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While this homemade bread isn't "authentic" sourdough, it makes a wonderfully textured, high-rising, great-tasting loaf, thanks to King Arthur Whole-Grain Bread Improver. You must make the starter three days before you plan to bake the bread. You can substitute your own sourdough starter if you wish, or purchase King Arthur's starter. You'll need 1 cup of starter. This recipe is appropriate for a 1 1/2 to 2-pound bread machine.
3/4 cup milk heated to 120°F, then cooled to 100°F
1 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
3/4 cup white rye flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 extra-large egg
1/3 cup water
1 recipe sourdough starter (1 cup, above)
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus 2 to 3 additional tablespoons if the dough appears wet after the first 5 minutes of kneading
3/4 cup white or light rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
4 teaspoons to King Arthur Whole-Grain Bread Improver
The Starter: Dissolve the yeast in the milk, then stir in the flour. If you're using instant yeast, simply combine the milk, yeast and flour. The mixture will be very thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm (at least 70°F) place for three days, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thin out slightly.
The Bread: Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Place all the ingredients into the machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Program for basic or white bread, and press start. Check the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle; it should be soft and smooth. Adjust the consistency with additional flour or water, as needed. When the machine completes its cycle, remove the baked bread, and cool it on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.