable shortening or other unsalted fat
and sprinkled with cornmeal. Or put in two 1 1/2 quart casse-
roles (well greased) or put in 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf
pans. Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled. Brush
with egg and bake in a preheated 400 degrees oven for 30 to 35 min-
utes. (Make diagonal slashes across top with razor blade or
sharp knife.)

Sourdough French Bread:
Shape bread dough in 2 long loaves; put on greased
cookie sheets and bake in a preheated 400 degrees oven with pan of hot
water on bottom shelf 20 to 25 minutes.

Whole Wheat Bread With Caraway Or Fennel Seed:
Follow recipe for Sourdough White bread, using 2 cups
each whole wheat and all-purpose flours. Add 2 tablespoons
caraway seed or 1 tablespoon fennel seed with the sugar.
Sprinkle greased sheets or pans with additional seed.

Poppy Seed Or Sesame Seed Bread:
Follow recipe for Sourdough White Bread, adding 3
tablespoons poppy or sesame seed with the sugar. Sprinkle
greased sheets or pans with additional seed.

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