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This dense, moist, gently tangy bread makes wonderful breakfast toast. Or slice it very thin, and spread it with cream cheese or butterwhat a treat!
1 cup (about 8 ounces) fed sourdough starter
1 cup water
3/4 cup pumpernickel flour
2 1/2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups Fruitcake Blend or the dried fruits of your choice
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds)
Mix all of the ingredients (except the fruit and nuts) by hand, mixer, or bread machine till you've created a smooth, elastic dough. Because the consistency of sourdough starters vary, you may need to add a bit of extra flour or water; the dough should be medium-soft but not sticky. Add the dried fruit and nuts, kneading until they're evenly incorporated. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured surface, and form it into a fat log. Place the log into an Italian stoneware baker that's been greased on the bottom, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the loaf, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it springs back very slowly when lightly pressed.
If you're baking in a covered stoneware baker, place the bread into a cold oven, set the oven to 400°F, and bake for 40 minutes. Check the bread, and bake for a bit longer, if necessary; the internal temperature should be about 190°F when measured on an instant-read thermometer. If you're baking on a sheet pan, preheat the oven to 375°F, and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the bread is brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Yield: 1 loaf.
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.