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This recipe comes to us from Marilyn Mulgrew of Rochester, New York. It makes beautifully decorated loaves, and is also terrific for rolls. If you're a liverwurst-and-onions aficionado, try it on one of these rolls, slathered with hot-sweet mustard. Heaven! Thanks, Marilyn.
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) lukewarm milk
2 cups (16 1/2 ounces) sourdough starter, fed or unfed*
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) white rye flour
1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour
3 1/2 to 4 cups (14 3/4 to 17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
*If you feed your starter first, the dough will rise a bit more quickly.
Combine the yeast, milk, the sourdough starter, sugar, salt, cardamom, and seeds. Stir in the rye flour and beat until the batter is smooth. Add the whole wheat flour, then the unbleached all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has formed a shaggy mass, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter.
Knead the dough and add just as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. The dough should be a little tacky, but not sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough and place it on a lightly floured counter. Shape as desired; you can make one huge loaf, three normal loaves, four mini loaves, or about 24 rolls. You can also reserve a small amount of dough and roll it into long, thin strips that can be snipped with scissors to form a stalk of wheat to decorate the top of each loaf.
Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until they're puffy. Bake them in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Tip: Need some sourdough starter to get started? See our step-by-step directions for creating your own sourdough starter from scratch. Or, if you’re looking for a head-start, check out our classic fresh sourdough starter, a simpler path to fresh, ready-to-use sourdough starter.