There's a simple reason this tangy bread is famous – it's delicious!
You Will Need
* One ¼-ounce package, plus one tablespoon of active dry yeast
* 3 ½ tbsp. sugar, divided
* 1 c. all-purpose flour
* 2 c. warm water
* 4 ¾ c. bread flour, divided
* 2 ½ tsp. salt
* 1 c. warm milk
* 2 tbsp. butter, softened
* Olive oil
* 1 extra large egg
* 1 tbsp. water
* A stand mixer or bread machine (optional)
Step 1: Make the starter
Make the sourdough starter by stirring 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, and the all-purpose flour into 2 cups of warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for two days.
Step 2: Combine ingredients
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of bread flour, the remaining sugar, the salt, and the package of yeast. Stir in the milk and butter; then stir in 1 1/2 cups of your starter.
Step 3: Mix in flour
Mix in the remaining bread flour gradually. Add more if the dough is too sticky.
Step 4: Knead the dough
Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead it for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Let rise
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough around a few times to coat. Cover with a dishcloth or plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in volume, one to two hours.
Step 6: Punch down
Punch down the dough and then let it rest for 15 minutes before shaping it into two loaves. Place them on a greased baking sheet dusted with coarsely ground cornmeal and let rise until it doubles again, about another hour.
Step 7: Bake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Just before you're ready to put in the loaves, gently make 1/4-inch-deep slashes on the top with a sharp knife. If it's a round loaf, make two horizontal and two vertical slashes in a tic-tac-toe pattern. For an oblong loaf, make a few horizontal slits or one long vertical one.
Step 8: Make egg wash
Beat an egg with one tablespoon of water and gently brush it over the top of the loaves. Bake un