This is almost as good as having a pizza and it makes a great snack with a slice of cheese melted over thick slices of the bread. This is the “hurry-up” version, but the overnight-rise method is included at the end of the recipe. You can make it with unbleached white flour, whole wheat, or a combination of flours. Unbleached white flour will yield the lightest loaf, whereas 100% whole wheat flour will produce a dense, chewy loaf.
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup fresh, thick sourdough starter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup finely diced pepperoni, if desired
- 2 to 3 cups unbleached flour, whole wheat, or blend of both
- Stir honey into warm water in a small bowl; sprinkle yeast over and set aside for 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
- Put sourdough starter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or if you are mixing by hand use a large mixing bowl). Sprinkle salt, garlic powder, and herbs over the top; mix briefly. Add egg, melted butter, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, and pepperoni (if using); mix together well.
- Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and has an elastic texture. With a heavy-duty mixer this will take about 8 minutes. By hand it may take 10 to 15 minutes. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a cotton towel or plastic wrap.
- Let rise about 1 hour, until dough has doubled. Punch down and turn out dough onto a clean surface.
- Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 9X5-inch loaf pan. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- For a long-rise loaf mix 1/4 cup water with sourdough starter and stir in herbs and 2 to 3 cups flour, until dough is very thick. Cover loosely and let sit overnight at room temperature. It does not have to be in a warm spot unless your house is extremely cold.
- When ready to bake, sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl with honey added and set aside for 5 minutes. Blend tomato paste with melted butter and parmesan cheese. Blend into sourdough mixture, using a heavy duty mixer or by hand. Make sure it gets thoroughly incorporated. Stir in additional unbleached flour only if needed to get the proper consistency. Stir in pepperoni after all other ingredients are mixed in.
- Proceed with kneading, rising, shaping, and baking as above. This method works best if you are using all whole wheat flour.
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