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This sourdough loaf is enhanced with whole grains and a generous topping of seeds.
3/4 cup sourdough starter that's been fed and is ready to use*
1 to 1 1/4 cups water (approximately)*
3 cups European-Style Artisan Bread Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup pumpernickel flour
1/2 cup Harvest Grains Blend
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 beaten egg white
1 to 2 tablespoons Artisan Bread Topping or your favorite blend of seeds
*Sourdough starters vary quite a bit in consistency. Use enough water to make a soft dough.
In a large mixing bowl, or the bucket of a bread machine, combine the fed sourdough starter and 1 cup of the water, mixing till smooth. Add the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead -- by hand, mixer, bread machine or food processor -- till you've made a soft dough, adding additional water as needed. Note: If you're using a bread machine, program for the manual or dough cycle. Check the dough's consistency after 7 to 10 minutes of kneading; it should be smooth and elastic. Adjust as necessary with additional flour or water. Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it's almost doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape it into a large round. Cover the round with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it's very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Just before baking, brush with a beaten egg white. Sprinkle with seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make several slashes across the top of the loaf, asterisk-fashion.
Bake the bread in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Yield: 1
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.