Saturday, August 2, 2014

James Beard's Sour Cream Bread


This was another one of those times where I needed to use up something in my fridge. In this case, a pint of sour cream. I was thinking about using it in banana bread or maybe coffee cake, but since bread goes over a lot better in my household than sweets, I decided to see if there were any recipes using sour cream in bread. James Beard's Sour Cream Bread recipe was just what I needed and the several stellar reviews I saw made the choice easy. As this bread bakes, it permeates your home with the most fantastic sweet toasted milk smell. It's got a texture reminiscent of biscuits as others have said and makes wonderful toast.
The bread is pretty easy to make and can be refrigerated or probably even frozen and reheated when you need it. I baked the bread in a long Pullman loaf pan and sliced it up to store in the fridge. I also subbed about a cup of white whole wheat flour in this bread and some thick Greek yogurt since I didn't have a full pint of sour cream and both substitutions worked out fine.
Sour Cream Bread
Recipe adapted from James Beard via Honey and Butter
Makes 2 medium loaves
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
3 tbsp. sugar, granulated or brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 deg F)
1 pint full fat sour cream, room temp
1 tbsp. kosher salt, half the amount of fine salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the water and sugar together with a whisk, sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Add in the sour cream and the salt, mixing thoroughly.
Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add the flour gradually on medium low speed letting the flour become incorporated before adding more. Knead the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes, the dough should still be sticky, but come together in a rough ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and shape into 2 loaves placing them into 2 loaf pans. Let rise for another 1-2 hours until it has almost doubled.
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 deg F. Slash your loaves with a sharp blade and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let the loaves cool for 20 minutes before cutting into them. Bread will last for a few days wrapped at room temp or for a week in the fridge. Freeze for longer storage up to several weeks.

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