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Bread-Machine Sourdough

1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup water
3 cups bread flour
1.5-2 Tbsp nonfat dry milk powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter/margarine
1 to 1.5 tsp yeast

Add the starter, water, and 1 to 1.5 cups of the flour to the bread
machine. Start the bread machine ("dough" setting on machines that
have it) and let it mix the starter with the flour and water. It
should make a thick batter. This is the "sponge" - the objective
is to let the starter get a head start. Once the sponge is well
mixed, stop the machine.

Add the butter to the sponge, cut up into small pieces. You can
leave this out if you wish, but it will rise better if there is a
*little* fat present (this is less than 1 gram fat per slice, BTW).

Mix the salt, sugar, and milk powder with the remaining flour, and
add it to the machine, trying to completely cover the top of the
sponge and mound it in the center, if possible (not as important
in machines with a separate yeast dispenser). If your machine
doesn't have a dispenser, make a little "well" in the mound and
put the yeast there, trying to keep it dry - if you do have a
dispenser, add the yeast normally.

Turn the machine back on. Since you want to give the sponge a few
hours to work, use a delay setting. I just set it for 10 hours,
but this isn't too critical - "overnight" is a good rule of thumb.
The longer you give it, the more sour it should be (and the less
extra yeast you will need).


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