Sourdough Bread

Ingredients:                        Please use Ctrl-P to print
2 c warm water
6-8 c flour
1 c sourdough starter
2 tsp active yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp citric acid, optional (enhances the sour flavor of the bread)
1 egg white + 1 T water

The night before baking, make a sponge by combining:
2 cups warm water
1 cup sourdough starter
4 cups flour (17 oz.)

Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and leave on counter overnight.

The next day:
Put the sponge into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 2 teaspoons each of salt and yeast. Add enough flour (approximately 3 to 5 cups), 1/2 cup at a time, to make a  stiff dough. Add the citric acid with the first addition of flour.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and cut into thirds. Knead a few times until smooth and form into rounds or loaves. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and let rise until doubled and puffy, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Heat oven to 400F.

Spray a serrated knife with cooking spray and quickly cut 2 or 3 slashes across top of loaves.

Mix 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and brush onto risen loaves. Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes or until they are a golden color and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool completely before slicing.